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Locker networks and parcel shops – the European landscape (Pt 2)


Research and consultancy firm Apex Insight has published an indepth review of the European parcel locker landscape, looking at local parcel pick-up and drop-off points intended at easing the final mile pressure.
In this, our second snapshot of European Parcel Shop and Locker Networks Market Insight Report 2015, we look at market size, penetration and growth. The first piece can be found here.

Market size

By far the largest number of locations is in Germany. Of the other countries, France, Poland and the UK all have extensive networks with Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands – given their smaller size, also being well-served. The Southern and Eastern European countries have far fewer sites.

Parcel shop locations, which are much less capital-intensive to deploy and can be rolled out much more quickly, far outnumber locker sites. However, we believe that the difference in volumes of parcels handled by the two types may not be quite as great as locker sites, in particular the well-established Packstations in Germany, typically have a far higher capacity. Around 50 or even 100 doors per locker site is not unusual. InPost reported that its busiest locker bank in Poland handled 512 parcels in a single day.

Our research suggests that most parcel shops do not have that level of capacity or volume. The average capacity of parcel shops we interviewed was around 200 parcels per week and the actual volume handled averaged just over 60 per week.

locker locations

Countries in Europe by Number of Parcel Shops / Parcel Locker Locations

Competitive landscape

Parcel shop and secure locker networks are operated both by parcels carriers for their own use and other independent parties, who generally open them to use by a range of carriers.

Companies covered in the report:

  • DHL
  • Otto / Hermes
  • MondialRelay
  • DPD
  • UPS
  • InPost
  • GLS / Royal Mail
  • Collect+
  • TNT
  • MBE
  • FedEx
  • Other (Amazon, PostNL, BPM-Lux and P&T)
  • KEBA
  • ByBox
  • TZ
  • Smarte CartePickPoint
  • Doddle
  • Nightline (pictured above)

The research shows that the concept is furthest developed in Germany, which currently has more than half of all locations across the eight territories.

Relative to size, Belgium and Netherlands also have a high degree of penetration with the other significant networks being in France, Poland and the UK. Together, these four territories account for around 90% of current locations.

Amongst operators, the research shows that DHL has the most locations, thanks mainly to its large networks of both Packstations and parcel shops in Germany.

It is followed by Otto, which has also built a very large parcel shop presence in Germany, billing itself as the main alternative to the post office, and significant networks across several other countries, via its Hermes and Mondial Relay operations.

DPD and now UPS, following its acquisition of Kiala and roll-out of the model to the UK and Germany, both have extensive parcel shop networks which span several countries.

Some companies make use of partnerships to expand their presence. For example: DPD makes use of the Hermes network in the UK (and the two organisations also operate a joint venture in Russia) and GLS serves France via the Mondial Relay network.

We expect growth in demand for parcel shops and lockers to continue to be driven mainly by the growth in internet retail. In particular, the advance of ‘Click-and-Collect’ type models which allow consumers to select a parcel shop or locker as an alternative to delivery to the home, could well lead to growth being faster than that of overall internet retail sales.

Supply factors are also important with networks currently being rolled out at pace in many countries to provide further capacity.

The full European Parcel Shop and Locker Networks Market Insight Report 2015 is available from Apex Insight. If you have any thoughts on this subject, in the meantime, why not get in touch or leave a comment.

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