The Post Office is working with DPD to offer click and collect services in its first partnership with a carrier other than Royal Mail in its 360-year history. The move to enable collection of DPD parcels from Post Office branches showcases a new strategy of opening the Post Office network to new carriers.
The Post Office says this represents a step towards improved environmental sustainability, since more parcels will be available to collect from a single location. It is also expected to boost footfall, and related in-store purchases.
The new click and collect service will go live at about 250 Post Offices this month – starting next week – and then rolling out to about 1,500 ahead of peak trading in the run up to Christmas. In total, the Post Office has 11,500 branches across the UK.
Nick Read, chief executive of the Post Office, says: “Combining the biggest physical retail network with one of the Europe’s best-known logistical carriers provides greater customer convenience, footfall for Postmasters and helps people back to the High Street as Covid-19 restrictions ease. I’m delighted that through our partnership with DPD, customers can select their local Post Office to collect their parcels and know that they are often open longer hours, staffed by a knowledgeable Postmaster and located moments from where they live.”
Online shoppers will have the option of collecting their parcel at their local Post Office when they buy from a retailer that uses DPD. DPD will then deliver parcels to the Post Office for pick-up. Shoppers will also be able to redirect a parcel to a Post Office during the delivery journey. Research carried out for the Post Office by Public First found that visits to the Post Office help to drive an extra 400m visits to other high street shops, producing an estimated £1.1bn in revenues for high street businesses.
Elaine Kerr, chief executive of DPD, says: “This is a significant, long-term partnership between two brand leaders in the parcel industry and comes at a time when the convenience of online shopping and delivery is more valued than ever. It is great news for DPD parcel customers and for Post Office branches too. Our aim is always to get parcels delivered safely, on time and provide recipients with as much choice as possible. This partnership enables us to offer more options at the point of purchase, while the parcel is in-flight and on those occasions when we can’t leave a parcel safely.”
The partnership promises to reduce the environmental impact of vans making a number of stops to drop off parcels, and to encourage shoppers to return to their local high street on foot. DPD Group’s own review of last mile delivery found that greenhouse gases reduce by 63% as a result of last mile delivery when shoppers opt to pick up their delivery.
The Post Office’s Nick Read says: ““As a society, we are increasingly considering the environmental impact of our activities. This will mean ensuring the last mile of delivery is ‘carbon free’. Our physical network of branches helps make this a reality, encouraging people to walk or cycle to their local Post Office to collect their parcels.”
DPD, part of France’s La Poste group, currently has more than 1,000 electric vehicles on the road, and that is expected to rise to more than 1,700 by the end of the year as the company moves towards its pledge of delivering using only all-electric vehicles in 25 of the UK’s largest towns and cities by 2025.
DPD’s Kerr says: “Our sustainability strategy is based on looking at every single aspect or our operation and challenging ourselves to make it more efficient by reducing emissions and miles, while improving the service for customers at the same time. Having the option to deliver to Post Offices helps us achieve that. DPD will provide all-electric delivery to 10 major towns and cities by the end of this year and 25 locations by 2025. With that and recipients having the option to walk to their local Post Office to collect a missed parcel, the vision of a carbon-free ‘last mile’ is becoming a reality.”