Royal Mail and ByBox are teaming up to trial a new way of delivering online purchases to station lockers. Online retailers are now being invited to take part.
This autumn the two delivery companies will launch a six-month pilot to test out ‘iBox’ deliveries to 17 mainline train stations. The stations are in London and six other key cities, yet to be named. Shoppers will be notified by email or SMS as soon as items are delivered to a secure electronic parcel locker, known as an iBox. The message will contain a PIN code that the recipient can then use to collect their parcel from the iBox, 24 hours a day.
The service is being offered to retailers through delivery management software specialist MetaPack, which is now inviting retailers interested in trialling the service to get in touch here.
MetaPack says the new service will “vastly improve first-time delivery success, benefitting both consumers and retailers alike.” It says the service can be easily bolted on for retailers already offering the Royal Mail Tracked 2-3 day delivery ervice.
Stuart Miller, chief executive and co-founder of ByBox, (pictured) said: “At ByBox we are committed to providing alternative delivery solutions for retailers, carriers and consumers across Europe. Royal Mail plays an important role in the online delivery infrastructure in the UK, so we are looking forward to working together over the coming months.”
A Royal Mail spokesman said: “Royal Mail is continually looking at ways of providing innovative solutions that help retailers to give their shoppers even greater choice over the delivery of their orders.”
Though new to the UK, locker delivery is widespread in Germany, where almost 3,000 lockers are in use and research has found 29% of consumers say they now make more online purchases because they can use lockerbanks. They are also available in Norway, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, France, Poland and Turkey.
Our view: This looks like an exciting development for the many commuters who get to work by train, or pass a train station on their journey. They are, after all, members of a large group of people who can by definition rarely be at home when most online goods are delivered. This is a great example of the logistics industry adapting to the way that consumers really live their lives - it’s one that’s been predicted for several years, but now at last looks likely to happen, thanks to the backing of the Royal Mail.