Solving the last mile with parcel lockers?

insights  June 8, 2018

It could be said that ecommerce is booming, the global ecommerce market value will be more than 2.9 trillion euros[1] by 2020. Consumers are becoming very efficient when navigating their way to different online shops, but at the same time their lives are getting busier. This brings problems with the final stage of the delivery process: the last-mile. Are parcel lockers a solution to this problem?

It is one of several innovations that have been developed to overcome the complex last-mile

What is a parcel locker?
Parcel lockers are autonomous containers that can be used to either receive or send a parcel[2]. When a consumer has made a purchase online, they can choose to have the package delivered to a parcel locker. The courier then delivers the package not to the consumers’ home, but to the nearest or pre-selected parcel locker. Upon delivery, the consumer receives an e-mail or sms with a unique collection code, a pin code and the address of the parcel locker. It is one of several innovations that have been developed to overcome the complex last-mile.

The use of a parcel locker has several advantages:

1.            The delivery of goods becomes more reliable and the hit rate of the first delivery attempt increases. Our own research has shown that all consumers surveyed have experienced at least one failed first delivery attempt in the last year. It also emerged that in case a first delivery attempt failed, most online shoppers (89%) are annoyed. Parcel lockers are a solution to this problem.

2.            When a courier does not have to come back to a consumer several times to attempt to deliver the same package, this increases efficiency in logistics and saves costs for the distributor and therefore for the shipper.

3.            It improves the consumer experience, because it reduces irritations about missed packages.

4.            It’s a flexible solution. Consumers can usually collect their package from a parcel locker 24 hours a day, seven days a week and at their own speed.

5.            Unlike many pick-up points, with a parcel locker, the consumer is not dependent on an employee or queues.

In order to solve the problem concerning the last mile in ecommerce logistics, the parcel locker seems to be a good alternative.


[1] Clarity ecommerce translation (2018). Cross Border E-Commerce – The Future of E-Commerce.
[2] International Post Corporation (2018). Delivery choice – Parcel lockers.
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