Why Every Parcel Carrier Should Have an Out of Home Strategy

Open network parcel lockers - a creative out of home parcel solution for all carriers.

15 Sept 4 min read

Carriers

As the country slowly reopens its doors and the post pandemic world begins to reveal itself it is becoming increasingly clear that things look quite a bit different. An obvious, and dramatic change is how the general workforce are affected. Advances in technologies have encouraged companies to challenge the status quo and plan for a more flexible, remote workforce of the future.  What does this mean for carriers?  Well, once people go back to their physical workplace either full time or as a hybrid model their home address is no longer their only address. Carriers may see a spike in redirect requests or increase in failed deliveries.

Not only are we facing change in our place of work but potentially in the way we commute.  A new report by the Oireachtas Climate Action Committee recommends the development of “cycle superhighways” in major cities, an approach with is deemed “radical” and “long-term.”  This approach aims to reduce the volume of traffic entering cities, thus reducing carbon emissions.  What does this mean for carriers? Ultimately this would reduce volume of traffic however, it will also seriously curtail road access for traffic into city centres. All carriers will need a more creative solution to accommodate for this change.

The growth in e-commerce and digital transformation have been widely touted as one of the most powerful outcomes of the crisis. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has recently said that “people who never shopped online before now shop online and get deliveries as a matter of course, and that has changed, and it's not going to change back.” This is a key insight into the changing behaviour of consumers on a national level. What does this mean for carriers? The unprecedented surge in deliveries seen over the last 18 months will not be abating any time soon. Carriers will need a robust, long-term capacity and resource plan in place.

“We’re incredibly proud to be part of a sustainable last mile solution. The pandemic has seen a further explosion in online shopping and in peak season carriers are pushed to their limit. With our network of carrier agnostic parcel pods we will be able to relieve this pressure and bring a more environmentally friendly and safer solution to communities all around Ireland.” - John Tuohy, CEO, OOHPod
A carbon neutral parcel box sits on its own on a wooden bench

With flexibility and choice now a core part of everyday life, from working to shopping, and a strong emphasis on sustainability measures, consumer preference for alternate delivery locations is growing.

Three benefits of out of home solutions for parcel carriers.

  1. Increase Delivery Efficiency

    Failed deliveries and costly re-directs due to customers being away from home will only increase as large parts of the country return to offices. Customers have become accustomed to getting orders to individual addresses in a timely fashion which means carriers will need to increase capacity. Parcel lockers are a means to tackle the challenges and costs posed by last mile deliveries from retailer’s warehouses to homes and offices.
     
    Delivering to parcel lockers means a single delivery vehicle could drop off dozens of orders at the same time to each delivery location around the country. This reduces the number of vehicles required, their subsequent movements throughout towns and cities and increases the opportunity for first time successful delivery saving both time and money for carriers.

  2. Customer Choice and Satisfaction

    In most cases, consumers do not control the parcel carrier selection and view their relationship to be with the e-tailer. However, the last mile is an integral part of their overall shopping experience. It is important for carriers to ensure end customer satisfaction to reinforce strong relationships with their e-tailer clients.
     
    With parcel locker deliveries, customers can choose their closest or most convenient delivery point, whether it is the one nearest to their home, office or on their commute with the flexibility to change it every time they shop.  Offering customers access to a locker ecosystem that is not limited by store hours or carrier, but accessible to all 24×7 will deliver the level of service savvy consumers have come to expect.  
     
    Not only do lockers offer customer choice, but they also bring an element of security to the transaction with complete tracking and accountability throughout the chain of custody, all without the need for customer signature which is replaced with an electronic log of activity.

  3. Competitive Advantage

    Large e-commerce players have identified last-mile services as a potential key differentiator versus their competitors. The variety of delivery options and the perceived quality of the delivery service are major decision criteria for online customers and hence directly impact e-commerce players’ bottom line. Having an out of home delivery strategy as a turn-key delivery and returns solution for your e-tailer clients will offer a competitive advantage and help to forger stronger relationships.

If you would like to make it easier for people to pick up parcels on their terms, 24x7, consolidate your deliveries and increase your first time delivery rate, contact us on any of our social platforms or through hello@oohpod.com about becoming an OOHPod carrier partner.  OOHPod, your out of home delivery station, coming soon.