This is a collection of data we found online about Lockers and Pick Up Points, just a photograph of the state of this solution. We’d be glad to receive additional numbers, so: if you have them please contribute!
“Lockers are not going to replace home deliveries, it is about creating convenience for consumers – we know those home deliveries are not always convenient for consumers, while click and collect services also have their problems (…)”: said InPost UK CEO Ian Caminsky to The Loadstar. They may not be THE solution but certainly Drop Lockers and Pick Up Points (PUP) are a blessing for those who are seldom home and whose workplace is not parcel-friendly. It’s a tight race between these relatively new choices of delivery.
Lockers: expensive to build, install and maintain but almost self-sufficient and open 24/7. You can locate them on the road, inside railway and subway stations, shops, malls and markets. Their main issues are: finding locations and leasing them, energy cost, the chance of being vandalized, sizes of the parcels they can accommodate and the fact that they are property of a particular logistics service provider and can usually be used only by this company’s customers.
Pick Up Points are shops or Post Offices that accept receiving parcels from shipping companies and deliver them to end customers. Being a more “human” operation they’re subject to opening hours, possible errors of handling or storage and theft.
The UPS Shopper’s Pulse released in March 2015 gives us some data: the European average in preference of delivery locations sees PUP at 6% and Lockers at 3%. Percentages change nation by nation: it’s a tie in Italy (3%), in UK PUP wins at 3% (against 2% for Lockers), France landslides in favor of PUP (13% vs 2%), Germany is the only Country that prefers Lockers (5% vs 4%).
MetaPack’s Report (the most recent of the ones here presented) reveals that in Europe only 6% of the population has already experienced Locker delivery; 29% have gone to PUP.
The numbers regarding projections in Italy change a little in the NetComm Consortium’s Whitepaper: “La nuova logistica per l’e-commerce: dal Locker al Drone”, released in October 2015: the percentage of those who’d prefer to pick up their good is 4%. Among them: 50% would choose a place not tied to the merchant who sold the item online, 30% prefer one of the merchant shops, 1% would go to the Post Office. Lockers are so rare that don’t figure in the study yet. Among those who have chosen to collect their own order 45% did so because it better fitted their timetables or commutes; 32% because they wanted to pay cash on delivery (in this case to the PUP intermediary).
In Colliers’ “From First Mile to Last Mile 2015”, UK customers were asked to choose if they preferred Lockers, in-store (by the same merchant) or third-party PUP: lockers won, with third party PUP second. It seems merchants who provide items online to be received in-store have already lost the click and collect war.
“In Sweden, close to half of online shoppers preferred to pick up their online orders from the post office or another location, rather than have these orders delivered to their home, as of early 2015. Another example is Argentina, where pick up at the point of sale was the second leading delivery method used by online shoppers last year” (data: Ystats through MarketWatch).
InPost, in Italy, had 400 lockers, by the end of 2015 will have 1000. Still, if you ask Italians, 40% of them will tell you that they prefer PUPs, 5% lockers, and the rest traditional Home Delivery.
Looking at the numbers and reading other articles and reports spread all over the Web in the last three years, it seems that Pickup is not a fashion but part of a solution. They’re here to stay and grow. There’s only one possible contradiction left to resolve: the more widespread they are the more they’re able to penetrate social routines but a higher density, with less traffic per Locker or PUP, could bring their financial model to collapse. It’s just a matter of finding the optimal balance between maximum penetration density and blending with other solutions.