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Competing parcel locker networks


Competing parcel locker networks

Ian Kerr

DHL Parcel has announced that it is expanding its German network of Packstations. But has it been spooked by Amazon's growing parcel locker network?

There are now about 3,400 DHL Packstations, with more than 340,000 compartments in over 1,600 cities and municipalities across Germany. This means 90% of the German population live within 10 minutes of a DHL Packstation.

DHL will soon roll out a new, more compact Packstation type. These smaller Packstations can be set up in places unsuitable for the larger Packstations already in use. The first of the new Packstations are already operating in Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Bochum and Cologne. By the end of 2018, several hundred more of the new Packstations are to be installed across Germany.

DHL Parcel is looking to expand its locker network to more public locations, such as supermarkets and train stations, in Germany and other European nations. DHL has a network of 4,900 parcel locker installations across Europe.

But what is Amazon doing?

Amazon parcel locker in Germany

Amazon parcel locker in Germany

Spooked by Amazon?

Amazon is ... wait for it ... expanding its parcel locker network across Germany!

In Germany, Amazon Lockers are located at Shell petrol stations, at retailers and in selected O2 shops, such as the O2 Live Concept Store in Tauentzienstraße in Berlin, and even in some Berlin "Spätis" (late night stores).

There are Amazon Locker installations in Munich, Augsburg, Berlin, Hamburg and numerous cities in North Rhine-Westphalia (including Cologne, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Oberhausen, Wuppertal, Essen, Duisburg).

Amazon now has 1300 parcel locker installations across seven European countries.

Shopping centres partnering with locker networks

In Australia, shopping centre operators Scentre Group and Stockland have partnered with Couriers Please to offer parcel lockers.

CouriersPlease, owned by Singapore Post, has installed POPStation parcel locker installations at 31 shopping centres.

Scentre has been progressively rolling out parcel lockers across its malls for the past three years. There are also POPStations at 22 Westfield shopping centres in Australia.

Why this (seemingly) sudden rush to install parcel lockers? Could it be Amazon's imminent arrival in Australia?

(In late 2016, Australia Post announced a partnership with supermarket giant Woolworths to install parcel lockers in about 500 Woolworths supermarkets.)

Printing online postage at Packstations

One thing Amazon lockers don't do (yet!) is print postage. But DHL customers will soon be able to print out mobile parcel stamps directly at the Packstation. The parcel stamp can be purchased at any time using DHL online franking or the DHL app. The order confirmation e-mail sent to the customer will contain a PDF download link and QR code, allowing them to print out the parcel stamp directly at the Packstation.

This service will replace the purchase process for classic parcel stamps at the Packstations.

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