Parcel volumes are fast growing in Australia. Over the last 3 years, online retail sales increased by 14% annually. At a conference in Sydney this week, Marek Rozycki - managing director at Last Mile Expert, a specialist courier express & parcel and eCommerce last mile consultancy firm shared insights forecasting how out-of-home deliveries will soon make up a significant percentage of the last mile market.
Last-mile refers to the last step of the delivery process, from the warehouse or shipping hub to the final destination. Capgemini Research found that 'last mile' equates for 41% of the overall supply chain cost .
With many customers feeling that home delivery methods are outdated, parcel collection points are growing in popularity because they can guarantee successful first-time deliveries and increase delivery density to collection points - both reducing costs for carriers.
During his keynote speech Marek predicted that three areas of out-of-home deliveries that will grow in Australia this year will be;
- Parcel Lockers
- Collection Point Networks
- Click and collect services.
Australia Post has reported that Parcel Locker deliveries have had a 12.4% year on year growth in 2020. This is because customers can pick up their package at any time that suits them and not worry about a missed delivery. The disadvantage of Parcel Lockers is that the size and weight of the packages must work well with the dimensions of the locker.
Click and collect services
This method is already widely used among retailers who have both an online and physical store. This method could potentially increase impulse sales from those who walk into the store to collect their goods.
Collection Point Networks
This method works similar to click and collect, except the store can be your local newsagents. It is a network of local delivery, pickup and return locations, where your customer can have a parcel delivered and pick it up at their convenience.
Merek also shared 7 international trends that he forecasts to be soon in Australia:
In- store click and collect drive-thru
Marek forecasts continued growth especially at major supermarkets.This will involve employees bringing out packages to individuals waiting in their cars or a specified pick up location.
Smart locks that power in-home and in-garage delivery
Delivery drivers could potentially be able to leave parcels inside the home, garage or secure locations through smart locks. A homeowner would be notified when a delivery driver arrives and be able to remotely grant them access to the location to make the delivery.
Currently being trialed in Sweden and USA, this method of delivery will become possible with smart locks and drivers with cameras. It would allow you to order groceries online and have them delivered directly to their home refrigerators.
Robots, or 'bots', are being tested in various places but will still take time to be used at scale.
Leave with a neighbour or 'safe-drop'
This method can be used where a parcel is being delivered to the home, the customer can elect to have their parcel left with a neighbour or a pre-decided location that they deem is safe.
Delivery providers are already using drones for specialist deliveries, as with AGVs, it will take a while before this can happen at scale.
This would allow consumers to have suitable products 3D printed at local access points.These access points will be in highly-urbanised areas where the majority of consumers live.