One of Ireland’s biggest parcel carriers announced plans today to establish a network of automated self-service collection terminals covering both the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.
Nightline will start rolling out the parcel terminals from June, with the first phase seeing 100 facilities being established in the company’s home city of Dublin.
The company is buying terminals from Poland’s InPost, with the goal of having 400 set up on both sides of the Irish border by 2014.
The “Parcel Motels”, as the terminals are being branded, will particularly seek to make it easier for Irish consumers to shop online and receive products at a convenient time without having to stay home to do so.
Each Parcel Motel will consist of a bank of 80 lockers, into which parcels can be delivered, connected to a central touchscreen display unit through which deliveries can be accessed, or parcel returns arranged.
Consumers receiving a parcel will be sent an email or text message with a unique PIN code that can be entered into the touchscreen terminal to open the locker in which their parcel can be found.
Once a consumer enters the PIN code into the Parcel Motel touchscreen, the online retailer then receives confirmation that the package has been delivered.
John Tuohy, the chief executive of Nightline, said the parcel terminal technology had “significant potential” for capitalising on the e-commerce boom in Ireland.
“On the basis of extensive research we conducted while developing Parcel Motel, we believe it may well further fuel the volume of internet retail in Ireland, such will be the impact on the convenience for consumers of shopping online and for retailers on the cost of processing deliveries and returns,” he said.
An artist’s impression of how the Nightline “Parcel Motels” will look
The Parcel Motel terminals are being designed built at the factory of InPost’s parent company Integer.pl Group in Krakow, Poland, before being specially branded in Nightline’s distinctive green and blue corporate colours.
The terminals are being located outdoors on commercial premises, but the company is not yet revealing which organisation or organisations might be hosting the Parcel Motels.
The Irish project is part of InPost’s Europe-wide expansion of its parcel lockers. The Polish company, which launched the lockers back in 2008, is in the process of establishing 1,000 lockers in its native Poland along with lockers in countries including Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Estonia, Spain and Cyprus.
Rafal Brzoska, InPost’s CEO said: “The terminals have become incredibly popular because they can dramatically reduce last-mile delivery costs. As e-commerce continues to increase, parcel companies and retailers realise the need for innovative, reliable and secure means of delivery.”
InPost’s expansion abroad is being carried out in partnership with local carriers, with Brzoska stating the need for efficient parcel delivery companies to be involved.
Nightline delivers e-commerce packages for some of Britain’s largest fashion retailers in Ireland, including Coast, Oasis, Warehouse and Karen Millen stores. Founded in 1992, the company currently delivers around 11m parcels a year, around one in every four parcels on Irish roads.