CorreosChile has started piloting an alternative parcel service using self-service automated parcel terminals, allowing consumers to pick up ecommerce purchases 24 hours a day.
The new CityBox service is the first such service in Latin America, based on World Mail Award-winning parcel terminal technology from Poland’s InPost.
The Chilean postal service launched a pilot in Santiago at the end of May, involving terminals set up at five Shell gas stations and a Unimarc supermarket in strategically located areas of the city with good consumer traffic.
The first machine has been set up at a Shell site in Vitacura, an uptown business and residential district in the Chilean capital.
Once the pilot is completed, plans are to add another 60 terminals by the end of the year, with hopes of growing the network to more than 300 units across the country within three years.
Susana Carey, president of the board at CorreosChile, said the new CityBox service aimed to simplify consumer shopping transactions online and save time.
In particular, residents who cannot be at home to receive parcel deliveries, and those without a fixed address will be able to have purchases delivered to parcel terminals.
Carey said: “With this system we are achieving a complete turnaround in the traditional method of receiving purchases – from waiting for a delivery at your home or office, to the parcel waiting for you.”
As with the growing network of parcel terminals in Europe, the new CityBox service will allow consumers to designate a CityBox location as their delivery address when purchasing via Internet or telephone from a retailer partnering the service.
Once a parcel is delivered to a CityBox terminal, the consumer is sent a text message or email with a personal code that they can enter into the touchscreen at the terminal to open the secure locker containing their package.
A user has three days to pick up their parcel, but will receive a second reminder notification after two days.
Enex, the operators of the Shell gas stations partnering with CorreosChile, see the parcel terminals as another draw for its customers.
Rodrigo Infante, Enex general manager, said: “Our customers are of utmost importance to us and we are constantly seeking value-add to the service we deliver them. This is precisely what attracted us to join CorreosChile on this initiative.”
Chile has one of the highest Internet penetration rates in Latin America, and last year was the leading country in the region for ecommerce sales, reaching as much as $152 USD per person per year.
CorreosChile is aiming to be the go-to delivery company for this market, and visited Estonia last year to look at parcel terminal machines in operation.
The new CityBox service integrates with other new innovations seeking to capture ecommerce business, such as Castilla Miami, a new online shopping service launched earlier this year, which allows Chileans the opportunity to shop from US retailers. CityBox also integrates with CorreosChile’s new mobile tracking applications, the company said.
CorreosChile commercial manager Philip Somervell said: “We are forecasting 20% annual growth in ecommerce business in Chile.
“In 2011, we established the strategic goal in CorreosChile to become the lead player in ecommerce logistics solutions, using home delivery, the 220-plus post office branch network for over-the-counter delivery, and now CityBox, the automated parcel terminals,” said Somervell.
Source: James Cartledge, Post&Parcel