Poland’s growth-hungry Integer.pl Group has set up a new joint venture under its easyPack brand to take forward the international growth of its parcel terminals business.
easyPack is a joint venture with Luxembourg-based investment firm Asterina Investments, part of the PineBridge group, and received the green light of regulator UOKiK last month.
The aim of the project is to expand the number of InPost’s World Mail Award-winning automated self-service parcel terminal/locker stations to 16,000 in Europe over the next four years. The terminals allow ecommerce consumers to access their purchases 24 hours a day from secure lockers.
PineBridge signed a deal back in April to support InPost’s European expansion plans to the tune of EUR 50m.
The UOKiK confirmed two weeks ago that it had reviewed the plans for the easyPack joint venture and believed it would not significantly impact on competition levels in the Polish parcel market.
Following the approval, InPost said it was now set to complete its roll out of 1,000 parcel terminals in central and eastern Europe by the end of 2012, including 300 in Poland, 400 in Russia, 200 in the Ukraine and more than 100 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
“There is now nothing in the way for us to jointly begin our offensive abroad regarding the development of the parcel terminal network under the easyPack brand,” said Rafal Brzoska, the Integer.pl Group chief executive.
“We are fully prepared – both in an operational and financial sense – for the next international deployments.”
The company already has terminals installed or being installed in Poland, Russia, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Chile, Saudi Arabia and Ireland.
Its EUR 300m plan for Europe is to have 1,000 machine installed in 2012, 3,000 machines in 2013, then 2,500 machines installed in both 2014 and 2015. A further 4,000 machines would be on a reserve list for countries where there is demand.
Next year should see machines going into the UK, two Scandinavian countries, Croatia, Slovenia and Belgium under the easyPack plan.
In partnership with French mailing equipment firm Neopost, InPost is to establish around 250 parcel terminals in Australia, while it is also looking at New Zealand, Singapore and China.
The firm is also considering entering markets in Asia and North America, although North America is seen as a difficult market.
This week, InPost revealed that it has now appointed Jan Tar to head up the easyPack company as director of operations.
Tar will be responsible for acquiring and preparing locations for the company’s Paczkomaty InPost network within Poland, as well as developing international markets with implementation and comprehensive support systems.
The new easyPack chief has more than 19 years’ experience in retail and service operations, the company said, including management, sales and customer service experience from multinationals including Statoil, Texaco, Amoco, Metro Group and PepsiCo.
Brzoska, the Integer.pl Group chief executive, said easyPack was now the “flagship” project for his company, particularly from an international standpoint.
He said the success of the parcel terminals network relied not only on the activity of Integer.pl and its partners abroad, but also the efficiency of operations within Poland.
“In the framework of our international contracts, we offer both a technological partnership and also a business and management consulting component within our commercial parcel terminal launches in foreign markets,” said the InPost CEO.
“This is our major competitive advantage – placement of new equipment is significantly reliant on the significant knowledge and professional competence of our team, so we have made a great commitment to build the structure of our personnel. We are convinced that Jan Tar will further strengthen the already-strong team at easyPack.”
Integer.pl Group, which had annual revenues of around EUR 61m in 2011, also has a domestic mail business in Poland, which is believed to be handling around 200m mail pieces each year at present, while expanding its courier market share to around 18-20% in recent years.
Earlier this year, Integer agreed to sell its unaddressed mail company Kolportaz Rzetelny to Austria Post, a company with revenues of about EUR 11.3m a year.
Industry insiders have suggested that the way the company’s easyPack plans are developing, it could ultimately decide to sell its other Polish mail units in order to concentrate on parcels and its flourishing parcel terminal network.
Source: James Cartledge, Post&Parcel