Australian logistics firm Toll Group is partnering with newsagents in its home city of Melbourne, to provide new parcel collection points for consumers shopping online.
The company has signed an agreement with the Victorian Newsagents Association (VANA) to trial the new “Nparcel” service in up to 150 outlets.
The project also involves the Australian Newsagents Federation, and together the organisations have developed a parcel shop platform concept called Nagent.
The Nparcel service is set to be the first service trialled on the Nagent platform, with consumers able to opt for flexible delivery options when shopping online.
VANA says 80% of products purchased online in Australia are delivered to households at present, with 40% of these deliveries failing because consumers cannot be at home to receive them.
The new “Nparcel Newsagent” outlets being rolled out over the coming months will offer an alternative option for consumers to avoid missed deliveries.
Gerard Munday, the VANA Chairman, said: “Newsagencies are part of daily life, being one of the most frequently visited retail outlets in Australia. It makes sense that newsagents use their convenient opening hours to provide their customers with increased service and greater flexibility to collect their parcels.”
According to VANA, its members will be paid a dollar per parcel to receive shipments, with items held for seven days before Toll picks them up as undelivered.
The service is not available to newsagents that run Australia Post outlets, but can work alongside other parcel businesses offering a similar service.
Toll Group told Post&Parcel the partnership currently has 70 newsagents signed up, and the trial should begin this month. Following the trial, Nparcel will expand into all areas of Victoria, then nationwide.
Christopher Whitefield, the group manager for media and research, said the Group was aiming to develop the plans into a nationwide roll-out in the coming months, aiming for as many as 3,000 collection/drop-off points.
“We will also offer a range of services including a convenient returns service in the coming months,” he revealed.
Australians spent A$10.5bn with online retailers in 2011, 29% more than the previous year. Toll Group says the market is expected to grow by 20% a year over the next few years.
With 82% of Australians currently shopping online, predictions are that online sales will reach $21.7bn by 2015, more than 10% of the current total retail sales in Australia.
Traditionally a business-to-business logistics specialist, but with an “extensive” door to door network in Australia, Toll Group has set up a new Toll Consumer Delivery unit to lead its expansion in the ecommerce field.
The new Toll Consumer Delivery unit is set to provide Internet retailers with services including warehousing and fulfillment, two-to-four day interstate deliveries and next-day deliveries for metro areas, with choices of delivery options including the retail outlets.
The new unit will also be offering premium services including nationwide overnight delivery, three-hour same day metro area deliveries, and other time-specific options.
The services will come with full tracking capabilities and specialised features including doorstep surveys or sales prompts.
Toll Group has a workforce of 45,000 people at 1,200 sites across the globe, and last year generated revenues of more than A$8.2bn.
It is believed that Australia Post currently has around a 60% share of the business-to-consumer delivery market in Australia, with Toll Group’s share around 6%.
Source: Post&Parcel/VANA/Toll Group