Australia Post has agreed a A$50m ($52m USD) deal with Poland’s InPost to supply infrastructure for a network of self-service parcel collection and delivery terminals.
InPost, part of the Integer.pl Group, said working with partner Neopost it will provide the Australian national postal operator with 250 parcel terminals by 2014.
The first lockers have already been installed and tested in Melbourne, with several more to be rolled out to five Australian cities over the next month.
InPost said there should be about 50 parcel terminals available by mid-December. Another 200 machines would be installed between February and October 2013.
InPost said hopes are that ultimately it could supply as many as 1,000 of the 24-hour parcel terminals.
The Australia Post contract is InPost’s biggest of the year, and the largest business venture ever for the Integer.pl Group, it said.
The new parcel terminals are particularly geared up for the booming ecommerce business – allowing consumers to take delivery of their purchases around the clock, instead of being forced to take days off from work to receive deliveries at home.
The Australian ecommerce market has grown by as much as 18% this year to a $16bn total, and is expected to reach a value of $27bn by 2016.
Australia Post revealed plans earlier this month to invest $2bn in its retail and parcel networks, with a particular focus on winning market share in the ecommerce delivery market.
With its traditional letters business in decline, Australia Post wants to be the provider of choice for parcel delivery, and wants to provide as many as 80% of Australians, mostly those in metropolitan areas, access to local parcel terminals.
Integer.pl chief executive Rafal Brzoska said: “It is a huge market and a huge business achievement, especially as the Australian ecommerce sector is characterised by a dynamic growth, providing the same great prospects for our development.
“The undoubted success of the Group is that together with Neopost we will be operationally involved in one of the largest logistics networks in the postal and courier market,” added Brzoska.
InPost is currently providing its parcel terminals for use in 10 countries around the world – Chile, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Estonia, Spain, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia and Russia – as well as its home market in Poland.
The company hopes to have about 16,000 of its machines in place around Europe by the end of 2016.
Integer.pl Group is expecting its income from foreign projects to reach EUR 20m to EUR 40m a year over the next few years. The company is backed by investment from PineBridge Investments.