Chile learns from Europe's expanding package terminal network

A delegation from the Chile’s postal service is visiting Estonia this week to find out about the country’s network of parcel terminals, part of an increasing trend in Europe. The concept of on-street parcel collection and mailing stations is really beginning to catch on in Continental Europe, and Correos Chile now wants to explore ways in which they could be used at home.

Estonia’s Post24 terminals come as part of a major expansion of the parcel station concept through countries including Germany, Poland, Austria, Russia.

The terminals allow consumers to drop off their parcels for collection 24 hours a day, and after being notified of the arrival of packages can also pick up their items from the bank of lockers managed by a central electronic terminal.

The system offers particular convenience for consumers shopping on the internet, since they can receive their goods outside of business hours.

Ansi Arumeel, head of Estonia Post’s logistics division, said that in the past, Estonian Post had worked with Correos Chile on joint stamp issues, but was now sharing experience on logistics.

“Estonian Post has conducted an exhaustive analysis of parcel terminal network implementation and we can introduce our solution to Chilean colleagues,” he said, adding that the quality of Estonian Post’s parcel delivery was “among the best in Europe”.

Correos Chile said it is expecting to learn about implementing a similar kind of parcel service to Estonia’s Post24 system, and is in the process of preparing a trial of a parcel terminal network to begin at the end of this year.

Victor Hugo Avila, who heads up innovation at Correos Chile, said that the postal sector is currently in the process of transforming rapidly.

“Postal operators have to find new solutions to create innovative services and think how to change from being traditional postal service providers into modern logistics companies. We see growing e-commerce as our opportunity to increase parcel volumes, and sharing information and best practice with the innovative postal companies of the world is important for us.”

European expansion

Elsewhere in Europe, the largest parcel station network is currently being expanded significantly by Deutsche Post in Germany, while Poland’s Integer.pl Group, which operates through the InPost brand and claims to be second only to Deutsche Post in its parcel station network, is in the process of expanding its network from Poland and Estonia into Russia, Spain and Cyprus.

InPost’s strategy is to ally with local logistics companies to establish its “Easypack” parcel stations across Europe. The Polish company is currently working on a plan to establish Easypack terminals in every European country within the next three years.

In Estonia, InPost won a contract in February to provide 38 Easypack machines for Estonian Post in a EUR 950,000 deal. In July the company signed a $30m deal with technology company iTech, part of the QIWI Group, to establish 440 machines in more than 30 Russian cities within the next six months.

By the end of the year, Krakov-based InPost aims to have deals in place to place Easypack stations in eight different European markets, with Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia set to join the network.

Meanwhile, InPost is aiming to expand its domestic network to 1,000 stations by the end of 2012.

Rafał Brzoska, InPost CEO, said: “We are convinced that the easyPack by InPost service will turn out to be a revolutionary solution, as it proved to be in case of our domestic market. Estonia, Russia, Spain and Cyprus are the first stage of the Group’s international offensive. The assumption that easyPack will become available throughout Europe within the next three years is becoming more and more realistic.”

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