UPS acquires e-commerce delivery network in Benelux region

UPS has moved to strengthen its e-commerce presence in Europe with the acquisition of a low-cost parcel delivery and return company based out of Brussels, Belgium. Launched in July 2001 in Belgium and Luxembourg, the company currently has a presence in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain, delivering about 145,000 parcels each day.

Kiala uses a network of more than 7,000 collection points, run by partners in retail stores, for consumers to receive their packages when not at home, along similar lines to the US firm Kinek.

Customers can track parcels on the internet and be notified of arrival at the nearest collection point by text message , email or phone.

The company claims more than 300 major retail clients, including Espirit, H&M and Rue du Commerce, with around a EUR 54.3m turnover in 2011 (estimate), after a EUR 47.2m turnover in 2010.

Prior to the UPS acquisition, investors in Kiala had included various investment funds, TNT’s Logispring and La Poste’s Xange.

UPS did not disclose the terms of the deal yesterday, and has not yet responded to a Post&Parcel request for comment on its intentions for Kiala.

In commenting on its acquisition, the corporation highlighted the “convenient” delivery options that the Kiala network provides to busy consumers purchasing goods over the Internet.

“It has developed a platform that enables e-commerce retailers to offer their shoppers the option of having goods delivered to a convenient retail location,” said the US shipping giant.

“The acquisition will broaden UPS’s service portfolio for business-to-consumer deliveries.”

The UPS acquisition of Kiala comes as Belgium’s national postal service, bpost, is in the process of reinvigorating its own parcel services with regard to the potential from the e-commerce sector, under the bpack brand.

bpost is to trial automated parcel terminals as an option to improve the convenience for consumers collecting products purchased online.

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