Parcel lockers key to Itella’s Christmas package strategy
Finland’s national postal operator Itella has said it has boosted its network of package locker terminals by 150 to prepare for this year’s festive season. The company said its network of automated parcel collection points has now grown to 460 locations as a result, and bringing the total number of postal service points to more than 1,400 in Finland.
The development comes with the expectation that more than half of consumers in Finland will be shopping for their Christmas gifts online this year.
Last year saw use of the package locker network tripling compared to the year before, Itella said.
Some of the latest new locations include supermarkets in Hanko, Tampere, Karis and Kotka.
Itella said according to its research, the proportion of consumers using parcel lockers to receive their shipments has risen to 27%, and that about 10% of all consumer packages are now being delivered to parcel lockers.
Saara Pietilä, Itella Posti business manager, said: “Package machines are in particularly high demand at Christmas time. It means we need a dense network of good locations, including retail stores, offering extended opening hours. At Christmas time we service our most popular package machines several times a day.”
In the metropolitan area around Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa, where the use of parcel lockers has been higher than in the rest of Finland, the company now has 108 machines for receiving e-commerce packages.
Itella has launched a new mobile phone application that provides consumers with an estimate for when their package will arrive in a nearby parcel locker. The application will also notify consumers when a consignment has arrived, and provide the code to retrieve a package.
The Finnish postal operator said its package volumes are set to double in the run-up to Christmas, and during the busiest times it will handle 250,000 packages a day.
The e-commerce sector in Finland is likely to see its busiest day around the 12th December, when tax rebates are paid out and consumers face the deadline for shopping online when shipments are guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas.