Newsagents help Australian e commerce market growth
In the fast-moving world of logistics and worldwide parcel delivery, you’d expect some of the biggest players to be on the ball when it comes to simplifying and improving business operations. This is certainly the case with Toll, Australia’s largest logistics and transportation company. At the end of July, the newswires were buzzing after Toll signed up to a new partnership with Victorian Newsagents.
The agreement aims to banish the headaches that come with either waiting in for deliveries or ‘we came while you were out’ style notices, which affect online shoppers across the world. This agreement, offers parcel recipients the option to pick up their parcel in the evening or at the weekend from a network of thousands of collection points. Whether it’s a worldwide parcel delivery or a local online purchase, the flexibility in pick-up times and locations offered by this scheme means that people will generally receive their packages a lot quicker.
Australia Post release details of a scheme to install parcel lockers
Previously, post offices (which are only open at certain times), have been overflowing with online shopping purchases that could not be delivered because people were out at work or busy. Australia Post, which runs the post office network, were one of the first to release details of a scheme to install parcel lockers, while the supermarket chain Coles have also been trialling a similar project. With Toll’s plans including 3,000 pick‑up points across the country, their partnership with Victorian will also help keep newsagents relevant as they battle with falling newspaper and magazine sales.
All these schemes combined, offer a future full of worldwide parcel delivery options for the public. This is of course a sign that logistics firms in Australia are responding to rapid growth in online retailing, making an effort to grab a slice of a maturing market and to better serve the customers and retailers they work with. You can’t blame these companies for wanting to cash in on the e‑commerce boom, particularly in the light of predictions from PriceWaterhouseCoopers that Australian e‑commerce spending, estimated to be around AU$13.6bn in 2011, could possibly rise to AU$27bn by 2016.
A drop-box war is on the cards
There could be a drop-box war as companies fight to avoid the additional admin or redelivery costs incurred by missed deliveries. These movements in Australia have been watched with interest by others in the worldwide parcel delivery sector, including Nightline, a parcel carrier in Ireland. Last month they launched trials of ‘parcel motels’ in the Dublin area, and hope to build a network of 400 units by 2014. Nightline hope that their self-service terminals will be a sound investment and, like other versions across the globe, will illustrate a commitment by parcel carriers to help make online shopping cheaper and more efficient for consumers.
Add to this mix retail clients who have signed up to drop-box style schemes, who are thereby able to deal with increased volumes of business and are seeing the benefits of simplified returns processes and cost management, and we could just have a gold-medal winning strategy for worldwide parcel delivery on our hands.