Testing of the long-awaited solution will be started in April, and international parcels will start to be more extensively delivered to parcel terminals this summer.
According to head of the Omniva parcel terminal network Evert Rööpson, there are a number of noteworthy benefits for directing international package flows to automated network. ”By delivering parcels directly to the parcel terminals, we will kill not two but three birds with one stone. First of all, this allows us to deliver parcels to customers faster and more conveniently. Secondly, it also helps us make better use of our constantly expanding parcel terminal network and thirdly, we can ease the overload caused by high package volumes at post offices during high season,“ said Rööpson.
Rööpson says the aspect that overloads more popular post offices today is the manual process of serving customers picking up small international parcels. Omniva has also built the biggest parcel network in the Baltics, and it is big enough to handle international parcels as well. At the same time, Rööpson says, customers constantly express the desire to be able to claim small parcels from self-service parcel terminals. ”Now we have a solution that will help us to fulfil the wishes of many customers,“ says Rööpson.
Parcel terminals are overwhelmingly Estonians‘ favourite channel for picking up parcels. Over 80% of parcel recipients and senders would prefer to do so via parcel terminal. To this point, they have been able to do so only with Aliexpress parcels. With automatic forwarding, parcels from senders elsewhere in the world will also be sent to the lockers.
The first automated forwardings have started
Omniva has now started piloting automated forwarding of parcels from post offices to parcel terminals in locations where large parcel volumes overburden the local post office. The aim of the forwarding is to provide customers the option of claiming their parcel quickly from a parcel locker located nearby, at any time of day.
To this point, parcels sent to customers living in the Kristiine, Õismäe and Tallinn city centre districts arrived at the respective post office determined based on postal code, now they are sent straight to the nearest parcel terminal. Parcels will now reach customers faster and customers will be able to pick up their parcel 24 hours a day without standing in a queue.
To send a parcel to a parcel terminal, the parcel must be marked with the recipient’s cell phone number so that the customer can be sent a text message when the parcel arrives. The other requirement is, naturally, that the parcel has to fit into a parcel locker and that parcel terminal with vacant lockers are available in the district. To ensure that they are available, Omniva has gradually but significantly expanded its parcel terminal network.
Summer will see broader automated deliveries of international parcels to parcel machines
Summer will mark the start of testing of a sorting line where the line will determine whether all conditions for sending the parcel to a locker have been met, regardless of the parcel’s country of origin. That means that shipments from Amazon, Aliexpress, eBay or smaller online retailers abroad will be delivered straight to a parcel terminal, no matter where in Estonia the recipient is located. From there it can be collected 24/7, whenever it suits the customer the best. The only conditions are that the recipient’s telephone number is marked on the parcels and the parcel must be a suitable size for being deposited in a parcel locker.