on Aug 2nd, 2010 in Ideas Worth Exploring | 9 comments
 
Deutsche Post graphic emphasizing online ordering and shipment integration.
About a year ago, we ran a short blog about Deutsche Post’s Automated Packstations. Operated via touch screens, Packstation services include 24/7 customer pick-up and the ability to mail parcels and letters as well as print postage. When a parcel arrives, the recipient is notified via e-mail for pick up at the kiosk. Customers can have their packages delivered to a Packstation of their choice. Since our last blog, Packstations have caught on. The numbers have expanded, to about 2,500 Packstations in Germany and over 1 million registered customers. Typically located in high volume pedestrian areas along streets and in commuter rail stations, Packstations offer a myriad of customer choices for items being sent or received. Mailing a parcel from a Packstation is cheaper than mailing a parcel from traditional post office counters, and there is a bonus rewards program as well. Points are earned for sending a package, buying stamps, picking up a package, having a friend register or simply reading the online newsletter. The points are redeemable for shopping vouchers, stamps, and gifts. Austria Post introduced a nearly identical service in 2006. Estonia offers similar parcel terminals, and Dubai’s subway system has made a deal with DHL to install Packstations at certain stations. Can the U.S. Postal Service copy Deutsche Post’s success too? Automated package stations could be a great alternative to traditional post offices and fit neatly into the evolving internet economy – and provide real competition in the package business at the same time! How could this service help you? Would you have any concerns? This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).

Comments

I live in a building with a front desk that accept packages. If I didn't, this type of thing would work really well for me. Who has time to go to the Post Office to pick up a package?

Would it be a fee based service or free?
The USPS already has free deliver and a fee
based Pickup On Demand.
Safety and security would be a major concern for customers.
Would the Packstations be utilizied enough to yield a 20% or more return on investment? Or would it just be
another waste of money idea to give a manager something to manage?

This may work, but security should not be sacrificed for convienence/cost.

This article highlights the successes the German Postal Service is experiencing by developing a low cost parcel collection and delivery system that fits neatly within the modern economy. One wonders if this is a better strategy to follow than mere organizational downsizing as hard copy letter volumes decline due to the internet. Sure it requires investment and it would put pressure on private parcel companies in the US; but what are the long term alternatives? Should the US Postal Service only deliver parcels and letters where private companies find it too costly? Or should it compete by deploying PACKSTATIONS?

security should be the number 1 priority, but we all want convenience. :)

I think it's an excellent Idea.

As a business owner who is in the business of shipping product to my customers, I believe this provides a better sense of security for packages.

I also believe it to be a better convenience for the customer in regards to not having to schedule their time around the arrival of a package.

Online services is the easiest ways to deliver parcels with the help of internet though it has high rates but mostly customers are doing this in order to receive their parcels safely.

Hope this is introduced into our county. This will help a lot in tracking down snail mails and prevent lost parcels from families and friends.

i think it is really a great idea but hope its work.

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