A recent presentation by Deutsche Post describes the German delivery and logistics company’s efforts to transform its retail network. One particularly interesting innovation is self-service Packstations. Like the U.S. Postal Service’s APCs (Automated Postal Centers), these kiosks allow customers to ship packages. However, Packstations also provide 24-hour access for parcel pickup. Customers can register to receive their packages at any packstation in the country. When the package arrives, the recipient receives an e-mail or text message. Rather than rushing to the post office before it closes, customers can use their card and pin number to retrieve it at any time. This convenience is particularly helpful for people who have no way to get to a post office when it is open.
Deutsche Post already has 1,500 Packstations in Germany and is planning to add 1,000 more. What do you think about Packstations? Would you use one?
Should the U.S. Postal Service look into providing 24-hour parcel pickup? If so, how? What about combining APCs with parcel pickup?