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Speed and convenience have been two major accelerators for e-commerce logistics in the last couple of years. Contrary to popular belief, out-of-home (OOH) delivery is a trend that emerged way before the pandemic. Amazon’s creation of the largest PUDO (pick-up, drop-off) network in the UK, for instance, was one of the bigger moves that took place in 2018 and 2019. While there were other similar developments in Australia and the United States during that period as well, OOH in Asia was very much at the nascent stage back then.
With this in mind, we have conducted an analysis of data from collection points usage across Asia to better understand customer behavior regarding OOH in the region. Is home delivery still the preferred option among Asian shoppers? What is the most popular time slot for people to collect their parcels? Let’s find out!Download the report for FREE by signing up!
Home Delivery Is Still the Most Preferred Method among Asian Consumers
Based on our findings, only 3.28% of parcels in Asia were shipped using the OOH method last year. Marek Rozycki, Managing Partner at Last Mile Experts, considers this to be “quite low” and has mentioned how this “represents a major opportunity for optimization”. “Most developed OOH markets like Finland are now more than 90% OOH for B2C parcels. This is not only operationally and financially efficient but will also help the environment,” said the Managing Partner at Last Mile Experts.
Singapore is one example where the uptake of parcel lockers and collection points has been relatively slow despite them being installed at accessible locations. From what consumers shared with Vulcan Post, their preferences tend to revolve around the same few reasons. Either a family member is always home to receive the package; the added convenience outweighs the extra shipping cost; or they just simply have the assurance that parcels will not go missing even if they are left outside for a prolonged period of time. For a country known for its security and an exceptionally low transit time of parcels (1.5 days post-pandemic), it makes sense that doorstep delivery still reigns as the supreme choice among customers.
Most Parcel Collections Are Done on Weekday Afternoons in Asia
Among the rather small group of parcel locker users in Asia, most tend to pick up their parcels on weekday afternoons. Since this coincides with the region’s working days and most collections take place between 12 to 5 pm, it could be that individuals are retrieving their items during their lunch hours or coffee breaks. One other possible reason, according to Marek, is the lack of weekend services to and from these various collection points. Even for a prominent Automated Parcel Machine (APM) player like InPost, the introduction of a comprehensive weekend delivery service is a fairly recent development.
Upon further analysis, we also found that parcels in Asia’s collection points had a longer dwell time than other places. As compared to Oceania, where 63.3% of package pickups were completed within the first 24 hours, the figure was much lower in Asia, at 45.68 %. While collection points are also relatively new in countries like New Zealand and Fiji, consumers in this region appear to be warming up to the trend at a much faster rate than their Asian counterparts. In response to this, Marek proclaimed that “there is an opportunity for optimization…(which) is highly dependent on consumer education and the number and thus proximity of access points”. Collaboration within the ecosystem, coupled with public education about the benefits of out-of-home options, is therefore crucial to helping drive wider adoption across Asia.
Growth of Out-Of-Home Market in Asia versus Europe
In contrast to their Western counterparts like France and Poland, which have already established extensive parcel networks as early as 2019, the concept of package collection points is still quite new in Asian markets. As Marek sees it, growth in OOH is fundamental as it can help increase capacity by up to five times and cut down the cost of last-mile delivery by up to ten times. On top of that, OOH can also bring about environmental benefits by reducing the carbon footprint (and congestion) by ⅔ in urban areas.
The Future of Out-Of-Home Delivery in Asia
It is clear that out-of-home delivery is here to stay for years to come. While the pandemic-induced e-commerce boom may have slowed down, it does not alter the fact that customers are always seeking better, faster, safer delivery methods. Nevertheless, there are several challenges and considerations to keep in mind when thinking of implementing a parcel locker network in a new market. On top of the significant investments in infrastructure, there are also considerations of network density, market maturity and consumer preferences. As desirable as OOH in Asia might be, logistics service providers and carrier companies must work together seamlessly to conduct thorough research on respective countries before venturing further into the region.
About Last Mile Experts:
Last Mile Experts is a highly specialized consultancy focusing exclusively on all aspects of courier express parcel (CEP), postal and e-commerce last mile logistics. Our goal is to help CEP companies, postal operators, e-commerce players, potential investors, or other stakeholders to improve their performance, operations, organization and technology as well as strategy development or M&A. Our office is based in Warsaw, Poland but we have global reach. Every member of our team has several years’ experience in last mile logistics and or e-commerce.