Top Last-Mile Delivery Methods Around the World

Nov 30, 2021

We’ve all been there. The delivery man knocks on your door but nobody’s home to receive your parcel. The courier wasted time and resources while you missed the package you’ve long been waiting for. Either the carrier has to rearrange another visit, or you make a trip down to your nearest post office. 

While contactless delivery services have made great progress toward addressing this aforementioned issue, door-to-door delivery is no longer the sole player in the last-mile game. 2020’s unprecedented growth in e-commerce has prompted many retailers and carriers like USPSUPS, and FedEx to explore various parcel delivery options to minimize costs and maximize customer satisfaction.

In this report, Parcel Monitor breaks down customers’ preferences for each delivery method (home delivery, collection point, parcel locker, post office) by region. Are traditional door-to-door parcel deliveries still relevant in this day and age? What do shoppers truly think of the latest delivery trends? Let’s find out!

For the complete breakdown of the top last-mile delivery methods in each region, download our full analysis (exclusive to Parcel Monitor members). 

Home Delivery Is Still Very Much Preferred Around the World

Contrary to popular belief, home delivery remains the top package delivery method among shoppers worldwide. Consumers still prefer the traditional option in most regions, with Latin America and Africa seeing the highest percentages at 99.4% and 98.3% respectively. Since e-commerce is a relatively new venture and cash being the most common form of payment in these places, it makes more sense for businesses to stick to the conventional method.

A high preference for home delivery services can also be observed in both Asia and North America. This is no surprise since customers did not have to wait long to receive their parcels. In Singapore, for instance, the average transit time to the first parcel delivery attempt was as low as 1.5 days post-pandemic.

Oceania Has the Highest Proportion of Shoppers Opting for Collection Points

Despite Oceania‘s slow e-commerce growth prior to the pandemic, the unique circumstances of 2020 have changed things for the better. Just in Q1 2021 alone, there were more than 5 million Australian households shopping online every month and New Zealand also saw a 27% increase in online spending as compared to the year before.

Based on our findings, close to 10% of shoppers in Oceania prefer collection points (CPs) to other package delivery alternatives. While CPs are a newer addition in New Zealand, this trend was already observed in Australia since the start of 2020. In one of our previous studies, we mentioned how 49% of Australian consumers perceived CPs to be an essential delivery option, with a 47% YoY growth in collection point deliveries.

When it comes to individual collection point providers in Oceania, Australia Post takes the lead as the largest collect-and-return network in Australia. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, notable companies in this field include New Zealand Post Limited, Freightways Limited, and DHL Holidays.

Parcel Lockers Are the Least Popular Delivery Service Among Africans

A recent trend observed in Africa would be the rising prevalence of unconventional parcel delivery methods. And Africa LLC, for instance, launched its ECD (Easy Collect & Drop) program earlier this year in an attempt to resolve the major challenges associated with last-mile logistics in the region. Similarly, South Africa-based Pargo has set up a network of 1000+ collection points at various 24/7 retail chains such as Clicks, Waltons, and 7-Eleven.

With that being said, parcel lockers appear to be the least preferred choice among African shoppers, with a whopping 98.3% of them still sticking to home deliveries. The low market adoption rate of parcel lockers is likely due to the customers’ inability to understand their value proposition. In the view of Brett Sauermann, General Manager at DSV South Africa, the best way to increase the usage would be to educate the public about the safety and ease of the service.

Asians Are the Most Likely to Pick Up Parcels at Post Offices

As countries regain some of their post-pandemic bounce and more people return to work, post offices seem to have risen back up in popularity. Among all regions, consumers in Asia are the most likely to pick up parcels at post offices. 

Ease and convenience are two critical factors influencing the customers’ willingness to choose the post office option. Performance-wise, Japan and Singapore were among the top 10 for having two of the best postal services in the world, with index scores of 90.5 and 77.0 respectively. Singapore was even deemed “the most improved” country due to its score increasing by 13.3 points over the year.

The Future of Last-Mile Delivery

Whilst home deliveries still appear to be the dominant mode of delivery today, it is prudent for e-commerce businesses to consider out-of-home alternatives, especially with the ever-changing circumstances amid the global pandemic. Will home deliveries be relevant by this time next year? What does the future hold for last-mile delivery? We can’t wait to find out!

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