The exponential growth rate of the e-commerce sector results in thousands of packages being delivered around the world every day. Such a powerful process is extremely complicated and costly, and requires customized solutions. With help comes technological developments, namely parcel machines, which are gaining popularity among consumers. In addition to the Parcel Machines of the popular operator Inpost, a real revolution is brewing in the market, and this is leading to more conveniences and benefits for the final recipient.
The development of modern courier equipment is inextricably linked to the aforementioned logistics operator. The key period was 2009, the time of the emergence of pioneering mailboxes that served their users on a 24/7 basis. It is worth noting, the Polish market was already dominated by 9 global courier companies.
Despite an uneasy start, the innovative idea was an unexpected success on a grand scale. Several success factors can be mentioned, and the excellent ability to listen to the needs of consumers deserves special mention. The growing interest in virtual shopping created the need for new standards in the order delivery process.
The system eliminated all the negative experiences that accompanied recipients using traditional solutions. The cumbersome necessity to wait for a courier and the strictly defined time interval for taking over a parcel were replaced by complete freedom. Warehouses working 24 hours, 7 days a week allow freedom of choice regarding receiving, but also sending.
Another very important aspect is the multitude of available points. The rich base of courier machines and their practical location make the collection efficient and can be combined with the performance of daily duties. In addition, it relieves long queues, thus saving the user time. All these advantages have made Parcel Machines operate throughout Poland, but also in Europe and even globally.
The development of APM has accelerated rapidly since 2019. In 10 years, 4389 devices have been established in Poland. The last 3 years have seen such a rapid development of parcel collection machines that their current number exceeds 17,000 units. This means that over the past 3 years we have four times as many devices of this type. And this is just the beginning, because many operators mi competed for the title of leader in the AMP market in Poland. Cainiao Network, DPD, Allegro, and many DIY stores that offer to pick up their products in the machines.
It is worth remembering that the e-commerce industry is characterized by huge potential and space for many investments, and this is attracting more logistics operators. The main competitor of Parcel Machines is becoming Cainiao Network, a multinational company that is growing at a very fast pace. This has to do with the area of operation, as the Chinese market is still the world's logistics leader and it is there that Cainio Network has the largest market share. Operating in such a complex and demanding environment is only possible by developing an innovative and flexible work system supported by modern technology. The procedures thus created guarantee efficiency and speed, the most important features of the modern delivery process. Now Polish buyers can also benefit from them, and this is through the technological solutions that our partner is providing.
Cainiao Network offers caches dedicated to AliExpress users. The number of orders from the Chinese marketplace is growing every year. This is due to low product prices and a very interesting assortment of products that cannot be found at domestic suppliers. The operator is definitely focusing on improving the functioning of the end-to-end supply chain, which involves two options for the delivery date of the ordered goods. A parcel that begins transportation at a local partner's warehouse will be available for pickup in as little as 3 days, while cross-border transportation is a technology that will reduce it to less than 15 days.
In addition to competitive delivery times, Cainiao Network's parcel machines maintain full attractiveness, which is comparable to the company's solutions operating on the Polish market. The device is visible and located within easily accessible points, and the number of available machines continues to grow. Their modular design allows them to be augmented with additional components as needed. Consumer self-service is therefore intuitive, fast and does not generate the inconvenience of waiting for a courier and rigid service frameworks.
It is worth mentioning that the Chinese logistics company is an enterprise with a very strong market position and rich international experience, and this comes with significant development and innovation capabilities. Combining attention to delivery efficiency with a wide range of products at a low price, Cainio's facilities can very quickly build a significant competitive advantage.
Interestingly, the proximity of the parcel service is also a great way to increase the presence of potential customers. All of the Chinese operator's devices are perfectly secured and monitored, ensuring full protection of the items placed and the surrounding area itself.
Boxes of benefits
The advantages of using automated order pickup machine technology have been recognized by other institutions as well, and in many areas. The ability to deliver a product via a parcel machine is now a standard of every modern company and store, and consumers perceive such companies as more attractive, professional and oriented towards customer satisfaction.
This is exactly how the popular grocery store chain "Żabka" wants to be perceived, as well as the giant of online sales-"Allegro". The huge advantages of having their own base of vending machines have also been noticed by the construction industry, as a result of which self-service warehouses of large DIY stores will be put into use.
Offering customers a modern way to deliver orders is a response to the needs and expectations of today's customers, as well as a way to increase competitiveness. The final stage of order delivery is also the most crucial for building a positive and lasting relationship with a contractor. The buyer will return to where he or she experienced efficient and reliable service.
This ties in with another aspect that is fundamental to the overall process - safety. The equipment is properly monitored, and constant control guarantees the protection of current users, as well as all shipments and box locations. What's more, assurance continues even during the execution and transportation of the order. This makes it possible to check the status and potential date of placement of the product in the selected box.
Parcel machines have also become so popular because they are economical and environmentally friendly. Choosing delivery to an innovative device is most often tantamount to the cheapest form of shipping available. This has its consequences when choosing consumers, since very often the decision to make a purchase at a particular store is based precisely on the availability of this delivery model for a given order.
Prospects for shippers and the e-commerce services sector?
The prospects for parcel machines are inextricably linked to the e-commerce service sector, and this one is showing very optimistic predictions. Continued interest in virtual shopping is stimulating the courier industry, which has to meet increasingly demanding consumer expectations, and it's not that easy.
The forecasts of the largest logistics operators, who announce an increase in the number of machines already in operation or the emergence of innovative alternatives, only confirm the assumptions. Modern equipment will permanently integrate into the environment of local agglomeration points, which is also confirmed by an in-depth study of available studies and reports.
The PWC analysis "Prospects for the development of the e-commerce market in Poland 2021-2026" presents data showing that the gross value of online sales of goods in Poland has increased compared to 2019, by as much as 35 percent, which gives a value of 83 billion zlotys. Such results cannot be underestimated, and they give a clear signal regarding Polish consumers' interest in the virtual form of purchasing goods.
Gross value of online goods sold in Poland, forecast for 2021 - 2026
Undoubtedly, a change in customers' shopping preferences has contributed to the growth of the e-commerce market. Many people during the pandemic began to use online shopping to a greater extent. As can be seen from the report's data, the market's growth in previous years was twice as slow. The authors predict a market growth of 12% in the following years. However, as can be seen from the analysis of 2019 - 2020, it may turn out that unforeseen situations on may accelerate the growth of the e-commerce market. The way parcels are delivered may also change. Currently, most shipments are delivered to the customer's door. However, many people are increasingly choosing to pick up parcels at postal vending machines. This is a convenient way, because it does not depend on a courier whose route is strictly defined. The second reason is also the non-contact way of pickup, which seems to be more preferred at the present time.
Growth dynamics of mail volume by collection method and forecast for 2021 - 2026:
Another piece of information worth quoting comes from the report "E-commerce in Poland 2020. Gemius for e-Commerce Poland". It shows a clear advantage of parcel machines over other forms of delivery, and this is the preferred method for most age groups.
According to the report, parcel machine deliveries rank second in customer incentives as a delivery option. When we juxtapose this with the delivery growth forecast, we can see that in the near future, vending machine delivery will become the first choice of consumers for online shopping.
Growing demand for e-commerce service and changing customer preferences will undoubtedly contribute to the development of parcel machine networks. Courier companies will not leave the market undeveloped. The year 2021 can be considered the year to start competing for the podium in the field of courier parcel service to parcel machines. On the Polish market, it was in this year that the expansion of many companies began, which presented their solutions in this field. The undoubted favorite in the competition is the international logistics company Cainao Network, currently developing its network throughout Poland. As reports show, the change in consumer preferences may be permanent and may deepen already noticeable trends in the growth of the e-commerce market and the way parcels are received.