The ‘Click and Collect’ service will initially be available at around 250 Post Offices this month before rolling-out to approximately 1,500 branches across the UK, ahead of the peak Christmas period.
Customers making a purchase online will have the option to choose their local Post Office as the collection point for their parcels. DPD will deliver parcels directly to the Post Office and the Postmaster will process customer collections at the counter.
The Post Office, the UK’s largest retail network with 11,500 branches, previously only had an agreement with Royal Mail Group for parcel collections directly at its branches, but has now opened up its network to external carriers for the first time in its 360-year history. The partnership with DPD is further demonstration of the Post Office’s strategy to ensure the future sustainability of the network, provide an innovative offering to consumers in the fast-growing parcel market and drive footfall for Postmasters and to the High Street more broadly.
Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said: “Combining the biggest physical retail network with one of the Europe’s best-known logistical carriers provides greater customer convenience, footfall for Postmasters and helps people back to the High Street as Covid-19 restrictions ease. I’m delighted that through our partnership with DPD, customers can select their local Post Office to collect their parcels and know that they are often open longer hours, staffed by a knowledgeable Postmaster and located moments from where they live.”
Elaine Kerr, DPD CEO, said: “This is a significant, long-term partnership between two brand leaders in the parcel industry and comes at a time when the convenience of online shopping and delivery is more valued than ever. It is great news for DPD parcel customers and for Post Office branches too. Our aim is always to get parcels delivered safely, on time and provide recipients with as much choice as possible. This partnership enables us to offer more options at the point of purchase, while the parcel is in-flight and on those occasions when we can’t leave a parcel safely.”
The partnership between Post Office and DPD will play an important role in cities and towns across the UK in reducing the environmental impact of having vans making multiple stops to drop off parcels, whilst at the same time encouraging people to return to their local high street on foot. Most Post Offices are open for long hours throughout the day and many are open at weekends.
DPDgroup have conducted their own review of the last mile delivery and the impact of Click and Collect on the environment. Their studies have established that there is a reduction of, on average, 63% of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) in the last mile delivery when using the DPD Pickup network.
Nick Read continued: “As a society, we are increasingly considering the environmental impact of our activities. This will mean ensuring the last mile of delivery is ‘carbon free’. Our physical network of branches helps make this a reality, encouraging people to walk or cycle to their local Post Office to collect their parcels.”
In recent months DPD has announced a string of green initiatives including the roll-out of a major new air quality monitoring programme across six of the biggest cities in the UK, and the pledge to deliver by only all-electric vehicles in 25 of the largest towns and cities in the UK by 2025. DPD currently has over 1,000 electric vehicles on the road, expected to rise to over 1,700 by the end of the year.
Elaine Kerr commented: “Our sustainability strategy is based on looking at every single aspect or our operation and challenging ourselves to make it more efficient by reducing emissions and miles, while improving the service for customers at the same time. Having the option to deliver to Post Offices helps us achieve that. DPD will provide all-electric delivery to 10 major towns and cities by the end of this year and 25 locations by 2025. With that and recipients having the option to walk to their local Post Office to collect a missed parcel, the vision of a carbon-free ‘last mile’ is becoming a reality.
* UK Click & Collect market 2020 (source: IMRG)