Estonian parcel locker manufacturer Cleveron is partnering with the Finnish postal service. The project has seen Itella SmartPost starting its cross-border service into Estonia this month.
During the course of 2012, Itella is planning on doubling the number of lockers to 100 in Finland. By the end of this year Itella should be expanding the 52 lockers it has in Estonia to 62.
As part of the expansion, Itella has agreed terms with Finnish retailing conglomerate Kesko. They will install parcel lockers in all 75 existing K-citymarket chain stores, as well as future stores, by the end of 2013.
Parcel lockers are like banks of lockers from which parcels can be delivered or collected. Lockers are particularly geared up for local Internet shoppers to receive their purchases at a time that suits them. Cleveron’s system uses text messages to alert consumers to the arrival of their package in one of its parcel lockers.
Itella Parcel Services vice president Aku Happo said:
Our goal is to make receiving parcels as easy as possible for consumers. It will support the development of e-commerce.
Itella has already been using Cleveron parcel lockers. The company has also been supplying postal operators in Estonia, Russia and the Ukraine.
Happo said: It’s not only technology and lockers. Rather the complex solution that Cleveron has developed and put into practice which will enable us to grow our customer base.
Itella is one of the first postal operators to run a parcel locker network outside of its native country.
With e-commerce volumes almost doubling in Estonia in 2011, Itella sees the market as ripe for expansion. It will also encourage more Finnish online retailers and catalogue companies to enter the Estonian market.
It costs between 10-14 euros to send a package via the Itella SmartPOST terminals between Finland and Estonia. Prices are slightly higher for sending parcels to Finnish post offices.
Cleveron is based in Viljandi and was founded in 2007. Cleveron says Estonia now sees as many as 50% of e-commerce deliveries made through self-service parcel lockers.
Cleveron's export director Indrek Oolup said placing parcel lockers on consumers’ everyday routes meant parcel delivery companies could provide the flexibility and swiftness that traditional postal services can lack.
Oolup said the concept was particularly relevant with several European postal providers looking to close a significant number of post offices. The number of online shoppers will grow in Europe from 157m to 205m by 2015. Cleveron export director said more and more postal operators were now turning to automated parcel lockers.
Self-service parcel lockers are a natural fit with ecommerce. Modern day customers are less tied to a physical address.
Project is co-financed by the European Union Regional Development Fund.