Australia Post is canvassing developers over the possibility of adding lockers to apartment projects to improve e-commerce delivery and collection for residents in high rise buildings.
Delivery and collection can be challenging in apartment blocks where there is no concierge to take care of the mail. One option could be installation of the lockers in basements that Australia Post couriers could access to reduce parcel losses and the need to visit a post office for collection.
Australia Post is preparing for its busiest Christmas on record with e-commerce deliveries. Photo: Jessica Shapiro JLS
Australia Post’s eCommerce general manager, Ben Franzi, said the group was looking at the move as one of the ways to future-proof its business, particularly with the forecast boom times for online shopping.
The imminent arrival of Amazon, which will be a client of Australia Post, will increase dramatically the volume of goods delivered to private homes and apartment towers.
“We are talking to developers to see if we can incorporate lockers into a new site,” Mr Franzi said. “That could be through a boot room of sorts where smart technology can be used to have security swipe cards and smart locks, so we can deliver the parcels with more convenience for our customers.”
The innovations “are critical for us to battle the forecast growth in e-commerce”, he said.
Australia Post has estimated a rate of online sales growth of about 15 per cent in the coming Christmas season, compared with the 8 per cent rate recorded in the previous corresponding period.
“The favourable Australian dollar to the US dollar and pound sterling has seen a rise in online sales in the past six months, compared with the same period in 2015. Victoria has posted the biggest growth, with online purchases from Victorians soaring 16 per cent,” he said.
“Next is NSW, which has grown 15 per cent, followed by Queensland at 13 per cent.”
The most popular categories are media goods – such as books, magazines, music and movies – and fashion, health and beauty products.
Next month will also see the big shopping days known as Alibaba’s single’s day on November 11, where last year retailers on Alibaba’s platforms recorded $US17.8 billion worth of gross merchandise volume in China, followed by Black Friday, which falls the day after Thanksgiving in the US, on November 24 and Cyber Monday on November 27.
Australia Post Receva
As part of its e-commece innovations, Australia Post has installed interactive mailboxes for residents in south-east Melbourne.
The trial will allow customers to receive more secure deliveries to their home.
Created by Receva, a start-up business of Australia Post Accelerate, the new Smart Mailbox is designed to receive mail and parcel items, including wine and groceries.
Australia Post Accelerate Innovation Partner Tien-Ti Mak said the Smart Mailbox is designed to give customers full control through a smartphone app, enabling them to receive instant delivery notifications, monitor the temperature and battery levels of the box, and allow others to access it digitally.
Registered and verified couriers can deliver parcels to any Receva device via a secure digital key.
“The Receva smart mailbox is designed to make parcel deliveries even easier,” Mr Mak said.
One of the features is that items are protected from weather conditions with a stainless steel sunshield that acts as a cooling agent, keeping items out of the sun and groceries cool.