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| On Track & On Target | GeoPost plans locker-bank network across France
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17 July 2014

GeoPost plans locker-bank network across France


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GeoPost, the French-based parcels carrier that owns DPD and is a subsidiary of La Poste, has announced plans for a major network of automated parcel locker banks across its France.

Working with NeoPost, the postal equipment specialist, GeoPost plans to have 1,500 locations in place by 2016 and more than 3,000 in the long term. They will be operated by PackCity, a company jointly owned by the two organisations, though the actual lockers are believed to have been sourced from Keba, an Austrian specialist that has already supplied many lockers for Germany’s PackStation network.

An unusual feature of the proposed network is that it will be divided into two parts. A third of the locker banks will be dedicated to GeoPost use, but the rest will be made available to other carriers and to large general and specialist retailers.

This business model combines the two approaches that have hitherto separated existing locker networks. Historically, such networks have mostly been reserved for the use of a specific carrier (for instance, DHL in Germany and ByBox in the UK). However, cracks have emerged in that concept. InPost is now building up an open network in the UK, and ByBox is already working here with carrier Hermes.

Interestingly, an independent carrier called Relais Colis was used for initial PackCity trials. It already claims to be a specialist in this type of operation.

In terms of the practicalities, the PackCity network sounds very similar to existing locker-bank systems. The lockers will be installed in places with high footfall such as railway stations, city centres and shopping centres.

Customers receive a unique pick-up code by email or text message, then simply go to the location, enter the code on the terminal screen and collect their goods from one of the lockers.

 

 

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