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Key takeaways about Out-of-home delivery in Europe [LME Report]

Last Mile Experts (LME), together with technology partner UPIDO A.G., has conducted a study of PUDO (pick up drop of) and APM (automated parcel machines) networks covering 27 countries in the European Union and the UK.

The report, “Out-of-home delivery in Europe 2021”, produced with the support of DPDgroup and ORACLE Partner, shows that more than 40% of new PUDO points have been established in the European Union since mid-2019. That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? But that’s not the only news. If you want to learn more, read or visit the full report.

What are OOH, PUDO and APM?

Out-of-home delivery (OOH) involves delivering the goods to a convenient place or machine for the customer. It is becoming ever more consumer-centric and flexible. There are convenient, contactless, and provide cheap and easy returns. The reasons for OOH’s success are; more choice for the customer, high first-time delivery rates, ease of locating and accessing by couriers, and highly efficient delivery method, which increases last mile capacity up to 4 times.

They can be most commonly found in two forms: 

  • parcel locker, named „lockers” (APM),
  • and PUDO (pick up drop off) point.

PUDOS are places where packages can be picked up. This can be a small (convenience) store, a parcel shop, or a depot/micro depot. 

APM is a parcel locker. Consumers theoretically view D2D deliveries are the most convenient (if the consignee is home), but parcel lockers create the best overall CX.

Source: Out-of-home delivery in Europe 2021 report.

The lockers and PUDOs are central to many groups (for example, customers, merchants, and carriers) and can be expected to become more critical over time.

Country analysis

Only 5 of 28 countries have reached the optimal threshold* of 10 delivery points per 10,000 people. Finland is the only EU country with more than 20 OOH delivery points per 10,000 inhabitants, making online shopping more convenient.

Source: Out-of-home delivery in Europe 2021 report.

What’s more, Finland, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic top the ranking of EU countries for pick up and drop off points density. As of 2021, PUDOs have the most significant impact on OOH density in the European Union overall and Great Britain. 

Additionally, key PUDO markets are:

  • DE (57k),
  • FR (45k),
  • GB (38k),
  • IT (36k),
  • PL (30k).

On the other hand, key APM markets are: 

  • PL (11k),
  •  ES (10k),
  • DE (7k),
  • Nordics (7k).

Let’s focus on some analysis of certain countries to see how OOH is doing.

Germany

  1. The total number of unique points found: 56 500 PUDOs and 7 000 APMs.
  2. The most extensive OOH network in Europe.
  3. DHL and Hermes have got the most pick-up points.
  4. DHL offers a wide variety of dispatch options, including Packstation, Post Office, DHL Paketshop, and Paketbox.

Source: Out-of-home delivery in Europe 2021 report.

Great Britain

  1. The total number of unique points found: 37 700 PUDOs and  2 200 APMs.
  2. Royal Mail is the biggest OOH operator. Additionally, they have ca. 1 360 Parcel Postbox for returns.
  3. Collect+ (PayPoint) is the most popular non-postal OOH channel (94% of the urban population lives within one mile of the point).

Source: Out-of-home delivery in Europe 2021 report.

France

  1. The total number of unique points found: 45 300 PUDOs and 470 APMs.
  2. 2nd biggest OOH network in Europe.
  3. Delivery points for courier companies are quite popular. As a result, the majority of French B2C parcels end up in out-of-home locations. 

Source: Out-of-home delivery in Europe 2021 report.

Italy

  1. The total number of unique points found: 36 020 PUDOs and 350 APMs.
  2. Poste Italiane is a strong leader in OOH.
  3. The place of delivery is extremely important to 60% of those who purchase online in Italy.

Source: Out-of-home delivery in Europe 2021 report.

Spain

  1. The total number of unique points found: 22 210 PUDOs and 9 550 APMs.
  2. Punto Pack is the local brand of Mondial Relay in Spain, and along with DPD, UPS, and DHL, they are the providers of delivery points for courier companies.
  3. Correos, the Spanish postal operator, is the leader in the OOH market.

Source: Out-of-home delivery in Europe 2021 report.

Poland

  1. The total number of unique points found:  30 060 PUDOs and 11 485 APMs.
  2. With a growth of some 32% of points (2020 vs. 2019), Poland has one of the fastest growing OOH networks in Europe. Lockers have grown even faster, with a 75% increase during the same period.
  3. Poczta Polska has the biggest OOH network.

Source: Out-of-home delivery in Europe 2021 report.

Finland

  1. The total number of unique points found: 10 510 PUDOs and 2 690 APMs.
  2. OOH is dominated by local companies, where Posti is the biggest operator.
  3. Currently, out-of-home delivery is the most common delivery model – home delivery is not very common.

Source: Out-of-home delivery in Europe 2021 report.

What about Amazon?

It is well known that Amazon prefers to control rather than be controlled or exposed to strong external partners. It has ca. 4000 APMs in the UK, and about 5,000 „Amazon counter” locations at last check (but this is growing very fast). 

In France, Amazon has approximately 1 500 lockers, including the recent agreement with SNCF. Furthermore, Amazon offers last mile delivery (Amazon Logistics) in Spain, Germany, and Italy. As well as in IT, FR, and DE, Amazon is developing its APM networks.

To sum up

The delivery experience is becoming increasingly important to customers. They want visibility, flexibility, and control – recent studies show that they will abandon a basket if the delivery option they want isn’t available.

Massive volume growth has made out-of-home (OOH) a “must have” to achieve capacity and provide customer choice. If you want to be a leader in the market, you must take this into account.

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