Why Wait for that Parcel? The Growing Number of Alternative Delivery Locations
April 18, 2017
Not at home in time to pick up that package? No problem, there are a growing number of alternative delivery location options that consumers can take advantage of instead of sitting around waiting for their package to arrive. For carriers including FedEx, UPS and USPS, these alternative delivery points help to reduce the number of delivery attempts as well as increase efficiency by dropping off or picking up a group of packages at a single location. UPS Access Points Network is perhaps one of the most publicized of alternative pick up and drop off solutions. There are certainly more solutions from Amazon, the USPS and others, but this year two announcements, one from a major carrier and one from a retailer offers even more benefits to consumers and carriers alike.
According to research, FedEx found that customers rank pharmacies as a “preferred location for accessing their e-commerce shipments”. As a result, FedEx announced an agreement with Walgreens. Beginning this spring FedEx will offer drop off of pre-packaged, pre-labeled shipments as well as pick up packages at select Walgreens locations. Consumers will be able to direct packages to almost 8,000 Walgreens stores by the fall of 2018. Walgreens is one of FedEx’s largest partners in its FedEx Onsite, a nationwide network of alternative delivery locations. Other retailers included in the network are some Albertsons and Kroger grocery stores as well as select Office Depots, OfficeMax and FedEx Authorized ShipCenters.
Consumers have had their choice of picking up their Walmart online orders in store or having them delivered to their front door. However, Walmart recently added an additional perk if consumers choose to pick their orders in stores, a discount. Online orders picked up in stores already qualify for no shipping charges, but the latest discounts come on top of that. According to the retailer, Walmart is able to offer these discounts as it is already able to eliminate delivery costs by leveraging its fleet of almost 7,000 trucks to deliver products from warehouses to stores. The service is expected to begin April 19 with pickup discounts applicable to 10,000 items and more than 1 million items by June.
Just to make things even easier for consumers, Walmart is also expanding its same-day pick up service and introducing its pick-up tower to more stores. The pick-up tower is a vending machine that delivers packages ordered online when a customer enters a bar code.
Alternative Delivery Locations – A Benefit, a Pain or a Bust?
What are your thoughts on alternative delivery locations or delivery services in general? Let us know in our survey. We’ll compile the results in our 2nd Annual Global Small Parcel Report for publication later this fall. In addition, all survey respondents will be entered into a drawing for either a $250 Visa gift card or a donation to their favorite charity. Click here to participate in our Survey.