MECHELEN, Belgium: Irish high-tech start-up Parcelhome.com has developed a home mailbox that can be used with a smartphone app.
DHL, GLS and DPD are trialing the solution with 100 households in Mechelen, 31 kms. north of Brussels, between May and July.
Parcelhome says with 15-50 percent of packages not delivered on the first attempt, consumer concerns about non-delivery and returns are key reasons for not purchasing online.
Pilot manager and parcelhome.com general manager for Benelux Luc van Bosstraeten explained: "You can use the system to allow package carriers and even local shops to deliver their products at home. The only thing the deliverer needs is the parcelhome.com app."
He said the system can receive multiple packages from different carriers and as soon as a package is placed in the home unit, the customer gets a confirmation. Also included in the app is a scale that calculates returns, franks the package and alerts the carrier for a pick up.
"Customers dislike the limitations of online shopping. They want their products to arrive quickly and safely," commented Luc De Schrijver, CEO of GLS. "People don't want to organise solutions, work around time slots, take half a day off or ask neighbors or friends to wait around. Thanks to parcelhome.com, they no longer have to."
Jan Van Roey, CEO of DHL Parcel Belgium and DPD's Belgian CEO Marc Morioux have also endorsed the concept saying customer convenience is key to the idea.