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Almost everyone has arrived home to find a note in the door saying they’ve missed a parcel delivery and have to trek to a distant depot to retrieve it the next day. For those of us who regularly buy online the experience may be maddeningly frequent.
Irish courier and forwarding service Nightline is offering a solution to this problem with Parcel Motel ( parcelmotel.com). The service allows customers to have their parcels dropped to a convenient “parcel motel” for later collection instead of to their home address.
The Parcel Motel is a container of 80 lockers which can be accessed by customers using PIN codes which they receive by text message when their parcel has been delivered. The beauty of the system is that it is independent of the retailers.
“When you order something online all you have to do is put in your name and Parcel Motel identifier number and our address and it will be delivered to one of our hubs in Dublin and Belfast. We will then despatch it to the Parcel Motel you have specified,” says David Field, chief operating officer with Nightline.
“We have 100 of our Parcel Motel terminals, covering all of the Republic’s main cities, fully operational now and our plan is to expand this to 400 over time,” he adds. “The initial phase of operations was aimed at attracting consumers and has been very successful with 20,000 subscribers signed up already. We are now looking to increase the service’s appeal to online retailers so that they use the service directly from within their websites.”
Interestingly, a key driver of the success of the service came about almost by accident. “Almost 95 per cent of online retailers in the UK offer free delivery in the UK,” says Field. “Our subscribers can use our Belfast address for their orders to those retailers and get them delivered free to there. After that we deliver the parcel to their chosen Parcel Motel for the standard €3.50 fee.
“This has proved enormously popular with customers who are using it to avail of the convenience of our service and to make big savings on the postage fees charged by UK retailers to send packages to Ireland. In fact, some of them won’t send packages to Ireland at all and this overcomes that problem as well.”
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