From the start of this month, Deutsche Post DHL customers in Germany have been able to use a new, multi-role parcel machine at 20 locations in the North Rhine-Westphalia region that offers similar services to a small post office.
The purchase of postage and parcel stamps is possible at the new ‘Poststation’ devices, as is the dispatch of letters and parcels. From the end of February, customers will also be able to receive individual advice on various products from a Deutsche Post employee via video chat, and further development of the machines will enable customers to receive parcels as well.
The pilot of 20 Poststations is taking place in both urban and rural areas, including Cologne, Aachen and Euskirchen. “With the Poststation we would like to offer our customers our postal services at even more locations – and in the most convenient way possible. This means that the new machine can be used around the clock and is easy to operate. This enables us to respond directly to the wishes of our customers who regularly report these needs back to us in surveys,” explained Holger Bartels, head of multichannel sales, post and parcel Germany, at Deutsche Post DHL Group.
The new machines are operated with a touchscreen and, in addition to an integrated letterbox, have between 18 and 106 parcel compartments for sending and receiving items. Postage and parcel stamps can be purchased at the post stations with all common debit cards, Visa and Mastercards as well as Google Pay and Apple Pay.
DHL says the Poststation complements its existing network, consisting of around 24,000 branches and DHL parcel shops, over 6,500 DHL Packstations and around 110,000 letterboxes throughout Germany.
The company highlights that the machines offer a great opportunity, particularly in rural regions. “Especially where there are no branches or only branches with short opening times, the post office can represent a real improvement in service for people. But the new machine can also supplement the branch offerings at other locations with around-the-clock service,” emphasized Bartels.