GLS, DPD and DHL to trial smart letterbox

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Parcel carriers DHL, GLS and DPD have joined forces to participate in a trial of a new smart letterbox produced by Irish-based start-up

The company claims that the new letterbox can accommodate 95% of all parcel deliveries, with dimensions measuring 21 x 16 x 13in. It can also be easily fitted at the customer’s home with wall mounted or free standing installations. The trial will run until July 2015 at 100 different households in the city of Mechelen, Belgium, near Brussels.

Carriers simply need to have the app downloaded to a mobile device which grants them access to the box using encrypted security codes that are comparable to those used in online banking. It is also easy to send and return parcels as the letterbox calculates the delivery fee and franks the package. A carrier then comes to collect it.

Luc van Bosstraeten, pilot manager and general manager,, Benelux, said, “It is as simple to use as your letterbox but it contains breakthrough technology. 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 app. For instance, in the course of the pilot we will also trial delivery of local goods, such as bakery [products]and dry cleaning.

“The built-in scale issues a receipt, and the system can receive multiple packages from different carriers. As soon as a package is placed in the unit, the addressee is notified.”

Non-delivery is a common industry problem with 15-50% of packages failing first-time delivery depending on the area. Both carriers and customers lose out when deliveries are not made and concerns about non-delivery and complex return processes are key reasons for consumers staying away from purchasing goods online.

Luc De Schrijver, CEO of GLS, said, “Customers

dislike the limitations of online shopping. They want their products to arrive quickly and safely. People don’t want to organize solutions, work around time slots, take half a day off or ask neighbors or friends to wait around. Thanks to, they no longer have to.”

Jan Van Roey, CEO of DHL Parcel Belgium, said, “Customer convenience is central to this project. We see the concept as an ideal supplement to our extensive Parcelshop network in Belgium. Both initiatives provide maximum accessibility and efficiency for customers, suppliers and parcel services.”

Marc Morioux, CEO for DPD Belgium, said, “Alongside our existing delivery services for the B2C market, such as the European Parcelshop Network, DPD sees as an interesting option for expanding our existing B2C delivery services.”

Greg Mackin, CEO for, added, “If the trial goes well we hope to expand rapidly. We want to cover Benelux by the end of this year, then move into France and the UK.”

May 27, 2015

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, editor-in-chief

Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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