DELIVERY drivers and courier companies have a new weapon in their hands to cut down on wasted calls and doubling back to customers, which cuts costs and improves efficiency and their “green” credentials.
A smart home-parcel box with built-in proof-of-delivery that saves time, money and worry for consumers, couriers and retailers, is launching in the UK this month as Pelipod.
Designed and funded in Britain using English and Welsh manufacturers, Pelipod is the first home delivery pod of its kind.
It is a secure 61cm x 61cm x 70cm pod with an in-built electronic keypad that communicates to a central system, so only authorised users have access, and smart sensors and a camera to give all parties proof of delivery (POD).
Initial trials are being undertaken with residents and businesses in St Albans and Radlett.
Karl Wills, CEO of the London-based Pelipod team said: “In 2013 UK consumers spent more than £91bn on the internet. Yet 20 percent of parcels bought online are returned or re-delivered – a figure that shoots up to 60 percent for higher-value purchases.
“Undelivered parcels aren’t just frustrating and inconvenient to consumers – they’re a waste of money and resources for retailers and courier companies.”
When buying online, Pelipod users can simply add an easy-to-generate unique parcel code to their address. The courier uses the code to open the pod and place the parcel inside before securely closing it.
A camera provides ‘delivery audits’ (POD) with photographic evidence of the opening, parcel placement and lid closure. The shopper then receives an email to let them know their delivery has arrived, with details and times.
On their return home they simply open the pod with their unique user code. The pod can also be used to return parcels, removing consumer hassle.
A standalone secure unit with in-built technology, the Pelipod has a battery that lasts for a year, a cable lock to secure the container, electronic locking and GPRS technology to run the data transfer and communication updates of the pod’s opening, closing and parcel delivery and consumers can track the status of deliveries expected and returns to be picked up.
Pelipod Ltd has developed sophisticated proprietary technology that generates and tracks the secure codes used for parcel deliveries and pick-ups, and the company continuously monitors each pod via GPRS and provides free service and support.
Karl Wills concluded, “Our view is ‘why wait?’ and to give British consumers a proven, easy-to-use alternative to waiting in for deliveries.
“Everyone knows how inconvenient missed deliveries can be. There are constant discussions about how to better ship, receive and return packages.
“Online shopping trends are only set to increase, and retailers and couriers need to have a more efficient way to deliver and give consumers much-needed peace of mind.
“We know from our initial field trials that Pelipod works,that consumers want to use it, and that courier companies are keen to partner with us. Meanwhile we’re proud to bring a British product to solve a problem for British consumers.”