Cleveron will need to cater for growing demand as Itella intends to double the number of parcel points in Finland during the course of 2012, bringing the total number up to 100. The Finnish postal operator has also announced an agreement with Kesko, a Finnish retailing conglomerate, to install automated parcel points in all the existing and future K-citymarket chain stores by the end of 2013. There are currently 75 K-citymarkets in Finland.
"Our goal is to make receiving parcels as easy as possible for consumers and that way support the development of e-commerce,” says Aku Happo, vice president of Itella Parcel Services. Happo sees the partnership with Cleveron as vital in the expansion, due to the company’s experience in implementing and operating the business model. “It’s not only technology and lockers, but rather the complex solution that Cleveron has developed and put into practice which will enable us to grow our customer base,” Happo explains.
Estonian-founded Cleveron’s technology that powers Itella’s parcel points has witnessed quick adoption in its home country. In only 3 years the deliveries through the self-service parcel points have grown to constitute up to 50% of the total e-commerce parcel market in Estonia. With deliveries in Estonia almost doubling in 2011, Itella is also looking at expanding the network in the northernmost Baltic state. By the end of 2012, Itella expects to grow the number of self-service parcel points in Finland and Estonia to a total of 162.
Cleveron's export director Indrek Oolup sees e-commerce as the reason behind the rising popularity of self-service parcel points that use SMS notifications for customer communication. “Self-service parcel points are a natural fit with e-commerce, since modern day customers are less tied to a physical address rather than their mobile phones”, Oolup explains.
Oolup argues that with parcel points strategically placed on the customers’ everyday routes, modern-day parcel services are able to provide the flexibility and swiftness that traditional postal services are lacking. This is backed up by the fact that several European postal providers are in the process of closing down a significant number of their post offices.
With the number of online buyers in Europe expected to grow from 157 million in 2011 to 205 million by 2015, Oolup sees more and more postal service providers turning to automated parcel points.
Cleveron (cleveron.eu) offers parcel delivery solutions for postal service providers in all developed markets. The company was founded in 2007 in Estonia. Currently Cleveron’s solutions are used by postal operators in Finland, Estonia, Russia and Ukraine.