Residential parcel lockers ease high fuel price

Australia Post has this month increased their fuel surcharge to a record rate of 3.1 per cent. This is amid rising oil prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war. The adverse impacts of fuel hikes are adversely affecting more than just Australia’s transport industry. High fuel prices are placing a burden on retailers, couriers, and customers. Smart residential parcel lockers ease the impact and help offset costs.

The high price of fuel

Bulk diesel prices are on the upward trajectory. At the time of writing, they were up 7.68 cents per litre. This is a 21 per cent increase since the start of the year. Even as prices begin to fall, Australian’s will continue to see adverse impacts for some time.

AMP Capital Chief economist Shane Oliver told the Australian Financial Review, “ In Australia, the rise in world oil prices will likely add another 15 to 20 cents per litre to already record petrol prices.”

How high fuel costs affect deliveries

Fuel prices have a huge impact on e-commerce and parcel deliveries. The most obvious is the increased cost of each car, delivery van or truck journey. Businesses involved in both receiving supplies and delivering their products are hit from both sides.

This is a growing problem because volumes are continuing to rise at more than 10% per annum with no sign of dropping to pre-COVID levels. More than 1 billion parcels were delivered in Australia in 2021. In Oct, Australia Post facilities in Melbourne were processing 1 million parcels per day.

Director of Groundfloor, Lynne Thornton, highlights that on-premises tech solutions for parcel deliveries are advantageous in a high fuel-price environment and help ease the impact.

Smart parcel lockers ease fuel price hike

Residential parcel lockers lower impact of high price

Smart residential parcel lockers at the home help minimise the impact of high petrol prices in two ways. Firstly, for the consumer, there’s no need to drive to the depot or post office to pick up missed deliveries. That’s because couriers have delivered directly into the residential parcel lockers, even while they were at work or sleeping. They can pick up their parcel in their slippers, taking cars off the road.

For courier companies and retailers, there are a number of improved efficiencies across the network. One benefit is eliminating the need for redeliveries and therefore greatly reducing the number of delivery trips needed in the first place.

Another benefit is moving couriers through limited parking bays much faster. Both having a centralised delivery point and being able to use tech provides speed and efficiency. If we can reduce delivery times per building from 8 mins down to one, then we can have 8 vans through in the same time we typically would one. How does this relate to petrol prices? Well, the delivery drivers that can’t get a parking spot have to circle the block until one becomes available!

It takes couriers approximately 78 per cent longer to deliver when there are no smart parcel lockers in the building. Most of the time is taken trying to locate the recipient of the package. Then couriers need to travel up to each floor, dropping parcels off at reception desks or knocking on doors. 

Increasing infrastructure with residential parcel lockers

Increased infrastructure is needed to improve the efficiency of parcel delivery. Too many buildings lack the infrastructure for dealing with mounting parcel volumes. Most residential apartments have no way of receiving parcels at all. They just get left on the doorstep. 

An increasing percentage of the population are living in urban communities. This demographic is skewed to young people who, according to our data, have more parcels delivered overall.

Roy Morgan reported that over 5.5 million Australians aged over 14 – or 26.5 per cent – used meal delivery services in 2020. This was up from 19 per cent in 2019. So off the back of the pandemic: delivery volumes are high, people are relying on deliveries of increasingly important items, and now petrol costs are through the roof.

Parcel lockers for apartments are easy to install, maintain, and operate. They also provide the highest level of security. Couriers deliver straight into the lockers without coming upstairs or leaving boxes outside locked doors. The recipient automatically receives an SMS with their secure code and can collect their item when it’s convenient.

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