In furtherance of its innovation to remain relevant in delivery business, DHL has disclosed plans to introduce e-commerce electronic parcel delivery lockers in Nigeria.
The computerized parcel lockers are parcel and package delivery lockers located to be sited at DHL facility in the country to enhance the delivery of packages.
These intelligent package pick up stations are designed to speed the delivery of packages while reducing courier delivery times.
In an interview with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, described the innovation as complementary to the "On Demand Delivery" (ODD) service launched earlier in the year, giving DHL clients option on the time they want to pick up an item or get it delivered at the office or home.
Mr. Heymans said that the idea is driven by growth in the Nigerian e-commerce services. "The service isn't just a new customer interface -rather represents an enhancement of our worldwide network, as we have tailored our last-mile operations to meet the specific demands of cross-border e-commerce deliveries.
"Through the platform we can support the service offering of online shippers and improve the delivery experience for their customers, while improving our own efficiency, particularly for last-mile deliveries. On Demand Delivery (ODD) will give our clients option on the time they want to pick up an item or get it delivered at the office or home. They are such as electronic lockers offering you opportunity to pick up your item from the locker at your time. They are secured with embedded codes".
He however noted that infrastructure remains a big challenge to the delivery and general aviation sector in Africa. "The single biggest thing we should invest in, from African perspective, is infrastructure. Why? Without infrastructure, you would have to make alternative plan", he added.
Nodding in agreement, Mr. Randy Buday, regional director, West and Central Africa at DHL told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that launched the ODD in response to significant growth in premium cross-border e-commerce volumes.
The new service, Mr. Buday, said, allows shippers and receivers globally to select from a range of standardised delivery options.
"Like I said earlier, we are working on different perspectives on how to stay relevant. That is why we are introducing electronic lockers into the market", he said.
According to Mr. Buday, from the DHL perspective, e-commerce platforms should stick to the technological innovations that define how people make purchases online, while outsourcing the delivery responsibilities to experts in the field.
"We are good at logistics and likewise we feel that others in the e-commerce business should do the same. Sometimes, people don't want others to know they have ordered for an item online, some don't want it delivered at home and others say no to office delivery".
"These lockers will provide fantastic options through ODD which gives you the option to pick up the delivery or request where it is delivered. That is innovation to stay relevant", he explained.