Here’s how companies are solving the problem of missed parcel deliveries


It’s 11am, and you’ve taken the day off work to wait for a parcel. You’ve been waiting for this parcel for a while and don’t want to miss the delivery guy. It’s been almost 4 hours since the start of the “delivery window” and the delivery still hasn’t arrived. Surely he won’t turn up in the 5 mins in which you *really* need to use the loo. Or will he? You return from the loo, and on your doormat sits a ‘Sorry, we missed you’ note. Which very helpfully informs you that your parcel has been returned to the depot, and that you need to organise a redelivery date or drive to the depot to collect it. To add to the disappointment, it was delivered the minute you entered the loo!

We’ve all experienced this, haven’t we? Delivery companies try their best, but the issue is for most of us that packages are often delivered at the wrong time of day. If the parcels are delivered in during working hours, it means we have to miss them since we need to go to work or are otherwise engaged.

However, there is hope: some companies are trying innovative solutions to ensure that you get your packages when you want them, which hopefully means less waiting around for you and a more efficient use of time for them.

Car Boot Parcel Delivery

  • Audi, the German luxury car manufacturer, has partnered with Amazon and DHL to trial delivering packages to their customers’ car boots. This would work by DHL drivers tracking the car for a set period of time, and then using a special access code to access the boot. Once the package has been placed in the boot, the code expires. The only catch here is the small matter of having to purchase an Audi first.

    Flickr - Xaber Martinez

    Flickr – Xaber Martinez

Secure delivery boxes

  • London­based company Pelipod, meanwhile, are trialling a system whereby a customer has a secure 2G­-enabled delivery box installed outside their house. Once a package has been delivered to the box (or a return collected), the customer is notified via text message. PinPod are another company doing a similar thing. They have two products, PinPod Hi (for smaller deliveries) and PinPod Lo (for bigger or multiple deliveries). An pod access code is made available to the delivery driver by including it in the delivery address details. Once the driver closes the pod the it is effectively locked, and he can then record the Proof Of Delivery (POD) shown on the PinPod digital display. Other than the uncertainty regarding security, both pod systems seem like an excellent solution.

Convenience store delivery

  • An interesting solution comes from Parcelly. You download an app on the App Store (iOS­only) and select a convenient delivery location close to you. You then receive a unique code (PBCode) and a delivery address to use when shopping online. Use these details when shopping online, and Parcelly will notify you via push notification when your delivery arrives. Other companies offering this sort of service include CollectPlus, You simply pick your delivery up within the timeframe allocated. There is the small issue of having to drive, walk or cycle to the delivery location though, which probably isn’t ideal for most people.
Flickr - katchooo

Flickr – katchooo

Evening Delivery Services

  • Rather than safe boxes or push notifications, is much simpler: provided that you reside in one of the areas they serve, you can register on the website for a free postbox address, which you use as your delivery address when shopping online.  Posteve will notify you once your delivery arrives; you can then schedule a delivery after 5:30pm on a weekday, when you’ll hopefully be home from work or university. Unfortunately, they don’t cover all areas although they are expanding quite quickly.

So there you have it. Some very clever solutions to missed deliveries, and some interesting ways to fix a long­standing problem. If you have another 3 seconds, here’s a s​urvey​ we would like you to participate in, regarding which of these options you would prefer (or indeed an even better solution you might have to suggest!)

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