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Parcel Pickup War: Amazon, Oz Post Set To Slug It Out

Amazon and Australia Post are both looking to make inroads into the Australian market for online goods via establishment of new parcel pick-up services – either via newly installed sealed lockers across the country, or at networks of many hundreds of parcel pick-up points.

Amazon this week has rolled out a network of hundreds of parcel pick-up points across NSW and Victoria, and pledges to have a nationwide system operating “soon”.

Australia Post, which already delivers thousands of Amazon purchases, says it now has parcel lockers in more than 350 sites across Australia, and is adding to those via a partnership with fulfilment technology company Doddle.

This sees customers able to pick up or return their online shopping at sites including 24/7 parcel lockers, pharmacies, supermarkets and department stores, as well as post offices.

Says Doddle CEO Justin Dery: “Pick-up’ services are the fastest-growing delivery option globally, and with 35 percent of Australian consumers picking up an online order last year, the potential in this market is huge.”

But the OzPost/Doddle effort now faces potentially very strong opposition from Amazon, which has opened its service in NSW and Victoria.

The Amazon service involves two pick-up options: either through lockers or at selected “counters”. The lockers are initially available in Commonwealth Bank branches, Victorian news agencies and some Stockland shopping centres.

But Amazon Oz says hundreds more locations will be “coming soon”.

Those choosing a “locker” pick-up will receive an e-mail message that includes a unique barcode and a six-digit code. The buyer can go to the locker and either scan the barcode or enter the six-digit code – and retrieve the parcel.

Amazon Australia has said it hopes to have thousands of Hub locations across the nation by 2020.

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