The Post Office and DPD have announced a new partnership that will see parcels delivered directly to its branches for click-and-collect services, opening up its network to external carriers for the first time in its 360-year history.
The service will initially be available at around 250 Post Offices this month before rolled-out to around 1,500 branches across the UK ahead of the peak Christmas period.
Customers making purchases online will have the option to choose their local Post Office as a collection point for their parcels, rather than direct delivery. The DPD will then deliver parcels directly to the Post Office and the Postmaster will process customer collections at the counter.
The Post Office, the UK’s largest retail network with 11,500 branches, previously only had an agreement with Royal Mail Group for parcel collections directly at its branches. It said the new partnership demonstrates its strategy to “ensure the future sustainability” of the network, provide a new offering to consumers in the “fast-growing” parcel market and drive footfall for Postmasters and local high streets.
Nick Read, CEO at the Post Office, said: “Combining the biggest physical retail network with one of the Europe’s best-known logistical carriers provides greater customer convenience, footfall for Postmasters and helps people back to the High Street as Covid-19 restrictions ease.
“I’m delighted that through our partnership with DPD, customers can select their local Post Office to collect their parcels and know that they are often open longer hours, staffed by a knowledgeable Postmaster and located moments from where they live.”
Elaine Kerr, DPD CEO, added: “This is a significant, long-term partnership between two brand leaders in the parcel industry and comes at a time when the convenience of online shopping and delivery is more valued than ever. It is great news for DPD parcel customers and for Post Office branches too.
“Our aim is always to get parcels delivered safely, on time and provide recipients with as much choice as possible. This partnership enables us to offer more options at the point of purchase, while the parcel is in-flight and on those occasions when we can’t leave a parcel safely.”
In addition, the partnership between the Post Office and DPD will reportedly play an important role in reducing the environmental impact of having vans making multiple stops to drop off parcels, whilst encouraging people to return to their local high street on foot.