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Germany: Boost of Packstations combining grocery shopping and convenience

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

Deutsche Post DHL will set up around 6,000 more Packstations for its customers by 2023. The company is thus doubling the number of machines from currently over 6,000 to around 12,000 packstations.

The rapid expansion of the packing station network is part of a multi-year digitization program that the Deutsche Post DHL Group presented in March of this year. The company is investing in new digital services and substantial improvements to existing solutions in the mail and parcel sector.

In 2003, DHL was the first company to introduce the Packstation Service on the German market. The number of machines has risen sharply in recent years: at the end of 2014 only 2,800 Packstations were installed nationwide, as DHL had a exclusive contract with discount retail chain Aldi. At the end of 2019 there were around 4,400 machines and also extended placements to other grocery retail chains. At the end of this year there will be 6,500 DHL Packstations, an increase of almost 50 percent compared to the previous year. The Packstation is particularly popular because it is easy to use and available around the clock for sending and receiving parcels. In addition, it is often located in central places in daily life, so that customers can conveniently combine receiving and shipping parcels with, for example, travel, going to work or shopping for groceries.

"More and more customers are using the Packstation and existing customers are using it more and more frequently. Especially during the Corona crisis, many new customers discovered the advantages of the Packstation for themselves, as they can send and receive their parcels contactlessly at any time," says Tobias Meyer Board Member Post & Parcel Germany of the Deutsche Post DHL Group. "In addition, we see great interest in setting up packing stations at their locations from our partners, for example from retail, local public transport and real estate companies. Especially in cooperation with local transport companies, this can create an environmentally friendly and traffic-relieving system of parcel delivery. We are therefore pleased to make this popular service even more widely available to a growing number of users in the future. "

Deutsche Post DHL will offer the free service at other locations both in the city and in the countryside. Already today, almost every second household in Germany can reach a packing station within a radius of one kilometer. Around 80% of households have a partner branch of Deutsche Post, a DHL parcel shop or a Packstation within this distance. With the future expansion, these distances will decrease further and the number of users will increase even further. At the end of 2021, around 8,500 Packstations will be available to DHL customers, and a year later there will be around 10,500 Packstations with a total of over a million compartments. For 2023, the company expects further growth to at least 12,000 machines.

With immediate effect, Deutsche Post DHL is also setting up the purely app-controlled variant of the Packstation at around 200 locations. This new type of machine, involving lower CAPEX, does not require a display because the customer only operates it with his smartphone. DHL customers will in future be able to use both types of machines, the classic packing station with screen and scanner and the app-controlled variant.

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