TALLINN - Estonian state-owned postal company Eesti Post has decided to enter the self-service parcel terminals business at the end of August, reports Aripaev. Smartpost, which belongs now to Finnish Itella, launched the self-service parcel terminals business in Estonia a few years ago and now has 46 terminals all over Estonia that are actively used. In September it intends to install 6 more.
Eesti Post intends to open 38 terminals at the end of August and claims that its competitive edge lies in more favorable prices and the possibility to send heavier packages, while the size of its parcel lockers is smaller. Also, Eesti Post’s terminals will be located outdoors, while StartPost has chosen to install its terminals in larger shopping centers, which limits the time of their use with the opening hours of the centers. Eesti Post in addition promises to empty the lockers twice a day, versus SmartPost’s once a day, and offers to deliver the packages to another terminal, postal office or by courier to a specified address.
Communications manager for Eesti Post, Inge Suder, said that there are a lot of similar characteristics with SmartPost: clients are notified by text messages and e-mails about the arrival of the parcel in the terminal; they get a code to open the door and pay for the service; to send packages clients can do all procedures at the terminal and pay by bank card.
Eesti Post’s logistics manager, Ansi Arumeel, said that the company aims to deliver over 100,000 parcels via the terminals this year and 20 percent of all parcels in 2012. Last year Eesti Post handled nearly 11.5 million parcels.
While SmartPost’s technology was developed by an Estonian start-up company, which, after selling the business to Itella a year ago is now called Cleveron, Eesti Post bought its system from Polish company InPost.