Japanese e-commerce giant, Rakuten Inc, has joined hands with the country’s national postal service, Japan Post, to offer delivery lockers for customers to pick up items purchased online
at their own convenience, the Kyodo news agency quoted sources close to the matter as saying.
Rakuten Inc. and Japan Post Co. are scheduled to launch the new service in April at about 30 locations such as post offices in Tokyo, and will consider adding locations across Japan after the
limited launch. The new service will enable shoppers at the major Internet mall to have items delivered without their addresses known.
The service will apply only to Japan Post’s Yu-Pack parcel delivery system for the same fees as its usual home delivery. The lockers will keep each parcel for three days and can be opened by designated passwords.
More POPStations to pop up
Japan Post Co. hopes the service will help increase the use of Yu-Pack parcels and cut costs by reducing redeliveries.
The Japanese initiative is not new though. Two years ago, Singapore Post launched an automated delivery locker system, dubbed POPStation (Pick Own Parcel Station), to meet demand for alternative delivery points throughout the country.
In the meantime, POPStations have been placed at several locations in Singapore, including residential and office areas, around MRT (under-ground railway) stations, bus interchanges and shopping malls that are accessible 24/7 to the public. In total, SingPost plans to install 100 POPStations all over Singapore. The POPStations are built by Australian company TZ Limited and come with about 80 lockers of various sizes.
On its web site SingPost states that Singapore’s online shopping market is expected to reach US$2.7 billion in 2014 and to grow significantly to US$3.45 billion by 2015, as more retail sales shifts online from offline.
Nol van Fenema