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Supply and Use of Parcel Pick Up Drop Off Points in Great Britain

4 July 2019

Supply and Use of Parcel Pick Up Drop Off Points in Great Britain [ 1.2 mb]

UK consumers are among the biggest online shoppers in Europe, with 51% saying they prefer to shop online than in store. This has driven a surge in parcel deliveries, with nearly 2.5 billion items delivered to households across the UK in 2017-18 - an increase of 11% on the previous year.

In most cases, these parcels are delivered successfully. However, around 40 million deliveries to consumers fail on first attempt, while a majority of online shoppers report experiencing delivery problems. This is frustrating for consumers, and failed deliveries make the system more costly, as parcel carriers have to hold the parcel for longer and potentially return a second time to deliver.

One way of addressing this is increased use of pick up and drop off (PUDO) points. A PUDO point is an external location, often a bank of parcel lockers, convenience store or dedicated parcel shop, where consumers can send or receive parcels.

However, PUDO points are not being used to their full potential. Many people have either never heard of them, have not been given the option to use them by retailers, or can’t access them.

We will seek to address these issues over the coming year by seeking to:

  • Improve promotion of PUDO points for deliveries and returns by online retailers and incorporate PUDO points into our ongoing consumer education work

  • Further explore how to address access issues related to the exclusive relationships between parcel carriers, PUDO operators and retailers

  • Improve PUDO point accessibility for disabled consumers.