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Mapping Parcel Shops - Understanding consumer access to pick up and drop off locations in Britain

31 May 2018

The UK parcels sector has grown by more than 50% since 2010 - more than 2 billion parcels now are sent each year.

A pick up and drop off (PUDO) point is a location, often a local shop or retail outlet, which can offer a range of parcel services. With around 40 million deliveries each year failing on the first attempt, PUDO points can provide important delivery options for consumers who are unable to receive deliveries during the day, as well as for delivery operators looking to reduce failed deliveries.

Beyond forming an alternative delivery option in the event of a missed delivery, PUDO points can also be used by consumers as a first choice collection location and to send and return parcels. Since 2011 the volume of online shopping returns in the UK has increased by nearly 60% to 89 million.

For the first time, in this report [ 0.7 mb]* we map access to PUDO points across Britain. We review the location of just under 35,000 branches to understand the extent to which PUDO points can provide legitimate delivery and returns solutions for consumers and operators.  This report presents the initial findings from our mapping research. Our analysis reveals 4 key findings:

  1. Overall, there is a good provision of pick up and drop off points across Britain

  2. Levels of consumer access to PUDO points varies depending on geography

  3. Consumers in the most deprived areas are best served by PUDO points

  4. Post offices prop up consumer access to parcel services in some areas - particularly for rural consumers

Alongside the findings in this report we also publish an interactive map which can be accessed here or using the QR code below, allowing consumers to explore the provision of PUDO points in their community. This is done without referencing individual parcel carriers or their outlets.

We will publish a more comprehensive analysis of consumer access to PUDO points including our consumer experience research later this year.

Please note: on 2 July 2018 we updated this report to clarify that the IMD data is based on England only.