GLS – more e-commerce parcels to be delivered to German letterboxes

Following requests from two German industry associations, Royal Mail owned GLS has started to deliver smaller e-commerce parcels to customers’ letterboxes in Germany.

GLS has started to do this where possible to avoid having to re-deliver packages when the customer is at home. This saves money and resources and should be more convenient for the customer.

The news of GLS move comes after the German e-commerce association BEVH called on delivery companies to do just this in September. BEVH made the request alongside the VDBF, the German envelope industry association.

The two organisations believe that some 40% of e-commerce parcels could be delivered in this way. Where an item os of small weight and size, the BEVH asked that they be packages in letterbox sized packaging for greater ease of delivery. As everyone knows this is often not the case. Currently only 20% of e-commerce parcels are delivered in this way in Germany.

“The common envelope is very popular in the e-commerce”, Martin Groß-Albenhausen, deputy managing director of Bevh, says. “But in detail, the dimensions of the deliveries often don’t harmonise with the standardised letterbox openings. We want to approach both the industry and the property sector in order to be able to deliver more e-commerce parcels to consumers through postal service providers.”

VDBF’s member companies already offer several mailbox-compatible packaging solutions, but they’ve found little acceptance from online retailers so far.

Ultimately, smaller packaging could save money right up the supply chain. In not having to re-deliver, so there are lower costs associated with delivery. The lower costs in not having to re-deliver can be passed to the customer, especially if in Germany’s case the risk of re-delivery is halved.