Customers are embracing new delivery options as Australia’s logistics infrastructure struggles to keep up with the unprecedented parcel volumes generated during the COVID-19 shutdowns.

The new data comes from courier start-up Sendle, which has partnered with leading Australian parcel collection point network Hubbed, to offer its retail customers a more flexible and ‘available’ parcel drop-off network.

Since 5 March, Sendle reports that 39 per cent of its parcels were dropped off at Hubbed locations outside of 9am-5pm on weekdays, while 35 per cent dropped off their parcels outside of 9am-6pm on weekdays.

Since Sendle partnered with Hubbed in 2018, it has used more than 600 of its parcel drop-off sites and witnessed significant growth in after-hours parcel collection volumes.

Hubbed enables some of the country’s largest carriers – Sendle, Toll and DHL, to TNT and CouriersPlease – to offer greater delivery choice and flexibility for their customers, with after-hours collection points available at BP service stations, 7-Eleven stores, newsagents and pharmacies – many open 24 hours, seven days a week.

“Since offering Hubbed pick-up and drop-off locations almost two years ago, we’ve seen an increasing number of our small business customers using the service because it offers so much flexibility – some locations are open 24/7. In 2019, we saw a 20 per cent increase in people using the Hubbed network both during and after business hours,” said James Chin Moody, CEO of Sendle.

“The March 2020 spike is a result of the COVID-19 bricks to clicks phenomenon where consumers are purchasing online rather than in-store. Many small businesses are working overtime to fulfill orders, so it really helps when they can organise dispatch and delivery both after hours and on weekends. Most of the locations within the Hubbed network are queue-free, which makes it a safer option. And Sendle also has contactless delivery at this time.”

“Hubbed has enabled time-poor businesses greater flexibility in their parcel drop-off and collection schedules. Online retailers that don’t have a storefront also benefit by using our parcel network of more than 2000 locations as ‘Click & Collect’ locations,” said Hubbed Founder and CEO David McLean.

“As a collection network, we can also help carriers, such as Sendle, reduce their last-mile costs and their environmental footprint by enabling them to drop parcels off at centralised local ‘hubs’ rather than individual addresses.”

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