After a couple of years of significant growth, InPost has unveiled its intended strategy for expansion. InPost is a leading ‘out of home’ delivery company, operating a network of automated parcel machines (known as APM’s or parcel lockers) mainly in Poland but also in other European countries. It also operates Mondial Relay, a major French PUDO (pick up and drop off) network which it acquired in July 2021.
InPost was acquired by private equity firm Advent International in 2017. The company then embarked on a change in strategy in which a number of APMs were withdrawn from various countries and concentrated in Poland. After building a successful network in Poland, the company underwent an IPO in January 2021 on Euronext and raised €2.8bn. In July 2021 the company then acquired Mondial Relay for €513m. Mondial Relay operates a network of 10,500 pudo locations and saw a parcel volume of 140m in 2020. As a whole, InPost operates a group-wide network of 20,000 automated parcel machines, of which 16,000 are in Poland. The remainder are located mainly in the UK (c. 3,000 APMs) and Italy (c. 450 APMs).
The company announced that Mondial Relay operations will continue to be integrated into InPost’s network. This will give clients guarantees for next day delivery, as opposed to the 2-3 day delivery timescales which are standard across much of the region. InPost will be keeping the Mondial Relay branding as it is a well known ecommerce brand in France. Furthermore, it is continuing to expand its APM network in France, and has added 300 parcel lockers in the last year.
In the UK, the company announced a new partnership with WH Smith, that will see InPost’s lockers within WH Smith high street stores across the UK. In the UK, InPost lockers to date are positioned as outdoor lockers and the WH Smith deal is its first UK national indoor locker deal. The new partnership follows other agreements in 2021 with Transport for London, Tesco and Westfield. InPost completed a significant deal with Tesco to site APMs at up to 500 of the supermarket’s locations, and with the Westfield Group to add lockers at their two shopping centres in London. The UK has more than 3,000 InPost lockers across partner sites.
In Spain and Portugal, the Mondial Relay brand will be rebranded as InPost. In addition, InPost has reached an agreement with Galp, a leading petrol station network in Spain, to install parcel lockers at its sites. Locker installations are being rolled out in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia and Malaga.
InPost’s is capitalising on both the growing e-commerce trend and the need for sustainable delivery solutions. The Group’s strategy is to accelerate the ‘flywheel’ effect to drive sustainable long-term growth, to introduce additional products and to establish a foothold in the e-grocery market. In addition, the Group aims to ramp up its fulfilment offering to further enhance its speed of delivery.
InPost’s strategy taps into a key market trend – sustainable delivery. Many companies are seeking to reduce or remove fossil fuels from operations. John Lewis is now looking to expand its home fleet and has started to run a trial, replacing diesel delivery vehicles with electric. John Lewis is aiming to remove all fossil fuels from its fleet by 2030, transitioning 4,000 cars, vans and light trucks to EV by 2030. Furthermore, InPost lockers and pudo locations make it much easier for individuals to return items at time when returns are difficult and costly. Returns cost retailers millions to administer. In June, Asos said that it was facing a significant increase in returns, which contributed to its latest profit warning. Boohoo has become the latest online retailer to start charging shoppers to return items, with customers now being charged £1.99 when they send returns. The cost will be deducted from the refund amount.
InPost has come a long way since pulling APMs back to its domestic market. Its ongoing strategy is to position itself in a number of segments and countries to benefit from a confluence of market trends; sustainability, returns and ecommerce growth.
Source: Transport Intelligence, 21st July 2022
Author: Paul Chapman