It’s a #firstworldproblem many can relate to.
We get home, and there’s a note on a gate telling us we’ve missed a parcel.
Now we either have to take time off work and rush to the post office or give up a Saturday morning in the long line just to pick it up.
Startups have popped up attempting to solve this, either by getting parcels delivered to collection points that have longer opening hours and someone to receive the parcel or by providing lockers that can be accessed 24/7.
Not to be left out, Pos Laju also introduced EziBoxes to the market last year.
Here’s how an EziBox works. If you’re not home to receive your Pos Laju parcel when it arrives, you won’t get a note on your gate anymore (if you’re within the covered area, of course).
Instead, you’ll receive an SMS informing you that your parcel is currently in an EziBox.
All you have to do is head over and collect your parcel from their boxes that are accessible 24/7, within 48 hours.
The EziBox service is being offered for free for users. For now, these are only available in 60 locations across 4 states: KL, Selangor, Johor and Terengganu.
Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said last year that in just 2 months, Pos Laju served 30 million walk-in customers for its courier services.
When your company delivers 400,000 parcels a day, you do have to think of ways to efficiently service your customers.
“The introduction of Pos Laju EziBox is one of the initiatives to better serve our customers’ e-commerce needs where they can now get faster, flexible and free accessibility that is closer to their homes or offices.”
–CEO of Pos Laju, Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh
Eventually, Pos Laju also plans to extend the use of these boxes to online shoppers.
Sometime soon, buyers might be able to set EziBoxes as their alternative address, and just pick up their purchases at times more convenient to them.
As long as the maintenance of these boxes remains consistent, we can imagine EziBoxes being a powerhouse asset to Pos Laju a few years down the road.
With a better coverage, this might see them get a one-up over other courier providers who don’t offer similar services.
With growing traction, Pos Malaysia even has the option of eventually opening up these boxes for couriers that aren’t Pos Laju too.
But this got us to thinking.
Does this spell trouble for the startups in the same field?
As a relatively young branch of logistics providers in Malaysia, the logistics fulfillment industry here in Malaysia does overlap with the services.
We posed this question to Dylan from Collectco, a startup that allows you to send, collect and return parcels at collection points. Here’s what he has to say.
“We’re all offering the same solution. But it’s also good to uplift the market because self-pickup is a new concept, so the more people come in, the better.”
That being said, he’s not too concerned.
“To set up a locker is not that easy, compared to training staff over the counter. I think that eventually, self-pickup is the direction that everyone will head to, but I believe that the market-fit now is more towards an over-the-counter solution, because of the human touch.”
“How we offer our solution is also end-to-end. This includes everything from the courier to the box, and the self-pickup. So I would say that we’re competitive with them, regardless of what price they put.”
He concluded, “I think that the solution we provide is something that everyone would be looking for, instead of a more high-tech solution like the locker.”
We also caught up with Nicolas Chin from PostCo for his thoughts as well. PostCo’s main selling point is allowing users to send deliveries to any partnering collection points for pickups later.
“At the end of the day, there are over 100 logistics players in Malaysia,” said Nicolas.
“I don’t think it will affect us at all. I think for PostCo, from the get-go, you can shop from any tender, any retailer, not a single courier company. So you can buy from Instagram, from USA, on a forum, and you can use PostCo because we run a copy-and-paste address model.”
“We link up to multiple logistics providers and multiple online stores. They’re an open model. Some people use our points for Airbnb key dropoff points as well. So it’s very different than just parcels. ”
We do think that these startups have a point about liaising with more than just one courier company, versus the EziBoxes that most likely will only and always cater to Pos Laju, regardless of how they expand their business.
But even if we come to a future where the businesses of EziBoxes and self-pickup startups overlap, it can only spell better things for the consumers, who will not have to deal with monopoly pricing (imagine if there was no Grab to counterbalance Uber in Malaysia).
It becomes all about adding value. And the customers can only keep winning from that.
Feature Image Credit: MITIMalaysia on YouTube