You've got mail: parcel machine networks grow in Latvia

Six companies in Latvia have established parcel networks - Omniva, DPD, Latvijas Pasts, Venipak, Itella, and Unisend Latvija. According to data collected by the Public Services Regulatory Commission, 13.3 million parcels were sent and received in 1,172 parcel machines in the first half of last year, Latvian Radio reported on March 22.

The number of parcel post offices is increasing every year, and businesses are thinking about introducing new services, for example, from March some of Latvijas Pasts parcel post offices will also be able to send letters.

Venipak has been operating in the Baltic market for 20 years. Its CEO Sanita Bērziņa said that the company currently has more than 200 parcel machines across Latvia, and demand is increasing despite competition:

"After the end of the Covid [pandemic], when people returned to their jobs, this proportion has changed - to receive in a parcel instead of at home, so there is competition, but there is also adequate demand so that all market players also have their niche."

If there is competition in the sector, businesses need to think how to retain existing customers and attract new ones. "Venipak machines no longer require a PIN. There are no PINs to enter, just a QR code that is sent, scanned and the door will open," said Bērziņa. 

"We are planning to introduce a new type of service where you can set up a forwarding address and send with a few clicks, as well as sending without a label and receiving without any paperwork. At collection, everything will be done electronically, using existing AI tools and building new ones as well."

Jānis Grants, Chairman of the Board of DPD, said that the company owns more than 300 parcel lockers and will be assessing whether it needs to install 50 more:

"The level of competition in Latvia has increased, especially last year. This year we have been joined by Unisend, so yes, there are enough of these parcel suppliers, the competition is fierce, but we have been in the Latvian market for 25 years, we have the experience, we have the knowledge. And as for plans, of course, our volumes are lower than during the Covid period, but they are higher than before the Covid period."

He said that as of March customers can use an app to track the delivery of goods.

Meanwhile Latvian Postal Service (Latvijas pasts) started building a network of parcel machines relatively late, but Jānis Kūliņš, a member of the company's board, said that the company's goal is to create the largest network of parcel offices in Latvia. By the end of the year, the plan is to install 440 and next year more than 500 machines across Latvia.

"If there is no physical post office there, then of course we are trying to put a parcel machine there. There are different criteria, of course - the number of customers in a given locality, a convenient location for the customer, for example, next to a shopping center, where everyone goes. We are also still working on the possibility for Latvian residents to send their parcels to machines all over the Baltics. We have a Memorandum of Understanding with Lithuania Post on cooperation in this area," said Kūliņš.

Latvijas Pasts is also working on an app. According to Kūliņš, since March, letters can also be sent from some of Latvijas Pasts' parcel machines:

"The post box is installed in the central part of the machine under the customer screen. Basically, the customer can also drop a letter in the mailbox at any time. Currently, there are four letterboxes - in Pāvilosta, Jelgava, and two in Riga. All newly installed machines will be equipped with these mailboxes, but in the coming months we plan to equip all previously installed mailboxes with this functionality as well."

It is hoped that competition in the parcel machine industry will not only lead to new services, but also to more affordable prices for customers.

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles


Most important