The number sounds impressive at first: The Hermes Group has about 36,000 ParcelShops in more than 22 countries, of which more than 14,000 are in Germany alone. This means that it is not only the first and original of several parcel shop networks, but also the largest, most extensive national delivery network from a single provider in Europe. But the benefit of this network for customers and the environment is very tangible.
That’s because, following the “shop in a shop” principle, these Hermes ParcelShops are in locations like bakeries, newspaper stands, gas stations, beverage shops and laundromats. This means that customers with full-time jobs can take advantage of more flexible, often longer opening times that sometimes stretch into the late night hours or include Sundays. Supported by competent and personal service, these contact points serve as an alternative delivery address and make it possible to comfortably send or pick up shipments.
The direct proximity to the customer’s home - in Berlin, for example, the nearest ParcelShop is an average of 450 metres away - makes it not just highly flexible, but also has another positive effect. Many customers leave their cars at home and walk or take their bicycles to the nearest shop. That way, they do something for their health and also save fuel and CO2, helping the environment. After all, making a delivery at a Hermes ParcelShop results in 30 percent fewer CO2 emissions than a delivery to the doorstep.
Hermes recently launched its ParcelShop success strategy internationally: Since 2007, Hermes has maintained a logistics delivery system in Europe’s top markets, covering more than 85 of the European parcel market. Hermes is now expanding its continental presence through strategic alliances with leading national parcel services in the remaining European countries. At the same time, Hermes has introduced the Hermes EuroParcel product, which significantly simplifies cross border shipments. The service standards that apply in Germany and which have been honoured in various independent industry tests, such as the option to send deliveries to Hermes ParcelShops and customised return options, now also apply in Europe. Thus, depending on the destination country, returns can be made directly from the customer’s doorstep or at one of 36,000 ParcelShops in Europe.
These minimum standards are being complemented by individual, national delivery variants. A special added benefit is the unified track and trace system behind the product, which keeps customers and shippers alike regularly informed of the status of the shipment. In 2015, the Hermes network, which is currently focused especially on EU countries, will be expanded to other European countries - and will then include a total of 35 countries, including Russia.