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Matkahuolto buys Smartmile parcel lockers, begins to build its own network of automated lockers – aims to create the best customer experience

20.12.2023

Matkahuolto has concluded an agreement on the first acquisition of parcel lockers in Finland by agreeing to buy Smartmile’s entire network of 148 parcel lockers. Smartmile will continue providing the parcel locker software services after the acquisition. The charge of the lockers will be handed over to Matkahuolto at the start of next year once the terms of the agreement are fulfilled, and the change will start to become visible to consumers from the beginning of 2024. The purchase will strengthen Matkahuolto’s position as the second-largest parcel operator in Finland and support the company’s ambitious growth strategy.

The acquisition of the new parcel lockers is part of the implementation of Matkahuolto’s new strategy to develop its service point network. Parcel lockers have already been vital for Matkahuolto’s parcel service network, but there are currently not enough of them for the growing customer need, especially since Matkahuolto is aiming to grow significantly in the coming years.

In addition to its own service points and parcel lockers, Matkahuolto will continue to incorporate automated lockers from its partner companies and in-person service points in its service network to ensure the best customer experience in the market.

With this acquisition, Matkahuolto has an excellent premise to build its own network of automated parcel lockers. We aim to expand the network and increase capacity, especially in areas where there is a great need for lockers. Our own network plus the lockers and service points from our partner companies will strengthen our position as the leading parcel delivery operator with the best customer experience in Finland and will support our ambitious plan to grow our turnover by 70 per cent,” says Kati Nevalainen, Director of Parcel Services at Matkahuolto.

The purchase comprises parcel lockers located in prime locations, including in connection with dozens of shops from Kesko, Lidl, S Group and R-kioski. Most of the lockers are located in the Capital Region, Tampere and Turku, but there are individual lockers also elsewhere in Finland. Matkahuolto is using Smartmile software to operate the parcel lockers and parties have agreed about long-term cooperation.

Finnish people prefer parcel lockers – No more long trips to claim a redirected parcel

The aim of the acquisition is to guarantee an excellent customer experience for Finnish consumers. Automated lockers are by far the most preferred collection points among the Finns. In a customer survey Matkahuolto conducted in November, nearly 60 per cent of the respondents said they preferred picking their deliveries up from an automated parcel locker.

The acquisition and the significant expansion Matkahuolto is planning for its network of automated lockers as well as the lockers and service points from its partner companies will enable Matkahuolto to ensure there will be enough parcel lockers as the number of parcel deliveries increases.

Parcels being redirected from a full locker is the number one cause of grievance for consumers in parcel delivery services. People are even unhappier if the redirection means their parcel will end up far away from the original collection point or if they have no say in the way the parcel travels. We are developing our services and network of parcel lockers to reduce the need for redirection as much as possible and to allow the customer to choose the alternative collection point themselves. It is our goal that people don’t have to run around looking for the parcels delivered by Matkahuolto. This acquisition will help us to reach that goal,” Nevalainen says.

Finnish people have rated Matkahuolto as the most valued brand in parcel services for several years in a row.

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