14 March 2022
Last Mile, Shippings

Are Lockers and Pick-up Points the Future of eCommerce? Here are how many there are in the world

Italy is one of the countries that in recent years has seen a greater development of Locker Networks, i.e. lockers available 24/7 for the pick-up and return of goods and documents, and of Pick-up Points for eCommerce.

But how widespread is their use in the rest of the world?

Lockers in the United States

During 2021, also as a result of the pandemic, the US saw an increase in demand for more innovative and sustainable last-mile delivery options.

Indeed, Pickup Points and Lockers are increasing in number and are now available in various shopping centres, service stations, transportation hubs and retail shops.

Suffice it to say that companies such as FedEx, Amazon, UPS, DHL and USPS together offer more than 70,000 Pick-up Points and their numbers over the past year have continued to grow, as have consumer demands.

In fact, the convenience offered by this delivery option is unparalleled: in addition to being available 24/7, they can be located almost anywhere, making it easier to choose high-traffic areas where they can be reached by multiple users. They are also totally autonomous (they do not require staff to use them), secure (the end customer is the only one who can access the locker where his or her parcel is deposited) and allow for faster delivery (the average time to pick up a parcel is 10 seconds).

Lockers in the rest of the world

Singapore, despite an area of just under 1,000 square kilometres, has around 1,000 pick-up lockers, while China holds the absolute record for the total number of Smart Lockers: over 800,000.

Many European countries are also moving in this direction by entering into partnerships with logistics companies for delivery at Pick-up Points and Smart Lockers. To date, Europe has almost a total of 40,000 Lockers. Poland alone, for example, holds the record of 15,000.

According to estimates by the Portuguese company, the coming years will see the placement of more than 150,000 Lockers in Europe alone and 120,000 in the United States.

Consumer demands

The need for alternative eCommerce delivery solutions comes first and foremost from consumers.

Flexibility and sustainability are in fact the key words to interpret the trends of the near future.

In fact, according to research conducted by, more than 97% of people who have used the Smart Locker and Click&Collect service said they preferred these modes to traditional home delivery. Furthermore, according to a survey carried out by IPC (International Post Corporation) in 2020 on more than 33 thousand eCommerce purchasers from 40 different countries, Locker would already have been used by 39% of the sample, while as far as returns are concerned, this tool is the fourth most popular (especially in Northern European countries) with a percentage of liking increasing compared to previous years.

A solution that winks at sustainability

Locker and Pick-up Points also have a positive impact on the environment, reducing the number of trips and guaranteeing 100 per cent delivery. This is crucial, considering how much the last mile logistics pollutes.

A concrete example comes from the Netherlands, already known for its ‘green’ and ‘bike friendly’ lifestyle, where 62% of eCommerce customers declared that they go to pick up their parcels at Lockers using bicycles as means of transport.

Benefits for retail

In the UK, a study conducted by InPost between 2019 and 2020 showed that 61% of users who went to a Locker to make a return later also entered the shop outside of which the locker was located. In other words, using these solutions allows you to increase traffic not only online, but also in physical stores.

How to implement this solution on your eCommerce channel?

With GEL Proximity, you can immediately offer your customers more than 30,000 Pick-up Points managed by leading national operators. The GEL Proximity network is in fact composed of newsagents, stationers, post offices, Locker, tobacconists, shops and petrol stations. All points are enabled both for receiving parcels and for sending returns. Try it now, or contact us for more information.

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The largest library of integrations dedicated to Proximity services

Integrate over 30,000 Pickup Points in just a few clicks and get ready to manage new logistics solutions. You can connect GEL Proximity using our dedicated libraries and APIs or by downloading the module from your eCommerce software’s marketplace.