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Delivery Box, Is It Customer Needs Or “Created Needs”?


Currently postal world was bombarded by the “campaign” of new delivery solution, so called “delivery box”.  Many kinds of variants of this box created by different companies, from the manual, semi digital, or digital ones. The companies tried to convince delivery service companies, including postal operators, that they provide the best solution for current main parcel delivery problem. Most of the delivery box companies offer the buyers/user with secure, convenient, unattended delivery value.

A company named Boxlock position itself as the specialist in secure, unattended delivery technology for homes and businesses. It has secured $4.5 million in equity funding from former DHL, TNT, Amazon, Microsoft and Pitney Bowes executives.

It was mentioned that BoxLock addresses both a business-to-consumer and business-to-business issue by providing effective solutions to ensure secure, unattended asset transfers during the most critical leg of the process – the final mile. The benefits are far reaching – higher customer and consumer satisfaction, enhanced supply chain visibility and savings, reduced theft, less traffic congestion and lower environmental impact.”

Another news came from Hamburg, a major port city in northern Germany. It was mentioned that currently Hamburg residents can pick up parcels at train stations as part of a one-year pilot by Deutsche Bahn and partners. Customers can collect parcels at 15 train and subway stations in Hamburg at RE, S- and U-Bahn stops.

Deutsche Bahn, Hochbahn and ParcelLock are working with Hamburg Box to group deliveries in convenient locations, offering an alternative to door delivery. Customers can have their delivery sent to the Hamburg Box via an online booking portal, with IT provider ParcelLock partnering with Hermes, DPD and GLS for the pilot program. Using the Hamburg Box is free for both registered ParcelLock customers or those logging on as a guest.

It shall be admitted  that for some cases, for some countries with a certain culture and situation the delivery value offered by delivery box is the right solution both for customers and delivery companies. The question is, will it be apply everywhere? Will it be the best solution for all delivery service companies to provide this delivery box for their customers?  Is delivery box really the needs or we are influenced to believe that it is our needs?

We need to be careful on this matter.

In marketing perspective, there is a basic principle that Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires.

But, there is another perspective that nowadays companies do more! They educate people and give them reason to buy their products and this is what people might call it “creation of needs” people purchase something when they need it, if they think they do not need the product they may not purchase it.

How many people today in Bangladesh need i-Pod? How many people really need Mobile + Internet + Camera + TV all in one set? How many people really need to go to space? They don’t need it at all, but they go.

Creation of need is not the function of marketing, but some people believe that it should be called Ultra Marketing! Or New Marketing!

Postal operators need to organise a sufficient proper research to find out what really matters for their customers in connection with mail and parcel delivery service, what main problems that currently hinder their satisfaction, and how postal operators create a value proposition that will satisfy their customers. Until then, we could not say that delivery box is our needs for delivery solution.




Commentary by Said Haryadi

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