Innovation That Matters

Neighbourhood pickup spots for package deliveries

Work & Lifestyle

Shipping and receiving packages is a source of considerable trouble for many consumers, if the number of stories we’ve already written on innovative solutions is anything to go by. Now, inspired by the fact that 50 percent of all packages require multiple delivery attempts before they finally make their way into the recipient’s hands, a new company based in Boston is focusing on making things easier at the delivery end. Currently in beta, PickupZone is a network of local neighbourhood pickup points that let consumers get their packages when it’s convenient for them. A variety of partner convenience stores, hardware stores, dry cleaners and others serve as pickup locations, offering safe and secure storage of packages and convenient hours of operation. Users with a package to receive begin by making sure it falls within the service’s guidelines—the combined length, width and height must be less than 60 inches, and the maximum weight is 30 lbs. They also select the participating pickup spot that’s most convenient for them. Then, when they place an order, instead of their home address they provide the unique identifier and customised PickupZone address that’s assigned to them upon registration. When their package arrives, they are notified by email and have 10 days to pick it up at their chosen pickup point using a secure confirmation code. PickupZone tracks all packages in its system from dropoff at the pickup point until the consumer picks it up, and it insures every package for up to USD 2,000 against loss or damage. It also signs for receipt in cases where that’s necessary. Using PickupZone is currently free, but future services may involve a fee, the company says. With benefits not just for consumers but also shippers and the environment—both of which benefit from the ability to aggregate deliveries and eliminate failed attempts—PickupZone could be a win-win-win for everyone involved. The company is currently growing throughout the Boston area, but aims to expand farther afield in the days ahead. One to partner with or set up locally! (Related: Laundry service by the locker.) Spotted by: Susanna Haynie



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