Hermes’s UK CEO has claimed IT is now a key differentiator for the delivery giant, as it begins delivering parcels to customers’ cars and starts construction of a new distribution centre this year.
In a talk at the Delivery Conference in London, Martijn de Lange trumpeted a range of announcements, including the new car boot delivery pilot the company has just launched with Volkswagen. Customers in Milton Keynes with the latest Volkswagen vehicles will be able to choose at check-out to have parcels delivered to their cars, with the courier granted one-time access to their boot using a code.
De Lange also highlighted the firm’s plans to invest £60 million in a new distribution centre named Colossus in Barnsley, Yorkshire, which will add 1.3 million parcels to the company’s capacity. Hermes also plans to roll out automation across its distribution centres and launch a dedicated returns hub.
The announcements were among a raft of measures de Lange characterised as investment in both product and back-end operations.
For customers, this year will see Hermes offering MyPlaces, a preference engine allowing customers to set preferences for all future deliveries, including setting their favourite neighbour and creating pin codes for access to the property. They will also be able to receive an estimated delivery date on their first notification and the ability to share delivery information through the app with family or friends.
But the firm is also expanding its pitch to retailers, offering a new enhanced returns option where consumers can specify which item in their order they were returning in the hope of receiving a quicker discount. For the retailer this will offer better visibility over what is coming back into their hubs, says de Lange. Also on the way are fully tracked returns.
De Lange gave a brief overview of the company’s recent progress, saying it had delivered nearly 390 million parcels last year and achieved its seventh year of double-digit growth. The company expects to deliver 430 million parcels in 2020.