Hermes tested its “PaketFuxx” service in Nuremberg for a year and a half. The parcel service provider has now extended the pilot project to the cities of Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden. Around the same time, three founders from Cologne brought the start-up “DropFriends” to life. Whether it’s PaketFuxx or DropFriends: Both companies are pursuing the same goals: they want to simplify package delivery, make it more environmentally friendly and relieve parcel service providers.
“DropFriends connects people so they can independently unpack the things they love the same day, regardless of delivery times and services,” says Martin Peters, one of the three founders. Hermes delivers a similar message on its website: “ParcelFuxx is a network of helpful people who are often at home and happy to accept packages for their neighbors. A PaketFuxx is at home when the carrier arrives and you are not there. “
More online orders require new delivery methods
Both companies know how people shop today. Instead of wandering through department stores and malls for hours looking for a specific item, many people simply order a jacket, a new pair of shoes, or even a wooden spoon online, while relaxing on the couch. And if the shoes don’t fit or you don’t like the color of the jacket, the products just come back.
But as comfortable as it is for the buyer; the supply chain spans several links. Parcel service providers like DHL, Hermes, DPD and Co. in particular feel this over and over again. Before Christmas in particular, the delivery men are on the gums. Also, if you are not at home, the package will be delivered to your neighbor or the nearest kiosk, at best. In the worst case, it ends up at a post office and you can pick it up the next business day. Lucky is the one whose branch is still open when you don’t prevent it yourself.
DHL relies on metal cabinets, Hermes and DropFriends on neighbors
DHL’s solution to problems: around 4,500 Packstations in Germany. Anyone who opts for one of these cabinets can theoretically pick up their package throughout the day. Hermes and DropFriends try to solve problems with people. Neighbors are supposed to be paid to accept packages for someone away from home.
How does it work? When you are ready to accept packages for neighbors and other strangers, you can download the respective application on your smartphone and register. Be it PaketFuxx or DropPoint, this is how the Cologne start-up calls its acceptance points: the procedure is similar in both cases.
Buyers of shoes, jackets or wooden spoons are shown in the same application where they are PaketFüxxe or DropPoints. When placing an order, enter this data as an additional address or delivery address. Highlight: You can choose a nearby PaketFuxx or DropPoint that is “open” even when you have time to pick up your package. In the app you can see if your package has already been delivered.
Heavyweight vs. Home: this is how PaketFuxx differs from DropFriends
A PaketFuxx that wants to accept packages for others can be found in the application by name and address. So private data is revealed, as in the past, when the phone book was still on display in every phone booth.
Also, your PaketFuxx acceptance point works similar to the post office. You don’t know who will come to pick up your package and when the person will appear. Possibly 5 a.m. before work. Or Sunday night at 10 pm It is questionable if the plots are insured if there is fire or water damage inside your house. Also, like PaketFuxx you have to store deliveries at home for up to ten days. If the customer does not come to pick it up, they must initiate the return. At least that gives an extra bonus.
In DropFriends, the system looks a little different, although the idea is similar. Anyone who wants to open a DropPoint and accept parcels for neighbors is only shown with their profile photo and name. And only when you sign up for the app. Also, you only need to keep the packages for five days. Returns are handled by the start-up itself The downside compared to Hermes’ PaketFuxx: so far there are far fewer drop points. But you can specify the hours that your own DropPoint is “open”. Also: you can determine yourself how many programs you want to accept and how big and heavy they can be. If you only have a small apartment and the maximum has already been reached, additional reservations for your DropPoint are only possible again when the shipments you have have been picked up. Like PaketFuxx, you must accept all shipments that the package delivery service provides to be transferred.
Here’s what “neighbors” can gain by accepting packets
At DropFriends you get between 50 cents and 1 euro per accepted package. If the package remains with you for five days before it is collected, you will receive an additional 4 euros for the storage time of the package. Also, collectors can send you a tip through the app.
Hermes PaketFuxx, on the other hand, only spits out 30 cents a pack. But it is free for customers. This means that shipments that can be delivered to a PaketFuxx cost no more. DropFriends charges 99 cents for this service.
The advantages of PaketFuxx and DropFriends
Be it Hermes or DropFriends – the advantages are obvious. Both services relieve road traffic and reduce CO2 emissions due to less driving. Also, you can get your shipment delivered quickly if you can’t accept it yourself.
However, PaketFüxxe and DropPoints also function as a kind of outsourced post office. Follow the first review of PaketFuxx. A Play Store user criticized the service: “Great idea in itself. Unfortunately, this encourages some couriers to stop ringing people’s bells, regardless of whether they are there or not. “