The burgeoning business of e-commerce is providing new ways of delivering mail around the world.
Emirates Post Group (EPG) recently announced it would install automated and unmanned “e-lockers” at kiosks throughout newly developed parts of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the aim of boosting e-commerce.
Ebrahim Bin Karam, EPG chief commercial officer, told Gulf News the postal service will introduce the new system because of an increase in demand from e-commerce companies. Within the next two years, more than 100 e-lockers will be installed across the country, starting with Mena Seyahi, a tourist office in Abu Dhabi.
Jeremy M. Skyrme, EPG executive director of sales, told Gulf News: “We have partnered with DHL, UPS, African e-commerce logistics company Mara Express and e-commerce portal Namshi, whereby these companies will use our lockers to deliver shipments. Anyone can use the e-lockers as long as they sign a deal with Emirates Post.”
Skyrme said operations will begin in two weeks, adding 20 lockers are slated be installed by the end of the year. Each kiosk currently holds 38 lockers of different sizes, but future kiosks will offer lockers with about 70 different sizes.
Bin Karam said there has been a “huge increase” in volumes of domestic mail, adding the EPG is “focusing on innovative last mile delivery solutions for e-commerce players.”
“As part of its innovative services, we will be signing an agreement with retailers and begin selling their products through the portal and delivering them to customers,” said Bin Karam, who added customers can choose door-to-door delivery or pick up packages from the closest EPG branch or kiosk.
UAE STAMP SHOP
EPG also recently launched the UAE Stamp Shop, which is an online stamp-buying service for local philatelists. It currently offers 40 stamps issued from 2012-16, although more stamps will be added on a regular basis.
Similar to Canada Post’s Picture Postage program, EPG customers can also personalize their own stamps based on occasions such as Mother’s Day, New Year’s Day, or Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice).