The market for automated locker-banks, currently dominated by ByBox and ParcelXchange, as well as in-boot deliveries is getting a shake up with a new player stepping in – ParcelPal are now offering an independent solution to all logistics providers, carriers and other organisations with time-critical 24-hour field service parts exchange needs. "ParcelPal aren’t a logistics provider", says their Managing Director Steve Bungard, "We’re a technology provider for the logistics industry".
Their offering is an automated system with modular, expandable lockers suitable for anything from a single locker installation on site or at an engineer’s home, up to a centrally located locker-bank with a maximum of 99 lockers.
The primary locker utilises GSM / GPRS (mobile phone) technology to perform all the communications for the system with internal data storage and back-up battery allowing it to continue to perform through power failures and Internet outages. The power is provided from any domestic type mains socket, a power adaptor (think mobile phone charger) and a low voltage, intrinsically safe cable running out to the unit.
Locker-banks can be constructed using one of the two size lockers available, by extending the primary locker with a number of simpler secondary lockers. This modular and expandable construction allows the company to offer a cost effective solution for both single installations as well as large locker-banks.
Their latest offering includes full bar-coded consignment Track & Trace facilities with data access, both manually through their web interface, as well as a fully automated and client integrated service.
Their locker access systems are unique, firstly by the access methods used, and secondly with the facility to cope with the unexpected. Each system uses a primary access method depending on the application and client requirements, together with a secondary access method for problematic deliveries. The access methods include the use of ID cards for identification and locker access as well as PIN code access and an innovative intercom phone, which can be used to call a central call-centre allowing the system to be operated remotely in real time. Bungard commented, "Having a time-critical item stuck in a locker is something that simply cannot be tolerated".
ParcelPal’s future is set to shake up the locker-bank market with Bungard stating, "We have secured funding on the back of a large order from one of the largest UK logistics providers, together with significant interest from both UK and international players. As a result we are asking interested parties to order now, to ensure a November delivery, for what is proving to be an extremely popular offering."