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Pelipod ‘first time every time’ delivery service

By Chris Dawson February 4, 2015 - 9:24 am

Pelipod LogoOne of the biggest problems facing both ecommerce retailers and carriers alike is failed deliveries. No one wants a failed delivery, least of all the end consumer. The trek to a delivery depot, knocking on neighbours doors or hunting around the garden for a package left in a safe (ish) place isn’t the best delivery experience.

Currently a mid way solution is local collection, this can be click and collect, parcel shops from the likes of myHermes or Collect Plus, or lockers from companies like InPost. At The Delivery Conference one new business thinks they have the solution.

Pelipod

PelipodPelipod assert that most alternate parcel delivery solutions (be they lockers or collection points) don’t address the root cause of the problem. Sure they avoid a missed delivery, but it’s still a mild inconvenience. Pelipod’s solution is to provide you with your own personal theft resistant box big enough to contain multiple parcels and capable of receiving deliveries from multiple carries in one day.

This isn’t just a lock box, the Pelipod is a smart box, each parcel you receive will be assigned a unique unlock code (either from a retailer who has integrated the solution, or by the consumer). The unique code will be included in the delivery address enabling the courier to unlock the box and deposit the parcel. Of course you will use a different personal code to unlock your Pelipod to retrieve your parcels.

Once a parcel is delivered your Pelipod will email you to let you know you’ve received a delivery.

It doesn’t stop there though, there’s a full audit trail. The Pelipod takes a photo each time the box is opened so there’s a track if a parcel really was deposited or if an item is removed.

What if the box itself is stolen? It can be secured with bolts to hard standing or alternatively securely attached with theft resistant cable to a suitable point on the house or eye bolt. If the unit is stolen then the Pelipod support team will not only remotely lock it down so it can’t be opened, they’ll also track its location using the smart internal electronics.

Retailer Benefits

Retailers who integrate with Pelipod will have a unique insight into their customers. No longer will deliveries be hit or miss, they’ll not only know when the item is delivered but they’ll also know what time you routinely retrieve your parcels. This could give them knowledge such as if it’s worth upgrading your delivery to a pre-midday service or if you never collect your parcels until evening allowing them to use a lower cost service.

Knowing not when an item is delivered, but when you actually receive it can also help the retailer be smarter with their marketing. If they know the precise time you received an item they could potentially trigger a customer service email offering return information, offering tech support or even requesting an online review or product recommendation.

Larger retailers will also over time be able to track collection times which can give guidance for when they may need more customer support reps for return request or tech support thus managing their staffing levels more efficiently.

If you have returns your customer will also be able to leave them in the Pelipod enabling the retailer to provide a unique code to enable the carrier to collect the return.

Small online seller benefits

If you’re a small online retailer who’s daily shipments will fit inside a Pelipod you can work with your courier to enable them to collect your day’s shipments. Simply leave them in the Pelipod and your eBay or other marketplace orders will be shipped without you needing to wait in all day for the courier. Pelipod will take a photo before and after the courier collects so you’ll have proof that your parcels really were collected as well as having the peace of mind that only the courier with the unique code can retrieve your parcels. It’s certainly more secure than what I used to do… leave them unsecured in the greenhouse or shed!

Costs

Whilst Pelipod have some introductory offers on their website, ongoing cost to the consumer for a Pelipod is likely to be around £10 per month. That’s everything even including replacement batteries being sent to you when your Pelipod reports they’re running low. If you factor in time and petrol costs in retrieving missed deliveries it seems like a pretty reasonable cost and certainly favourable compared to some locker solutions.

What do couriers think of Pelipod

Couriers apparently love the Pelipod – it makes their lives easier. However it’s still fairly new and only rolled out to a relatively small group of end users. Here at Tamebay we’ve asked to test one so hopefully we’ll be able to tell you more soon.

We want to know if it really is easy enough for couriers to use with no instructions. Will they leave tracked and scanned parcels, will they figure out the one time code on the delivery address. What about parcels which need to be signed for, will they accept leaving it in the Pelipod as proof of delivery? If we can get our hands on a Pelipod we’ll do some tests with deliveries using a number of different couriers plus the postal service and let you know the results.

  • 2 years ago

    I found myself looking at the Pelipod and trying to imagine it in action. One of the first problems that jumped to mind was the actual dimensions of the thing. Do you have any idea of its dimensions or does it perhaps come in a range of sizes.

    I ask this as often the packages that I receive are quite small. But over the last couple of weeks I have received a few much larger ones. Obviously in those circumstances I would probably opt for a larger one.

    Then comes the next problem. Where would it fit in the garden or close to the house where there would be something secure to fix it to. Obviously if I had the dimensions I could go out into the garden and try to envisage it in place.

    As for security. I looked at the image of it and wondered how a potential thief might break into it. The easiest and simplest surely would be to pick up such as a garden spade from the garden and ‘bash’ the lock. Looking at the black lock it does not look that secure. So just how strong is the device.

    However having said the above I must admit that it is probably the best idea that I have seen and could very well be the basis of a final solution to the problem of packages put in dustbins and thrown over fences.

    • 2 years ago

      It’s big enough for a couple of crates of wine!

      The lock is a keypad combination lock underneath the plastic flap. Looked pretty strong to me but obviously nothing is impossible to break if you’re determined enough. However assuming it’s in view near the front of your property any burglarious types will probably prefer your garden shed around the back out of sight ;-)

    • 2 years ago

      Just to answer a couple of the technical points.

      The Pelipod measures 61cm Deep by 61cm wide by 70cm high. It is affixed to the home by a steel cable secured within the Pelipod.

      It is pretty strong; you could stand on it without deforming it and even if you could get the top keypad off it isn’t possible to get to the lock – not without using an angle grinder.

      It has been reviewed by an ex-policeman who now advises on security.

    • 2 years ago

      Thank you for the dimensions. I do wonder about the ‘you could stand on it without deforming it’. Surely that depends on just how big and heavy you were. As I am over 6 foot and weigh over 20 stone does that include me?

      I live in a small rural village. I can see a lot of demand for the pelipod from the inhabitants of rural properties who might not have close neighbours. I have lived in places where the closest neighbour was a fair old hike away.

      In such situations a potential thief could have time to work on the pelipod to break into it. As I said in my earlier posting there could be garden spades and other garden tools lying around the garden or even large heavy rocks from the rockery and this combined with plenty of time could give the thief time to really put the security of the Pelipod to the test.

      So has any Destructive Testing been done to one of these to see just how resistant they are to a determined thief?

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      a determined thief just needs to break a window in most houses to get at a whole house full of swag
      why would they waste time on a box that may or may not have a package inside, as long as this box has reasonable security to stop the passing opportunist why worry

    • 2 years ago

      There is a degree of truth in that. But if a potential thief has just seen a Courier drive down the lane and stop and unload an interesting looking package. Well it might attract the Thief especially if he knows that Mr X is an avid collector of expensive whatevers.

    • 2 years ago

      Firstly, I was just trying to convey the general strength; I’m sure there is someone big/heavy enough to deform it.

      Destructive testing has been undertaken throughout the prototyping. Is it completely burglar proof? No. It is 4mm polyamide and can be cut with an angle grinder (which requires power) or a saw blade – but it will take a long-time to break through.

      The advice given to Pelipod was that it is virtually impossible to make something completely burglar proof without spending a lot of money (even £50+ bike locks get broken into), the aim is to make it hard and take time to break into and balance this against what someone will be prepared to pay. Sadly, this is so the prospective thief decides to pick on something else that is less secure.

  • Anna
    2 years ago

    My mum has the low-tech version of a pelipod round the back of her house (basically a big plastic box). She loves it, and most of the regular couriers know to use it if she’s not in.

    • 2 years ago

      The low tech version also has the advantage of cost. No £10 per month charges. It is relatively easy to use. All you have to do is lift the lid. So easy that just about all Courier Drivers, even the thickest, will be able to work out how to use it, eventually.

      The same feature means that security is poor. All the thief has to do is also lift the lid. If the lid is correctly put back in place after use then the low tech one is reasonably weather proof. One problem maybe the one that often affects postboxes in rural areas…slugs and snails moving in and munching on the contents, especially if they get damp.

      Resistance to force is poor. If I was to stand on it the result would not be a pretty one. The box would probably break up but as these things never, ever, break up evenly the chances are that I would end up on my face on the ground.

      But if Mrs Smith only buys low value items and clothes(especially if she is a peculiar size and shape) it maybe that her purchases are of little interest to anybody else.

      Relatively easy to obtain at relatively low cost. After all any ‘Staples’ has plastic storage boxes with lids in stock in a large range of sizes.

  • 2 years ago

    Thanks for the write up much appreciated.

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    it needs to be able to sign for packages before it really takes the hassle out of deliveries
    though iif the credit card co paypal ebay amazon etc accept digital evidence as proof
    we think its the future of on line shopping and click and collect is history

    • 2 years ago

      Pelipod has an audit trail of every opening and closing as well as the photographs related to this.

      Discussions are underway with all couriers to accept this electronic signature as a “signed-for”.

      Actually, as the user has a unique PIN and every parcel has a unique code – for opening of the Pelipod – it is more secure than the sometimes unreadable scribble on an electronic pads used by drivers :-)

  • James
    2 years ago

    Fantastic concept

    How does it work if someone forgets to close the pelipod? Presumably it auto shuts?

    • 2 years ago

      The lid is heavy enough to close itself. If for some reason it isn’t shut within 10 seconds an audible buzzer sounds as a reminder.

      If still not shut after 30 seconds an internal message is generated, which then results in an email to the Pelipod owner to tell them that the Pelipod lid is open.

    • 2 years ago

      Surely the lack of an automatic closing device is a weakness. After all surely the main usage of the pelipod will be for such as residences where often nobody is at home to take deliveries. Both Mr and Mrs Smith are out at work. The Courier Driver makes the delivery but for some reason does not lock the lid securely. Sending an email to Mr Smith at work in the city many miles away is unlikely to answer the problem.

      Then of course Mr Smith gets home at say 9pm. Mrs Smith got home at say 6pm but between the courier delivering at say 11am and 6pm it has rained and the parcel and its contents are now soaking wet and possibly ruined.

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      could be the Russians invaded and Red army special forces were using it as a forward base

    • 2 years ago

      The Pelipod should be located a couple of inches from a wall. The hinges actually stop it go all the way back. Therefore, the lid is never beyond 90 degrees.

      The weight of the lid is such that it will usually close fully, but may, on occasions, require a final push (for the last half inch). It would not be left in such a state for the parcels to left open to the rain.

  • 2 years ago

    A very interesting and exciting concept! I wonder whether consumers are actually going to be happy to pay £10 per month for this level of service? Obviously if you’re constantly going out to pick up missed deliveries this makes sense, but I wonder if this is the case for the average consumer?

    Imagine having something like this bundled in with your Amazon Prime membership though…

    • 2 years ago

      As Pelipod put it

      “Would you buy someone a cup of coffee to wait in for your parcel deliveries and collections, every week?”

      Of course not every would want to pay that – but to some people the hassle and cost of missing a delivery is worth paying that little bit extra.

  • james
    2 years ago

    its the size of a washing machine and costs £6 a month.
    i have absolutely no issues receiving parcels and i still want to sign up for one!

  • elvis
    2 years ago

    There’s something I don’t understand…. You say any courier can use it by getting the unique one time code of the delivery address label on the parcel. Say I jump on a website now such as ebuyer and buy a laptop which they send by one of their many couriers. How is the unique unlock code generated, how does the pelibox know to generate one and how do I know what it is to add it to my address, and how will the mystery courier know to read the address label for the code?

    • 2 years ago

      Assuming that eBuyer aren’t integrated with Pelipod, as a consumer you’d jump on the Pelipod widget and generate a one time code (lets say you generate 1234) and simply insert “Pelipod 1234#” as the first line of your shipping address.

      It’s highly unlikely that the shippers at the retailer would even notice the code, let alone pop round your house to use it. Plus once the courier has used the code (as it’s a one-time code) it’ll be useless from then on anyway.

    • elvis
      2 years ago

      ahhh very good indeed.. So with widget you pop on to generate a code. Is that online on their website or is the widget generator on the peli unit itself?

      If it isn’t on your peli unit, and done on a website then how does your peli unit know that’s the code?

    • 2 years ago

      Online…. If you have a Pelibox you’ll have an account linked to your box so that you can track which codes have been used to open the box (carrier, you, partner, kids…. if you’ve given them codes) as well as generate new codes as and when you need them.

      I can see all sorts of uses for this… for instance your mother/brother/father/sister/mate/in-laws/builder etc is due to visit and you’re going to be out when they arrive… would be a great place to leave them a key and a one time pass code to access it.

    • elvis
      2 years ago

      Think I am gonna have to give this a try for £6/month. What are the obligations if I don’t want it after 6 months?

      If anyone from Peli is reading this, a small compartment on the inside of the lid for a key would be a great idea to add to what looks like an already superb box.

    • 2 years ago

      That’s a really fine idea.

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Elvis,

      The policy at Pelipod is that you can cancel at any time with a one month notice. Pelipod then arrange for the collection of the Pelipod.

      Pelipod don’t believe in onerous or complicated contracts, but do believe in making life as easy for consumers as possible.

    • elvis
      2 years ago

      Are there costs to the customer for cancelling or returning the unit apart from the one month notice?

    • 2 years ago

      No other charges than the one-month notice (assuming the Pelipod hasn’t been trashed, as that wouldn’t be fair to us).

      The key idea is a good one – we will look into that.

    • Peter King
      2 years ago

      Why would you want to leave a key inside, so the courier could pop in and make a cup of tea ?

    • 2 years ago

      Pelipod allows people to give a secure code to their friends to collect something, e.g. a key to let themselves in or, say, a child’s school bag that was accidentally left behind. Similarly, if your child left something at a friend’s house, your friend could leave it in the Pelipod (after being given a secure unique code).

      Each code use (transaction) is logged for generation and use, providing an audit trail of activity.

    • 2 years ago

      I wonder what proportion of the population have a key hidden somewhere in the garden. Perhaps on top of the door frame, under a plant pot, in the greenhouse, etc. Not one of them secure in any way shape or form.

      So a secure key safe on the Pelipod must be a good selling point. In case anybody asks. No I do not have a key hidden anywhere in my garden. So please do not come round expecting to gain access to make a cup of tea(as I do not drink tea you might not even find the ingredients to make a cup of tea).

  • Tinker
    2 years ago

    Could be an answer to collect in person and paypal chargeback payment problem

    • 2 years ago

      It is also great for Returns – carrier collections

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    not wanting to tell my granny how to suck eggs
    though if it were ours we would be working hard trying to get the big carriers and logistic firms to make an inclusive offer on it as part of the contract
    we would even pay royal mail a commision to use offer it

  • Simon M
    2 years ago

    If you come up with a solution to take delivery of the Pelipod, then I’ll be seriously impressed :-)

    Actually, it’s a great idea – I’m very close to signing up – just not sure where to put it :-/

    S.

    • Peter King
      2 years ago

      Delivery solution is simple, just offer an installation service, install turns up, stick and eye hook in the wall and attaches box to it then puts the key/code through your letter box.

  • Mark
    2 years ago

    It is good to have a universal system not linked to any one courier company or retailer. This is one of the main downsides of most of the locker or click and collect systems.

  • Steve
    2 years ago

    Having worked at at a place with a keypad entry for deliveries, the couriers had the keypad number as a part of the first line address; It was a nightmare, even the regular delivery drivers seemed incapable of typing in the number in front of them. We had to abandon it in the end, as the couriers just started leaving packages at the door and not even bothering to try; or taking them back.

    • 2 years ago

      So far we have had really good feedback on carrier driver usage of the Pelipod – there is a small, three step instruction card on the Pelipod to help with this.

      Carrier depots are also working with us on training/explaining to the drivers.

      There is a big benefit to the individual drivers as by using the Pelipod they don’t have to return with a delivery or take responsibility for leaving in an unsafe place.

  • Gerry007
    2 years ago

    .
    We paid out before Xmas to make a lockable secure gate to the side of our premises. We then popped onto ebay & bought a key box:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HIGH-SECURITY-STEEL-WALL-MOUNT-KEY-BOX-WITH-COMBINATION-LOCK-SAFE-STORE-KEYS-CAR-/400531428281?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item5d418893b9

    Now all deliveries have a note of the combination on the delivery note, so they open the box, unlock the gate, place packet inside, lock gate, put key back inside key box & lock it…..Simple.

    Works fine, so far!!

  • boardsurfer
    2 years ago

    It’s got to be better than the Lego Treasure Chest one of my customer uses.

    I kid you not!

  • James
    2 years ago

    It’s not exactly a new idea. Something similar was on Dragon’s Den a few years back. Needless to say they didn’t invest. Far too niche.

    Also “Pelipod” doesn’t really say anything to the consumer.

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