With the increase in the volume of express delivery, all delivery to the door, the pressure on the courier is increasing

Can smart express cabinets solve the problems of the express industry?

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  The emergence of smart express cabinets can provide users with a 24-hour self-service pickup service, which seems to allow the "last mile" problem to be solved effectively.

In just a few years, the smart express cabinet industry has competed and capital has swarmed.

Relevant experts remind: to solve the problem of unclear business model.

  "Unexpectedly, the things I bought on Taobao can be obtained from the rookie pick-up counter in Paris!" Li Qian, a student from Chongqing in France, told reporters on October 17 that he could pick up the item by entering the pick-up code. The location is not far from the place of residence. I got it on the way back to the dormitory, and many foreign students said yes.

  In September of this year, the first batch of express cabinets set up by Cainiao in Paris, the French capital, was officially launched, with a total of 60 groups, mainly set up in the local core business districts and scenic spots. Foreigners rely on Chinese express cabinets to realize their freedom of pickup.

  In recent years, the emergence of smart express cabinets has solved the pain points of mismatched delivery time at the end of express delivery, low efficiency, high cost, and "contactless" security.

As a new solution for the "last 100 meters", it has become a new outlet for the industry.

  Recently, the State Post Bureau issued a report on the economic operation of the industry in the first half of 2021.

Data show that the volume and revenue of express delivery services completed 49.39 billion pieces and 484.21 billion yuan, an increase of 45.8% and 26.6% year-on-year, respectively, and the growth rate was more than twice that of the same period last year.

In 2020, China's express service business volume will grow at a growth rate of 30.7% to 83 billion pieces, an increase of 5.4 percentage points from the previous year.

Express cabinets quietly rise

  As "Double Eleven" and "Double Twelve" approach, China's e-commerce sales will once again set a world record.

As a supporting service for e-commerce, China's express delivery industry is enjoying the dividends brought about by the prosperity and development of online shopping, and at the same time, a large number of delivery hits the end of major express companies.

  In recent years, the express cabinet, a small box with a square foot, has gathered users, properties, couriers, express companies, and express cabinet companies. The "last mile" battlefield has been crowded and unbalanced. Big industry giants have come to seize the market.

  From the perspective of the entire service chain of express delivery, the end is a particularly important link and the link with the strongest user experience. Therefore, there is also a lot of room for innovation and improvement.

In the current market structure, there are dozens of large and small smart express box companies across the country, mainly including express delivery, e-commerce, property and third-party service providers.

Behind the accelerated layout, the Eight Immortals crossed the sea and each showed their magical powers.

  According to a recent survey of the ways that netizens interviewed by the State Post Bureau receive express delivery, express delivery stations, smart express cabinets, and downstairs collection points have become the choices of most Internet users interviewed, accounting for 26.3%, 21.2%, and 20.5%, respectively.

In addition, some netizens surveyed like to wait for someone to be at home before arranging delivery by a courier.

However, only 13.7% of the netizens surveyed chose to place the express delivery at their doorstep.

  The reporter combed and found that the smart express cabinet has been launched for many years, and it is still facing the problem of loss.

The data shows that Fengchao's net profits in 2019 and 2020 are -781 million yuan and -245 million yuan, respectively, and China Post Express' net profits are -517 million yuan and 159 million yuan respectively.

The two major express cabinet brands with the highest market share are facing long-term losses.

  In fact, since the outbreak of the epidemic, the problem of the "last 100 meters" of express delivery has also been concentrated. During the closed management of the community, the express cabinets in the community can only be idle.

As the community "lifts the ban on couriers", contactless delivery is still a habit of people, and the frequency of use of express cabinets has further increased.

However, after the overtime charging of express cabinets was started, it affected the willingness of price-sensitive residents to use it to a certain extent.

Or become the outlet for capital to enter

  On January 7, 2021, Henan Yida Warehouse Information Technology Co., Ltd. completed a strategic investment of nearly 35 million yuan. The investors are Jingdong Group, Suning Group and Pinduoduo.

Yida Warehouse was only established on December 16, 2020. Less than a month after its establishment, it received a joint investment from three major home appliance companies.

  The three major e-commerce giants and three fiercely competing rivals in the industry have simultaneously targeted smart express cabinets, causing a huge wave in the industry.

Express cabinet manufacturers have ushered in a "good start" in 2021.

  In fact, express cabinets have more profit points and strong operability.

Experts in the industry said that there is still a big gap in the number of express cabinets across the country. Coupled with the development of the international market, the express cabinet industry, a blue ocean of 100 billion yuan, is a new outlet for entrepreneurs and investors. The development potential of smart express cabinets is huge.

  Bu Hua, the head of Cainiao's European region, told reporters that due to the impact of the new crown epidemic, more overseas consumption has shifted to online, and the contactless pickup mode provided by self-pickup counters has been greatly welcomed in overseas markets.

It is estimated that by the end of the year, Cainiao will set up 650 sets of self-pickup cabinets throughout France.

  According to data from Tianyan Check, as of October 17 this year, there are more than 800 express cabinet-related companies in China.

Among them, more than 280 companies will be added in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 54%.

  According to a report previously released by the State Post Bureau, in 2020, the number of intelligent express cabinets nationwide will reach 750,000, and the market size will be close to 30 billion yuan.

  In just a few years, the smart express cabinet industry has competed and capital has swarmed, forming a pattern of competition among the three major systems of express delivery, e-commerce, and third parties on the same platform.

During this period, Fengchao is also accelerating external financing and expansion. Following the 500 million capital increase in shareholders’ capital in June 2016, the company completed two rounds of financing totaling 5 billion yuan in 2017 and 2018 respectively, and in September 2017 , Acquired CIMC e-stack for 810 million yuan, becoming the industry's first terminal layout.

  At present, many foreign companies are studying how to turn cars into mobile express cabinets.

Just last week, the Volkswagen Group's sub-brand Skoda announced that its Skoda Digilab mobile joint venture has begun testing the on-board parcel delivery system with two online retailers in the Czech Republic.

  JD.com also launched a similar product earlier, named "Express to Car".

The principle is similar. After the owner of the online purchase order, the purchased goods are delivered directly to the trunk of the vehicle, and the courier receives the location of the vehicle through the GPS signal.

Authorized couriers, after applying, do not need the owner to be present to open the trunk of the car, so that the goods can be delivered properly.

Solve the unclear business model

  “Express boxes have certain public service attributes as terminal delivery facilities, and their quasi-publicization is feasible.” Researcher Mo Yuanming, Chongqing Jingyu Provincial Development and Planning Research Institute, said that the top-level design should be accelerated, and specific guidelines should be formulated. Calculating the "fine accounts" can not only achieve universal low prices, but also ensure the enthusiasm of market entities for development.

  The cost of express cabinets mainly involves hardware, maintenance personnel, and site costs.

The cost of a set of cabinets (hardware) ranges from 18,000 yuan to 60,000 yuan.

The increase or decrease of operation and maintenance personnel is also positively related to the number and coverage of express cabinets, that is, the more express cabinets, the more people are needed, so the cost is relatively stable.

The cost of the venue is generally directly related to the amount of express delivery, the location, the amount of demand, and whether it is exclusive.

  "The end of the express service must be reformed." Zhou Yang, senior director of the strategic planning department of YTO, told reporters that if all the items are delivered to the door, 150 express items per day for each courier is already the "ceiling", but the number of YTO express items increased last year. More than 40%.

During the "14th Five-Year Plan" period, the absolute size of the entire express delivery industry will be larger, and the problems caused by personnel restrictions will become more prominent.

  Chen Shunfeng, President of ZTO Express Tuxi, said that in the future, Tuxi will be built into a terminal network brand that meets the diversified needs of users in express delivery, commerce, and integrated services.

Taking logistics as the cut-in, business flow as the income, and the diversified comprehensive services of the whole community scene as the stickiness, making Tuxi an indispensable part of the delivery chain.

  "The current business model of express cabinets is not clear." Wang Yong, a logistics expert and a visiting professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, told reporters that at present, the main income of express cabinets depends on charging couriers as little as 3 cents and as much as 1 yuan for storage costs. The source is relatively single.

Although Fengchao and Cainiao Station have opened up other businesses such as advertising and retail, they have achieved little success.

  Fengchao CEO Xu Yubin once explained the business logic of Fengchao's construction of express cabinets: on the one hand, it is to make money from express companies, "to reduce the requirements for labor skills with uniform service standards, so that express companies and users can feel stable terminal express services. "On the other hand, it is to make money from the user side." Fengchao digs deeply in user behavior data. In the future, we will use technology to drive this chain."

  Our reporter Li Guo, intern Li Jun

Keywords: cabinets, delivery, business model, industry, emergence, problems, pressure, increase, volume, problem, express cabinets, self-service pickup service, li qian, courier, capital