Another package delivery at your door at half past ten in the evening: Businesses are looking for edges

You order something from e.g. clothing store H&M. The next day, you will be notified by the delivery service that your package is on its way. You have to wait a little longer, because it will be delivered between 22.05 and 22.30.

It is a scenario that may become more and more common. For how large delivery services such as PostNL, Budbee and DHL state that they deliver by 10 pm, the delivery service Instabox delivers by 10:30 pm. And the company that supplies H&M, Bijenkorf and Bol.com, among others, is growing enormously in our country with one million deliveries a month. For comparison: last year it delivered less than 250,000 packages a month.

‘Prefers a package, but then later’

“We especially do not want to be hypocritical,” Instabox CEO Sam Rohn told RTL Nieuws. “We could also communicate that we deliver until 22.00 and then call at 22.15 for a traffic jam or flat tire as a surprise. But it gives frustration to the customer and we do not want it. We know that too. The customer would rather have visit after ten o’clock and receive the package than we have to return a day later. “

Instabox tries to schedule all deliveries up to a maximum of 22.00. But with about eight hundred vans on the road every day, a delay lurks. “That’s why this room is built-in.”

The company notes that customers respond differently to subsequent visits, as can be read in discussions on social media. For example, one writes: ‘So someone is going to ring the doorbell (at + -22.37) while we and the kids are sleeping’, another: ‘I think late delivery is super nice!’.

The door does not open after ten o’clock

Rohn: “We see that most people like it because they are home more often at night than during the day. But some customers find it annoying, we see that a few percent of customers no longer open the door after ten o’clock. in the evening. opens. After a quarter past 10, about twenty percent no longer open and after 13.00 we almost always receive a complaint. Our starting point is therefore always delivery before ten o’clock. “

Reasons why customers complain about delayed delivery are, among other things, that the children are already in bed, they want to sleep themselves or no longer find it safe to open the door so late. “We also realize that if we arrive late, we have to abide by the decency rules. For example, we only ring the bell once, and when the light is off, we do not ring at all.”

You are currently unable to select when the Instabox delivery person will come to you. If your package is expected to be delivered after kl. 22, you can indicate that you no longer want this. The package is then placed in a parcel box, or the delivery person returns at another time.

‘Delivery services continue to experiment’

The fact that deliveries appear at the door later and later is a trend that has been going on for some time, says Niels Agatz, associate professor of transport and logistics at Erasmus University Rotterdam. “Evening delivery has been around for years, but delivery services continue to experiment and are increasingly looking for the edges: what do customers still accept?”, Says Agatz.

“Companies feel the pressure to keep delivering for as long as possible so that they can deliver as much as possible. In addition, the later you deliver, the longer the customer has to order: something that companies are also increasing. Therefore, it is attractive to extend the delivery period, but there is now a backlash from customers who no longer find it acceptable that someone is so late at the door. “

‘Let the customer choose’

Agatz has been researching offering delivery time windows for years. He sees that it is important to leave the choice to the customer. “There is a group that is fine with opening the door as late as it is still late awake. But there is also a group that is in bed at ten o’clock. If you do not give the customer a choice, they may. So problems arise. ” Instabox does not work with time slots, but says they want to do so in the future.

Whether delivery services will extend the time even further remains to be seen. Agatz: “I think given the discussions that are already going on, this time is the limit for now. But I also think that in the future there will be companies that will offer time windows with even later times. Be that you are in bed at ten o’clock, but the neighbor has chosen to have his washing machine delivered at eleven o’clock. And then a new discussion probably arises. “

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