New products and services
We are developing new home-delivered services. We reach 2.8 million households every weekday, which allows us to provide various kinds of assistance for smoother everyday life. Home services will create new work and transform our company increasingly into a service company in addition to logistics.
Early in the year, we launched the first municipal cooperation within our new home services with the South Karelia Social and Health Care District Eksote. Posti’s employees helped Eksote’s home care clients as well as clients using services for the disabled in their daily lives as part of meal or mail delivery.
We also piloted a service cooperation with Securitas in sparsely populated areas in Muhos and Ylivieska. On weekdays, Posti’s security-trained employees took care of Securitas’ commissions in certain areas.
From May to September, consumers also had the opportunity to order a lawn mowing service for their home via Posti’s online shop for the first time. In the summer, we offered neighborly assistance during the holidays. Through July and August, Posti’s employees took also care of watering yards or balcony flowers and checking houses and its surroundings for uninvited guests, vandalism and water leaks.
In September, our customers had the opportunity to order a raking service for two Tuesdays of their choice from Posti’s online shop and Posti shops. We also took care of the disposal of fall leaves where necessary. Late in the year, we launched the Befriending Service aimed at senior citizens.
In OpusCapita, we expanded our offering by acquiring the German software company jCatalog, whose solutions in the areas of e-commerce, catalog management, supplier management and procurement processes complemented OpusCapita’s Purchase-to-Pay offering.
Our role in international e-commerce was strengthened in the spring when we established a pickup point network in the Baltic countries, which serves consumers and companies at shops and kiosks in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The network encompasses 1,200 item pickup points and is the largest pickup point system in the Baltic countries. Overall growth of e-commerce was also reflected in our parcel volumes; number of parcels delivered by Itella in the Baltics grew by 26% during the year.
We also strengthened our position in international online store logistics by joining the DHL partner network. The network offers harmonized international parcel deliveries in 16 European countries. Posti's full-year parcel volume also reached a record high, 34 million parcels.
We developed a new online grocery delivery concept that combines grocery delivery with the traditional delivery of mail and parcels. The cold chain is maintained throughout the delivery process by using boxes designed for online grocery deliveries.
Posti’s new Nearby Locker service enables sellers and buyers to exchange goods at a Parcel Point instead of meeting face to face. The seller and the buyer no longer have to find a pick-up time that suits both, as they can simply exchange the goods using a Parcel Point locker. In the pilot launched in the spring, the Parcel Point locker is used for storing and picking up goods.
We introduced a new parcel pigeonhole service in cooperation with the residential developer Bonava. The parcel pigeonholes to be built in new apartment buildings developed by Bonava will make the daily life of residents easier by making it possible to have items such as goods bought online, laundry bags or monthly deliveries of heavy bags of dog food delivered to lockable parcel pigeonholes in the lobby areas of apartment buildings.
Renewing traditional postal services
In the spring, we revised delivery routes and extended mail delivery towards the evening. The change has allowed the delivery of postal items and different types of services, parcels and products more flexibly to customers’ homes, also in the evening.
As communications have largely become electronic, maintaining different letter classes for consumer letters is no longer profitable. As a result, we combined the 1st and 2nd letter classes starting from the beginning of 2017. The new no-value indicator stamp will take the letter to the destination in Finland within 1–2 days from the mailing.
We signed a unique cooperation agreement with the online credit company Credit24. From May onwards, customers have been able to file credit applications at Posti outlets. Based on personal IDs, the identification service is available at over 600 service points. IPF Digital — the owner of Credit24 — is the first company in Finland to use Posti’s identification service for private customers.
Itella Russia expands into new business areas
Itella Russia aims to both grow its current businesses and expand into new business areas. One of the key growth areas is pharmaceutical logistics. We obtained a license for handling pharmaceutical logistics and our goal is to increase the share of pharmaceutical logistics in our overall warehouse logistics. Pharmaceutical products are stored in a separate high-security temperature-controlled unit.
In addition to pharmaceuticals, our focus in Russia is on food products, electronics and consumer products with fast turnover. We also seek additional income through supplementary services and e-commerce. The MaxiPost acquisition made in the spring allowed us to start parcel delivery in Russia. MaxiPost delivers about a million parcels per year. The company has 150 couriers in Moscow and 50 in St Petersburg. The aim is to increase the parcel volume to 1.5 million parcels per year.
The Khimki warehouse in Moscow is one of Itella’s largest warehouses in Russia. The 70,000 square meter warehouse has nearly 50 loading docks. One of its newest customers is the toy company MyToys.ru, whose e-commerce warehouse is also located in Khimki. The rows of shelves hold some 56,000 items at a total quantity of some 400,000 pieces. Each day, the Khimki warehouse receives thousands of orders, which are picked from the shelves, packaged and delivered to shops.