Finland’s postal and logistics provider Posti is making the service it provides to 3 million households and businesses across Finland smarter. It has rapidly expanded its parcel locker network by increasing use of smart technology in its SmartPost services and by introducing Connected Finland’s new IoT locks.

SmartPost enables packages to be picked up at the most convenient time and place for customers and has expanded to individual shops and shopping malls, as well as into offices and residential buildings. The new smart locks are used on SmartPost parcel lockers and were customised for Posti. The lock connects SmartPost lockers to the Internet cost-effectively, without the need for any other device, fixed data connection, or external power supply. The battery-powered locks utilise Sigfox’s 0G network for data transfer and were developed by Connected Inventions, a subsidiary of Connected Finland, the Sigfox operator in Finland.

The locks boost efficiency by enabling Posti to gather data when its customers collect their deliveries, helping the company to increase their capacity rates. Posti is aiming to increase the number of lockers in Finland to 4,000 by the end of 2022, with tens of thousands eventually deployed and plans to take the idea international.

Connected Finland is the Sigfox operator in Finland and Estonia and has offices in Espoo and Tallinn. It designs and manufactures Sigfox-compatible devices and manages IoT-based customer projects. It has also developed Foxer IoT – a multi-tenant service platform for all Sigfox devices.

Omnisperience’s View

Postal lockers have proved a popular option with customers during the COVID-19 crisis, with people choosing to have deliveries to them to facilitate social distancing during lock down as well so key workers can pick up parcels at times that are convenient to them. The lockers have also proved more efficient for postal services and retailers as deliveries can be made to a smaller number of locations, helping relieve pressure on stretched services. The COVID-19 crisis has meant that people who hadn’t used postal lockers previously have begun using them – delivering a long-term boost to the sector as customers become used to the concept.

Smartlock technology takes postal lockers a step further by supporting greater utilisation of lockers, as well as making them more secure for customers. 0G technology is inherently suitable for this type of application because it does not require a mains electricity supply as the low-power smartlocks can be battery powered. This means lockers can be deployed in more remote areas, for example.

Sigfox operators are creating a lucrative niche in logistics and postal applications which require scalability, low-cost and long battery lives. It has partnered with a number of postal operators, including DHL in Germany and An Post in Ireland. Omnisperience sees huge potential growth in the postal and logistics sector for the company – delivering ongoing revenues across a wide range of applications.

Posted by Teresa Cottam

Teresa is the Chief Analyst at Omnisperience and has over 25 years' experience in the telecoms and technology markets. She is an expert on SME and enterprise telecoms, and has considerable vertical market expertise. Her research focus lies in helping B2B telecoms firms become more commercially successful by better understanding and meeting their customers' needs. She is a judge of the GSMA Global Mobile Awards (GloMo's) for customer experience and enterprise innovation, and for the UK Cloud awards. You can follow her on Twitter @teresacottam

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