Moving From Parcels to Mailbox Delivery: Good for the Customer, Even Better for the Planet

By Megi Kass, Sustainability Specialist at HelloPrint

In today’s digitalized world, almost everything can be delivered to our doorstep just with a simple click. No matter how ordinary or unique the product we desire is, online marketplaces offer the modern consumer anything they wish for – and the print industry is not exempt from this digital revolution.

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Custom print online is now easier than ever. As the leading online marketplace for customized printed products, HelloPrint has connected the largest network of print producers and carriers all across Europe to make ordering print as easy as ordering a book or shoes online. While we are all enjoying the benefits of this hyper-connected world, few of us stop to think about the environmental impact our online consumption and fast delivery have on the planet. Global online consumption combined with fast delivery comes at an environmental cost.

How we moved from parcels to mailbox delivery

At HelloPrint, our marketplace operates via a high-density network in 21 countries, where we connect local and international carriers with our customers. This way, our customers can order and receive their custom print products anytime and anywhere – and our delivery network is, therefore, a dominant aspect of our business.

Given the volume of shipping that HelloPrint undertakes, optimizing our processes is a key feature in guaranteeing efficiency in the delivery and shipping process. Armando Mattozzi, HelloPrint’s Logistics Specialist, and his team focus on optimizing delivery and shipping methods to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction. A recent development has been the introduction of mailbox delivery for HelloPrint’s custom paper print products, replacing the conventional parcel delivery for these products. 

The mailbox delivery method consists on sending paper print products in a very compact package that easily fits through the mailbox. Essentially, parcels were replaced with smaller packaging, which allowed these orders to be delivered together with other mailbox deliveries, reducing the volume of shipments and decreasing costs significantly. 

We managed to increase efficiency by nearly 50% while guaranteeing our customers that their order will be delivered on time, even when they are not at home to receive it. Armando Matozzi, Logistics Specialist at HelloPrint

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Environmental benefits of our new approach

While moving from parcel to mailbox delivery considerably improved efficiency, satisfaction, and costs, environmental benefits were hidden beneath the apparent advantages. Replacing parcel delivery with mailbox delivery has decreased the need for packaging material by 92%. 

According to Joshua Creighton, HelloPrint’s Sustainable Supply Chain Specialist, the mailbox delivery method has reduced CO2 emissions by 66% compared to traditional parcel delivery. In addition, this new service has many advantages for our customers and the environment:

- Reduces the amount of packaging needed. 

- Ensures a more efficient delivery process.

- Delivery time is guaranteed, eliminating the risk of customers missing orders and having to be delivered the next day.

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While sustainability has not been the driving force behind the mailbox delivery method, it perfectly illustrates how cost reduction, efficiency, and sustainability can simultaneously reinforce each other. Another lesson learned for us at HelloPrint, as this has proved to us how embedding sustainability can have economic benefits for our company and simultaneously have a positive impact on the planet.

On the Horizon

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At HelloPrint, sustainability is gaining momentum. From developing HelloPrint’s sustainability strategy and improving internal processes to creating more transparency within the supply chain, HelloPrint is eager to challenge the status quo of the print industry and facilitate the transition towards sustainability.

Currently, the mailbox delivery service is only taking place in the Netherlands. To expand the method and extrapolate the benefits, we are in the process of applying the principles to the rest of our international network, so that the new service will be available in many more countries soon.

At this stage, most of HelloPrint’s paper products are deliverable by mailbox courier. “So far, it has been going very smoothly with the process. There have been no complaints from customers or our print production partners. However, we are still working together with our partners to eliminate the last plastic components in the mailbox packaging, so we can ensure that our packaging is 100% plastic free”, says Armando Mattozzi, Logistics Specialist at HelloPrint.

As sustainability is still a recent focus, we are still in the process of integrating the mindset within all our teams and departments. However, the mailbox delivery method has set a great example of how we can improve our environmentally-friendly services by working together across departments in our company – and it has proven to us that we can succeed.

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