Abricolis: a new way to ship parcels?

Many people are going crazy when it comes to packages (how to receive or send them). Post offices? They often have tight opening hours and when you work at the same hours, you just can't go there before a couple of days (if not weeks). Parcel delivery outlets? Well quite often, when you're not one of their regular customers, they will make you feel like you're not welcome. But in France (and I believe in other countries as well), a new possibility to send and receive packages is now available:  Abricolis by InPost.

How to receive a package

It's been a while (6 months, maybe more) since I first saw these funny containers on one, two, then three shopping zones. I didn't care much for them because I couldn't imagine how packages could be dispatched this way. Then I ended up coming closer to one of the containers and I saw the many small doors of different sizes behind which the packages are well hidden.

This is when I understood how the package delivery was working.

  1. The receiver receives a code via SMS/email
  2. On the Abricolis, there's a touching screen on which the person should identify themselves. To do so, they have to enter a phone number and the code previously received.
  3. The system confirms the informations match and open the door to the case where the package is.

How to send a package?

According to the InPost website, it's not more complicated than to receive a package.

  1. The sender prepares the packages and register them in the Package manager.
  2. He makes sure that he's in possession of the postal address, email address and phone number of the receiver,
  3. Ĥe selects the InPost Abricolis of the receiver and the size of the package.
  4. He prints the sticker and stick it on the package.
  5. He hands the package over to the InPost messenger.

A perfect solution? Not really...

The concept is quite interesting but from what I can see, there are two main negative points.

  • The size of packages is limited. Well when you're into letter-writing, you don't always send or receive huge boxes. But when I think of the package I sent a couple of months ago, I'm not sure it could be dispatched in an Abricolis.
  • The system is more for online selling websites, but also for individuals.... However an individual has to send a minimum of 10 packages each time.
  • As for prices, I don't know them, the website being quite basic. The fact that you can't check the prices without registering first doesn't really make me want to test this solution. Never mind, I will keep on putting my alarm on saturdays morning in order not to miss the few hours when I can go to my post office!

If you have a similar solution in your country, or if you're French and have tested the Abricolis, feel free to share your experience in the comments below!

 

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