2. March 2020 | Press release

Deutsche Bahn, HOCHBAHN and ParcelLock launch a new service: the Hamburg Box

  • In a one-year pilot, the partners in the cooperation are testing joint solutions for efficient and environmentally friendly bundling of parcel deliveries at central public transport locations.

  • Flexible and sustainable: at 15 rail and underground stations in Hamburg passengers can now use parcel stations which are open to all parcel service providers.

  • Practical experience at the pilot location Hamburg will serve as a basis for decisions on expansion to other cities.

Hamburg, 2 March 2020 - As of today, Hamburg residents can pick up their parcels at the station during their daily commute: at the Barmbek underground station Deutsche Bahn, Hochbahn and the IT company ParcelLock as well as the two parcel services Hermes and DPD unveiled the first of a total of 15 Hamburg Boxes. In the Hanseatic city these parcel stations, each with up to 146 compartments, can be used by public transport customers at regional, suburban and underground railway stations along their daily commuting route. Hamburg is the test area for the pilot project, which is initially scheduled to run for one year. Whether the model will be transferred to other cities is to be decided on the basis of the practical experience which is gained during the test run.

Hamburg is consequently the first city in which leading mobility providers, a parcel station company and several parcel services have developed a joint solution: the Hamburg Box links the busy transport hubs of a major German city with a possibility for taking delivery of parcels in a flexible and convenient way. Access to the facility is provided by ParcelLock, a software system which is unique in Germany. The location of the Hamburg Boxes at highly frequented public transport locations that blend seamlessly into the everyday life of Hamburg's residents makes the new service an attractive alternative to home delivery. The Hamburg Box is therefore a useful addition to other home delivery alternatives such as parcel shops, deliveries to neighbours or depositing parcels in a secure location.

Additional value for customers, retailers and parcel service providers

The network of delivery points in the northern German city will be made even more closely meshed by the Hamburg Boxes, creating additional benefits for customers, retailers and parcel service providers alike. In particular, public transport customers and commuters who are not at home during the day and travel daily by underground or suburban train can use the Hamburg Box as a delivery address, and integrate taking delivery of their parcels flexibly and conveniently with their daily routine. The result is time savings and fewer emissions caused by unsuccessful delivery attempts.

The Hamburg Box also offers retailers at railway stations a new opportunity for making goods available outside their regular business hours. They can have their goods delivered directly to the Hamburg Box via an online booking portal of Deutsche Bahn, thus combining online and offline trading. For the pilot launch, ParcelLock shareholders Hermes and DPD as well as ParcelLock delivery partner GLS are also offering delivery services to the Hamburg Box. Thanks to ParcelLock's open-access system, other parcel service providers and local retailers also have the opportunity to deliver to the Hamburg Boxes.  

The pilot project will initially run for one year. The aim is to use the experience gained in the test run to decide whether an extension to other cities with similar structures and conditions in public transport is advisable.

I am convinced that the future belongs to alternatives to home delivery. Thanks to the Hamburg Box we will be able to reduce the number of vehicle movements in Hamburg, which will relieve urban traffic volumes and benefit the climate."

Eric Malitzke, CEO DPD Deutschland

Sven Hantel, Head of Production DB Station & Service AG:

"As hosts at our Hamburg stations we welcome around 1.7 million people every day. With the Hamburg Box we offer our customers a new service to save journeys and time. In a smart city, railway stations as highly frequented hubs of modern mobility are the ideal locations for this new form of parcel delivery".

Henrik Falk, Chairman of the Executive Board of HOCHBAHN:

"Parcel stations on underground and suburban railways make perfect sense from the customer's point of view. It also becomes attractive when local services are added: on the way home after work travellers can collect their coffee from their favourite roaster or their shirt from the dry cleaner's. This opens up completely new opportunities for local retailers and customers in Hamburg's local transport network".

Gunnar Anger, Managing Director of ParcelLock GmbH:

"With the ParcelLock system, which is open to all service providers, we are the only German IT/technology company to offer a solution on the last mile of parcel logistics that efficiently manages both overall social aspects and the constantly increasing number of parcel deliveries. Since local supply is today already covered by online shopping, we and our partners offer a space-saving, environmentally friendly solution for tomorrow's smart cities, the retail sector, residential areas and private households, in order to enable successful first-time deliveries with the lowest possible environmental impact.

Olaf Schabirosky, CEO of Hermes Germany:

"The Hamburg Box shows how supply concepts for the city of tomorrow can be created through smart cooperation. We very much welcome the fact that for the first time, stakeholders from different sectors have joined forces to set up such a pilot project. As a delivery alternative open to all service providers at central locations, the Hamburg Box focuses on customer needs to the maximum extent possible and is a valuable addition to our comprehensive parcel shop network".

Eric Malitzke, CEO of DPD Germany:

"I am convinced that the future belongs to alternatives to home delivery. Thanks to the Hamburg Box we will be able to reduce the number of vehicle movements in Hamburg, which will relieve urban traffic volumes and benefit the climate".

The use of the Hamburg Box is free of charge and available to both registered ParcelLock customers and guests users. Customers can select the Hamburg Box as the delivery location during the ordering process, and then receive an access code to open the compartment.

The Hamburg Box is one of around 130 ITS projects in Hamburg, which are coordinated by the ITS Project Management Office at Hamburg's Hochbahn AG. ITS stands for "Intelligent Transport Systems" - systems which use digitalisation to make the mobility of people and goods more efficient, more secure and more environmentally friendly. Many different stakeholders from the city itself as well as the business and research sectors are working together to make Hamburg a model city for new mobility concepts. The ITS World Congress will take place in Hamburg in 2021, and more than 12,000 visitors from all over the world are expected. From 11 to 15 October 2021 Hamburg will become a hotspot for the mobility of tomorrow.