Amazon has launched Amazon Hub, a new parcel pickup service in Australia. Here’s how it works.

Amazon has launched lockers and pickup services in Australia. Image: Supplied.
  • Amazon has rolled out parcel pickup locations in Australia, beginning in Victoria and New South Wales.
  • Named the “Amazon Hub”, customers have the option of picking up their parcels from lockers or from the counter at select stores.
  • Amazon aims to have more than 100 pickup locations open by the end of the year.

Amazon is coming for your parcels, Australia.

On Wednesday, the e-commerce behemoth made its next big move, launching Amazon Hub – a network of parcel pickup points – in New South Wales and Victoria.

The new service involves two pickup options: either through lockers or at selected counters. The lockers are available in Commonwealth Bank branches, Victorian Authorised Newsagents Association (VANA) locations and Stockland Shopping Centres. Counter pickup meanwhile is currently live in more than 100 VANA locations in Australia, with “hundreds of more locations coming soon”.

The service is available at no extra cost and you don’t need an extra app.

Here’s how Amazon Hub works in Australia

When you order something on the Amazon website, you have the option of selecting either locker or counter pickup. Then, you punch in your postcode and a map will appear showing pickup points near you.

“We’re only going to show you locations that we know have the capacity and capability to receive that parcel in the time that we promise to you,” Patrick Supanc, worldwide director of Amazon Hub told Business Insider Australia. “That’s really important — we don’t want there to be any uncertainty.”

When your parcel arrives, you’ll get an email with a unique barcode and six-digit code. Then all you need to do is head to the locker, either scan the barcode or use the code, and retrieve it.

“Most customers are able to get their parcel out of that locker in less than 10 seconds,” Supanc added.

If you choose the counter option, you still have to show either your barcode or your six-digit code to staff members. The only difference will be for the staff working in the selected pickup points themselves, who will need an Amazon app to be able to match the right person to the parcel.

Supanc added that Amazon wanted the app to be easy to use and reliable, so for staff members it’s able to be used offline as well. Once the parcel arrives, you’ll have three days to collect it from a locker and 14 days to get it from a counter pickup.

Supanc added that Amazon wants to ensure its delivery speeds with the Hub are the same as what customers get with home delivery.

“We don’t want this to be a slower option or a less convenient option than what you could receive if you’d ordered it to [your] home,” he added.

The next step of Amazon’s fulfilment centres

Amazon Hub comes shortly after Amazon unveiled its new fulfilment centre in Perth – its third in Australia. Supanc explained that the three main focuses for Amazon in Australia has been on its fulfilment centres, fast shipping speeds and increasing its range. The Hub, he said, is the next step of Amazon’s investment in its fulfilment network.

Supanc explained that when it comes to delivery, some customers didn’t always prefer home delivery.

“That’s because they’re busy and they won’t be home for that delivery. They live in a high rise apartment building which doesn’t accept doorstep delivery, they’re travelling [or] they may be ordering a surprise gift for a partner and they don’t want that to arrive on the doorstep,” he said.

While Amazon launched its locker service in the US back in 2011, it only began rolling out its counter service in the UK and Italy this year. Now as it launches in Australia, Amazon hopes to have “thousands of more [Amazon Hub locations] across the country coming in 2020”, and not just in New South Wales and Victoria.

“We’re very keen to be expanding beyond that,” Supanc said. “We’re in discussions with a number of partners and we’re looking for additional partners who can help us grow the network rapidly beyond these two initial states. It’s just the start.”

Similar locker services are being rolled out by Australia Post

But Amazon isn’t the only company with delivery lockers. Australia Post, which deliver Amazon purchases around the country, already has parcel lockers in more than 350 sites throughout Australia.

On Monday, Australia Post even announced a partnership with fulfilment technology company Doddle to boost the number of its ‘collect and return’ locations. With those, customers can pick up or return their online shopping at a variety of sites including post offices, 24/7 parcel lockers, pharmacies, supermarkets and department stores across the country.

“‘Pick-up’ services are the fastest-growing delivery option globally and with 35% of Australian consumers picking up an online order last year, the potential in this market is huge,” Justin Dery, CEO of Doddle Asia-Pacific, said in a statement.

And Doddle isn’t the only company to partner with AusPost. Qantas signed a deal with the postal services provider to deliver parcels by air, with three Airbuses to be used exclusively for freight delivery.

Each of the Airbuses will give Australia Post the ability to deliver an extra nine tonnes of post every year.

Good news for online shoppers everywhere.