Pune, Maharashtra, India | 3rd February 2020: The year 2020 begins a new decade, so the innovations will also be interesting and unique, and we shall get to see various high tech products and services in action. One such innovation is a Digital Parcel Locker, called a PodBank, and is made by a company called Podrones Logistics Pvt. Ltd., a startup with big plans based in Pune.
PodBanks are typically deployed in office complexes and residential societies. Delivery persons drop parcels into the PodBank, and recipients in such buildings can collect their parcels from the PodBank any time of the day. This relieves them from the hassle of waiting at home for a parcel or leaving meetings or their work to go and pick up a parcel on the delivery person’s schedule. This also allows real estate managers to secure the flow of delivery personnel in their buildings, and provides convenience for the tenants – those who receive parcels from online and other shopping.
ICICI Bank recently launched a new initiative named “iBox”, which is based on the PodBank. A first for the industry, it consists of a PodBank from which customers can collect their deliverables such as debit cards, credit cards, cheque books and returned cheques. The iBox is typically placed in the ATM lobby of branches in 17 cities, thus allowing customers to pick up their deliverables 24×7. Customers are therefore no longer limited to picking up their deliverables only during banking hours. Not only that, they do not have to stand in the queues at the counter – they simply use the OTP based verification system to login on the touch screen and the locker containing their deliverable opens automagically!
The company’s CEO Aniruddha Gupte told us that the PodBank is the first electronic locker manufactured in India. The company also makes individual Pods for use at the door to a house or flat. They have integrated their operations with the leading eCommerce companies, banks as well as 3PL providers pan India, thus allowing delivery personnel of those companies access to drop off parcels at the PodBanks and Pods. In addition, Podrones also provides their own delivery services. In the future, a significant number of deliveries will be performed by drones. The company already has a patent on the delivery of parcels to lockers using drones.
PodBanks will become ubiquitous in the future – for parcel deliveries as well as pickups, even for storage! How the little red Post Box on the street corner has evolved!