People behind it:
Name: Stuart Miller, founder and chief executive
Stuart Miller’s idea is to take something that already works in the business-to-business world, and market it to consumers. ByBox operates dropboxes – effectively, secure, leftluggage lockers – across the UK where deliveries can be made. ByBox already delivers over 20 million items a year into a network of 18,000 dropboxes – companies such as Coca-Cola, the RAC, Siemens and Ricoh use them to distribute the parts their engineers need on a daily basis. But now ByBox has signed a deal with BT where drop-boxes will be integrated with under-used telephone call-boxes on high streets for consumer use.
In the days of the nuclear family, the wife would always be at home to receive deliveries. Today, however, people either have to take time off work (and can never then be certain the delivery will turn up), or have packages delivered to their place of employment. ByBox’s solution is to set up secure collection points where consumers will be able to pick up their purchases on the way home, or while out doing other shopping..
The scheme has yet to be officially launched in the UK, although ByBox already offers a similar service in France and in Jersey. ByBox points out that last year there were 872 million deliveries of products bought online alone, 94 million of which failed first time. The other side of the coin is that the link-up with BT should secure the future of under-used call-boxes that might otherwise be removed.
How it fits
The BT/ByBox alliance has many points in its favour, not least the possibility of significant reductions in carbon emissions. The Government’s Green Logistics Programme estimates ByBox to be 83% more efficient than a traditional carrier, because ByBox delivers at night when roads are less congested and because of the benefit of consolidating multiple deliveries to a single secure bank of boxes.