Hermes, the consumer delivery specialist, has increased the number of lockers available for its customers to use to return or send items as part of its drive for contactless delivery and to support social distancing.

The lockers, operated in partnership with InPost, are located in a variety of safe and secure outdoor locations around the UK and are open 24/7 hours, enabling people to access them during quiet times without the need for personal interaction. There are also plans in place for additional InPost lockers throughout the country, including sites close to hospitals to support NHS staff and other key workers. Locations can be found in the Hermes ParcelShop finder.

Martijn de Lange, CEO at Hermes UK, said: “As the country adapts to changes around social distancing and self-isolation, we are providing more delivery options for customers across the country. As part of this we have increased the numbers of outdoor lockers located in local communities from 450 to 831, enabling more of our customers to send and return parcels in a safe way during these challenging circumstances.

 “We would ask people to use the lockers sensibly and to be mindful of the government advice regarding essential travel and suggest that customers might consider using this service as part of their daily exercise routine. This is also important as some of our independent ParcelShops may be subject to changing opening times or closure as things develop and we are urging customers to double check ParcelShop openings before they travel to them.”

This latest announcement follows Hermes’ decision to introduce other changes to provide ‘contact-free delivery’ right to everyone’s doorsteps. These include:

  • Asking customers to choose a safe place for deliveries. Anybody due to receive a parcel should visit the tracking section and choose ‘divert’ to select a safe place. This can also be done through the Hermes app, within the MyPlaces section.
  • If a safe place hasn’t been chosen but there is somewhere safe to deliver the parcel, then couriers will leave it there, even when there is someone in the property. A photo will be taken and this will be included in the delivery notification email.
  • For parcels requiring a signature, our couriers can temporarily do this on behalf of the customer to avoid unnecessary contact via hand-held devices. This will only happen when the customer opens the door and gives their name for security reasons. The courier will stay at least two steps away.  .
  • If there is no safe place available, we will attempt delivery 3 times.