Pargo, South Africa’s leading smart logistics platform, today announced their partnership with Spar and the Lewis Group to become the largest pick-up point network in South Africa with over 2000 stores. People can now use selected Spar, Lewis, Beares and Best Home and Electric stores as parcel drop-off and pick-up points. The partnership allows Pargo to further strengthen their already extensive network, especially in the more rural regions in the country where parcel delivery is particularly challenging and can be very expensive.

Pargo is a  smart logistics company that enables retailers to offer a more accessible, affordable and convenient delivery service by solving the challenges of last-mile distribution. The company was founded in 2015 by Lars Veul and Derk Hoekert in response to the growing African ecommerce landscape and lack of available delivery and return options.

“Logistics is recognized world-wide as a friction point in ecommerce while it is a key enabler for the growth of online companies” says Derk Hoekert. He adds: “This is especially true in the African environment where 75% of the population lives in areas that are challenging and expensive to service. People that live in small towns and rural regions often have trouble receiving their goods and in major cities this is the case for people in certain townships, security living estates and major office buildings. This means that traditional couriers need an average of 2.5 delivery attempts for every successful delivery leading to high costs and frustrated customers.”

To solve these challenges Pargo has built an extensive network of parcel drop-off and pick-up points. Companies such as FNB, OneDayOnly, Cape Union Mart and African Bank use Pargo’s network to deliver goods to those customers who normally cannot easily be reached, or as a convenient option for customers that can’t wait at home all day for the driver. Customers can also use Pargo’s network to return any unwanted shopping items. Businesses  and consumers both benefit from lower delivery costs. This is achieved by Pargo’s 100% delivery rate at first attempt. Unlike people’s homes, Pargo Pickup Points are always open and manned when the driver delivers.

Bernard Oberhofer, director at ecommerce company, said the company has been offering the Pargo service for a number of years as an additional option to the traditional courier service being offered to their customers. During this time they have seen a considerable increase in the number of satisfied customers opting to use the service. He says “Pargo offers us a fantastic opportunity to further improve the customer experience. Not only is it convenient for our existing customers, it also enables us to cater to customers for whom home delivery is not a viable option. Pargo’s delivery is also significantly cheaper than our other delivery options. Without the Pargo option, it’s not unreasonable to say we would miss out on potential orders.”

Pargo is already operating parcel points at trusted retail chains like Clicks and Freshstop at Caltex, as well as hundreds of independent retail stores, and now has a Pargo point in every town and suburb in South Africa. The addition of the Lewis Group and selected Spar stores allows Pargo to further grow their network over 2000 stores and to reach their goal of a pick-up point within 2km of every South African.