Online grocery is not new in Norway (nor anywhere else), however all the existing solutions where limited to the major cities like Oslo. Hence, the key point was enabling a service that could be offered all households nationwide a full-range online grocery solution with all aspects like pantry, fresh, chilled and frozen items.
COOP ( https://coop.no/ ) built an online store including all elements of their product selection. The solution encompasses delivery window selection based on what is offered per postcode, standard shopping basket, check-out and payment functionality online. COOP does the picking and packing at local stores iin more than 120 stores throughout Norway. These stores have been hand-picked to minimize distance to Norway Post delivery offices (most of them less than 3 km of way from the delivery office).
Posten Norge uses their full range of assets meaning in cities the currier/express business to handle deliveries (both daytime and evening), in more suburban type of areas parcels drivers are used, and in the remote areas the postmen (few orders per car). Posten Norge has a large fleet of cars in general and 100% cars in rural areas. For areas covered by the mailmen, service is limited to day time delivery (delivery window between 0900-1700).
Food safety wise temperature control is ensured through the packing process. All items packed in ordinary plastic bags, bags packed in plastic boxes with pantry in one zone/box, chilled in another and frozen in insulated boxes all with relevant cooling elements. Temperature is ok for up to 12 hrs (depending on local conditions obviously), but will be good for the duration of all routes. Packaging us ensured by COOP in the process and they provide the required boxes, insulation and cooling elements. Boxes are returned the next day for cleaning and sanitation. A key point enabling this is the proximity between the local COOP store and the postal delivery office, hence no time (nor temperature) lost in linehaul etc
Posten Norge does all the physical deliveries including the digital communication with end-customers regarding the delivery. The set-up is quite different from traditional ways of delivering letters or parcels being processed through sorting centers. As the grocery orders are just “orders” with local pick up, they follow a logic, more like a courier business. As a result Posten Norge uses the digital solution originally used for the express delivery business. The solution is fully integrated with COOPs online store and production processes. Local delivery managers dispatch next day orders to routes through the same system, which again is pick up by COOP for picking to orders and packing to routes. The system has a full 3rd generation driver support app with navigation, online customer interaction options etc.