Pick-up and drop-off (PUDO) parcel network, Hubbed, has announced launch plans for Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and The Philippines, where it will switch on 3,000 additional network locations, to bring its total network size to 8,500 locations. It is also eyeing the US, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia for further network expansions.

Founder David McLean said even though Hubbed is growing overseas, the boom in local online retail activity has made significant room for further growth in the Australian market.

In the first week of May alone, Australia saw 109% growth in online transactions compared with the same period the previous year.

McLean said there are three key reasons Hubbed has grown so quickly since it was established in 2014. Firstly, Hubbed is a unique network of 24/7 convenient locations with parking and no queues. Secondly, its safe and secure locations are trusted because the network meets compliance standards. Thirdly, deep investment in technology integration with logistics partners.

“Hubbed was established in the Australian market at the right time. Having grown our network from the ground up, we have remained the experts at managing PUDO networks – and we have been a big supporter of small, local businesses throughout our journey,” he said.

Since 2014, Hubbed has grown to more than 2,000 locations, captured significant market share, launched in New Zealand, and is about to expand to nine overseas markets.

With a background in the technology and retail sectors, McLean recognised that newsagents, once the centre of local communities, had become a distressed channel. So he put his own savings into starting Hubbed, which included hiring three staff members and developing a multi-service technology for newsagents, which included parcel collection. In the first year, Hubbed onboarded 300 newsagents across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Hubbed then began approaching logistics companies to utilise the technology. A significant problem that logistics companies were experiencing was having no place to leave parcels if they couldn’t be delivered. Hubbed fine-tuned its technology to make it parcel-collection centric and skewed to carriers. Its first client was CouriersPlease in 2015, when the Hubbed network was at 500.

In 2015, Hubbed brought on DHL. That same year, it attracted investment from Singapore Post. The investment enabled Hubbed to refine the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of its PUDO network over two years and expand its network of carriers and locations. Last year, Hubbed enabled carriers to invite customers to choose their preferred Hubbed PUDO locations directly through the technology.

Hubbed’s agnostic technology solutions enable online retailers to seamlessly integrate ‘Click & Collect’ in their existing systems – regardless of the carrier – allowing them to exercise complete control over the carriers they use. Similarly, carriers can utilise Hubbed locations to drop off and pick up parcels, increasing their success of first-time deliveries. Consumers also benefit from having 24/7 access to convenient locations, such as a 7-Eleven store or a BP service station, to collect their parcels.

In 2017, Hubbed partnered with Toll and in 2018, it brought on Sendle as a client, and partnered with Pack & Send to expand its network further. Last year, Hubbed began working with FedEx and UPS and brought Repco stores into its location network.

Hubbed’s carrier clients began asking if the network could expand in overseas markets. In 2019, Hubbed leveraged the Pack & Send, Repco and GAS petrol station networks to launch in New Zealand with over 200 locations.