Bob Group rolling out smart lockers across South Africa

In August 2023, Bob Group unveiled Bob Box – a nationwide smart locker and counter solution providing secure, convenient, confidential shipments and collections.

Bob Box lockers are open to all couriers in South Africa, giving users more options for where and when they collect their online purchases.

“No more waiting at home for deliveries. You can collect what you’ve ordered while you get on with your day,” Bob Group explained.

Bob Box provides an alternative to the South African Post Office, which is struggling to survive and has lost the trust of South Africans.

Speaking to MyBroadband, Bob Group managing director Andy Higgins said when Bidorbuy was launched, most parcels were shipped using the Post Office.

However, trust in the Post Office deteriorated to a point where very few people trust it to deliver eCommerce packages.

This created an opportunity for private courier and logistics companies to provide reliable package delivery services.

Higgins told MyBroadband he expects Bob Group’s smart locker parcel service to be a game changer in the local eCommerce market.

“It will significantly impact eCommerce, especially in informal areas where people can have their parcel delivered to a locker or pickup point,” he said.

Smart lockers had a big impact in many markets globally, including Europe and Asia. Higgins expects the same to happen in South Africa.

“Smart lockers will help to bolster eCommerce adoption in South Africa, especially in market segments where it has not taken off yet,” he said.

Andy Higgins
Bob Group CEO Andy Higgins

What differentiates Bob Box lockers from other options in the market is their affordability and resilience against load-shedding.

The lockers are locally designed and manufactured, emphasising customisation to accommodate the unique requirements of operating in South Africa.

Instead of using traditional cellular networks for connectivity, Bob Box opted for an Internet of Things (IoT) solution.

“We came up with a battery-supported solution that is not dependent on external Eskom power to function,” he said.

For it to work, the system was designed to use very little power and has coverage in all areas – including deep inside shopping malls and basements.

For this reason, Bob Box uses narrow-band IoT connectivity, which requires very little power and has excellent coverage and indoor penetration.

Bog Group designed its smart lockers to offer users an affordable, secure, and convenient delivery option.

  • Convenience – Lockers offer 24/7 pickup, suiting busy schedules.
  • Security – Lockers protect packages from theft and damage.
  • Contactless – Make use of an OTP (One time pin).
  • Efficient last-mile – Lockers streamline costly last-mile deliveries.
  • Centralised pickup – One-stop location for the pickup of multiple orders.
  • Environmental impact – Reduced emissions with consolidated deliveries.

Bob Box currently has 12 locker locations in Gauteng, with a target to reach a minimum of 150 locker locations nationwide by the end of 2024.


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