We continue to benefit from the flywheel effect that is central to our strategy. We have added greater convenience by providing more APMs – up 53% on last year – including a 41% increase in rural areas. We also added extra capacity with the provision of 63% more compartments.
Increased network-density and enhanced productivity helped achieve economies of scale – underpinned by comparatively low labour costs. We now have almost eight million InPost mobile app users and have increased the speed of deliveries.
We added some 8,000 new retailers taking our total to 30,000 merchants, giving us a market share of more than 46.6% of the b2c market share in Poland. We will continue to strengthen our competitive advantage to support longterm sustainable growth and maintain our industry-leading position.
In 2021 we began a partnership with Makro, a leading food retailer, to support the launch of our new InPost Fresh app, which expands on our parcel delivery service to include fresh groceries. We also signed deals with Polish convenience store Żabka, to provide pickup locations in-store, and Shopee, a popular online shopping platform from Singapore, now making inroads into Europe.
Meanwhile, we continue to facilitate cross-border e-commerce on an international scale. For example, we have tightened our cooperation with global customers, including Shopee, OLX and Amazon.
Our reputation in Poland as the consumers’ preferred parcel delivery service is fuelling a growth in new contracts, alongside an increased focus on direct sales.
The deal has transformed the scale and the trajectory for our international expansion, where foreign markets become the new key capital allocation, while Polish Capex declines. We have delivered on key strategic priorities, and quickly established foundations to transform Mondial Relay’s offering over the coming years.
After the acquisition, we have increased pick up drop off (‘PUDO’) capacity and deployed our first 300 APMs in France. To achieve network scale and logistics quality, high capex is required. Initial uptake and reduction in dwell times have already proved positive. PUDO services in France help reduce the carbon footprint of a parcel and significantly cut associated urban traffic.
As well as opening a major new hub to serve the Paris metropolitan area, we will continue to install APMs in France in 2022. By leveraging our existing network of merchants and technology, we will drive additional parcel volumes and performance improvement.
In the UK, one of Europe’s largest and highest penetrated e-commerce markets, we gained momentum as retailers sought to capitalise on our consumer-centric, greener, faster, and smarter last-mile delivery services. The focus on the urban centres of London, Manchester, and Birmingham, presents a wide range of diverse opportunities to increase our units across the UK.
We have partnered with retailers such as Asos, Dune, New Look, JD Sports, Karen Millen and Schuh, which all want a convenient service, which is also carbon-friendly and reflects positively on their brands. We have also cemented our partnership with Vinted, the popular pre-owned online retailer to transform their delivery experience.
Partners, such as Transport for London, Tesco, WHSmith and Lidl, have placed APMs across their locations.
We work with a diverse range of firms to meet our logistics and supply chain needs. In France, we work with a total of 124 transport companies, and more than 600 delivery companies, and have over 11,700 pick-up and drop-off locations. In the UK, courier deliveries are carried out by Hermes and CitySprint for all products and services. We currently have 50 separate suppliers for the whole business in UK.