Google shutting down its BufferBox delivery service, will work to integrate it into Google Shopping products

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Back in November of 2012, Google acquired the then 2-year old startup BufferBox. BufferBox was a service that provided customers with temporary lockers in certain locations to accept packages at from online retailers. At the time of the acquisition, Google said that BufferBox would “keep doing BufferBox,” but today, Google has announced that it is shutting the service down.

The BufferBox team now says it will work to “bring the learnings, technology and expertise of the team to future Google Shopping products.”

For those that are BufferBox customers, the company says it will stop accepting packages on March 31st, 2014 and that the last day to pickup packages is April 21, 2014. More details can be found on BufferBox’s FAQ page.

Since being acquired by Google, BufferBox has spread from its home Waterloo, Ontario to other cities such as San Francisco. We can only assume that Google will still continue to expand the self-serve pickup idea, but without the BufferBox branding.

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Google’s BufferBox self-serve pickup service comes to San Francisco

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After first acquiring the Waterloo, Ontario self-serve package pickup startup Buffer Box last year, Google today announced plans to expand the service. The company has been making its self-serve pick up boxes (pictured above) available for deliveries in the Toronto area close to its home, but today Google announced the BufferBox service is coming to San Francisco for online purchases:

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Google buys self-serve package pickup startup BufferBox

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As noted by a blog post on the BufferBox blog and a report from the FinancialPost, Google confirmed today it has acquired two-year-old self-serve package pickup startup, Buffer Box, for an undisclosed sum. The Waterloo, Ontario based startup was previously working out of the Communitech Hub startup incubator, located downstairs from Google’s Waterloo offices.

FinancialPost explained how the BufferBox service works:

BufferBox’s service provides users with temporary lockers in central locations which can accept packages sent by online retailers. Users sign up for a BufferBox address, which is provided to the online merchant. When a parcel arrives at one of BufferBox’s self-serve kiosks, the users receives an email and can pick up their package using a one-time-use code. The locker can then be used to store a package from another user.

As for what Google plans to do with the company, Google Waterloo engineering director Steve Woods told FinancialPost it would “keep doing BufferBox” while saying there “real exciting space beyond this amazing start with boxes, and the idea of touching consumers as part of their end-to-end experience is something we’re going to explore together.”

Back in October we heard Google was testing a same-delivery service in San Francisco and even had plans to use self-driving cars in the pilot program. BufferBox could possibly play a role in Google’s future delivery services.

The BufferBox team, including founders Mike McCauley, Aditya Bali and Jay Shah, had this to say on the company’s blog: Read more