With the growth of e-commerce, residential multifamily buildings have had to grapple with a new problem – receiving packages on behalf of residents and handling the last-mile delivery to those tenants.
Residential buildings are overwhelmed with incoming packages. According to a recent survey, 84% of Americans shop online part of or most of the time. And that was before COVID-19.
Since COVID-19, most Americans are shopping for everything online. Grocery delivery orders alone are up 218% for the leading grocery delivery brand Instacart and the overall portion of the population using a grocery-delivery service has increased 91% (from 22% pre-COVID to 42% today) in just a few short weeks
It’s clear multifamily residential buildings were already struggling to keep up with the high-volume amount of packages being delivered before COVID, and are even worse since COVID.
A solution? Package lockers.
Package lockers are a PropTech solution designed for multifamily residential buildings with a high-volume package receiving room. It provides a service for residents of multi-tenant communities to receive larger packages that can’t fit in mailboxes at any time, and pick up those packages at their convenience from a locker that is storing their package.
Above: Example of a package locker system from Urban House Apartments in Grand Peaks, TX.
Package Lockers vs. Mailroom Management Software
Another mailroom innovation for residential buildings is mailroom management software. Mailroom management apps help residential mailrooms optimize the entire package management process – allowing the apartment or building management staff to streamline the entire package processing and management system – from scanning in new package arrivals, managing mailroom inventory, alerting residents of those arrivals, and capturing an electronic signature to authorize the handoff of a package.
Package locker systems go a step further – eliminating the need for building staff to be in the package management process altogether. Package lockers allow delivery couriers to enter the building’s package locker area or room and drop off new packages. These package locker systems then automate the entire process – from adding new packages to the mailrooms inventory to alerting residents of new arrivals. It also allows for residents to pick up packages on their time, in a self-serving manner.
Benefits of Package Lockers for Residents
For many residents that live in a building without a concierge, the last-mile delivery of a bulky package is a significant pain point.
The most common package locker features that residents benefit from include:
- Self-service package retrieval 24/7 using a fob key, pin code, access card, or QR code
- Enhanced security thwarting package theft and misplacements
- SMS and email alerts for delivery alerts
- Outbound package shipping for sending packages or returning e-commerce purchases
For many residents, if you’re not home to sign for a package and pick it up at the moment of arrival, it is redirected to a parcel depot station. These stations can be difficult to locate, are often a far distance from the original destination, and require residents to figure out how they’re going to transport their large package back home.
With package lockers, residents don’t have to plan their schedules around the arrival of a package. New deliveries are simply placed in the parcel locker, alerts the resident of its arrival, and tenants can pick them up at their discretion.
Benefits of Package Lockers for Multi-Tenant Building Management & Staff
For residential buildings, the benefits are clear. It allows for a complete overhaul of the last-mile delivery experience for incoming packages.
The most common benefits from package lockers for residential buildings include:
- Automated package management system, eliminating the need for building staff to manual handle and sort packages
- Physical locker rooms that declutter lobbies and mailrooms
- Automated resident alerts to notify of new packages
- Surveillance and security systems to protect residents’ packages
- 24/7 customer support
Deliveries are taken directly to the package lockers instead of the lobby, front desk, concierge, or mailroom. From there, packages are scanned directly into the system and alerts the resident of its arrival. All customer support issues are managed by the locker company or the delivery company.
This allows multifamily buildings to completely offload the package delivery system and process for their staff – freeing up resources and building staff, as well as creating a better experience for both building staff and residents.
Package locker companies do not advertise prices on their websites. However, it’s reported that a package locker management system costs residential apartment buildings between $6,000 to $20,000 depending on the number of units in the building. There are also monthly service and support fees that run between $1.50 to $6.00 per compartment.
Although package lockers for apartments are a new multifamily housing trend, there are still more than a handful of companies offering parcel locker services.
1. Amazon Hub Apartment Lockers
Overview: The Hub is a new product launched by Amazon that gives residential communities apartment lockers to store packages and parcels upon arrival, letting residents pick up their packages whenever it is convenient for them.
The Hub accepts all packages, including deliveries from competing e-commerce delivery companies. There are also two types of locker sizes buildings can choose – a starter version with 42 compartments per locker that are 6-feet high, and an expander version that adds an additional 23 compartments per locker.
Price: N/A – however Amazon says there is a one-time, upfront cost to its locker service that has no ongoing subscription fees once installed.
2. Luxer One
Overview: Luxer One is a package locker company that supplies physical parcel lockers for commercial and residential buildings, universities, retail spaces, and co-working offices. Luxer One’s purpose is to accept every new package upon arrival, eliminating the need for building tenants to go to a postal office or UPS/FedEx dropoff location to pick up packages that were turned away from a building.
Luxer One offers indoor & outdoor lockers, controlled and locked package rooms, and refrigerated lockers. Its features include video surveillance, overflow rooms, a reporting & management SaaS dashboard, tenant and resident SMS and email notifications, and multiple locker sizes for all building types – we discovered 7 different locker types, ranging in size.
Price: $6,900 for an entry-level, 14-compartment package locker system, plus a $1.50-per-compartment maintenance and tech support fee. Depending on the size of the package locker, Luxer One’s price can reach $20,000+ for premiere products.
3. DHL PackStation
Overview: PackStation is a package locker system owned and operated by DHL. What started with 24/7 self-service, automated package dispatch stations across Germany turned into a residential-centric package locker system for apartment buildings offering. Like other parcel lockers, PackStation allows residents to accept packages even when they’re not home.
PackStation also gives residents the ability to return or send prepaid packages directly from their building at no cost by placing packages in the drop-off box in the locker room. Additional features include security surveillance, automated locker-to-resident interaction allowing tenants to scan a barcode to unlock their locker unit, and SMS and email notifications for residents.
Price: N/A – contact for a custom quote.
4. Package Concierge
Overview: Package Concierge is an automated, self-service package management locker system for retail, universities, co-working spaces, and commercial and multifamily residential buildings. Package Concierge’s lockers allow all delivery services to access its locker rooms without the help of building management or leasing staff. The company separates its offering into two solutions – an on-premise, physical locker system for handling incoming and outgoing packages, as well as a software solution to pair with the lockers to help automate package management.
Package Concierge offers three types of parcel locker solutions – all of which offer around a dozen different sizes and specifications.
- Element Series for outdoor environments
- Premiere Series for indoor spaces and is heavily fortified using traditionally strong materials and cutting-edge security technology.
- Express Series for smaller, to-go spaces that don’t require heavy surveillance.
The company then adds on its Package Concierge Room System software solution. This system allows buildings to pair it with the lockers to eliminate the need for building management staff to handle packages altogether, provide 24/7 resident access to their packages, provide resident notifications, and communicate with couriers and mail companies for outbound packages.
Price: $20,000 for an entry-level, 34-compartment locker storage system, plus a monthly service fee (less than $2 per unit), with prices increasing for larger locker systems and additional compartments.
Overview: SpaceSaver is a company that offers dozens storage and shelving solutions across industries – incluing an electronic package locker storage system for residential buildings. It allows packages to be delivered at any time, lets building management focus completely handoff package management through automation, and gives residents the tools to pick up and send packages at their convenience.
Additional features include automated, e-check in for packages, email and SMS alerts for residents to notify them of package arrival, and overall package tracking features for both the building and the tenants.
Price: N/A – contact for a custom quote.
6. Parcel Pending
Overview: Parcel Pending is a smart package management solution from the manufacturing and mailing-solutions company Quadient. It offers products that are built specifically for multifamily, commercial, retail, and university buildings.
Parcel Pending’s physical lockers come in a variety of sizes that are built for both indoor and outdoor spaces, are customizable with colors and wraps to match the aesthetic of the property’s branding, and allows residents to pick up packages at their convenience.
Its smart software solution integrates with a building’s existing property management software that streamlines the package notification, management, and retrieval process for both building staff and tenants.
Price: $6,900 for an entry-level 13-compartment locker system, with a monthly service fee of around $3 per unit that covers maintenance and service feeds and a one-time $15 fee per resident to use the service. Additional package locker towers can be added a la carte at $2,180 each – which the average cost of a Parcel Pending locker system costing $14,000.
Overview: Smiota is a package-locker company for corporate, retail, university, and residential buildings. Smiota provides buildings with physical smart lockers that manage package delivery and storage, and allows residents to pick up bigger packages at their convenience safely and securely. The company also offers laundry, oversized, and refrigerated lockers.
Price: N/A on Smiota’s website and requires you to submit a contact form for more information.
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