Package Parcel Delivery Lockers
You might have noticed the increasing presence of package and parcel delivery lockers in apartments, universities, corporations, and anywhere else that deals with a large volume of deliveries. So what are they, and what do they do? Keep reading to see how package lockers manage the delivery and retrieval process for both large and smaller-scale mail applications in a variety of industries and how we can help. No matter what your application and budgetary needs are, we can design a locker system for you whether you want a complete package management system with audit tracking and touchscreen features (best for large-scale uses that require additional security) or a simpler solution with keyless access (best for smaller applications such as office day lockers).
Click on the following links to be directed to your topic of interest:
- What Are Package Lockers?
- Benefits at a Glance
- Apartments, Condos, & Residential Applications
- Corporate Applications
- University Applications
- Cons & Solutions
- Preparing for Package Lockers
- How We Can Help
The Last-Mile Problem
Whether it’s for home or business, people are expecting more out of delivery services with the rise of e-commerce. According to a 2018 report from Business Insider, last-mile delivery is the most expensive and time-consuming part of the process, taking up a whopping 53% of overall shipping costs. Last-mile delivery refers to, literally, the last mile of delivery from distribution hubs to the recipient. And it’s often the most difficult step with what’s called the “last- mile problem”: inefficiency.
Customers are frequently frustrated by the vague notification that their package is “out for delivery,” sometimes for hours at a time. Additionally, many deliveries fail on the first attempt for many reasons. The recipient might not be at home, their delivery may not fit into the mailbox, or it may be delivered to the wrong address. Second and sometimes even third delivery attempts may be required.
Package lockers provide a centralized exchange point for deliveries in apartments, universities, corporations, and more. Instead of being stored in the mailroom or reception area where it can be lost or misplaced, couriers deposit packages in the parcel lockers. Then, recipients access the designated compartments to retrieve their deliveries at their convenience. Recipients can be sure that their delivery is secure, while office staff doesn’t have to spend valuable time managing packages. Audit tracking options also ensure an improved chain of custody that automatically tracks pickups and deliveries for complete visibility.
How It Works
- The courier logs into the system through the locker bank’s touchscreen, scans the package recipient which is logged into the tracking system, and places the package in the locker.
- Once the delivery is logged into the system, an e-mail or text is sent to the recipient with a unique one-time PIN that allows access to the locker at any time.
- The recipient accesses the designated locker via the assigned PIN and retrieves their delivery, leaving the compartment open for the next user.
- Reduces package handling and property management workload
- Reduce or eliminate paper-based manual records
- 24/7 access for convenient pickup
- E-mail/text alerts to recipients when packages are delivered
- Increased security for stored packages
- End-to-end chain of custody and automation tracks drop-offs and pickups
- Reduce clutter caused by packages
- Modular, scalable design for enhanced flexibility
- Refrigerated compartments available for perishable and temperature-sensitive items
- Choose the features you want
- Budget-friendly options available
Where Package Lockers Are Used
An increasing number of residents expect their amenities to include efficient package management. And with the sheer volume of deliveries, management systems benefit staff members, too. According to a report by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), the average apartment community receives 149 packages per week with 68% of staff spending between 1 to 4 hours per week managing, signing, sorting, and distributing packages. This time adds up quickly, and a package management system could be doing all the work for you instead while staff can spend their time on more important tasks. Lastly, 52% of properties keep heavy/oversized deliveries in the management office until pickup, which can take up valuable space for hours or days at a time.
If you’ve ever had a lost package, you know how frustrating it is to eagerly await your delivery only to find that it’s either delayed or isn’t coming at all. Then you have to contact the seller about refunds or re-delivery attempts, which not every company will easily agree to. And, of course, you can become frustrated with the office staff who were responsible for overseeing your package’s safe delivery. It’s a lot of time and stress for something that was supposed to make the process more convenient, but now it’s done the opposite.
With 47% of residents receiving at least three packages per month, 57% of those surveyed were “very interested” or “highly interested” in package lockers. This isn't a surprise when you consider the security, convenience, and peace of mind that comes with the locker systems. Instead of being left on the doorstep or shoved into a cramped space, residents can be sure that their packages are stored securely and safely from being misplaced, mishandled, or stolen until they can pick up their delivery on their own time.
More and more people are opting to have their packages delivered at their workplace instead of at home, but that’s not the only area where package lockers come in handy. They also provide a great solution for interoffice delivery when mail carts and mail sorters aren’t enough. This is especially true for businesses with multiple offices where the destination isn’t just a short walk across the hall.
What if an employee needs to transfer a patent, prototype, or other important document containing proprietary information? Depending on location, the employee would need to either deliver the document themselves or send it via courier. What if the recipient is out of the office once it arrives? The delivery can’t just be left on someone’s desk where anyone could have access to it. It could be dropped off at the front desk, but what if your receptionist forgets about it or changes shifts? What if the recipient is never notified of a delivery—and what if these documents are time-sensitive? How can you hold each person accountable, and how can you be sure that the delivery will make it to the right recipient securely and on time?
The package lockers are suited for much more than a place to keep deliveries until the recipient can pick them up. For example, package locker systems are also available with numerous audit tracking and visibility options. If an employee needs to deliver a critical document to another, they can be sure that it will remain secure within the locker compartment until it's retrieved. For accountability purposes, audit tracking technology can also ensure complete visibility of the chain of custody.
Pen-and-paper processes just aren’t cutting it anymore, but they’re still commonly used in university mailrooms.
University package management faces many of the same problems as apartment complexes and residential buildings. Unlike many residents, though, on-campus students often have only one option for package delivery: the mailroom. And with e-commerce orders higher than ever, students aren’t just receiving relatively small textbooks and care packages. Additionally, many students don’t have time to pick up a package during the typical 9-5 workday in between classes, extracurricular activities, and studying.
Unfortunately, many university mailrooms are ill-equipped to handle these large influxes of packages, and many become lost or misplaced. This is frustrating for both students and mailroom staff. If someone signed for a package that’s nowhere to be found in the mailroom, then where did it go? Was it delivered in the first place? A package management system with audit tracking offers complete visibility of every delivery—so in the unlikely event that a package is misplaced, it’s easy to find any access records to see who handled the delivery and when.
If students aren’t notified of deliveries or they can’t pick them up during working hours, packages can sit in mailrooms for days or weeks. This takes up valuable space in already-cramped mail centers, which only makes storing and finding packages even more difficult for staff. They may even find it difficult to simply move around the room.
This is where the package lockers solve multiple problems at once: they provide a compact, organized space to store packages, which are secured within the locker until pickup. With audit tracking technology, there is no question of who has accessed the lockers.
The three most common reasons communities don’t have package lockers is related to cost, space, and location. However, there are numerous ways to ensure the package locker system can work with your specific space or budgetary needs.
The package locker systems may have a high up-front cost, but remember that these lockers are an investment that will ultimately save money on operational and workflow costs.
You don’t need to go with the all-features-included, tech-heavy options, either. There are many more affordable options with or without LCD screens, software, or audit tracking. These simpler solutions are great for smaller applications who don’t need all the bells and whistles.
Not Enough Space
Space is a common problem. There’s too much to store, and not enough room to store it. But you probably have more space than you think—it’s just a matter of utilizing your existing space effectively, rather than expanding your building’s physical footprint.
The package lockers aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Standard kits are available in multiple sizes and configurations depending on the size of your application, or you can opt for a customized solution.
Additionally, the locker systems can be outfitted for outdoor use—so you don’t even necessarily need to use your indoor space at all.
24/7 Parcel Locker Kits for Condos & Apartments
Before you install the package locker system, there are a few considerations you should make: what you will do with oversized packages, how you will manage package overflow, whether you will charge for locker services, customization options, and software.
How will you handle extra-large packages? They take up space and are difficult to handle, especially with heavy items. Consider how many oversized packages you receive on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and whether you will include any oversized lockers to accommodate them. Keep in mind that any packages that don’t fit into the locker banks will have to be stored somewhere—usually in your front office.
During busy seasons, your lockers might be filled to capacity at some point. What will you do with the overflow packages? This is also a great way to use oversized locker compartments.
If you’re offering package lockers as an amenity in an apartment complex or residential facility, will you charge a fee? Charging a small fee is an easy way to generate some extra revenue, but not all residents will be amenable to this. One way to solve this is through package hold fees, which gives residents control over what they pay. Another is to charge for extra features like outbound shipping that residents can choose to participate in.
The package lockers can be designed with custom print or color finishes that promote your brand, show school spirit, or just add another level of aesthetic.
How advanced does your system need to be? Do you want basic audit tracking or a fully networked system with rich data collection and diagnostics? Your software needs will be different depending on your application.
We understand that this is an extensive list of considerations, and there are a lot of decisions you will have to make. And it’s alright if you don’t know the answer—that’s why we’re here to help. We can not only design and install the system for you, but we can also help you decide what type of system would work best for you and your users.
Contact Us for Package Parcel Delivery Lockers
Southwest Solutions Group provides design and installation services for all types of package lockers for applications in corporate, residential, university, and more. We will also provide you with a free consultation to determine your exact needs and specifications before the design process begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.