Package Storage Systems Help Properties and Residents Handle Deliveries
Handling Apartment Package Deliveries
The influx of packages at apartments has attracted national headlines lately. Some properties are on board with receiving and holding parcels for residents, while others are not.
Online shopping has grown, and FedEx is expecting record volume this holiday season. The company is expecting shipments to grow 12.4 percent from last year between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. FedEx expects to deliver 317 million parcels. The news comes as the apartment industry grapples with providing a storage service for residents while juggling space and staff restrictions.
What was once a free perk for residents that didn’t require much space is now a backroom tsunami for properties that accept hundreds of packages a month and try to balance space, time and money to meet what has become an expectation.
One solution is using automated package storage systems that remove staff from the delivery process, says Kobi Bensimon, vice president of portals for ActiveBuilding, which manufactures The EGG. Delivery companies drop the packages in lockers provided onsite and residents retrieve them at their convenience without the property’s involvement. The system is designed to alleviate staff pressure and solve space issues.
Modular package system enables storage customization
The EGG is a modular package system comprised of individual columns that allows apartments to design their own systems and accommodate space restrictions. A single column measures 21” x 24” x 86” but multiple columns can be assembled together to form a locker system that couriers use to securely deliver packages.
The delivery company chooses the locker size that fits the package, scans a bar code and places the package in the locker. The resident gets a text, email or voice message with a PIN code to be used to access the package.
At the resident’s convenience, the package can be retrieved at any time by unlocking the door with the PIN. No longer is the resident limited to getting packages during office hours or weekends.
“Right now, it’s a time-consuming process,” Bensimon says. “Without any type of storage system it means people usually don’t pick up packages as quickly as they could. With this technology, people can pick up packages faster and the office doesn’t need as much storage space.”
Online shopping continues to increase, adding more packages
Automated package storage and retrieval systems have sprouted across apartment communities in recent years in response to increased online shopping. Shoppers are now ordering online more than ever before. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, U.S. online retail sales are expected to increase to $334 billion this year, up from $263 billion in 2013.
In six years, that number is expected to grow to $480 billion. One package company says the average 250-unit apartment community receives more than 20,000 packages per year.
Last year, a debate about package deliveries consumed a general session at a National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) conference in Orlando after Kingsley Associates released its first-ever 2014 Package Delivery Survey. In recent weeks, online chats have filled with comments about whether properties should accommodate package delivery. Most posters say apartments have to adapt with the times to meet resident needs. Others say that providing space, time and manpower to handle deliveries is costing big money and that they won’t offer the service.
Package delivery systems free more time for properties to engage with residents.
Bensimon says locker-type storage systems offer a solution that helps property managers and residents find harmony in handling the onsite logistics of package delivery.
Staff is freed from time consuming package management and can spend more efforts meeting other resident needs. And residents can shop online until their hearts are content and get their goods without being at the mercy of the property.
Also, valuable onsite space that has been transformed into package storage can be used in other ways, and managing the paperwork of incoming and outgoing parcels is reduced. The community can still offer what has become a valuable amenity to residents without devoting extra time, space and attention.
“Package delivery systems significantly reduce the amount of the time spent by the on-site team to manage packages,” Bensimon said.
“That means property staff has more time to engage with residents and prospects.”
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