Volume 24, Issue Number 3, Spring 2019
Purchasing/Living in a Condominium


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Automated Parcel Lockers for Multi- Tenant Residential Applications

Up to a Million Parcels a Day Have to End Up Somewhere

By Patrick Armstrong | Other articles by Patrick Armstrong

According to the Pitney Bowes Index, parcel volumes flowing out from e-Commerce companies and into the hands of eagerly awaiting consumers will rise between 17%-28% each year from 2017 to 2021. That is a lot of parcels! To put it into perspective, Canada Post delivered 1 million parcels per day, including weekends, from mid-November through the 2017 holiday season. That, according to Deloitte, is due to consumers spending 51% of their gift budget on the Internet. In the US the numbers are much more staggering at 850 million packages delivered in 2017.

Those parcels have to land somewhere. In multi-tenant residential applications, if there is not currently a logistics and cost problem dealing with the incoming parcel traffic, then the forecasted growth by Pitney Bowes may pose a challenge sooner rather than later.

In a building with concierge and/or security services, not only do parcels take up lots of room and cause clutter, they take up a lot of costly administration time recording the parcel's arrival, storing the parcel, and notifying the resident to come pick it up – hopefully on the first notice.

The temporary possession of the parcel by a building's staff also opens up a case for liability. Additionally, some buildings report that a lot of food perishables like groceries are being delivered which require refrigeration.

In non-concierge buildings the parcel problem is even worse. Similar to multiresident open air developments, parcels can and do go missing. Most online retailers ship their goods in well-branded boxes which is a lure to thieves scoping out a home's porch, or the unsecured and unsupervised building vestibule. Furthermore, managers are dealing with violations to the fire code with parcels piling up in vestibules or laying in hallways.

Some postal companies offer parcel lockers for their own shipments but that does not cover all the other modes of delivery such as FedEx, UPS, Purolator, and Canpar to name a few. That leaves a big gap in which parcels can be managed.

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Spring 2019
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