The struggle of managing deliveries and retrieving parcels is a common issue for apartment residents, but technology has a solution. Apartment package lockers have become the new norm for apartment complexes. These are modular cabinets with lockable compartments that provide a secure and convenient way for couriers to deliver and residents to receive packages.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at package lockers for apartments, what they are, how they work, their limitations and benefits, and the best package locker companies that you can consider. We’ll also discuss package rooms, why you may need a package room rather than a package locker, and how to set it up using Swiftlane access control system.
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What Are Package Lockers for Apartments?
Apartment package lockers, also called parcel lockers, are modular and compartmentalized storage units that securely store mail and packages until they are collected by the resident to whom they are addressed. You might have seen them placed in residential apartment buildings near the entrance or on the porch. They look like huge almirahs with multiple doors and a touchscreen interface located upfront.
Package lockers streamline and secure package management by:
- Allowing couriers to deliver the parcel to the correct address (box)
- Storing the package until it is collected by the recipient
- Allowing residents to collect deliveries any time
Without package lockers, undelivered packages would keep sitting in the lobby and could get lost or stolen.
Related Post: Almost HALF of apartment and townhome residents report having a parcel stolen. Here’s how to deal with porch piracy and package theft.
How do Apartment Package Lockers Work?
Parcel lockers for apartments are sturdy metallic boxes with multiple compartments. Their doors are secured by electronic locks that are wired to a touchscreen interface located on the package lockers. Couriers can enter an assigned pin code or scan a barcode to log into the system and deliver packages to the compartments that the system assigns them for different packages.
The system automatically notifies residents when mail is placed in their compartment. Sometimes no specific boxes are assigned to residents, rather, the resident notification includes the box number where their parcel is placed.
How to Deliver and Receive Parcels Using Package Lockers?
Here’s how it works:
- Delivery drivers scan a barcode or enter a pin at the locker’s touchscreen interface to log in.
- They search for the recipient’s name using the onscreen resident directory and tap on it.
- Next, they scan the package barcode or take a photo of the package if the package locker system is equipped with a camera.
- The system asks them the size of the package; if it’s a small-, medium- or large sized package they want to deliver.
- The system automatically unlocks the right-sized compartment and pops it open so the courier can place the package.
- The delivery person closes the compartment door, which locks automatically and the smart locker software notifies the resident that they have mail, along with the locker number and a pin code that they can use to access the locker.
The process might look a little overwhelming when you read it, but it’s really simple when you do it. Delivering and receiving a package hardly takes 10 to 15 seconds with most package lockers.
Watch: The Amazon Locker Experience
Why Your Apartment Building Needs Package Lockers
Smart package lockers make package management convenient, secure and efficient. Here is why your building needs them:
- Better Tenant Experience: Maintaining a secure, automated package locker system or package room gives your residents the peace of mind that they don’t have to answer courier calls in the middle of a meeting, or worry about an important delivery getting into the wrong hands.
- Better Building Value: Apartment buildings with package lockers can attract more tenants by providing a better resident experience. They can claim higher rent compared to buildings where no parcel lockers are installed.
- Better Employee Experience: Smart parcel locker systems relieve the building’s staff of the unnecessary workload of handling couriers and assisting angry residents whose deliveries go missing.
- Better Package Security: Apartment parcel lockers and package rooms prevent porch piracy and package theft and maintain a record of each package.
- Better Courier Experience: Delivery people don’t have to wait for your staff to assist them if the resident is not available. They can just place the package in the locker and get done.
Did you know? Swiftlane smart access control and video intercom system allows you to schedule automatic access for couriers and speak to delivery drivers through video calling?
The Limitations of Package Lockers
Package locker systems solve your lost parcel and missed delivery problems — at least until deliveries start overflowing the package locker. This can happen if you have a small package locker for your building’s size, or during times of online shopping frenzy.
Typical apartment parcel lockers can only accommodate a small number of parcels per resident. The traditional cluster-box type centralized units can start overflowing if your residents order too many deliveries, such as during Christmas or Black Friday sales. Parcel lockers also cannot store a Christmas tree or other oversized packages, so couriers have to either take them back or leave them on the floor beside the parcel locker, where they can go missing or get damaged.
What would you do if you regularly see packages dumped outside the package locker? Buy a bigger package locker? A better idea would be to set up a package room!
What is a Package Room?
A package room, sometimes also called a mail room, is simply a lockable room that holds mail and packages that couriers deliver, so that residents can collect them at any time. The room is secured using a smart cloud-based access control system, such as a smartphone entry system with pin code access for visitors and deliveries.
Couriers are given pin codes to unlock the parcel room for a brief period, enough for them to stash the mail inside and close the door again. Residents can access the package room at a time convenient to them using an access control mobile app or pin entry pad and retrieve their parcels.
Best Package Locker Companies
Amazon Hub Parcel Locker
With 7.7 billion packages shipped globally each year, Amazon is well aware of the package loss and delivery failure problem. It responded by offering Amazon Hub Parcel Locker back in 2011. Amazon Locker is managed by Amazon and is available in over 2,800 locations in more than 70 cities. Features include a secure, automated system and a convenient pick-up process.
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Amazon Hub automates deliveries for both Amazon and non-Amazon packages. Mail couriers drop packages off in any one of the empty lockers and an automated message is sent to the tenant with a PIN or QR code. The tenant’s package is secure until they are available to come pick it up using their unique one-time access code.
Founded in 2013, Parcel Pending is one of the leading indoor and outdoor package lockers for the multifamily industry. Their focus is on markets that suffer package management issues, and the product aims at creating a better experience. This includes decreasing overhead for property staff and making package retrieval easier for tenants.
Their product line consists of indoor, outdoor, and refrigerated package lockers. Locker Lite is their package locker solution for smaller apartment communities of 100 units or less. The Parcel Pending mobile app issues delivery alerts and allows tenants to retrieve deliveries via smartphone. Parcel Pending’s open API will easily integrate with existing property management software.
Formerly Laundry Locker, Luxer One has over 15 years of experience in the locker business. Their mission is to constantly improve how the world receives their goods, which is reflected in their 100% package acceptance rate. In addition to Luxer Lockers, Luxer One also offers the Luxer Fridge for perishable deliveries and Luxer Room, which is a simple solution for controlled access to package rooms.
Luxer One package lockers offer solutions to oversized packages and package overflow. They also have a patented feature that allows carriers to deliver packages even if the tenant’s name isn’t listed. Most distinctly, Luxer Lockers come with 24/7 video surveillance for an additional layer of package management security.
Package Concierge offers a highly customizable package locker solution. Their Element Series is a line of outdoor package lockers, while their Premier Series features indoor lockers. The Express Series is modularized, and therefore highly customizable to any building. Like Luxer One, Package Concierge also offers a package room solution in the form of a touchscreen kiosk. Their package room management solution, however, acts only as overflow space for packages that do not fit in a package locker.
Package locker size, shape, and color vary, as is standard across the industry. Uniquely, Package Concierge also offers dry cleaning locker modules. Their software is designed to easily integrate, monitor, track, and report each delivery. Also notable are the extensive reporting and tracking options which are great for property managers and owners looking for insight into delivery trends.
Smiota Parcel Lockers
Smiota Package Lockers are fit for any type of delivery. They offer indoor and outdoor lockers for dry cleaning, oversized packages, and refrigerated or frozen deliveries. Smiota’s software automatically notifies tenant’s via text or through the mobile app when they have a package.
Smiota also offers a mailroom management software solution that building staff can use to manage and track incoming packages for residents. This differs from package room solutions like Luxer Room and Package Concierge’s package room solution because it does not physically secure a package room. It’s simply a software that requires an individual to receive and manually input the package information into the system that will then notify the tenant of their delivery.
SpaceSaver Package Lockers for Apartments
SpaceSaver is a comprehensive storage company offering solutions from vaccine and fine art storage to evidence lockers. Among all of their solutions, they also offer multifamily package lockers.
The Package Locker System by SpaceSaver recognizes the rapid growth of ecommerce and has built a package management solution for property managers to keep track of their tenant’s deliveries. Once the package is received by building staff, a locker is issued and a notification is sent to the tenant to come pick the package up at any time.
Package Lockers or Package Room?
With an increasing number of people buying more and more stuff online with each passing day, the chances are that any package locker system you install will keep running out of space, forcing you to add more package boxes to the system. Considering that a high-quality package locker system such as Luxer One or Package Concierge costs tens of thousands of dollars to purchase, install and upgrade, property managers have a cheaper and more permanent solution—a package room.
Setting Up a Secure Package Room with Swiftlane
For a fraction of the cost of a package locker system, you can easily convert any room into a package room. All you have to do is:
- Select a room that is easy to access and has a single door
- Build shelves inside and add any design touches you’d like to add
- Install a Swiftreader or SwiftreaderX or the inexpensive Swiftlane PIN code and mobile reader at the door
Swiftlane access control and video intercom system makes package management secure, affordable and simple. Having a designated package room that is secured by Swiftlane will ensure that resident’s packages are safe and each one of them can be accounted for via delivery audit trails.
How Swiftlane Package Room System Works
- Issue entry PINs: Building staff as well as residents can issue entry pin codes for couriers, food delivery people, and Amazon drivers and to access the building and the package room.
- Video call residents: Couriers can scroll the on-screen directory to find the recipient’s name and tap on it to call the resident (or admin) and tell them that they have deliveries.
- Unlock the door: Package carriers unlock the package room door by entering their pin code into the Swiftreader and place the parcels inside.Residents and admins can also grant remote unlock through the Swiftlane mobile app.
- Notify residents: Swiftlane automatically notifies the resident that they have a package waiting for them in the parcel room.
- Retrieve deliveries: Residents can open the package room door from their mobile app or using their pin code and retrieve the parcel
Benefits of Swiftlane Package Room for Apartments
Swiftlane provides the ability for securing the package room access both for delivery people as well as for residents. It also increases the overall visibility and audit trail of the people accessing the room.. Here are the benefits that it offers for tenants, couriers and admins:
- Unique pin code for each delivery company: Swiftlane can generate a unique pin code for each delivery company enabling them to access the package room to drop the packages off without having to make a video call to the property management every time.
- More tenant discretion: PIN codes can be generated by the tenant or admin, and the same PIN can be used to get into the apartment building and the package room.
- Multi-use pin codes: Generate multi-use PIN codes for recurring deliveries and mail couriers.
- Entry photo logs: Swiftreader has a built-in HD camera that captures and stores photos for all entry events.
- Two-way video calling: Couriers and food delivery can use Swiftlane’s video intercom system to call the residents from the Swiftreader and request them to unlock the package room.
- Programmable access: Schedule access so that delivery PIN codes can only grant access during certain hours of the day.
- Multi-door access: Program access to several common area doors — including the front door, package, and mail rooms — for a seamless flow for delivery personnel
- Remote door unlocking: Manage access permissions and grant access from anywhere with a cloud-based platform.
- Food and other deliveries: Provide security not just for package deliveries but also for food and other deliveries in addition to doubling as a mobile unlock system for common areas.
With Swiftlane, you can use one system to control access throughout your building, including the main entrance, package room, elevator, and common use facilities.
The Best Package Management Solution for Your Apartment Building
Now that you have a better understanding of package lockers and package rooms, which one do you think would work best for your building?
We hope you found this article useful and that you can make an educated decision, when choosing the right package delivery management system for your building and budget. Contact Swiftlane for a free consultation on choosing the best package management solution for your specific building’s needs.