Canadians have embraced the convenience of purchasing online and direct-to-home delivery. In high-rise buildings this creates challenges for any concierge required to deal with large volumes of packages arriving each day from carriers that include Canada Post, Federal Express, Purolator and United Parcel Service.
Growing interest in high-rise living is conflicting with increased online shopping. A goal for management is to eliminate management or concierge from serving as a middleman when it comes to package delivery.
Package delivery is fraught with problems. Carrier tracking systems may show packages as being delivered prior to delivery. Packages may have been delivered to an incorrect location while some get lost in transit. A growing mountain of packages in back rooms, storage areas, hallways and management offices is a problem consuming concierge time.
Automated parcel lockers, smart lockers, are one solution appearing in high-rise buildings throughout Toronto. A bank of lockers of various sizes is set up in a designated area. On delivery each package is scanned by the delivery person to determine package weight and dimensions. A door in the bank of smart lockers opens for placement of the package. An electronic message is automatically sent to the recipient along with the locker number for retrieval. For security an electronic picture is taken of the delivery person placing a package in a locker and the individual retrieving it.
The system relieves concierge staff of the responsibility to accept, store and retrieve packages for residents, or inform them when packages have arrived. Finding physical space to store packages, or dealing with misplaced packages, is no longer a burden for management or concierge staff.
As online delivery of packages continue to increase, communities will need to dedicate more time and space to handling them. Solutions such as this offer a practical alternative for package deliveries no longer requiring a condo corporation to serve as an intermediary.
Not all condo buildings accept packages. Those accepting packages may impose size, weight or other restrictions. When available space is filled package deliveries may be refused. Residents may find it necessary to make arrangements to ship packages elsewhere, or to pick up packages at a nearby post office or carrier depot.
For more information see The Surprising Cost of Receiving Packages and Package Acceptance Overwhelms some Condo Buildings in the Condo Archives.