Rethinking Curbside Deliveries

December 2021

Shopping habits are changing.  More are purchasing online and having items delivered to the home, requiring changes to how we manage this growing volume of packages in high-rise communities.

At one time deliveries were limited to pizza and Chinese food.  Then came Amazon.  Now everything from groceries to furniture is delivered.

The trend is unlikely to reverse, requiring our high-rise communities to adapt.

Inside the Building

The staffed post office is making a comeback for larger communities to receive packages, resident retrieval and dealing with returns.  Cold- and warm- storage rooms are appearing in some higher-end communities for receiving food.

Package volumes present a security concern.  Anything left in the open can disappear, yet transporting accepted packages to a separate secure area and retrieving them for individual residents is time consuming, distracts from other duties and leaves the lobby unattended for periods of time.  A concierge spending more time accepting, storing, retrieving and logging packages is unable to focus on their security duties.   BuildingLink Canada and UpperBee Software are two of many companies offering technology to improve and speed up the acceptance of packages.  Snaile provides secure delivery lockers allowing packages to be delivered and retrieved without the involvement of any security, concierge or management personnel.

Outside the Building

It may be time for communities to provide a separate entrance and room for package deliveries, similar to what exists for mail delivery.

Short-term parking space is insufficient to accommodate the size and volume of delivery vehicles along with taxis, Uber, Lyft and personal vehicles dropping off or waiting for residents.  Communities lacking space may need to consider a structural redesign of their main entrance or create a separate entrance for the unending convoy of delivery vans, cars and trucks including Canada Post, UPS, Federal Express and Purolator all of which arrive multiple times daily.

Cities prefer that delivery of goods occur off the main street and are reluctant to accommodate buildings lacking short-term parking by allowing them to create delivery zones that typically require loss of revenue-producing public parking spaces.  Delivery services are reluctant to access buildings lacking parking areas with direct and easy access to where packages are to be delivered.

There remains a growing need for curbside delivery and retrieval of passengers and packages.  Finding ways to speed up secure delivery of packages, thus ensuring vehicles depart more quickly, is preferable to creating new doors and delivery areas in existing buildings.