Online Shopping Brings More Packages

UPS’ Thomas Boughnon plugs information into
the software-controlled package delivery system
at La Villita. (Photo: Chirag Sainju)

Multi-family apartments are experiencing a greater volume of package deliveries as their residents increasingly go online to shop for clothing, electronics, groceries, and other products.

Lincoln Property Company-managed, upscale Armstrong at Knox, located on the edge of Highland Park, receives 585 packages a month for 165 apartments, while a much larger Lincoln property, the 740-unit La Villita in Irving, gets a whooping 1,800. With the holiday spike, volume averages 21,000–24,000 packages a year.

Residents with busy lives want the convenience of picking up their packages any time of day or night, property managers say, and the market is responding to fill that demand.

In the past five years, companies like Luxer One Package Locker, Parcel Pending, Amazon, and Package Concierge have stepped in to address that trend with innovative electronic package delivery systems marketed nationally to the multi-family niche. Package Concierge was purchased for $20 million this past February by Gibraltar Industries Inc., a leading manufacturer and distributor of building products.

Parcel Pending’s website claims its electronic package system saves property managers between 14 and 28 employee hours and as much as $1,200 a week in operating costs.

Luxer One has 55 percent of its Texas contracts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“Our customers are constantly building and demand high end amenities,” Luxer One marketing director Melody Akhtari said. “And safe package acceptance is the second most tenant requested amenity.”

This March, Armstrong at Knox installed a software-controlled locker system for package deliveries at no extra cost to residents inside the back of the garage it shares with nearby shops.

Armstrong at Knox is a mixed-use development. (Photo: Jackie Torres)

“I never miss a package,” said resident Doug Bardoff, “because I can pick it up 24 hours a day.”

Carriers with packages for UPS, FEDEX, USPS, and Amazon type in a code and the package’s apartment number on a computer screen, scroll down to find the recipient’s name, and select a locker size. When the locker shuts, an email with an assigned user name is transmitted to the package recipient.

Armstrong at Knox resident Barbara Thomas, a professional volunteer, keeps her retired greyhound racer on a leash by her side as she types in her username and password to retrieve her package. “If I am out of town,” said Thomas, “I like the security of knowing the package is locked up and not at my door.”

“It’s the coolest technology,” said fellow resident Joe Paglino, a salesman for Reverie Sleep Systems. “You get notified right away when the package is delivered and every day after if you get pretty busy and forget.”

Another benefit for renters: With locker systems taking apartment complexes out of the package delivery business, leasing agents have more time to focus on residents’ other needs, property managers said.

The system creates efficiencies for carriers, as well, which translate into quicker tenant deliveries. UPS deliveryman Thomas Boughnon, whose route includes La Villita, said, “Before I could deliver 20–25 packages an hour; now I can do 20–25 in 15 minutes.”

Thomas added, “Now that I’ve gotten used to the locker package delivery system, I definitely would make that a criteria for my next apartment.”

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