Top 7 parcel lockers for condominiums in North America

Date Published : Jun-27-2024

Written By : Kim Brown

Parcel lockers are the preferred storage solution for condominiums. They are easy to use, they drastically reduce the workload for concierge or front desk staff, and they are effective at preventing items from getting lost or stolen.

This smart hardware has almost become a necessity for multifamily communities due to the sustained popularity of online shopping. People aren’t just ordering clothes or gifts online anymore. Cosmetics, pet products, health care items, electronics and furniture are all being purchased online and delivered to customers.

       

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Even though condo owners and residents generally have less space than single-family homeowners, they may do more online ordering if they don’t have a vehicle.

A building with a couple hundred units will easily receive 100+ packages a day, but complexes with 400 or 500 units could get as many as 250 boxes and envelopes every day, and that’s before the winter holidays hit.

Without parcel lockers (sometimes referred to as smart lockers or package lockers) staff spend hours trying to log and store all of the deliveries, and there’s no way to ensure every item makes it into the right hands. After all, they still have other obligations like helping guests, monitoring common areas and updating management.

Then there’s the time that management has to spend with an upset resident who has just lost $200 worth of goods. Even if cameras catch parcel thieves in the act, there is no guarantee that management will be able to identify which unit the culprit belongs to.

If your building is currently grappling with these problems, it may be time to purchase a parcel locker system. Read on to find out which companies are rated highest amongst North American condominiums, and how you can combine hardware and software to create a nearly perfect parcel management system. 

       

How do parcel lockers work?

Before we get to the best parcel lockers on the market, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of how this technology works. That way, you can ask more specific questions when it comes time to narrow down your top pick. 

Generally speaking, parcel lockers integrate with digital systems for monitoring, authentication, and communication.

The master locker component will have a digital screen that couriers use to open individual compartments and deliver items.

First, they must use a unique code or digital key created for their company. Then, they search for the recipient’s name using a resident directory.

Next they may be asked to scan a barcode and/or take a photo of the parcel if the locker system has a camera.  

The system will ask for some information about the parcel to determine if it needs a small, medium or large compartment.

Owners and residents use this same screen to unlock the compartment and access their package.

One of the compartments will open up, and the courier places the package inside and closes the door.

Depending on the system and the resident’s communication preferences, a text message, email or app notification will be sent to the recipient. They will also receive a QR code or passcode, and locker number to access their package.

If packages are not retrieved within a certain amount of time, a reminder will be sent to the recipient so that parcels aren’t sitting around for too long.

       

7 parcel locker solutions to consider

Now that you understand the basics, take a look at the top 7 parcel locker solutions for North American condominiums. While they all have many things in common, each company offers their customers something unique.

       

1. Parcel Pending

Parcel Pending is one of North America’s largest parcel locker companies, and claims to have over 4 million users.

Parcel Pending was acquired by Quadient in 2019 for $100 million, valued for its proven success and growth across the United States and Canada. The company has clients all over North America, in parts of Europe and Japan.

The locker systems are versatile and come in a wide range of configurations. Oversized and refrigerated lockers are available. It also integrates with any property management software or custom app. 

Parcel Pending’s consolidated box feature allows residents to receive multiple deliveries from the same carrier in one locker, which helps free up space for other couriers. 

The system is very user friendly and will send daily reminders to residents if they don’t collect their parcels on the first day the items are delivered.

The company estimates that concierge staff save up to 24 hours per week when they automate their package management process using Parcel Pending.

       

2. Snaile

Snaile is a Canadian parcel locker company serving low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise multifamily buildings.  

Snaile goes the extra mile by sending over onsite Customer Integration Specialists for the first few days after a building has made the parcel locker system available to owners and residents. By helping carriers and recipients become familiar with the system, nothing is left to chance.

Standard master locker walls come with 5, 12 or 22 doors, and there are several extension options, including refrigerated doors. There are also different color offerings so you can select a light or dark locker system depending on the aesthetics of your building.

Snaile’s open application program interface allows for easy integration with existing property management systems, creating an instant link between the parcel locker’s directory of municipal delivery addresses and tenant contact information.

       

3. Smiota

Smiota provides condo buildings with speedy service and convenience. The company says it can install and set up a new package locker system in 24 hours.

It also emphasizes its ability to provide a contactless experience when residents use Smiota’s mobile app.

In addition to creating touchless transactions, Smiota allows multiple couriers and recipients to access lockers at the same time, which means delivery drivers can do their jobs more efficiently.

The standard offering is a 13-door steel master locker, and add-ons, including temperature-controlled lockers, are available. The company also offers laminate lockers that are customizable and stain resistant.  

Smiota’s software automatically notifies owners and residents via text, or through its mobile app, when they have a package. Staggered pickup notifications can be scheduled too so that buildings don’t have 20 people coming to get their items all at the same time.

       

4. Amazon Hub Apartment Lockers

Amazon Apartment Lockers are appropriate for any multifamily residence with 10 or more units. However, they are better suited for smaller buildings.

The master locker has 42 compartments, and the expansion module comes with an additional 23 compartments. Amazon also advertises oversized expander lockers, but does not specify their size.

Amazon deliveries are accepted (of course), but condos can also use the locker system to receive and hold parcels from any carrier. Amazon lockers can be used for returns as well.

       

5. Luxer One

Formerly Laundry Locker in 2005, Luxer One took off in 2013 and has been growing ever since. It was acquired by the ASSA ABLOY group in 2019, and has become one of the most recognizable parcel locker and management companies in North America.

Luxer One claims to have a 100% package acceptance rate, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Luxer One specializes in handling oversized packages. Its oversized locker can also accept smaller items if there are no small or mid-sized compartments available. The locker system also has a patented feature that allows carriers to deliver packages even if the tenant’s name isn’t listed. That comes in handy in scenarios where a relative is sending a gift to a child living in the building.

It also has a thoughtful combination master lock feature for staff and management. If a door ever gets stuck or a resident needs help unlocking a compartment, staff have key-free access to each door.

While the system is sleek and user friendly, couriers may dislike the fact that they have to hold each package label in front of the locker’s camera. However, it’s a bonus for recipients because they get to see a photo of the package that has been delivered. This gives them a better idea of what’s waiting for them.

       

6. Package Nexus

Package Nexus has leveraged thoughtful AI technology to address common parcel locker issues before they occur. For example, its program can finish timed-out deliveries and pickups, and uses sensors to monitor packages. So, if someone opens a compartment but for whatever reason doesn’t take the package, the system won’t register the pickup as complete.

It also offers a robust local database that enables standalone operation if the internet ever goes down.

Other unique features include an ADA compliant braille keypad, the ability to turn any locker into an overflow locker, and larger standard locker sizes.   

Package Nexus says its application programming interface allows for seamless integration with property management software systems, too.

While there are no specifications about standard master lockers, the company’s website says it can customize shapes and sizes. 

       

7. Spacesaver

Spacesaver specializes in maximizing space and functionality as opposed to parcel management. This company has created storage products for healthcare, manufacturing and retail. However, it does sell parcel lockers for apartments, student housing, and other types of multitenant buildings.

Spacesaver began operations in 2007, and was recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in 2011 and 2012.

While it is a less traditional package locker provider, it may be the perfect option for condo buildings that need highly customized lockers. Plus, its modular design allows for future expansion if more lockers are ever needed.

       

The benefits of combining a parcel system with condo management software

Parcel locker systems do a great job of minimizing missing packages and missed delivery problems. But it’s not a perfect solution on its own. Management still has to upload owner and resident data into the directory in order for couriers to assign the parcels to recipients.   

Fortunately, this problem can be eliminated by integrating a parcel management system with a condo management software platform like Condo Control.

       

Streamline data entry

Instead of having to add every owner and resident to the locker system’s directory, you can use the information that already exists in the condo management software system. Furthermore, one-way push synchronization of resident data from the condo management software to the parcel management system eliminates the need for management to make changes in both platforms. If you make an update in condo Control, that change will automatically appear in the locker system directory.

       

Send announcements to remind owners about peak delivery period protocols

Parcels come flooding in when Christmas time rolls around. This can create havoc for condo communities, as locker compartments fill up and couriers end up dumping parcels beside the lockers. Suddenly, condos are facing the same problems they were experiencing before they installed parcel lockers.    

Management can get ahead of the chaos by sending reminders to owners and residents about parcel pickup protocols before the busy shopping season begins. One board president even decided to issue fines to owners who left their packages in the lockers for more than 48 hours. While not every community is able to enforce fines, it is one way to encourage people to collect their items in a timely manner.  

            

Reasons why your condominium needs a parcel locker

Parcel lockers are beneficial to couriers, condo staff, and condo owners. In fact, some prospective buyers may no longer consider buildings that don’t have secure package lockers.

Here are some of the top reasons why your condominium needs a parcel locker system this year:   

       

Concierge can focus on helping people instead of managing boxes

Concierge or front desk staff that have to manage packages manually may spend 1/3 of their workday (or more) receiving, sorting and distributing boxes. It’s incredibly hard to balance this time-consuming task with all of the other responsibilities they are given, and as a result, they may fall behind on other duties. 

 Poor productivity can ultimately impact building operations, which will require additional resources (time, money or both) to correct. 

Conversely, when the parcel locker can assist couriers and facilitate successful package intake and distribution, concierge can devote more energy to helping owners, tenants and guests. 

       

Owners are happier when they know their items are safe

Installing an automated package locker system in your condo building gives owners peace of mind. They don’t have to worry that their new laptop or special dog food isn’t going to be left carelessly in the foyer where anyone could walk away with it. They know that their orders are protected in a secure locker, and they can retrieve them at any time.

The convenience is a huge plus. When parcel lockers are not available, some condo residents elect to ship their items to a parcel pickup location instead. While this strategy keeps deliveries safe, it kind of defeats the purpose of delivery. Recipients have to go to the location during the store’s business hours, and they may have to get creative about how to get the item home if it is heavy or large. 

       

Fewer issues for management to resolve

When a condo owner’s package gets lost, stolen or damaged, they will almost certainly complain about it. They might speak to concierge first, but many will want to speak to the manager or board about the problem.

Chances are high that more than one person will have this problem if there isn’t an effective parcel management system in place.

That means management will spend more time they hadn’t planned on taking to speak with angry tenants and owners.

Instead of giving apologies, the best thing the board or manager can do is offer a solution to prevent valuables from going missing.

       

Better courier experience

Couriers probably won’t advocate for parcel lockers because they require these busy drivers to spend several minutes assigning packages to individual recipients. However, the advantage is that they don’t have to wait for concierge to assist them when they are doing a drop off. Sometimes, staff have to step away from the desk, and it could be 15 or 20 minutes before they return. Couriers will never have to wait that long if they can use a parcel locker to complete deliveries instead.   

       

Conclusion

When it comes to condominium parcel lockers, the pros easily outweigh the cons. Like most things, the main reason why multiresidential buildings hesitate to invest in these user-friendly solutions is the costs.

The average entry-level parcel locker system costs anywhere from $15,000 – $25,000, and that doesn’t always include installation and maintenance fees. But the locker will eventually pay for itself as it reduces costs associated with labor, and it helps retain good owners or tenants.  

Moreover, parcel lockers help keep owners and tenants happy, and that’s priceless.

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