With 11 years in the delivery sector working as a postman, I have experienced first-hand the growing parcel problem. I’ve worked with many different parcel management solutions ranging from lockers to concierges storing parcels behind desks, unmanned parcel rooms, and simply taking resident requests to leave parcels on their doorsteps.
All of these come with underlying problems.
Lockers do not work! Parcels seem to come in bunches and in very large boxes. Parcel lockers are built to accommodate small boxes and often max out at 20 shelves. Therefore, I often left parcels outside of the lockers. My challenge was to either leave the parcel unattended or deposit a ‘please collect’ card, which ultimately defeats the point of having lockers in the first place. As a former postman, I can tell you that 50 lockers in a building with 100 occupied units is nowhere near enough, and locker systems generally take up more space than they are able to effectively utilise.
Leaving Parcels with the Concierge
Now for me this was the easiest method, but I really felt for the poor concierges.
I have worked with several concierges – all have always been remarkably helpful and understanding, but when I’m dropping off 50-60 parcels a day, they’d be understandably frustrated.
Every concierge I’ve known hated handling parcels. I was recently speaking to one, and it turned out she spent more time handling parcels a day than I did! It is not ideal to have parcels stacked up behind the front desk, and I’m sure concierges have better things to do. Sometimes I would have to return to a property if I mis-delivered something which left the on-site team even more frustrated at me (couriers are human, it happens). When a resident has picked up the wrong parcel by mistake, opened and “misplaced” it, blame would often be shifted back to me or the property team.
Unmanned Parcel Rooms
The unmanned parcel rooms are a difficult one for me, as they provide enough parcel storage room but not much security. As a postman, I enjoy the convenience and ease of access for the residents, however ‘Security, Security, Security’ (always at the back of my mind) – any individual can enter and leave with a parcel. Several parcels have gone missing in this scenario. Many couriers and I felt uncomfortable depositing parcels in the rooms. Once again any blame for things going wrong always lands with the courier.
Another downfall to the unmanned parcel rooms is the lack of delivery notification. As a postman dealing with over 250 parcels per day, I know that there are usually a fair number of residents expecting a parcel on any given day. An unmanned parcel room must be checked periodically for deliveries.
This is by far the best solution I have seen (and used), and not only for me as a courier but also for property managers and residents. It solves the problems of limited parcel space, security, and inefficiency offered by other systems. Parcel SafePlace offers a simple, easy and secure way to deliver parcels.
I’ll give a brief description of how it works from a courier’s point of view – I arrive with the parcels, those that require a signature are taken to the concierge to be signed for. Once at the Parcel SafePlace kiosk, I type in a unique courier code. Photos are taken of the parcels then assigned to residents using a name or unit number.
The process is repeated for all parcels. Ultimately, this process takes less than 30 seconds per parcel and leads to a 100% first time delivery rate! Once completed, the kiosk unlocks the secure door, allowing entry to the room.
Parcel SafePlace rooms are monitored 24/7 with CCTV cameras, and the door automatically locks behind you when you exit the room. As a courier, I feel comfortable delivering parcels to these rooms knowing they are safe and secure.
The Parcel SafePlace delivery process is straightforward and simple throughout, and it is just as easy for residents to retrieve their deliveries: the resident receives an email and/or SMS notification when the courier delivers their parcel. Notifications contain a photo of their parcel and a one-time access code. Codes can be used on the kiosk at resident’s convenience, 24 hours a day. Parcels are easily located in the labelled shelving units within the room.
Parcel SafePlace is simply the best solution I’ve seen, it benefits couriers, property managers and residents. I would urge those experiencing parcel management difficulties to contact me at Parcel SafePlace to discover how you and your property can benefit from this very effective solution.