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Off-Site Package Delivery Services: The Challenges of an Analog Solution in Today’s Digital World

In today’s digital world, consumers have an endless number of personalized services available at the push of a button. With this reality comes a significant shift in consumer expectations. Consumers want what they want, where they want it, as fast as possible. Couriers now deliver 7 days a week and, in some cases, multiple times per day to keep up with that level of demand.

As multifamily communities have worked to serve this increase in delivery volume, some have looked to off-site delivery services to ease the operational burden of package management. These off-site delivery services sell the promise of a cost-effective, infinitely scalable, “hands-off” package management solution – which, in reality, is only half true.

In practice, when the daily management of resident packages (e.g., receiving, logging, scheduling, and delivering) is delegated to an off-site service, properties are, in effect, placing the burden of package management and all its problems squarely on residents. This burden costs more in time and often money as well as creates several day-long delays in the package delivery process.

A Not-So-Prime Experience

Residents shop online to save time and are often willing to spend more to receive their items sooner (e.g., Amazon Prime or HelloFresh). However, scheduled delivery services add an extra step in the process by receiving packages at their off-site warehouse and then forcing residents to schedule a two-hour window to deliver them to their residence.

Requiring a package to be routed through a warehouse can add an extra day (or several) to the actual delivery date. This is especially true if an off-site delivery service only offers limited delivery windows or experiences operational delays (lack of driver availability or warehouse closures, for instance). Many residents have complained of waiting hours or days for a “scheduled” delivery.

If the average consumer receives 4-5 packages per month (more if they’re an Amazon Prime customer), then a resident forced to use an off-site delivery service can expect to spend at least 8-10 hours per month waiting for their packages1. Off-site delivery services waste residents’ valuable free time by making them wait for their deliveries and ultimately eliminate the convenience expected and afforded by same-day or next-day delivery.

Plus, in the event a resident has a question, concern, or complaint, communications are funneled through an online chat that is only monitored during business hours. This lack of real-time responsiveness can cause further delays in service and added inconvenience, particularly if a resident is looking for a high-priority or high-value package.

By contrast, smart parcel lockers enable 24/7/365 package delivery and pickup, helping you provide the on-demand lifestyle that residents now expect from both their shopping and living experiences.

Our industry partners, agree. “[Parcel Pending] gives our residents ease of receiving packages at any time” says Lea Relias, Property Manager at Commonwealth Plaza. “I have already recommended Parcel Pending to a few of my fellow property managers, where at least one property has gone with Parcel Pending.”

“Wait, where is my package?”

A delivery confirmation message takes on different meanings depending on the package management service you provide to your residents. For off-site delivery services, this means a resident can now select a time for delivery; however, this doesn’t always mean the resident will get their package on the date they requested.

Continued labor shortages and COVID safety protocols are making it difficult for off-site delivery services to meet demand at their warehouses. And, on top of poor reliability, these services have their drivers leave packages out in the open on residents’ doorsteps. This makes the deliveries a prime target for porch pirates and eliminates all the benefits of the off-site delivery model for residents.

Residents are not shy in sharing how they feel about these services. Their feedback on social media and top review sites tells all:

One-star reviews from residents using an off-site delivery service

Whereas, with a smart package delivery locker system, residents can receive packages securely and pick them up 24/7 – at their convenience. That’s it; the process is that easy. And, if residents need support, live customer service teams are available around the clock via phone or email.

“The security of the Parcel Pending lockers is a cherished amenity at our new apartment,” says Leslie C., a resident in Tacoma, Washington. “We are able to see exactly when our packages are delivered, and we know they are safe until we are ready to pick them up.”

Two Hour Wait = One-Star Rating

Off-site delivery services promise multifamily properties a “hands-off” package management solution that, in reality, is operationally-heavy, sometimes unreliable, and ultimately a burdensome way receive packages at the expense of the resident experience.

A tweet from Jackie H. that reads: "Literally rearranging my day because [Off-site delivery service] can't make a delivery window. This is the worst service I've ever had to use and I wish I could opt out. Get [clapping hands emoji] it [clapping hands emoji] together [clapping hands emoji"

Smart lockers, by contrast, enable the on-demand lifestyle that today’s residents expect from their living experience – at no additional cost2. Instead of being charged to receive packages during limited delivery windows or days, residents can securely receive and retrieve deliveries on their terms. Residents love this added convenience; properties with lockers installed have increased their renewals by as much as 40%3.

Satisfy Your Residents with On-Time Package Delivery

“The multifamily industry is always innovating and looking for ways to create the best living environment for their residents,” says Colleen Lambros, Chief Marketing Officer at Parcel Pending. “Now the challenge is to provide amenities and services that directly integrate with today’s consumers and their elevated expectations4.

Off-site delivery services, while appealing, ultimately provide a restrictive and inconvenient solution that doesn’t benefit your residents. By installing smart package lockers, you limit the burden of package management for the leasing office and provide your residents with 24/7, secure, on-demand access to their packages.


  1. C+R Research. (2020). 2019 Package Theft Statistics Report [Report]. Retrieved from: https://www.crrresearch.com/blog/2019-package-theft-statistics-report.
  2. Not including one-time $20 resident registration fee and/or monthly service fees where applicable.
  3. Survey results gathered from case studies conducted with residents of Cortland Partners properties.
  4. Lambros, Colleen. Parcel Pending by Quadient. Rising Consumer Expectations: Creating New Challenges & Opportunities for Multifamily Communities. (2019, October 4). https://www.parcelpending.com/en-ca/blog/rising-consumer-expectations-creating-new-challenges-opportunities-for-multifamily-communities/.