Parcel Pending is the leading provider of package management solutions for multifamily, commercial, retail, and university properties in the United States and Canada. With over 2 million packages delivered monthly, we’ve had the unique opportunity to follow how the coronavirus outbreak has affected multifamily properties across the country, especially the package management challenges related to increases in daily deliveries.

Here are the most important trends we have observed over the past month:

Package volume is increasing rapidly…and will only continue to grow.

Package management is already a very real problem for many multifamily communities. In fact, a report from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) shows that the average apartment community typically receives 150 packages per week, and that number jumps to 270 packages per week during the holidays – an 81% increase1.

Since the start of social distance measures and “safer at home” orders, couriers like FedEx and UPS have experienced holiday-level delivery volume as more people purchase from home for essential items they no longer feel safe getting from physical storefronts or simply cannot find at nearby stores. The USPS alone experienced a 70% increase in package volume since the start of the pandemic2. And recent studies of the nation’s largest grocery chains3 and grocery delivery services4 show that demand for home grocery deliveries has tripled since the beginning of March5.

In recent weeks, Parcel Pending has seen a 25% year-over-year increase in package deliveries and is projecting delivery volume to continue rivaling what is normally seen during the November and December holiday season.

This struggle with growing package volume is only made more challenging as leasing offices and common areas normally used to store resident packages are closed to both staff and residents. The solution many properties are turning to is contactless smart package delivery lockers.

Contactless delivery is becoming the industry standard.

Consumer needs and purchasing habits are being rapidly reshaped by new fears and social distance practices. For instance, many people are avoiding non-essential trips to physical storefronts and instead opting to have their purchases delivered to their homes. Many residents that are now working from home will find themselves working remotely several days a week, if not indefinitely, resulting in the current surge of package deliveries becoming the new normal.

People are constantly seeking greater convenience, speed, access, security, and personalization6. The next-day, safe, contact-free home deliveries offered by most businesses right now are exactly that. As such, the consumer preference for convenient, contactless delivery options is unlikely to change, even as the world begins to evaluate what “the new normal” will look like.

What does this mean for multifamily communities?

Residents will continue to expect more convenience, speed, access, and personalization from their living environment. However, they are going to expect an even higher level of security both for their essential deliveries and their health – something that can only be guaranteed with a contact-free community environment.

The days of processing package deliveries through the leasing office are likely to change and not just because communities are struggling to keep up with a growing number of packages. Society will likely shift to contactless retrieval and away from package deliveries that require physical contact with delivery drivers to mirror consumer needs and habits in the new normal of safer social distance practices.

Expect contactless delivery options, like smart package lockers, to grow in prevalence around multifamily communities in order to minimize the potential risks of delivery drivers and residents interacting within confined leasing offices or community spaces, as well as to proactively address these changing health and safety expectations.

Secure, convenient, contact-free delivery with Parcel Pending.

Parcel Pending can help communities solve for both growing package volume and changing health and safety needs with our easy-to-use package lockers.

There are two contact-free package pick-up methods available to multifamily properties with Parcel Pending lockers:

  • Barcode: Scan the barcode included in the Parcel Pending delivery notification (email, text, or optional mobile app) to collect your order without having to use the touchscreen.
  • Parcel Pending Mobile App: Download the Parcel Pending mobile app (available for download on the App Store or Google Play Store). By scanning the barcode or pushing the button in the app notification, the locker door will open without having to use the touchscreen.

Since the start of social distance and “shelter in place” practices due to the pandemic, Parcel Pending has seen a significant increase in residents using features that enable contact-free package pick-up.

“In just five days, we saw a 46 percent increase in downloads and usage of the Parcel Pending mobile app,” said Lori Torres, CEO and founder of Parcel Pending. “We’re grateful that we’ve been able to proactively meet the needs of our multifamily partners and the growing desire among residents for contact-free pick-up options in the current environment.”

Parcel Pending users are already speaking highly of these features. “Your lockers, especially right now with all the social distancing, are even more helpful [than before],” says Bita, a Parcel Pending user based in Los Angeles.

Adding new amenities may not be at the top of most properties’ to-do list right now. But if they do need help with package management, Parcel Pending is available to help. Reach out to a member of Parcel Pending’s team to find a solution that fits a range of properties’ unique needs and budget.

Sources:

  1. National Multifamily Housing Council. (2018, November 14). Special Delivery: 2018 NHMC/Kingsley Package Delivery Report [Press release]. Retrieved from https://www.nmhc.org/news/
  2. Bogage, Jacob & Dawsey, Josh. The Washington Post. Postal service to review package delivery fees as Trump influence grows. (2020, May 14). https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/14/trump-postal-service-package-rates/.
  3. Nguyen, Terry. Vox. How to get groceries when delivery services are slammed. (2020, April 8). https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2020/4/8/21213919/grocery-delivery-slammed-coronavirus-freshdirect-instacart.
  4. Weise, Karen & Conger, Katie. The New York Times. Gaps in Amazon’s Response as Virus Spreads to More Than 50 Warehouses. (2020, April 6). https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/05/technology/coronavirus-amazon-workers.html.
  5. Instacart. (2020, April 8). Introducing “Fast & Flexible” & “Order Ahead” to Speed Up Service & Unlock More Delivery Windows [Press release]. Retrieved from https://news.instacart.com/
  6. Lambros, Colleen. Rising Consumer Expectations: Creating New Challenges & Opportunities for Multifamily Communities. (2019, October 4). https://www.parcelpending.com/blog/rising-consumer-expectations-creating-new-challenges-opportunities-for-multifamily-communities/.