You get a notification that a package has been delivered. The ticket says, “delivered/parcel locker.” Whether you are at work or at home, if it’s your first time seeing a notification like this, you might wonder what a parcel locker is and why your package was delivered there.
A parcel locker is a secure container where packages are placed when they can’t be delivered directly to your home or office. Sometimes the package is too big for your P.O. Box or mailbox. Or you may have a package delivered to your office building where they’ll place it in a parcel locker, rather than leave it in an open mailroom.
Chances are, you’ve seen plenty of parcel lockers. Some apartment communities have parcel lockers that look like oversized mailboxes placed in a central location or near a residential common area. They are often in or near a mailroom in commercial office buildings. Or they might be at the entrance to a gated community where residents prefer to pick up their mail, rather than have a mail person deliver mail door-to-door.
Parcel lockers work a little differently than mailboxes. When you move into a home or facility that has assigned mailboxes, you are given a key to your mailbox. However, parcel lockers are not assigned.
Instead, when the person delivering and/or sorting mail has a package that is too large for the mailbox, they place the package in a parcel locker and complete the necessary documentation. Then they place the notice and a key in your mailbox.
When you receive the notice, there is a description of the package, such as who it’s from and the parcel locker number where the package is being held. You’ll head to your lobby, locker kiosk, or mailroom where you’ll locate the correct parcel locker and retrieve your package. Then, you’ll typically leave the key in the locker when you leave, or there will be instructions for you to leave the key with the mailroom attendant.
It’s that simple and convenient; it’s like having a temporary second mailbox whenever needed.
Good question. Not everyone thinks about the ins and outs of mailroom logistics but going without a set of parcel lockers can create a number of problems.
First, if you aren’t leaving packages in parcel lockers, they are most likely sitting in a mailroom or in the lobby. These can be areas that aren’t manned at all times, which means the area is not secure. If you are taking on the responsibility of accepting package on behalf of residents or tenants, then you run the risk of being liable for those packages.
Second, if you keep packages in a secure area, then you have someone who needs to be available at the desk to take tickets and retrieve parcels for recipients. If you are keeping someone on duty at all hours just to be available to act as the mail person, you’ll quickly find this isn’t cost effective. Alternatively, if you lock the mailroom during off hours, this won’t be convenient for your tenants or residents.
Third, requiring a person to retrieve packages as part of their everyday responsibilities may not be very productive. For example, busy mailrooms and lobbies need to be able to answer phones, greet guests, and provide a myriad of other functions. Having to step into another room to retrieve a package during peak hours may create inefficiencies and security concerns.
Also, some companies have their Security department retrieve packages during after hours. This can mean recipients have to wait at the security desk for an unknown amount of time while they wait for security to finish their rounds or complete other tasks before returning to their post. This can be frustrating for all parties.
Parcel lockers are the easy answer to all these concerns. By installing parcel lockers, you are taking the responsibility out of individuals and removing the possibility of human error or security issues. Recipients can access their packages when it’s convenient for them and you don’t have to worry about inefficient staff or negatively impacting productivity over a simple package delivery.
Parcel lockers are one of those unsung heroes of the mailroom. They keep packages secure and remove liability from third parties. They are convenient for recipients. And they’ll save you money and your team time by keeping things running smoothly and efficiently.
Contact the professionals at All Copy Products for a consultation. They’ll listen to your needs and provide you with the best possible parcel locker solution for you and your community’s needs.