Using smartphone to access automated parcel locker.

 

Automated parcel lockers offer a contactless way to receive packages with ease. An automated package locker also makes deliveries safe, simple, and secure, saving you time and money. As a result, package lockers provide a practical and flexible solution for delivery management.

Read on to learn what an automated parcel locker is and how it works. Then, you’ll learn our picks for the five best automated parcel lockers. Finally, you’ll discover a more robust alternative for package management.

In this post we cover:

 

What is an automated parcel locker?

An automated parcel locker is a type of smart locker that functions as a self-service post office. Automated parcel lockers are great for multifamily buildings because they accommodate residents’ online orders and keep packages safe until they’re retrieved.

What’s more, automated parcel lockers are a convenient option for multifamily properties and commercial office buildings. This is because they don’t require residents to be home at the time of delivery. They also don’t require property staff to accept, store, and distribute residents’ parcels.

Additionally, some package lockers are refrigerated, making them perfect for storing online grocery orders. They’re also a flexible option for commercial retailers, universities, or senior living facilities that often receive and store perishable packages.

 

Receiving parcel from self-service machine.

 

How much do automated package lockers cost?

The hardware for automated package lockers can cost anywhere from $14,000 to $21,000.

In addition to that initial cost, expect to pay a monthly fee of around $150.

 

How do automated parcel lockers work?

Automated parcel lockers work by providing a secure place for postal workers to drop off deliveries. A delivery carrier uses a code to open each locker and place the packages inside. They’ll have to select the residents they’re delivering to. Most electronic lockers then alert residents when they’ve received a package and give the resident a PIN to enter or a barcode to scan at the locker.

Once a resident receives a notification that they have a package waiting, they can scan or enter that code and the correct compartment will automatically open. After the resident takes their parcel, they close the locker door, which locks automatically.

 

Using a package locker.

 

Is a parcel locker safe?

A smart parcel locker is tamper-resistant, making it one of the most secure ways to send and receive packages. Automatic parcel lockers also help reduce theft from porch pirates.

When a courier drops off a package in high-traffic areas — like a lobby, reception area, or leasing office — packages are vulnerable to theft. So, an automated parcel locker offers a secure place for couriers to store packages until a resident can retrieve them.

Automated parcel lockers that are integrated with a mobile app alert residents when their packages are delivered to the locker. Furthermore, some parcel lockers even have HD cameras. So, property managers and owners can keep track of who’s accessing the locker.

 

Benefits of automated parcel lockers

  • Contactless. Parcel lockers allow delivery workers to drop off packages without needing residents to be home.
  • Self-service. Residents can retrieve packages 24/7 for convenient access.
  • Never miss a delivery. Smart lockers keep parcels safe and secure until a resident is ready to retrieve them. The best automated parcel lockers even send alerts when a resident’s package is delivered.
  • Reduces package theft. Delivery workers use a code for the locker, which diminishes unauthorized access. Some automated parcel lockers even have cameras that improve security.

 

Disadvantages of automated parcel lockers

  • Can’t accommodate large packages. Large packages like furniture won’t fit inside the locker.
  • Expensive. Between hardware, installation costs, and monthly service fees, most smart lockers usually cost around $20,000 or more.
  • Couriers don’t always use them. Some delivery couriers ignore the lockers and drop off packages in the lobby, reception area, or leasing office, negating the benefits of the locker system.
  • Bulky. You’ll need a large amount of space to fit a parcel locker in your building.

 

Receiving package from a parcel locker.

 

5 best automated parcel lockers

There are numerous smart locker companies on the market, but we’ve narrowed down five that deserve your attention.

The top five automated parcel locker systems are:

  1. Amazon Hub apartment locker
  2. Parcel Pending by Quadient
  3. Luxer One
  4. Smiota package locker
  5. Package Nexus smart package locker

 

1. Amazon Hub lockers

 

Pros:

  • Has 42 secure compartments with the option to add additional expanders.
  • Accepts packages from all couriers, not just Amazon parcels.
  • Has both indoor and outdoor locker options.

Cons:

  • Can’t accommodate large packages like furniture.
  • You must submit a request to determine whether the installation is possible at your property.

 

Read the full Amazon Hub review »

 

Outdoor parcel locker outside apartment.

 

2. Parcel Pending

Pros:

  • Offers a variety of options, including indoor, outdoor, refrigerated, compact, and oversized lockers.
  • Comes with a mobile app that allows residents to manage deliveries from their smartphones.
  • Customizable.
  • ADA-compliant and accessible for all users.
  • Features photo capture and optional video surveillance.

Cons:

  • Lockers may malfunction and not open.
  • Unreliable customer service, according to customer reviews.
  • Residents must pay a fee to use it.

 

Read the full Parcel Pending review »

 

3. Luxer One

Pros:

  • Has indoor, outdoor, and refrigerated package locker options.
  • Customizable.
  • Features HD surveillance cameras.

Cons:

  • Residents must pay a fee to use it.
  • Doesn’t always notify residents or tenants when a package is delivered.

 

Read the full Luxer One review »

 

Checking package delivery alerts on smartphone.

 

4. Smiota package locker

Pros:

  • Sends a notification to residents after delivery.
  • Has spacious compartments that are large enough for most packages.

Cons:

  • Requires couriers to search residents by name and manually sign out, leading to slower deliveries.

 

Read the full Smiota review »

 

5. Package Nexus smart package locker

Pros:

  • Sends automated alerts to residents after delivery.
  • Sensors can detect flat or thin packages.
  • Works with or without an internet connection.

Cons:

  • Can’t customize locker size.
  • Compartment sizes are limited.
  • May not integrate with existing products and services at your building.

 

Read the full Package Nexus review »

 

A better automated package management solution

A ButterflyMX package room offers a better delivery management solution than an automated parcel locker. Package rooms are a flexible alternative to package lockers because they’re more reliable, more secure, and more affordable than parcel lockers.

While they’re a popular package management solution, automated parcel lockers can’t accommodate packages that are bigger than the dimensions of the locker itself. What’s more, many delivery couriers often ignore them and leave packages in the lobby or leasing office. As a result, automated parcel lockers cannot guarantee package security.

Conversely, a package room provides couriers with a secure area to drop off packages. And package rooms can accommodate a wider variety of package sizes.

Additionally, package rooms save property managers and staff time and money by being a 24/7 self-service solution because they don’t have to process or sign for packages.

Here are some features of the ButterflyMX package room:

  • Accommodates packages of all sizes.
  • Notifies residents when they receive a package.
  • Takes a time- and date-stamped photo of all entry events — reducing theft.
  • Residents and couriers can access the package room 24/7, decreasing the chance of late or lost parcels.
  • Delivery couriers can use delivery PIN codes assigned to them by building management.
  • Residents can send Delivery Passes to couriers to ensure they can access the package room.

 

Learn how the ButterflyMX package room works:

 

Takeaways

  • Electronic parcel lockers save property managers, staff, and residents time and money by automating package delivery.
  • Automated parcel lockers are a convenient package management system for a variety of buildings.
  • Disadvantages of automated parcel lockers include high cost, susceptibility to theft, inability to accommodate large packages, and couriers opt to ignore them.
  • Package rooms offer a more holistic solution for managing packages.

 

Learn about the ButterflyMX package management solution.

Author

Tiara Sutton

I’m an Atlanta-based writer who enjoys exploring the ways that tech benefits residents & tenants of multifamily & commercial properties.

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