Parcel lockers and smart lockers have brought the retail delivery industry into the 21st century.
Smart locker technology will allow retailers to make more parcel deliveries every day while simultaneously reducing the operational costs associated with doing so.
Additionally, it allows for easy access 24/7 to click and collect parcels, thereby improving the retail delivery experience for customers.
Parcel Delivery Lockers
Essentially, a parcel locker allows recipients to receive large packages in a secure container. Parcel lockers are the ideal solution for packages that don’t fit in traditional mailboxes.
Rather than making multiple attempts at delivery, shippers can leave parcels in parcel lockers, which are available for the recipient to pick up.
In most cases, parcel lockers are located in communal areas that couriers and United States Postal Service (USPS) postal workers regularly use.
Parcel lockers are most commonly located in the reception areas of businesses, in apartment complex lobby areas, and often also on the sidewalks.
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Types of Parcel Delivery Lockers
A postal locker serves as a delivery point for various types of mail delivery, such as ordinary mail, registered mail, marketing/advertising packages, and local and international ordinary parcels. The recipient can choose the nearest delivery point, like their home, office, or post office.
They can pick up the package within three or four days. Packages that remain unclaimed during this time period will go to the nearest post office for counter collection.
Lockers are available at laundry service providers for clothing storage once a customer has registered. They receive an SMS notification from their mobile phone when their clothes are clean. Customers can collect their clothes from the lockers at any time.
Customers can even check the status of their cleaning orders online with some service providers. The lockers feature clean dress storage with a locking feature, ventilation slots on both the front and bottom of the doors and gussets for additional rigidity in the front and bottom of the lockers.
Modular Locker: Parcels delivery lockers with a modular design consist of locker modules containing one hanger rod and equally distributed shelf load, as well as stainless steel door hinges. Modular design offers several advantages, including ease of installation, maintenance, and versatility.
Online retailers utilize self-serve package lockers in order to simplify last-mile delivery. Lockers are available at various locations including, bus stops, metro stations, shopping malls, offices, and community centers, where customers can pick up parcels at their convenience.
There are locker terminals for small, medium, and large parcels at each of these terminals. Customers use the one-time password (OTP) to make instant online payments with a debit or credit card and collect their packages.
Customers can also track and report on their packages in real-time. Parcel terminals can manage approximately 50-100 parcels per day.
Benefits of Parcel Delivery Locker
Online shopping is on the rise, and parcel lockers are the answer to managing the influx of packages into multistory buildings and commercial spaces. There are several benefits to using parcel lockers that facilitate the person-to-person shipping process.
Notification upon arrival
Customers can monitor the status of their delivery easily from their smartphones. A special app connects with the parcel locker and notifies the user once the parcel is delivered.
A push notification, text message, and even an email are sent to the recipient containing the unique QR code and PIN. Using their code or PIN, the recipient can unlock their parcel locker at the kiosk.
Collect or Leave Deliveries
A parcel locker can serve as both a pickup and a drop-off location for deliveries. While online purchases may not always go smoothly, customers can use parcel lockers to return items if the items do not meet expectations. This process saves valuable time by reducing unnecessary post office trips.
Automatically Signs for Delivery
The parcel locker system allows users to sign for parcel deliveries digitally. Now, users do not have to rearrange their schedules to be at home to sign for important packages. The parcel locker also functions as a virtual concierge, accepting and signing for deliveries on behalf of the recipient.
Locker Access 24/7
Parcel lockers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing more flexibility for users. Deliveries can occur any time of the day or night, and packages are stored safely until a convenient time for pickup.
Secure Parcel Delivery
Each parcel locker comes with its security features and cameras. A high-resolution camera monitors the parcel locker and verifies the collection of packages for added peace of mind.
Parcel lockers are accessible only with the QR code or PIN issued to the user. The verification process ensures that it’s impossible to access the wrong locker and prevents thefts.
The Future of Parcel Delivery Lockers
According to Astute Analytica’s report on Parcel Delivery Locker, the market will grow at a CAGR of 11.6% from 2021-2027. With the rapid expansion of e-commerce, reverse logistics and managing returns from customers are becoming increasingly important.
Online retailers often mention convenient return options. The reverse logistics industry in e-commerce will continue to grow due to the increasing number of businesses seeking to make the process of returning goods purchased online as hassle-free as possible. As a result, more buyers will make purchases online.
Pandemics dramatically alter consumer behavior, driving more people to buy online during lockdowns. The rapid change in the market conditions provided e-commerce with rocket fuel, leading to explosive growth. There was a significant volume of parcels to handle at the end of last year for postal operators and courier services.
With online shopping becoming a permanent habit in today’s society, parcel lockers are an ideal solution, offering sufficient capacity, simplicity, and availability (available 24 hours a day), while also matching the pace of modern-day life. Today, protecting the environment and our planet is more important than ever before.
Our successes and failures will have an impact on future generations. Thus, logistics is undergoing an intense green transformation to reduce harmful emissions as well as environmental impacts. Despite the growing number of deliveries and the growth of the parcel business, the situation represents a tremendous challenge.
A study shows that last-mile deliveries significantly increase CO2 emissions and urban traffic congestion. Delivery vehicles will make fewer rounds with parcel delivery lockers, improving first-time delivery rates and cutting emissions.