"Shippageddon": The urban package avalanche is here
The amount of stuff getting delivered to apartment buildings is overwhelming the ability to store it and make sure it doesn't get lost or stolen — creating opportunity for the "proptech" industry.
Why it matters: "Proptech" companies sell technology products that solve real estate problems — in this case, systems à la Amazon Lockers — and this year they're slavering at the surfeit of package deliveries.
Driving the news: As people order everything from gym equipment to car tires online, apartment buildings are converting laundry, bike, storage and common rooms into package areas.
- Landlords are using software systems like BuildingLink and Notifi that alert residents to deliveries.
- Some are creating physical spaces — like shelves, lockers and cabinets — for secure pickup and storage.
- But mail room constraints aren't the only problem: Apartment staffers are overworked and stressed out from the crush of packages, which has intensified since big shippers expanded weekend deliveries.
"Currently around 20 percent of residents at a multifamily property receive at least one package per day," Multifamily Properties Quarterly reported in November.
- "That could mean staff are spending, on average, five hours a day processing and sorting packages instead of assisting residents."
How it works: Instead of making residents paw through huge piles of boxes in the lobby, buildings are hiring companies to build modular systems where deliveries of all type — from the local dry cleaner to GrubHub and Uber Eats — can be locked away for recipients to retrieve.
- "We have a property in L.A. that converted an entire floor to be a package room to accommodate the type of shipping its residents were doing," said Donna Logback, head of marketing at Package Concierge, which sells such systems.
- "The beauty of the lockers is that you’re not having that human-to-human contact — and you don’t have a kayak waiting in the lobby for a week."