7 Ways Parcel Lockers are Changing Logistics


Logistics innovations

Everyone has used a locker at one time or another. Our first interaction was likely with the colorful school lockers that kept our books safe between classes. However, times are changing, as lockers are receiving a massive upgrade.

Popular in Asia and Europe, Smart Parcel Lockers are making their way to North America. On the surface, they may still appear to be relatively simple devices. But you would be mistaken. Robustly built and now connected to the cloud, today’s Smart Parcel Lockers offer so much more than just a convenient way to pick up a package.

In today’s post, we explore the seven ways Smart Parcel Lockers are changing the course of parcel logistics.

Automated BOPIS Solution

The ability to buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) was the life-line many retailers needed during the pandemic. However, as the world slowly reverts to normalcy, the convenience BOPIS offers remains a highly sought-after service by consumers.

Instead of declining BOPIS usage, retailers are experiencing an uptick in demand. For retailers seeing increased foot traffic, this means balancing labor to accommodate in-store shopper needs and staffing customer service desks to retrieve ordered items. Unfortunately, dedicating the necessary staff to effectively manage BOPIS solutions is no longer economical.

Retailers are finding Smart Parcel Lockers free up much-needed work hours to meet the return to pre-pandemic shopping levels. Additionally, lockers are fast becoming a customer favorite as they are notified the instant their ordered item is ready for pick up and eliminate waiting in line at customer service desks. Smart Parcel Lockers offer a true win-win solution for the retailer and consumer.

Automated Package Concierge

The average number of monthly deliveries a multi-family building expects to receive will eclipse 10 per resident by the year 2023. For a modest, 100-unit building, property managers must efficiently and effectively handle more than 1,000 packages every single month. For most associations, this simply won’t be possible.

Smart Parcel Lockers solve the key challenges already facing residential communities. Each locker provides an organized way to receive, store, and deliver parcels on behalf of residents, eliminating increased staffing requirements. Couriers no longer have to bother on-site managers and residents can pick up their items at their convenience.

Photo of a ParcelPort smart lockerA residential Smart Parcel Locker installation

In addition to saving time and money, a well-designed Smart Parcel Locker can also save square footage previously reserved for package storage. Intelligent software automatically notifies residents when packages are delivered via text and email. With anytime access, residents do not have to wait for someone to retrieve their parcel. Additionally, residents are sent reminders, and if the association desires, will be charged a late pick up charge if a delivery is not retrieved within a specified time frame.

Peer-to-Peer Exchange Hub

Across town or across the country, publicly available Smart Parcel Lockers offer individuals the opportunity to send and receive items without the hassle of shipping. Residents living in dense, urban communities benefit by having a network of lockers across the region where items can be dropped off to be picked up by a friend or relative later. In rural towns, Smart Parcel Lockers are the perfect way to facilitate the exchange of goods without driving miles across the county.

With equipment or technology shared among departments, private businesses and organizations also appreciate the Smart Parcel Locker’s convenience and security. For example, paper files can easily be moved across large government campuses regardless of the time of day or personnel availability. Inside technology companies, corporate laptops and cellphones are deposited into lockers for updating, returning to the locker once they are serviced.

Automated Asset Protection

Valuable equipment is required for a variety of organizations. Whether collecting evidence from a crime scene or taking equipment to a construction site, managing, tracking, and locating important assets is tedious. Automated Smart Parcel Lockers allow businesses to reclaim their time and save money. Control and access are centralized within an intuitive and robust database, eliminating the need for spreadsheets and manual processes.

Real-time reporting is available anywhere you have an internet connection. The instant access means you have a pulse on where each asset is located, how to optimize shared usage and maintain optimal inventory levels. Automated asset protection with Smart Parcel Lockers changes the game in how, when, and where you securely store valuable items.

Last-Mile Delivery Solution

Home delivery is certainly a convenient way to receive packages. But it is hardly efficient. The final mile to deliver a package to a home can account for more than 53% of the overall cost of shipping. Delivering during the last mile is the most time-consuming and expensive part of a package’s journey. And in the end, it is the consumer who pays.

Logistics companies recognize the opportunity to significantly reduce delivery costs through the deployment of strategically placed Smart Parcel Lockers. Although it may seem contrary to the convenience home delivery provides consumers, picking up in a locker provides a variety of benefits customers desire.

Smart Parcel Lockers eliminate the worry that their package may become the victim of theft if left on the front porch while away at work or school. But, perhaps one of the most significant benefits of using last mile lockers for delivery is the positive environmental impact. The reduction in total miles traveled and fuel savings is impressive. And with ever more attention on the environment, a whopping 73% of young customers say they would change purchasing habits toward greener options.

Advertising Medium

Smart Parcel Lockers come in a variety of sizes. Overall, however, they provide a fantastic medium to act as a large, eye-catching billboard. Retailers can utilize this space to promote their brands on lockers located away from their brick and mortar storefronts. In addition, lockers located in or near retail stores can sell the blank locker canvas to suppliers or local businesses to generate a new source of revenue.

Photo of a ParcelPort retail smart locker with graphicsCustom-wrapped Smart Parcel Locker with above locker advertising

Owned lockers in public spaces can also take advantage of above screen displays. Commercials promoting products and brands catch the eyes of anyone who walks by. And, with the ability to remotely upload and control advertising, ad space can be sold to any business seeking exposure. In some instances, advertising alone covers the locker’s operational costs.

Marketing Machine

Today’s Smart Parcel Lockers offer a myriad of opportunities to target customers in ways that will delight and surprise them. Businesses can drive additional foot traffic by offering same-day, in-store-only coupons presented to locker users physically in the locker or via text and email. As a result, customers benefit from instant savings while retailers further promote locker usage, improving per item margins.

Smart Parcel Lockers offer many creative marketing ideas. Lockers can deliver product samples promoting a new offering. Surprise, in-locker giveaways can be organized to promote the sign up of new locker customers. And direct marketing via text, email, or the Smart Parcel Locker app can generate new sales opportunities. The marketing possibilities are only limited by our imaginations.


Smart Parcel Lockers are paving the way as an environmentally friendly and economically efficient solution for parcel logistics. At ParcelPort, we are working hard to build North America’s most extensive Smart Parcel Locker network to make this future a reality.

To learn more about how your organization can maximize smart lockers to reduce cost, increase revenue, and delight your customers, contact the ParcelPort team online by visiting www.theParcelPort.com or calling 1-800-818-0870.