Smart Locker Sizing for Residential Buildings


Logistics innovations

Smart Parcel Lockers are growing in popularity, especially in residential buildings, with an unprecedented increase in parcel volume due to the growth in online shopping fueled by COVID-19. One of the key questions for those thinking of installing a Smart Parcel Locker is what size locker do I need?

Determining Parcel Volume

First and foremost, what is the volume of parcels you receive every day? Suppose you have a way to track this over an extended period (2 to 3 months). In that case, you can determine, with confidence, what your average daily volumes are. The expectation this number will likely increase by 10 to 20% in the coming year must also be considered. You now have the data to determine the size of locker you’ll need to handle your volumes adequately.

If you don’t have the time, resources, or staff to record how many shipments are received every day, there is an alternative method. The average daily parcel volume can be estimated by using a factor of five or six and dividing it into the number of units in your building. For example, if you have a 300-unit building, you can expect to receive between 50 and 60 parcels per day.

Parcel Turnover Rate

Once you know your daily parcel volume, you need to work out the locker size that will adequately handle this. Again, your parcel storage policy is a determining factor. In other words, how many days will parcels be allowed to be stored in the locker before removal? For most residential buildings, this is 48 hours to 72 hours (2 to 3 days).

Photo of a residential smart lockerA residential Smart Parcel Locker

If you implement a 2-day expiry policy, you will need a locker with 30% more slots than your average daily volume and 50% for a 3-day policy. So, if your daily volume is 50 parcels and you want to have a 2-day expiry policy, you’ll need a locker with 65 slots.

Selecting Slot Sizes

The next thing you need to consider is the number of each slot size you need. Generally, a small parcel slot in a Smart Locker will measure 4 or 5 inches high by 16 inches wide and 24 inches deep. Medium, large and extra-large slots will measure about 9, 16, and 25 inches tall, respectively (all with the same width and depth as the small slot).

Some lockers have even larger slots, but many property managers prefer to limit the larger sizes in favour of having more of the smaller-sized slots. Parcels delivered into residential buildings come in various shapes and sizes. Still, the general distribution of parcels will fit into a locker that has 43% small, 43% medium, and 16% large and extra-large slots.

Most Smart Parcel Lockers are about 24 inches deep and 78 inches high. For every 20 inches of locker length, you can expect to have, on average, eight locker slots. With the calculated number of slots required, you can determine how much space you need to house your locker. Using the numbers above, if you need 80 slots, you can figure that you’ll require about 200 inches (or about 17 feet) of linear space.

Planning for Growth

We mentioned earlier that the growth of parcel volumes would likely be between 10 to 20 % per annum for several years to come. Smart Lockers are readily expandable, but ideally, you will need to find a space that will give you expansion capabilities for the future. Keep in mind that these lockers don’t have to be in a straight line. Using an L-shape, U-shape, or back-to-back configurations is common. Smart Lockers can also be separated, but the distance between the sections should be close so residents can easily find the slot with their parcel in it when they retrieve it.

We design our Smart Parcel Lockers to manage your inbound courier shipments and provide your tenants with a private, secure, and convenient way to pick up all of their parcels 24/7. We work with all couriers who visit your building. Our flexible platform allows us to add new couriers as required.

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 or calling 1-800-818-0870.