With the advent of online shopping, package delivery has come to be a vital part of daily life. Yet for many residents, package deliveries may be left unattended due to a lack of secure parcel lockers that are up to the challenge and volume of modern-day shipping.
When renovating a mailroom, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, it’s up to the property owner to match the concerns of their residents with the circumstances of their community. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to providing your community’s package system to satisfy your resident’s need for secure temporary storage for delivered packages.
So, in order to get a better idea of just what your property needs, let’s review five factors that can guide your decisions when considering how you want to handle package delivery for your property.
Nowadays, many residents do the majority of their shopping online. What they purchase then has to be shipped to them, introducing the uncertainty that their purchase could be lost, stolen or damaged along the way
A rigorously tested parcel locker can put their minds at ease. It lets your residents know that once their packages arrive they’ll be stored safely, ready to be picked up at their convenience.
The actual location of your package lockers makes a big difference. Protect your residents by providing a well lit and welcoming indoor setup, or a highly visible and durable outdoor configuration.
If you are renovating your central mail delivery center USPS regulations require you to use either a USPS-approved STD-4C mailbox system that includes one parcel locker for every five mailbox compartments. Cluster Box Units (CBU) can be used in lieu of 4C mailboxes for outdoor mail centers if free-standing centralized mailboxes are the preferred installation solution.
Whether you choose 4C or CBU mail and package equipment, providing your residents with a top-of-the-line package delivery solution will increase the value of your property as well as ensure resident satisfaction.
They say form follows function, but that doesn’t have to be the case for your property’s package delivery equipment. Many property managers are taking advantage of the new styles and models available today.
From hard-working, outdoor cluster box units and outdoor parcel lockers to architecturally incorporated mailrooms, there are endless ways to optimize your package delivery system to work well and look good doing it.
It goes without saying that a good looking mail solution enhances the prestige of your property, but don’t be alarmed if your current package delivery boxes don’t seem up to snuff. Assess what you need to improve and make a change!
When renovating, be sure to talk to your local USPS office first, to discuss your plans including your choice of code-compliant 4C or CBU mailboxes. The USPS has to approve your mailroom design, location and equipment choices if you want your certificate of occupancy, so the earlier they get involved, the smoother the process will go.
Generally, USPS approved parcel lockers for package delivery can be divided into two categories: built-in and free-standing. Both categories offer different styles to spice up the everyday chore of package retrieval for your residents.
Built-in 4C-style package delivery systems are usually planned from the start of any project and offer unique ways to incorporate the design of the mail and package room with the design of the larger development.
If you want to offer your residents the convenience and security of delivered packages regardless of the delivery carrier — invest in an automated package management system. An automated locker system, such as the Package Concierge, can be used by the USPS when the 4C parcel lockers are full and by all other parcel carriers delivering packages for residents.
Individual freestanding package delivery boxes, also called Outdoor Parcel Lockers (OPL), are typically placed outdoors in tandem with CBU mailboxes. Often OPL equipment is placed under a shaded structure or awning, alongside centralized residential mailboxes. USPS carriers deliver packages into parcel lockers and leave the locker key in the resident’s mailbox, so CBU and OPL are generally placed in very close proximity to each other. These freestanding mail and package delivery boxes are perfect for a more dispersed community cutting down on mail commute time for residents.
Because CBU and OPL boxes do not have to be integrated into the community structure, they can be installed later in the development process. However, it’s important to note again that USPS has to approve the mail and package equipment selection AND the location, so be sure to run the location(s) of the CBUs by your local USPS office before committing to the location with your builder team. Otherwise, you could run into costly issues down the line.
Installation methods including adherence to min/max reach ranges of mail and package equipment is carefully regulated by the USPS, as well as the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act. Careful compliance with these regulations will save you money in the long run, as well as accommodate your residents’ physical needs.
The USPS equipment and installation guidelines ensure that packages can be delivered efficiently and effectively to residents. These guidelines cover aspects of delivery such as the actual dimensions of the mailboxes and package lockers, as well as their placement in the community.
Failure to adhere to these guidelines can result in costly reinstallations or renovations to your property’s mailbox system. That’s why, when choosing your provider, it’s important to understand the codes and laws governing mail and package delivery.
Fortunately, Florence offers a selection of package delivery equipment to comply with USPS specifications. Our team participated in creating the current centralized mailbox standards, and we have a network of authorized dealers across the country that will assist you in configuring the right mail and package solution for you and even help install your new equipment at your property.
Now that you know your options, all that’s left to do is to examine your property’s needs and make a decision on the most effective package management system. Let’s review a few of the most important factors.
Let’s say your residents are spread out in a wider neighborhood. In that case, it could be best to use external clustered mailboxes, with each cluster servicing a specific group of residents. This will make their package retrieval easier and more convenient. However, you have to have the USPS approve this configuration, as they prefer mailboxes to be in one centralized location when possible. But this really does depend on your specific development, so talk to your USPS growth manager as early as you can.
Let’s say you’re servicing a denser concentration of residents, such as an apartment complex in the city. Then it is probably best to construct a centralized hub for mail and package delivery, preferably indoors for the convenience of your residents and their mail.
If your property is subject to frequent extreme weather events, you should plan your package delivery system accordingly by keeping your parcel boxes safe inside a mailroom or under the cover of some external structure.
K-State Office Park
K-State Office Park was within four months of finishing their new office building when they realized they had not planned ahead for their mailroom. Thankfully, they turned to Florence for help.
Florence helped them set up a meeting with their local Postmaster to discuss their needs and gain concurrence on their chosen indoor location for the new mail center. Together, they determined that a combination of a wall-mounted 4C mailbox system and Package Concierge system design layout would be their best choice. Florence worked with the architect to finalize equipment specifications and drawings and with the General Contractor to develop the equipment contract, delivery and installation plan.
With everyone working together, the office park was still able to open on time with a state-of-the-art mail center. The business tenants love the convenient central location and the Package Concierge system is a great tool for the owners to leverage to help sign leases.
Get the System You Need
Ultimately, as long as the needs of your residents and the USPS regulations are met, your 4C or CBU mailboxes and package lockers should easily provide your residents with convenient, effective mail and package delivery.
With these factors in mind, check out our product line and get in contact with one of our knowledgeable regional dealers to see just how easy it can be to provide the best for your residents and your property as a whole.