Parcel Locker FAQ’s

What is the difference between a P.O. Box and a Parcel Locker? This and many other questions relating to Parcel Lockers will be answered in the article below.

What is a parcel locker?

Parcel lockers have become much more popular in the last 10 years. Delivery people find that it is a much more efficient system. Now it is no longer a convenience, but a necessity in most residential communities. Parcel lockers are larger than regular mailboxes and P.O. boxes and allow people to order larger quantities or items as well as perishable items such as food and medication.  

The United States Postal Service, as well as private organizations, are using parcel lockers to reduce delivery times and overall costs.

What is a parcel locker for USPS? 

Cluster Box Units (CBU) are a centralized unit for several addresses in a community and this helps the United States Post Office save money on fuel and also reduce air pollution from carbon emission.  A parcel locker is a separate unit that holds larger delivered packages.  These units are usually installed near the CBUs.

How does a parcel locker work? 

For Luxer One

Luxer One has revolutionized the parcel locker industry making it incredibly easy to dropoff and pickup packages from safe and secure lockers.

  1. The carrier drops off a package into an open locker.
  2. The person expecting a package will receive a notification on their phone that they have a package waiting for them.
  3. They can then scan the barcode on their phone to open the locker and retrieve your package.

For USPS

The parcel locker is utilized when delivered items are too big to fit in a small compartment within a “Cluster Box”.  A key to open the parcel locker will be left in the smaller mailbox.  This key will have a tag indicating the parcel locker number that is holding your item.  Once the key is inserted into the lock and unlocked, the item is removed, and the key will remain in the lock.

Are parcel lockers safe?

Yes. For several reasons, parcel lockers are considered safe. For instance, “porch pirates” are unable to steal packages that are in a secure parcel locker. Additionally, packages are safe from environmental elements such as rain, snow, and wind. Also, in the age of post Covid-19, contactless is a major concern for many people and parcel lockers allow for minimal interaction with delivery personnel.

Luxer One lockers are made with 12 gauge steel and have internal hinges making it very difficult to break open the locker to steal anything inside.

How long can a package stay in a parcel locker?

A parcel locker can hold a package for up to 7 to 10 days; however, it may be the regulation of the apartment complex for tenants to remove packages within 48 to 72 hours to make room for incoming packages.  If the rules of the complex are not followed, it is possible that the tenant may be fined by the complex (owners of the parcel lockers).

How do I retrieve a package from parcel locker?

For Luxer One

You will receive a notification on your phone that you have a package waiting for you. Once at the lockers, scan the barcode on your phone to open the locker and retrieve your package.

For USPS

The package is scanned by a post office employee and a key is placed in the buyer’s assigned P.O. Box. The key is used to retrieve the package and the key will remain in the lock until it is removed by a post office employee. Also, notification can happen via the internet or phone/text communication that there is a package in the parcel locker that is ready to be retrieved.

Is a parcel locker a P.O. Box?

No. Although they both hold delivered items, a P.O. Box is owned by the United States Post Office and rented by individuals.  Parcel lockers are larger than P.O. boxes and are privately owned by apartment buildings and/or corporations. P.O. Boxes usually hold small packages, letters, and magazines. Parcel lockers have the ability to hold oversized packages or several small packages. Both a P.O. Box and a parcel locker have a sturdy lock and single key access for enhanced security.

How big are parcel lockers?

The standard size of a parcel locker is 79 inches tall, 39 ½ inches wide, and the depth is 24 inches.  Additions can be included to accommodate larger or refrigerated lockers.

Why is my package in a parcel locker? 

Due to the fact that many people or getting large deliveries including perishable items, standard-sized mailboxes no longer fit the bill. Larger parcel lockers hold items that are too big to fit into a persons’ standard size mail locker. Basically, your package is in a parcel locker, because it is too large to fit in a standard P.O. Box.

What are smart parcel lockers?

Smart parcel lockers are automated in the sense that notification of delivery is sent directly to the receipt via email or text message. This type of quick automatic notification means that parcels are picked up quicker and delivery is not interrupted by not having available lockers for future deliveries.

What can smart lockers be used for? 

Smart lockers can be used for weekly groceries including perishable items such as dairy items; meal kits; laundry and dry cleaning; and even medicine deliveries.

How much do smart lockers cost? 

The configuration of smart lockers varies; therefore, so does the total cost. However, for a standard unit (20 to 25 lockers) plus a refrigerated unit (8 to 10 lockers), the cost of the hardware starts at $21,000. The one-time fee of shipping and installation should be under $2,000.  Depending on the company that owns the lockers, there could also be a monthly support fee of a couple of hundred dollars.

Where are parcel lockers located?

Usually, parcel lockers are found in common areas where postal workers and other couriers will be able to easily access them. Some common areas include, but are not limited to, lobbies of apartment complexes, reception areas, large supermarkets, hospitals, shopping malls, colleges, and sidewalks.

Final Word

Parcel lockers and smart lockers are here to stay. They are a huge convenience to your tenants as this is the age of having everything delivered directly to your home.  Who wants to go shopping and lug huge boxes and bags back home? Not me. If you have not looked into parcel lockers yet, now is the time.

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