Upon the onset of COVID-19, communal mailrooms of residential complexes—apartment buildings, condominiums, townhomes, etc.— endured a staggering influx in incoming parcel volume by virtue of a sudden worldwide dependency on e-commerce amid lockdowns. It was reported that this upsurge of online shopping thus resulted in an upward trend of 74% more parcels delivered in March of 2020 than in 2019.
Pandemic restrictions and stay-at-home mandates played a monumental role in the increased demand for delivered goods; people were simply left with no choice but to transition all their shopping needs to online delivery methods. Suddenly online delivery was no longer primarily hinged on retail, but rather heavily dependent on a hot e-commerce market for daily necessities such as groceries, medications, toilet paper, and other household supplies.
And yet, as we transition into a post-pandemic world where traditional means of shopping and retail begin to re-open their doors, the heightened demand for e-commerce isn’t expected to die down anytime soon. Convenience proves hard for consumers to give up. Residential mailrooms around the world have already been struggling to keep pace with the expedited flow of incoming parcel shipments, which is only forecasted to worsen, with a projected record high of 200 billion parcels to be shipped and delivered globally by 2025.
Not only are overcrowded mailrooms not conducive to streamlined delivery, but easy access to mail and on-time delivery plays a major role in tenant satisfaction, and therefore likelihood of retention. A recent survey by Ballymore revealed that most residential complex tenants tended to value orderly parcel management over other luxury amenities such as in-house cinemas or private pool access.
With no end in sight for the steady inpour of parcels, it’s time that mailrooms begin amending their outdated methods of mail sorting by adopting a proper mailroom management software that can accommodate the inevitable surplus of incoming parcel inventory. Creating an Excel spreadsheet logging system might be a good place to start, but if it’s within your budget, your best bet is to invest in mailroom management software.
Overcrowded mailrooms also give way to major liability issues in such as parcel damage, theft, misplacement, and potential spoilage (for perishable deliveries.) During the pandemic, recipients of packages were a bit easier to track down given that everyone was homebound, but with quarantine restrictions now lifted, it’s become even more difficult to properly deliver to people who are out and about. Package management software mitigates that waiting period between arrival and delivery by notifying tenant when to expect the arrival of their parcel as well as reminders for pick-up once it has arrived.
Keeping tenants in the loop regarding the timeline of their deliveries not only alleviates any stress on their part about the parcel’s status, but it also ensures that those deliveries won’t be taking up space in the mailroom. Supply and demand are two-way streets when it comes to streamlining your mailroom’s parcel management system to effectively maintain a balanced ration of parcel reception to parcel distribution. By integrating parcel management software into their logging and distribution process, residential mailrooms can ensure their accountability by keeping a record of proof-of-collection receipts to ensure that even parcel ends up in the right hands, while also holding tenants accountable for picking up their parcels as promptly as possible through frequent delivery status updates.
Certainly, the COVID-19 parcel-geddon has not been a merciless experience for residential mailrooms around the world, however, the most successful outcomes begin as disarray, then as dedicated revision, before evolving into scalable growth. With enhanced control and a more instantaneous means of communication between tenants and property management, mailroom software is the first step forward toward feasible parcel distribution in our increasingly digital world.