Companies offer solutions to apartment package delivery hassle

Hub by Amazon, Texas startup Fetch expanding efforts in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – It’s a package predicament. With the boom in online shopping, apartment managers are dealing with a deluge of deliveries.

“It’s not just Black Friday. It’s all the time,” said Randall Baker, property manager at Vista Ridge Apartments.

He estimates his complex’s office takes in at least 60 packages every day for residents who just aren’t home when the delivery arrives. 

Dealing with the pile of packages and oversized envelopes had become a burden, taking up valuable storage space and a lot of time.

“As far as taking them in, emailing (residents), scanning them when the residents come in to get them, I’d say an hour and half a day – every day,” Baker said.

Enter the Hub by Amazon. The e-commerce company is partnering with multi-family complexes and installing banks of digital lockers on-site. They accept not only Amazon packages but packages from any carrier, including the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx.

The delivery person puts the package into a locker, and the recipient is emailed a code to open the locker at his or her convenience instead of waiting on the leasing office.

“It would take 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how many packages were in there,” said resident Kevin Murray.

The lockers also keep packages off of doorsteps and away from so-called porch pirates. 

Amazon did not invent the locker for deliveries. Some apartment complexes offer lockers from other companies on-site, typically as amenities.  

Amazon began offering its Hub lockers nationwide last year, and they’ve begun to pop up on local properties.

Lockers are also just one solution. Fetch is another. The Texas startup tackles the package problem by serving as a delivery service. 

With Fetch, apartment residents have their packages delivered to the company’s warehouse. Residents are notified when the package arrives, and they can have the package delivered to their doorstep at their convenience.

Fetch will launch in San Antonio in April, according to CEO Michael Patton. The company is currently hiring. It currently serves the Dallas, Houston and Austin markets.

“It solves a problem for property owners,” Patton said, noting it is especially helpful when customers buy large or perishable items.

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