Say you order something from an online store. Once your order is received, the staff at a warehouse finds the item you ordered, packages up the goods, and puts it on a truck en route to a central distribution center. It’s only after the package is placed into a vehicle for delivery to the final destination that it enters the “last mile.” Last mile logistics describes the movement of goods from a transportation hub to the final destination, such as a person’s home.

While last mile logistics might sound like something only supply chain managers need to worry about, property managers are a vital part of last mile success. Your responsibility as a property manager doesn’t lie in the actual delivery of parcels, but rather in making sure your residents receive their packages. The challenge? Securing packages until tenants can pick them up. Let’s dive in.

Modern last mile logistics affect package security

Thanks to technology, last mile logistics have come a long way. Shipments can be tracked online with a simple click of a button, and sophisticated fulfillment systems allow same-day deliveries. With drones, self-driving cars, and ride-sharing services being tested as package delivery vehicles, many technologies are tackling traditional last mile inefficiencies.

But advancements bring challenges – in this case, package security. The delivery methods might be more efficient, but what happens when the package gets dropped off? Not every recipient wants to let couriers — robot or human — into their home. On top of that, couriers have so many packages to deliver, the last thing they have time for is waiting for someone to answer the door. So how do we balance consumer demand for fast, reliable delivery and package security?

Upping security in the home stretch

Assuming you’re not also a driver for UPS, you’re probably thinking, “What does this have to do with me?” As a property manager, your responsibilities start once the packages arrive at your door. While a courier might have completed most of the last mile, it’s your job to cross the finish line.

During the last mile, package security typically drops sharply, leaving room for theft. In a survey from Shorr Packaging Corporation, 31% of people reported having a package stolen right off their front porch. The (warranted) fear of package theft is even preventing people from buying certain things online, like electronics: 41% of respondents said they’ve avoided purchasing items because of theft risks. And while e-commerce can help deter theft by making their packaging more discreet, “porch pirates” will still find a way to steal packages given the opportunity.

Staff training

One of the most effective things you can do to ensure your tenants get their packages safely is to train your employees. Make sure all of your employees know your package delivery protocol.

  • Do you have a secure room for packages?
  • Are workers required to immediately let tenants know they have a delivery waiting?
  • What happens when a signature is required?

Ensuring everyone knows the answers to these questions will boost your chances that each delivery is handled equally and that packages stay secure in the process.

Surveillance cameras and security staff

Increased security is one of our “Apartment Amenities You’re Going to Notice in 2018,” and for good reason. For one, safety is a top priority for residents. Secondly, sophisticated video surveillance systems and security staff on site are both theft deterrents. If you choose to install video cameras on the premises, you and your tenants already have a leg up if someone snags a package from a hallway or behind a desk.

Package lockers

Interested in taking front desk staff out of the equation completely? Package lockers are the way to go. Not only are package lockers a huge time-saver, but they’re secure and easy-to-use, and they save on operational costs in the long run. Installations aren’t limited to traditional multifamily apartments, either: they’re being used in offices, student housing, condos, and even retail locations.

Learn More About Package Lockers

Ignoring issues with last mile logistics isn’t an option for property managers. How are you making sure your tenants’ deliveries are secure?