Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2018.
The strong growth in home parcel deliveries has incited large residential complexes such as apartment buildings to implement parcel management systems. These systems allow for a better tracking of deliveries, lessen the amount of time a parcel is stored and reduce the amount of time required to process each individual parcel. The main tasks involve:
- Parcels are delivered to the delivery point such as the mail room or the lobby. For the delivery company (public or private), the parcel is considered to have been delivered to a third party acting on behalf of the recipient.
- Through an app on a smart phone (or a scanning device) the mail package bar code (Intelligent Mail package barcode in the United States) is read for each parcel. The bar code allows to identify characteristics such as the carrier and the recipient. A delivery availability entry is automatically created in the database and matched to the recipient identity and residential unit.
- A notification is generated that the parcel has been received and is available to be picked up. This can involve a notice board, a text message sent to the recipient’s phone or an email. On the above photo, a notice board in the mail room of an apartment complex displays parcels items (an other delivery items such as registered letters, dry cleaning, etc.) that are available to be picked up based upon the apartment unit.
- Once the recipient comes to pick up a parcel, an electronic signature may be required and a photo of the recipient can be automatically taken. This marks the parcel as delivered and ensure that there is a proof of that delivery.