By Karen Kroll
In some metro areas, it’s not unusual for delivery trucks to park for hours outside a single apartment or office building while the driver delivers packages. That ties up streets and alleyways.
“Rethinking how to use the load/unload space is now necessary,” says Barbara Ivanov, chief operating officer with the Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Center at the University of Washington. Ivanov is working with the city of Seattle to design a common locker system—essentially a tiny distribution center—where a delivery truck pulls up and unload its packages into separate, secure lockers. The recipients would receive an alert and have a set amount of time to retrieve their packages.
Early next year, Ivanov and her team plan to test common lockers within an eight-block area of Seattle. Previous testing has shown a locker can cut more than three-quarters of the time a delivery person otherwise would spend in a building.