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What is the Right Size for a Residential Building Parcel Locker?

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Publication: Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: 2022

Common-carrier parcel lockers present a solution for decreasing delivery times, traffic congestion, and emissions in dense urban areas through consolidation of deliveries. Multi-story residential buildings with large numbers of residents, and thus a high volume of online package orders, are one of the best venues for installing parcel lockers. But what is the right size for a residential building locker that would suit the residents’ and building managers’ needs?

Because of the novelty of parcel lockers, there is no clear guideline for determining the right locker size and configuration for a residential building given the resident population. A small locker would result in packages exceeding capacity and being left in the lobby, increasing the building manager’s workload and confusing and inconveniencing users. On the other hand, a large locker is more expensive, more difficult to install, and unappealing to residents.

To answer this question, we installed a common-carrier parcel locker in a residential building in downtown Seattle, WA, U.S.A. Through collecting detailed data on locker usage from the locker provider company, we studied and quantified carriers’ delivery patterns and residents’ online shopping and package pickup behaviors. We then used this information to model the locker delivery and pickup process, and simulated several locker configurations to find the one that best suits the delivery needs of the building.

These findings could aid urban planners and building managers in choosing the right size for residential building lockers that meet delivery demand while minimizing costs and contributing to environmental benefits.

Recommended Citation:
Ranjbari, A., Diehl, C., Chiara, G. D., & Goodchild, A. (2022). What is the Right Size for a Residential Building Parcel Locker?. Transportation Research Record, 03611981221123807.