The Amazon Effect: How Will You Cope

Increased ecommerce has changed the way we do things from shopping for groceries to back-to-school items, it can all be completed with the push of a button, yell at Alexa or swipe of a finger on your mobile device.   Then what happens?…     

Where are all these packages going? 

Whether you have a 100 multi-family units in the suburbs or a townhouse on the upper east side, your tenants view secure package delivery as a necessity, not an amenity.  On a typical day, a 215-unit building in NYC, receives 160 packages.  This number doubles between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day.  

A concierge can quickly become overwhelmed by an ever-increasing stack of parcels and deliveries. Where do they go? How can they best perform their existing duties if they’re swimming in a sea of boxes all day?

Package or parcel volume as it is called in the report, has grown from 44 billion parcels in 2014 to 65 billion in 2016, according to an index that measures volume and spending on shipments in 13 major markets including the U.S. Pitney’s index estimates parcel shipping will continue to rise between 17% and 28% each year between 2017 and 2021.

Across America the question is real, “where are all these packages going to go?”  Whether it means bringing on additional help to assist with the growing numbers of deliveries or retrofitting your existing space to accommodate additional storage space, lockers or both, it needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.  Let’s have a look at some possible solutions.

Increase the Staff

The abundance of parcels that a concierge handles is ever-increasing and shows no sign of slowing down. To keep residents satisfaction at a consistently high level, you might need to consider hiring more staff to adapt to these changes.

Additional Concierge

Hiring an additional concierge can help reduce the stress of having to deal with the amount of packages. Whether this person has a dedicated task for handling packages at the front desk or is brought on to help with the increased work load of the existing concierges really depends on the specific needs of the building.

Dedicated Mail Staff

Another staffing option is to hire a mail person to assist the concierge in handling packages is another option of help. The mail staff would be working behind-the-scenes to ensure that the front desk is not overloaded with packages.

This solution is helpful for buildings where the storage area of packages is located far from the front desk.

Retrofitting Existing Space for Packages

Many residential buildings and high rises in New York were built long before online retail existed. How could the architects of even 20 years ago predict the e-commerce explosion?

Perhaps a building now has underutilized space. Are all 3 games rooms really being fully used? While looking to retrofit an existing space for parcels the following considerations should be taken:

  1. Location: How close is it to the front desk? The further it is from the front desk, the more time is spent ferrying packages back and forth
  2. Security: Who can access the space? Is it just the concierge? Or residents as well? What about the delivery person?
  3. Storage: How will the packages be stored? Will there be lockers? An Amazon Hub? Or just a secure room for the concierge?
  4. Staffing: Will more staff need to be hired? Is a dedicated mail person needed? Or can technology handle it?

In a perfect world the retrofitted space will be very close to the front desk, employing technology that allows for a minimal disruption in a concierge’s daily tasks. Sadly, a perfect world doesn’t exist and compromises will need to be made for each unique building and situation.

Creating Additional Space

No, we’re not talking about adding an extra storey to your building just to handle the influx of extra packages… it’s more about finding space in your building to add storage lockers.

There are 3 main considerations for creating additional space for storage lockers in your building: location and security.


Where are the storage lockers going? Inside the building could be an option. With increasing trends of cycling and carshares, could a section of your parking garage be repurposed for parcel storage? Or perhaps there is an area in your loading zone/bay that could accommodate for the extra deliveries.

While internal storage space in buildings is costly and limited, some buildings are opting to build parcel storage containers outside. Having outdoor storage can help with finding the space for lockers, but it does come at an increased risk with security.


Package theft has increased with the rise of online retail. How can you ensure top security for your residents’ purchases? The most secure storage for packages is when the concierge handles all of the work of signing (if needed) for the parcel and storing it in a secure location until the resident comes to pick it up. This method, however, is very time consuming and labor intensive.

A lot of package security is dependent upon the location of the storage lockers. In general, the more people have access to the storage locker, the greater the security needs to be. How then are these conflicting needs resolved?

Recent advancements in locker technology have helped alleviate the strain of extra

Locker Technology

Amazon is well aware of the strain that it has created on residential buildings with the rapid adoption of e-commerce. The good news is that they are constantly working on creating systems to make parcel delivery easier for everyone.

Recently, Amazon has begun a rollout of Amazon Hub Apartment Lockers.

These lockers are specifically designed for condos and apartments to be used exclusively by the residents. The Amazon Hub Apartment Lockers can also accept parcels from other major carriers and not just Amazon packages.

To learn more about the Amazon Hub Apartment Lockers you can visit their website here:


Budgeting for the coming year? You may want to consider your options as you prepare for 2020.  If your building recently went through a remodel and did not account for the influx of packages coming your way, consider a new designer/architect for the next project.  If you are preparing for a remodel or expansion, take into account your buildings’ demographics and that e-commerce is steadily growing by 12% each year.  Options include everything from expanded accommodations for increased doormen/concierge personnel to retrofitting an area for a secured mailroom or electronic lockers.