Apartment-Dwellers Shop Online More, Create Nightmare For Complex Staff

This year, college students’ use of Amazon Prime reached critical enough mass to create mail center traffic jams. It’s not just young adults, though: apartment-dwellers are having so many packages delivered that current systems for managing resident mail aren’t working, and landlords are looking for other ways to manage the influx from online shopping.

One large company with 169 complexes across the country, Camden Property Trust, has a pretty simple solution: its building staff no longer accept packages on behalf of residents. At all. The 59,000 households living in their apartments receive about a million packages pr year, and when finding the tenant it belongs to takes maybe ten minutes per day, that’s a lot of lost staff time.

Worse, one Camden complex’s community manager explained to the Wall Street Journal how stressful life with piles of packages was last year: residents wanted their packages, and would poke at the office even before opening hours or when they were about to shut down for the night.

What the WSJ didn’t add when sharing the news about Camden Property Trust was how customers are now supposed to manage their deliveries now. Perhaps they’re just stacking recent arrivals near the mailboxes, or following the example of some complexes that simply give tenants access to a package room or communal package lockers secured with a code.

The fanciest buildings have concierge staff who take care of these things, but the increasing volume of packages has changed how they work, too. They get residents’ blanket permission to drop off packages instead of calling them every time a package arrives. Ideally, apartment complex staff would have nothing to do with package delivery at all.

Web-Shopping Deluge Boxes In Landlords [Wall Street Journal]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.