What Is a Parcel Locker and How Does It Work?

Parcel locker delivery systems have been around for quite some time, but they have been widely used in recent years, especially during the pandemic, as they offer a safe, convenient, and contactless option for parcel pick-up. It is a well-known fact that package volume has increased drastically due to e-commerce growth and the rising trend of online shopping. It has created new challenges for postal services, delivery service providers, and any building that receives packages in terms of last-yard delivery.

In such circumstances, package lockers have emerged as a solution, allowing delivery vans to service a single drop-off point for multiple packages. Also, they ensure successful deliveries to the recipients. This blog will discuss how package locker systems work and how parcel locker operations can be improved.

What Is a Parcel Locker?

A parcel locker is a lockable storage box where packages can be left securely for collection by carriers, delivery companies, residents in apartment complexes, and customers at retail stores. It provides a simple, safe, and effective delivery solution. Multifamily parcel lockers, residential parcel lockers, and university lockers are very convenient and useful ways of storing packages and mail. However, smart parcel locker is slightly different from physical lockers.

Smart lockers for packages are powered by management software and integrations that make them intelligent enough to meet modern business needs. They keep their contents secure and are easy to access. When the recipient needs to retrieve a package from the locker, they can simply enter the assigned code and open the door.

Who Uses Parcel Lockers?

Parcel lockers are widely used across multifamily apartments, universities, retail stores, coworking spaces, and corporate offices. Smart package lockers allow recipients to keep their packages in a safe space without worrying about their packages being stolen or mishandled.

How Do Parcel Lockers Work?

Smart locker solutions facilitate package pick-ups and deliveries. They eliminate the need for personal receipts or signing for a package. Also, pick-ups and deliveries can be made anytime, and only authorized people can access the packages.

Parcel lockers work in the following manner:

  • The mail carrier or the delivery personnel will unlock the locker and place the package in it. Smart parcel lockers have a keypad, QR code, or barcode scanner. The delivery person must enter the code or scan the package to access the locker. After putting the parcel in the locker, the carrier will select the recipient.
  • Once the parcel is placed in the locker, the recipient is automatically notified via text or email. The notification contains a code the recipient must use to unlock the locker.
  • The recipient will enter the code or pin to open the locker and retrieve the package.

What Are the Benefits of Parcel Lockers?

Parcel lockers provide significant advantages to multi-family apartment owners, business owners, employees, and homeowners. Some of them are mentioned below:

Benefit of Parcel Locker

Package Security

Packages, when dropped in a parcel locker, are more secure. The electronic locking system eliminates the possibility of parcel theft or a package collected by the wrong recipient. As the package is not lost, the liability issues for couriers, property managers, and office managers are also minimum.

24/7 Availability

Smart package lockers offer a one-stop pick-up and delivery solution to carriers, couriers, property managers, and recipients with 24/7 availability. You do not have to change your schedules or rush home to receive your packages. Similarly, couriers do not have to leave packages at the door unattended, as delivery is 100% guaranteed.

Cost Efficient

Parcel lockers are very cost-efficient for a variety of reasons. They reduce the delivery cost and minimize the need for package redistribution and sorting, especially in offices.

How Can PackageX Help Scale Parcel Locker Operations?

You can connect your package locker systems with PackageX Receive app or APIs for unified receiving management, universal label scanning, and visual notifications. Our Receive app can solve the following pain points for you:

  • PackageX Receive app and Label OCR API extend the reach of your smart locker solution for usability, efficiency, and experience of receiving site staff and carriers.
  • You can offer PackageX Receive or build a custom app with our APIs to help your customers manage packages that don't fit in lockers. Our app works as a universal label scanner.
  • Our label OCR API integration on your locker camera alone can help carriers scan a package, and our tech matches it with the correct recipient and opens the locker.
  • Label OCR also comes in handy when carriers and couriers don't pick the correct recipient on the locker display screen or dump all packages in one place, and your customer's site staff has to process them.

In addition, smart parcel locker providers can automate self-service pick-up with our parcel locker integrations. They can also notify the recipients about their packages with visual notifications by setting up templates for email, text, and WhatsApp messages.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

This section will discuss some commonly asked questions about parcel locker and their management.

What is curbside pick-up?

Curbside pick-up is a service that allows customers to place an order online to be picked up at the store. If the package is ready to be delivered, the customer parks his car in the designated area near the store, and the store's representative brings the package to the customer's vehicle. Parcel locker providers can help companies with curbside pick-up services to enhance their operations, improving the efficiency and safety of the packages.

How big is a package locker?

Package lockers are usually cubic compartments at least 15 inches high to accommodate large packages. The exact sizes of the parcel lockers may vary.

Is extra hardware required to use PackageX Receive for parcel lockers?

You don't need extra hardware for the app to work. It can be downloaded onto your smartphone, and you can get started. PackageX Receive uses your phone's rear camera to scan the delivery labels and notify the recipients swiftly. It automates the self-served package pick-up process.

What kind of parcel lockers can integrate PackageX Receive?

All kinds of smart lockers for packages can integrate PackageX Receive to automate the data entry process. Its OCR-enabled app scans everything that is mentioned on the label. The app can scan up to 50 packages in one go.

Can I try PackageX Receive to integrate it with my parcel lockers?

Of course! You can use our 14-day free trial to improve your parcel locker management.


Multiple industries and organizations are deploying lockers for package delivery to streamline their package management. Parcel lockers benefit everyone involved in the delivery network, from businesses that ship packages to carriers, couriers, property managers, and recipients. Also, when contactless options are crucial to public health, parcel lockers are the safest choice. You can get the most out of the parcel locker system by integrating it with modern and smart technology.

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