Free, Contactless package pick-up coming to Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood
The University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab (UFL) in conjunction with smart locker provider Parcel Pending by Quadient and parking magnate REEF, recently launched an open-network smart locker system in Seattle’s Belltown area, offering the neighborhood free, accessible, safe, contact-free package pick-up.
The open network locker system — smart lockers that can receive packages from all retailers and delivery companies — is a part of a U.S. Department of Energy-funded three-year research project testing the ability of various technology solutions to reduce delivery vehicle dwell time and carbon emissions, and increase productivity of load/unload parking spaces.
“The explosion of online shopping has flooded the streets of Seattle and many other cities with delivery vehicles, and the trend is expected to grow even further in the coming years, resulting in increased congestion and negative environmental impacts,” said Andisheh Ranjbari, UFL Manager. “So, it is important to evaluate new solutions such as open network locker systems, to help cities mitigate the harmful impacts of increased online shopping on congestion and carbon emissions.”
The UFL now invites all Belltown residents, dwellers, workers and commuters to participate in the locker project by signing up online, ordering packages to be delivered to the locker system, and retrieving their packages within seven days.
Additional project partners include the City of Seattle, King County Metro, Sound Transit, CBRE, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, and the City of Bellevue.
“Parcel Pending is honored to assist The Urban Freight Lab with the implementation and technical support for this research project,” stated Kate Reidel, SVP Business Development for Parcel Pending. “Our lockers provide a safe, secure and most importantly contact-free way for consumers to retrieve their online orders and packages at their convenience. We’re confident that our lockers will help expedite the overall package management process in Seattle and have a positive impact on the environment while also saving retailers and delivery services valuable time and money.”
UFL and Parcel Pending previously joined forces in 2018 to study the effectiveness of open network locker systems in the Seattle Municipal Tower to reduce delivery vehicle parking time and the number of failed first delivery attempts. Results of this initial pilot program showed that open network lockers completely eliminated failed first deliveries and reduced time needed for deliveries by 78 percent when compared to traditional floor-to-floor and door-to-door delivery. This allowed for a significant increase in commercial vehicle load/unload space capacity in the network without building additional infrastructure. Most importantly, the lockers also created greater convenience and security for consumers receiving packages and online orders.
To learn more about the project, click here.