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Next stop for your parcel deliveries – the humble garage

Not just for cars anymore (Photo: Shutterstock)

The garage is about to become the largest parcel locker in America.

E-tailer Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Chamberlain Group, the maker of garage door openers and remote control devices, announced a joint venture to give Amazon delivery drivers access to residences by opening the garage door and placing packages inside it. The initiative is Amazon’s latest effort to service consumers who aren’t home to accept deliveries and who don’t want packages left outside the property.

Deliveries can be executed either with a WiFi-capable garage door, or with an “In-Garage Kit” that can be installed. Consumers who already have a WiFi-enabled door can use the service by connecting Amazon and Chamberlain accounts in the digital app of “Amazon Key,” which manages the operation. Those opting for the kit installation can access the service through a digital hub that connects a standard garage door opener to the cloud, a special opener from Chamberlain, or either of the two services in conjunction with an Amazon “Cloud Cam” that provides live feeds and motion clips at the delivery location. The “Key App” allows users to check the status of their garage doors, and open and close it regardless of location, according to Amazon.

Amazon customers wanting “in-garage” delivery will check the button at checkout on the company’s site. On the day of delivery, the customer will be given a time window for the driver’s arrival. The customer will again be notified as the driver approaches the location. Using a hand-held device, the driver will request to open the garage door. The door opens, the driver places the packages in the garage, then requests the door be closed and locked. After the Amazon system verifies the package has been delivered to the proper address, the consumer will receive a final notification. A Cloud Cam will allow the consumer to view a video clip of the delivery.

The “Key” app enables Amazon drivers to gain access to customers’ homes – which include garages – their cars and business locations to deliver packages if no one is there to receive them.

That may help solve the problem that homeowners and townhome owners often face – not wanting packages left outside their homes in public view. With Amazon’s new service, homeowners will not have to stay home from work to ensure they are there to accept a shipment.

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Mark Solomon, Managing Editor

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.

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