UPS, Latch expand keyless entry program for common-area deliveries to multi-unit buildings

Delivering to a common area near you (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

UPS Inc. said today it is expanding a program with Latch, a provider of keyless delivery services, that grants UPS drivers keyless access to drop off parcels in common areas of multi-unit dwellings.

Starting mid-year, building owners or property managers in 10 markets will allow UPS drivers to enter buildings from multiple points and deliver parcels to lobbies or package rooms. The facilities would need to qualify for the service and must be equipped with Latch devices. Latch makes the device hardware and related software.

The new markets are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington D.C. The program is already operating in New York and San Francisco.

Under the agreement with Latch, UPS drivers are not allowed to deliver parcels to individual units. Generally, UPS can deliver to individual units in multi-unit dwellings if it receives permission to do so.

Under the service, UPS drivers receive a unique notification on their handheld devices once they scan packages destined for a Latch-enabled building, according to Eric Alt, a Latch spokesman. Latch creates a secure record of any transaction that calls for the driver to use what Alt called a “credential” to enter a building. No one is required to let in the driver, he added.

Deliveries in the two pilot cities are being handled with fewer delays and missed delivery attempts, according to Kyle Peterson, a UPS spokesman. UPS has experienced “substantial reductions in re-delivery attempts in urban environments,” Peterson said in an e-mail. Missed deliveries have been a long-running problem for delivery companies.

An ancillary benefit of the service is that it enables UPS to build delivery density by aggregating multiple packages at one location. UPS is working to develop the same type of density for business-to-consumer (B2C) deliveries that it has long enjoyed with its once-core business-to-business service. Today, B2C accounts for well over half of the company’s 17 million daily deliveries.

Latch sees a fertile market for keyless entry services. There are currently about 20 million multi-family residential units in the United States, with about 350,000 added each year, according to the company

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Mark Solomon

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.