- After piloting Latch access technology in New York City and San Francisco, UPS said it will expand in-building deliveries to 10 more cities, according to a press release.
- The program allows UPS drivers to enter common areas of multi-unit residences equipped with Latch's smart access devices. This allows the carrier to deliver parcels to buildings without a doorman in a secure way.
- UPS expects to roll-out the new service by mid-2019 to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C. A spokesman told Retail Dive's sister publication Supply Chain Dive UPS hopes to have a roll-out plan in place by the end of February.
Delayed, damaged, misplaced and lost deliveries are a top concern for shippers, so last-yard services are emerging to ease minds.
Secure entry equipment, like Latch and Key by Amazon, allow delivery providers to enter homes or apartment complexes to deliver products without a customer's presence. (UPS said it does not enter homes; it only uses the access devices to deliver to common areas.)
The service is particularly useful in high-density areas, where package theft is rampant and apartment units do not always have doormen to facilitate delivery.
Based on the expansion of both Latch and Key by Amazon, the equipment appears to be quite popular among customers. Latch claims it has worked with 225 real estate providers to build a presence in 25 states and 40 metro areas. It recently raised $70 million in funding and will start selling its equipment to individuals. Amazon, meanwhile, announced it would begin various new services, including "Key for Business" immediately and "Key for Garage" in Q2 2019 as it expands its program.
The service, though, may be even more useful for delivery providers. Access to residential homes or complexes can help carriers reduce costs by reducing the number of failed deliveries. UPS does not disclose the number of deliveries that fail on first attempt. However, "through the pilot, and now the partnerships that we've got, we've seen substantial reductions in send-agains," or resent shipments, the UPS spokesman said. The time it takes for the driver to make deliveries has also been reduced, he said.