Package-gate

A front page story in the 10/21/15 issue of the Wall Street Journal highlights the increasing challenge that property managers face in handling package deliveries for their residents:

The biggest landlords in the U.S. are being crushed under a mountain of packages, leading one large apartment operator to stop accepting deliveries and others to experiment with ways to minimize the clutter.

The moves are at the center of two colliding trends: an increase in apartment living and a surge in online shopping. The result is a rising tide of packages with no good place to go…

Camden Property Trust, the 14th-largest U.S. apartment operator by number of units, stopped accepting parcels at all of its 169 properties nationwide this year. Executives said the Houston-based landlord, which has roughly 59,000 units in 10 states and the District of Columbia, had received almost a million packages in 2014, and the rate was increasing by 50% a year.

Each package results in about 10 minutes of lost productivity, Camden executives estimated. At a rate of $20 an hour for employee wages, that amounts to about $3.3 million a year, they said.

“Ultimately, this was going to eat our lunch,” said Keith Oden,president of Camden. He refers to the situation as “package-gate.”

Camden’s approach to the issue of package handling is probably the most extreme, but others are sure to follow if they don’t experience too much of a backlash.

We’d love to hear from our members about this issue. Are you dealing with an increasing number of package deliveries and, if so, how is it impacting your operation? How do you handle package deliveries on your properties?