Mailrooms For Residential High-Rises Overwhelmed By Packages From Online Shoppers

CHICAGO (CBS) — The explosion in online shopping is producing a deluge of package deliveries at Chicago’s residential high-rises.

With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, building managers are bracing for holiday headaches.

At Amli’s three-year-old River North high-rise, the lobby cabinet for delivered packages isn’t nearly adequate and residents like Julia Miculcy doing online shopping are the reason why.

UPS estimates their holiday package deliveries will increase ten percent this year and FedEx estimates theirs will be up 12 percent, close to a billion packages between them. And high-rises are already overloaded.

“Packages are dumped in the lobby, we’re trying to warehouse them in the mailrooms and different places,” said Amli Residential CEO Greg Mutz. “We’re just overwhelmed. Some of our properties will get over 300 packages in a single day.”

And millennials simply love to shop online.

“This building gets a lot of packages, has a lot of people a lot younger than I am living here and they get everything delivered,” said Amli resident Judy Kelly. “From diapers to food, everything.”

At River North, a doorman scans delivered packages, which sends e-mail alerts to residents and a video board displays packages waiting. But it’s still costly, labor intensive, with doormen sometimes spending more than two hours a day just with packages.

“You can’t pick up the phone, you can’t help other residents when you’re just handing out packages,” said Steve Hallsey, president of Amli Management.

And to deal with that, Amli is rolling out a new, more automated system. The package delivery driver scans in the parcel and puts it in a designated spot in a package room. Then, the resident receives an access code, allowing them to complete their pick up whenever they like.

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