Amazon Strikes Deal With Landlords To Install Lockers In Apartment Buildings

Tyler Durden's picture

Since the dawn of the e-commerce era, the largest US landlords have loudly complained about the crush of packages flooding mailrooms at apartment properties across the country.

One apartment owner went so far as to stop accepting packages altogether, while others have experimented with increasingly novel ways to process residents’ mail.

Now, Amazon is stepping in with a solution to a problem that it’s largely responsible for creating. WSJ is reporting that the e-commerce giant is partnering with some of the country’s largest landlords to install electronic lockers where delivery people can leave packages for residents, sparing building staff the tedious work of receiving, recording and distributing packages to residents – work that one landowner said was costing it $3.3 million a year in lost wages.

Amazon has signed contracts with apartment owners and managers representing more than 850,000 units across the U.S. to begin installing Amazon locker systems in their buildings, according to the landlords. Amazon has commitments to install the lockers in thousands of properties, many before the peak holiday shopping season, according to a person familiar with the matter.


Several of the nation’s largest operators, AvalonBay Communities Inc., Equity Residential, Greystar and Bozzuto Group, have signed up so far, company executives said.

Most of the Amazon’s partners plan to offer the lockers as free amenities for residents. They’re able to do this because the lockers will ultimately save building owners money. Amazon is charging a one-time fee of between $10,000 and $20,000 for the lockers.

Amazon is taking over the package rooms of some of the country’s largest apartment landlords, in a move that could help consolidate its control over how goods make it from the warehouse floor to the front door.

Amazon’s move, if successful, is likely to shift how the biggest apartment operators deal with packages toward a fully automated system that residents will be able to access 24 hours a day.


The locker program, dubbed Amazon Hub, will accept packages from all carriers and not just for purchases made on Amazon. They will be open only to residents, not the wider community. Residents will receive a notification when they have a package and a code allowing them to open one of the slots.


Apartment owners pay about $10,000 to $20,000 to purchase the lockers initially and don’t pay a monthly fee. Most landlords said they don’t plan to charge residents but to offer it as an amenity. They could also make back some of that cost in savings on staff labor.

While Amazon still harbors dreams of supplanting UPS and FedEx with a fleet of package-delivering drones, Amazon Hub represents the company’s attempt to solve one of the most vexing problems associated with e-commerce: The so-called ‘last mile’ – moving the package from a distribution hub to the customer’s doorstep.

The more stops a driver needs to make, the more expensive deliveries become. By allowing a driver to leave many packages in one place, Amazon can substantially reduce the cost of deliveries.

The most expensive leg of any delivery is the so-called last mile: getting a package to the doorstep. Amazon already has added lockers throughout the U.S., including announcing it is rolling them out at its newly acquired Whole Foods stores.


For Amazon—or any package carrier—it is all about density. The more places a driver has to stop and drop of a package, the more expensive the process. It also increases the likelihood of a stolen order if it is dropped off unsupervised.


So dropping off a load of packages in one spot, like a locker or apartment office, is a huge cost saver. And as apartment managers grow increasingly frustrated with more deliveries to take care of, lockers become more attractive.

While several of the world’s largest landowners have already started the process of installing Amazon Hub at their properties, there are still some problems that Amazon hasn’t accounted for, according to WSJ.

For example, building staff will still need to find alternative accommodations for large packages that don’t fit in lockers. Also, as e-commerce becomes increasingly popular, individual apartments may require larger lockers.

Amazon has designed lockers that can be placed both indoors and outdoors, which should make it easier for landlords to add more storage capacity, if needed. 

One issue for landlords has been that it is challenging to update lockers as demand grows and technology changes. Amazon will make lockers that can be placed both indoors and outdoors, making it easier for landlords to add lockers if the volume of packages that residents order exceeds the space they have in their mailrooms. The lockers will also have cellular connectivity so apartment owners don’t have to worry about running an Ethernet cable to them outdoors.


One problem Amazon hasn’t solved: oversize packages. Ms. Hollinger said Avalon has had to contend with deliveries including furniture to outfit an entire two-bedroom apartment, kayaks and even hub caps. No locker system can reasonably solve that problem.


“The package lockers are quite helpful, but the volume will be hard to sustain in the long term,” she said.

AvalonBay Communities, Greystar and Bozzuto Group – three of the largest apartment rental companies in the US – have signed up for Amazon Hub, and Bozzuto Group has already started the installation process. Amazon says it’s already planning to install lockers for 850,000 apartments. The company is in talks with other landlords, and expects to substantially expand the program next year.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
TeamDepends's picture

If this shit isn't shut down real quick, Bezos will have leased your ass (unbeknownst to you) as a "package locker".

NoDebt's picture

Amazon just invented the PO Box.  Genius!


nmewn's picture

What "new idea" can he possibly think of next that will enrich shareholders of UPS & FedEx?!

TeamDepends's picture

A Tesla Peter-Teslabuilt rocket-semi that is self-driving, and votes for Hillary?

HenryKissingerZuckerberg's picture

will they have face ID cameras, microphones and wifi antennas? YES !

Stuck on Zero's picture

I thought Amazon drones were going to drop off packages directly in my 44th floor condo.

freedom1798's picture

A lot of apartments have balconies.  Drones could drop packages off in a balcony, while dodging bullets from annoyed neighbors.  It would become a new sport, Whack-a-Drone.

Cabreado's picture

No, it's a bit different in that it doesn't require a trip to the P.O.

But you knew that...

NoDebt's picture

You presume a lot about me.  Please never attribute intelligence to me I don't have.  That's, like, REALLY dangerous thinking.

Green arrow.

divingengineer's picture

Will the Acorn Towers in West Oakland be getting one? Better make theirs fire resistant.

myne's picture

They didn't even design them. They're blatantly the same as Australia post lol

stinkypinky's picture

Those are going to make everyone laugh in about 15 years. Like having a banner for your MySpace page ...

Bula_Vinaka's picture

Yea, looks like another reason for rent hike.

Iconoclast421's picture

Wtf is that console for? Why not just get on your phone and press an unlock button? "Yes I'm here, here is my password, now unlock it!"

NoDebt's picture

"Wtf is that console for?"

So your Mom, your neighbor, Russian hackers and the government can get into it without having to call a locksmith.


ffed's picture

LIARS Like this nut.

NEWLY Relesed Testimony from Hero Las Vegas Shooting Survivor in 1st ROW! Dude DERSERVE'S the Medal of Honor!!SAVE.

Goldennutz's picture

His finger is up his ass!

HRH Feant2's picture

What are you doing? Standing in line for a sniff?

Cabreado's picture

Pretty simple, really...

just stop doing business with Amazon.

Easy, too.

hotrod's picture

Stopped my Prime and dont use the site

ThanksChump's picture

Lots of free-market haters here this evening...

What an eclectic mix of oddball ideals.

All I know is Walmart needs to get busy, hire someone who doesn't have a grandson who's "just great with those computer gadget thingies".

There's absolutely no logical reason why Amazon has no competition. There isn't anything they do that isn't obvious IF you only put yourself in a customer's shoes and think like them for a few minutes. That's all Amazon does. It's a business strategy that worked for 1000's of years. Apparently, some people think it's some kind of conspiracy. Sad. And funny. But still sad.

lil dirtball's picture

> no logical reason why Amazon has no competition

Well, except for that .gov subsidized shipping discount. Hard to compete with that.

RedBaron616's picture

I never really started buying from Amazon because when they were caught, not once but twice, with books advocating adult-child sexual relations, instead of saying it was an oversight, etc., they argued to the death that the First Amendment allowed it, blah, blah, blah. Yes, not once, but twice.

Here's information on one of the instances:

ed31337's picture

Ehhh, if you don't like those books, don't buy those books, simple as that.

Censorship sucks. If you demand Amazon censors one book that you don't like, what would stop Amazon from censoring other products that other people don't like? 

One could argue that the "Twilight" series of books and movies advocate adult-child sexual relations... Edward is how many centuries old when he starts eyeballing that not even driving permitted Bella? Edward and Bella end up having a baby despite the HUGE age difference between the two of them. Then that pedo Jacob guy is all fixated on Bella's baby from the moment she is born? WTF? We need to ban this bullshit! Are ya all with me?

Lack of sales is the ultimate censorship. If nobody bought these adult-child sexual relation books/movies, Amazon would stop carrying them in order to make room in their warehouses for the stuff people actually want.

Furthermore, if you're serious about locking up pedophiles, why are you trying to eliminate obvious watch list triggers? Let the pedopiles out themselves when they keep buying and selling these products! Are you secretly a pedopile yourself, trying to protect your dumber pedopile buddies?

sarz's picture

You are out of touch with Amazon's real policy. They are supportive of pedophilia books, and sneak them back persistently after every bout of repentance. It's serious scholarship challenging the standard Holocaust narrative that they are ever vigilant against, especially work of high historical standards such as the Holocaust Handbooks series of the Barnes Review. 

See what Brother Nathanael has to say about it:

Sudden Debt's picture

The day that Amazon with it's 2% profit margin will go broke will be a fun day :)

I can't understand why people buy stock like that. No company with a margin like that can survive in the real world.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"If the American people ever allow Amazon to control the issue of their PO Boxes, first by deflation of prices, then by inflation of prices once all of the brick and mortar competitors are gone, Amazon will grow up to deprive the people of all other shopping alternatives until their children wake up retail-less on the continent their Fathers conquered for Sears Roebuck...."

-Thomas Jefferson with the help of Nostradamus.

jadan's picture

Hilarious! But your brings to mind Ayn Rand, and "Eat Rand" triggers the vomit response. Otherwise, thanks for the laugh.

ed31337's picture

Indeed. Once the Amazon PO Boxes are installed, are they going to let my eBay packages get delivered into their Amazon PO Boxes?

Bigly's picture

Hell no! Or they will take a slice from ebay for the convenience.

TalkToLind's picture

Great. A listening device in every apartment and lobby.  Enjoy your lack of privacy, goyim!

Bunga Bunga's picture

Landlords don't get free monthly background reports on their tenants? Alexa has so      many "functions" ;)

stampman's picture

"Great. A listening device in every apartment and lobby.  Enjoy your lack of privacy, goyim!"

LOL  You left out the hidden cameras, Bezos' signature fart detectors, etc.

They will have cybershit gear installed that will read all your devices as you pass by.

It will have a cybershit hub that will retrieve, harness and transmit wifi from every hidden camera in every smartfart TV, fridge and washing machine in the building, not to mention from the electronic bread maker and from the latest vibrators and sexy European vacuum cleaners ("Bend over, Maman!").  Not to mention the ones hidden in the electronically controlled bathroom lighting.  And they're sad that they can't come up with some good excuse to add something electronic to the toilets ... but I am sure they are working on it.

They want to see everything.

The women will love it.  They love the attention -- if it comes from the über-pervs who promise them SAFETY AND SECURITY.

I have an Israeli-blue Amazon Prime display ad running on this page right now to the left here.  Never seen a penis used as a company logo before, but there it is!  Sticking right out there for everyone to see--like a sex offender.  No shame.

It works on the sheeplian subconscious -- and women love it.  The Bezos Amazon Prime penis logo says "We've got a boner -- and we're gonna fuck you!"

Walmart, on the other hand, uses a yellow asshole for a logo.  I guess their hidden motto therefore is "Let's get rid of this shit!", or like one poster's userid here "Shitonyaserfs!"

So now let us see whether Amazon can get its blue Israeli dick up Walmart's yellow Chinese asshole.


Cluster_Frak's picture

lol, I though Bezos got a deal to control locks of apartment doors. Imagine, getting locked out of your own place becuase Bezos did not like your book review on Hillary. it's just a metter of time before it happens.

Implied Violins's picture

Some of those lockers will be prison-size. Just watch, and wait...

stampman's picture

I could use one of those here right now for the mentally disabled guy who throws violent tantrums every week.  He has ADHD, CD, ODD and IED.  All of them.

Apparently he was off his meds for a few months, and it looks like he'll be hauled off soon, as he is 97% delusional on top of it all.

If you are a landlord, sooner or later you will get one of these.  They are everywhere nowadays, and many, like this guy, come from decent to better families.

pparalegal's picture

Another in the long list of lost opportunities by the brains running the current and future bankrupt USPS.

Rebelrebel7's picture

And people wonder why the rent is too damn high! That is highway robbery! I would go to home depot and buy some for a few hundred dollars!

Rebelrebel7's picture

Here save your tenents some money, or employ a local carpenter to build them. I guarantee that it will be less than 10-20 thousand! You can get mahogany hand crafted cabinets for that amount!

Rebelrebel7's picture

.$390 for a cabinet with 9 lockers.

stampman's picture

You are omitting the high cost of all of the hidden surveillance electronics which these units will contain.

Thank you for pointing out the discrepancy, allowing us to figure out where the high cost is really from!

Yen Cross's picture

    Sweet! Now I can get my blow-up dolls from Ahmad!?

stampman's picture

And who supplies the fireworks with which you blow those dolls up!?

coast1's picture

I got confused because I thought walmart was going to be the NWO....But, I bought something from amazon, and it came in a walmart package....they are joing together....Walmart charged less than amazon so amazon made money...It soon will be amazon/walmart paid for in crypto as they see everything you do and buy....this was all in the bible written thousands of years ago

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

Package theft (and alleged package theft) is becoming a huge problem in suburbia.

blargg's picture

It's gotten to where I reroute everything to be picked up rather than left on my porch to be stolen. USPS has their lock boxes down the street, but all the other carriers require a trip, sometimes across town. Not going to risk $1k+ items over convenience.

coast1's picture

 So, I bought shoes from amazon and they did not fit so I tried to return them...They changed their usual business, now they have people that study whether its worth their while..They told me via email that I could not return shoes, but they would give me 1/2 half off the next pair..I said "no, you guys know that buying shoes online is hit anmd miss, and I also know that you guys are doing this to get rid of ma and pa stores, then amazon controls everything and screws us over, etc I will just stop buying from amazon"  They wrote me back and said keep the shoes, we will credit your account...2 things about this "if we buy from amazon, and they start doing something wrong, tell them to go to hell"...2. there will be a time when we have no where else to go, and we will be slaves.