Innovations in Parcel Management Easing Pandemic Strain on Buildings

Over a year into this new way of life, we have collectively shifted from mostly in-person interactions to online ordering and deliveries. With the Greater Toronto Area’s proportion of high-rise and multi-family building dwellers only growing with time, the pandemic is putting increased strain on high-rise residential buildings’ staff responsibility and parcel storage capacity. Solutions like automated parcel lockers have been helping to alleviate the massive spike in the volume of home deliveries, and related innovations in property management and resident relations technology are prepping buildings for a new reality where many purchases arrive by courier.

To further the effectiveness of their parcel delivery solutions, automated parcel locker firm Snaile—who we’ve covered in previous articles discussing pandemic pressure on building lobbies, mailrooms, and staff—have embarked on a collaboration with Quebec-based company 1VALET, which provide an automation platform to simplify the process of receiving packages in multi-residential buildings. Snaile’s systems are already operating in over 55 Canadian towns and cities, with demand only growing for more touchless products in the last 14 months. This new partnership adds even more functionality for these automated parcel lockers, integrating them with 1VALET’s digital platform for building management and resident.

Snaile Inc., parcel storage lockers, contactless delivery, multi-residential, Toronto, 1VALETSnaile smart locker system with 1VALET integration at 221 Lyon Street in Ottawa, image courtesy of Snaile Inc.

1VALET’s systems equip buildings with a high-tech platform designed to centralize a range of building-wide functions including smart entry systems with facial recognition, a mobile resident app offering in-suite connectivity like climate control and door locking, and a range of other features. The system provides a building’s management and concierge desk with a range of tech-enabled features and building controls to manage a site. These systems, in many cases touchless and equipped for an increasingly health-conscious residential market, are now being complemented by the integration of Snaile’s touchless parcel lockers, further increasing safety and efficiency for both residents and staff of multi-residential properties.

Snaile Inc., parcel storage lockers, contactless delivery, multi-residential, Toronto, 1VALETSnaile smart locker system with 1VALET integration at 221 Lyon Street in Ottawa, image courtesy of Snaile Inc.

“Snaile has addressed national Canadian carrier adoption, parcel liability, data privacy & security issues, electrical & fire certification requirements, French and English interfaces & 24/7 customer support and is already working with most major influencers in the Canadian developer, property management, retail and postal markets,” stated Danielle Pilon, Manager of Customer Success at Snaile.

Snaile and 1VALET’s partnership has already seen Snaile’s lockers incorporated into the 1VALET headquarters in Gatineau, Quebec, and will also make an appearance at 1VALET’s upcoming Toronto showroom. Elsewhere, 1VALET technology is already being built into some of the highest-profile projects under construction in Toronto and the surrounding area, including Downtown megaproject The Well at Spadina and Front, the master-planned Galleria on the Park community at Dupont and Dufferin, and the enormous M City community unfolding in Downtown Mississauga.

This partnership comes especially in handy in the case of non-concierge multi-family buildings that have traditionally been limited to Canada Post parcel deliveries. Canadian buildings are required to offer mail receptacles and low-tech key locks for Canada Post, though no such regulations guarantee safe and convenient access to deliveries from other prominent courier companies such as Amazon, Purolator, UPS, DHL, FedEx, Canpar, and Intelcom. Snaile and 1VALET have developed a solution to this parcel delivery management problem, with 1VALET entry consoles placed in the vestibule of a building that allows secure building access to major delivery companies by allowing them to scan the barcode of “in-transit” packages specific to that building.

This feature couples with Snaile’s smart parcel locker systems to allow seamless delivery to a building’s residents. Once a delivery makes it to the smart locker system, the parcel’s recipient receives a notification on their 1VALET app alerting them and providing a one-time contactless QR pickup code, which is scanned at the locker’s built-in scanner for easy parcel retrieval. This frees up important staff resources for other tasks in buildings with concierge services, and limits confusion and theft opportunities in buildings without.

Snaile Inc., parcel storage lockers, contactless delivery, multi-residential, Toronto, 1VALETContactless QR code parcel retrieval, image courtesy of Snaile Inc.

In what may be the first of its kind, this contactless (and no pin code) parcel carrier building access system now grants delivery access and accepts parcels in the Snaile locker system at Minto’s 221 Lyon Street North, a residential building in Ottawa. 

Aside from projects like this elsewhere in Ontario, Snaile has made a presence in Toronto with their systems included in existing projects such as two Concert Properties‘ developments; Motion on Bay, and Jazz at Church and Shuter. New buildings that have recently joined the mix with these systems include 700 Bay by KingSett Capital and Lillian Park by Collecdev and ShiplakeFleur by Menkes Developments and the under-construction home: Power and Adelaide project by Great Gulf and Hullmark.

Other GTA customers of Snaile’s systems include a range of developers such as Lifetime, Brenthaven, Minto, Mattamy, Tridel, Edenshaw, Devron, Daniels, Starlight Investments, Cogir, InterRent REIT, and Oxford Properties. 

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