Special Delivery: 2018 NMHC/Kingsley Package Delivery Report

Multifamily property managers nationwide say delivery volume rises 81% during holidays


Just in time for the holiday delivery season, the 2018 National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)/Kingsley Package Delivery Report unpacks the industry’s response to rapid, continued growth of e-commerce.

This holiday shopping season, retailers such as Target and Amazon recently announced they have temporarily eliminated the minimum purchase requirements for free shipping; The National Retail Federation research shows 55 percent of holiday shoppers are planning to shop online; and, UPS projects it will deliver 800 million packages with record demand expected between Black Friday and New Year’s Day.

Package deliveries to multifamily buildings are on the rise with the average apartment community typically receiving nearly 150 packages per week. This number jumps to 270 packages per week during the holidays – an 81 percent increase. More than one-third of property managers report their building’s package storage solution is not adequate during high volume periods. To further complicate the matter, packages are becoming more difficult to store with residents ordering heavy, oversized and perishable items.

“How people shop has evolved significantly in recent years and the multifamily industry is tasked with finding new and creative ways to meet the demand for package storage, sorting and security,” Rick Haughey, Vice President, Industry Technology Initiatives, National Multifamily Housing Council, said. “Our research shows that property managers are embracing technology solutions and figuring out what works best for their individual properties – on premise versus offsite storage, use of an electronic management system, and how to manage increase costs for handling the growing volume of package deliveries,  are among the many considerations.”

While some communities are still notifying tenants of deliveries by notices on resident’s doors (6 percent) or phone calls (18 percent), the industry is making a rapid conversion to more electronic notifications via a package check-in system (45 percent), alerting tenants by email or text when packages arrive.

In addition, most buildings (77 percent) now have a dedicated space for package storage with package lockers being the preferred method among respondents. Eighty-five percent of package rooms were reported as secured. Camera systems and controlled access touchscreens are most common, coming in at 58 percent and 50 percent respectively.

Finding more efficient ways to sort, store and secure packages is not the only challenge that surging online shopping presents, Haughey noted. Property managers also need to address how packages are stored, such as temperature control. “Our data shows that 44 percent of property managers with refrigerated package lockers report they are used daily, yet only 4 percent of buildings offer them,” he said.

“Managing deliveries can be especially challenging in high package volume markets like New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago,” noted John Falco, Principal, Kingsley Associates. “In higher-density, urban areas, space is often at a premium, so package storage solutions are important.”

Finally, once all those boxes are opened, what happens next? Whether they’re shipped back to the retailer for a return or shipped off to be recycled, they’re creating more work for multifamily property managers. Fifty-four percent of respondents state that they accept and hold return packages for carrier pick-up while 41 percent of respondents report the large volumes of cardboard and packaging materials being disposed of have created a waste management challenge.

For more information about the survey, please visit nmhc.org/packages.

About the Survey

In partnership with the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), Kingsley Associates conducted its second nationwide survey of package delivery practices in multifamily communities. The survey, conducted in September 2018, includes responses from property teams at 2,098 communities representing 543,900 units. Twenty-nine industry-leading firms participated.

About the National Multifamily Housing Council

Based in Washington, DC, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) is the leadership of the trillion-dollar apartment industry. We bring together the prominent owners, managers and developers who help create thriving communities by providing apartment homes for 39 million Americans. NMHC provides a forum for insight, advocacy, and action that enables both members and the communities they help build to thrive.

About Kingsley Associates

Since 1985, real estate leaders have turned to Kingsley Associates to maximize their portfolio and organizational performance. Our comprehensive suite of research and benchmarking tools assess firm performance and competitive position based on direct feedback from key stakeholders. Kingsley’s primary services include resident and tenant experience surveys, employee engagement studies, client /investor experience surveys, and peer benchmarking programs. In response to the need for performance-based benchmarks, Kingsley Associates developed the Kingsley IndexSM, which is now the largest and most comprehensive database of customer satisfaction metrics available to the real estate industry.