With the continuing rise of e-commerce, consumers and shippers alike are looking for better ways to complete deliveries. Parcel lock boxes provide greater flexibility and security than traditional options like home delivery or retrieval from a staffed location, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies make locker retrieval even more reliable and convenient. These advantages explain why the smart parcel lock box market is expected to expand with a compound annual growth rate of more than 12 percent by 2028, reaching an estimated global worth of more than $1.5 billion.
But parcel lock boxes (also called parcel lockers) aren’t just helpful for consumer deliveries. Business-to-business (B2B) wholesalers of construction and manufacturing materials are also taking advantage of the technology. Industrial distributors can post high-capacity parcel lock boxes at their locations for after-hours pick-up, or even place them at job sites for repeated material deliveries without the slowdowns associated with manual retrieval. Industrial parcel lock boxes offer the following benefits to material distributors:
- Shippers can drop off orders any time of the day or night, whether or not staff are present to sign for delivery.
- Customers can retrieve their orders when it’s convenient, without leaving the job site during busy hours or posting a worker to watch for deliveries.
- Picking up from a parcel lock box provides contactless delivery for pandemic safety.
- Deliveries are secure and protected from theft or damage from the elements.
- Electronic locks provide single-use keys, granting authorized recipients one-time access to the designated locker to collect their order.
- Alternatively, IoT smart lockers give owners complete control over access; authorized users can open lockers with mobile devices or RFID cards, or distributors can provide remote access.
- With these IoT capabilities, parcel lock boxes can provide timestamped access logs, providing owners with full visibility into use of the unit.
Alongside these advantages, parcel lock boxes give distributors another value-added service to offer their customers. Here’s how.
Parcel Lock Boxes as a Value-Added Service for Distributors
Industrial parcel lockers solve two logistics challenges: They provide last-mile convenience for receivers picking up orders, and they solve the first-mile drop-off challenge for shippers. In other words, they remove the need for contact during deliveries, both for buyers picking up orders and for distributors dropping off shipments. The end result is a more flexible supply chain that reduces delivery costs while ensuring that materials are always available, preventing costly delays in construction and manufacturing applications.
Distributors can pass the benefits on to customers in two ways. First, they can set up permanent 24/7 pick-up points, outside of their own facilities or in centralized areas. The other option is to install parcel lock boxes on-premises at the customer’s job site. This creates a consistent drop-off point for repeated deliveries, ideal for electrical installations, manufacturing plants, and other resource-intensive industrial processes.
Offering parcel lock box installation at job sites provides a powerful incentive to choose a local distributor over huge competitors — and those competitors are only getting stronger. Amazon’s B2B division announced annual sales of $25 billion in March of 2021, 25 times the value of annual sales just four years prior. This rapid growth makes it more crucial than ever for competing distributors to offer new value-added services to retain their customers. Delivery via parcel lock boxes can offer the competitive edge B2B distributors are looking for — but only if the units they provide are designed specifically for industrial materials.
Parcel Lock Boxes for Industrial Materials and Supplies
Most parcel lockers on the market are designed for consumer goods; they’re simply not big enough to store shipments of conduit, cable, and other electrical materials, for example. Parcel lockers from BHS are designed specifically for industrial use, with standard load capacities of 3,000 pounds, a width of over 10 feet, and a 26-inch depth. In addition to sheer size, the Will Call Dropbox (HVC-DB-CB) — just one of BHS’ collection of parcel lockers — is packed with design features for industrial use. These include:
- Welded steel construction for long-term durability and reliability.
- Waterproof powder-coat finish that also resists damage from chemicals and acids.
- A sloped roof and the elevated base complete weather-proofing for outdoor use.
- Legs are pre-drilled for quick bolt-down installation.
- Included high-visibility vinyl lettering make units easy to spot in any environment.
- Electric locks are battery operated, so there’s no need for an external power supply.
- Custom models are available to match any specification.
BHS, Inc. offers several models of parcel lock boxes built specifically for industrial materials, with and without IoT integrations. In addition to the Will Call Dropbox, there’s the Contactless Delivery Locker, a parcel lock box with compartments labeled by delivery day. This design allows users to track when shipments arrive, ideal for quarantining packages as necessary.
For smaller items, such as valuables, keys, and sensitive documents, choose the High Value Cart Dropbox. This all-steel lock box allows users to safely deposit valuables for later retrieval. As an original equipment manufacturer of material handling equipment, BHS, Inc. also provides custom design and fabrication services. If existing models don’t provide the size, configuration, or capacity for your application, contact our sales team to discuss a custom parcel lock box built specifically for your industry.