By Sean Parry
The University of Washington (UW) estimates that there may be twice as many trucks delivering packages in Seattle’s city center within five years if online shopping continues to grow at its current rate. That would double the number of trucks looking for a parking space and ultimately impact traffic and the environment.
That is why Barbara Ivanov, director of the UW’s Urban Freight Lab, decided to test parcel lockers in a public building. She wanted to see if they would help reduce the amount of time delivery trucks spent parked in a loading space, as well as the time drivers spent running around, up-and-down elevators and in-and-out of buildings trying to deliver packages. Additionally, Ivanov wanted to determine if parcel lockers would also help reduce the rate of failed first deliveries, which currently occur up to 15 percent of the time.
The study results were remarkable – parcel lockers significantly reduced failed deliveries and slashed delivery truck parking time by a hefty 78%.
According to the UW research team, reducing the number of failed delivery attempts as well as the amount of time a delivery truck is parked in a loading space could offer significant public and private benefits.
“These two actions alone could reduce congestion and free up curb space for cars, buses, bicycles and other people who need to use that shared public space,” said Ivanov. “Those efficiencies have the added benefit of saving retailers and delivery services money, and getting orders into the hands of customers faster.”