UPS (NYSE:UPS) today said it would expand to 10 additional cities a program that enables its package delivery drivers to use Latch smart access devices to make in-building deliveries to multi-unit buildings securely and conveniently for residents who are not at home to receive packages.

Starting in mid-2019, owners or property managers of qualifying buildings in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Miami and Seattle equipped with Latch devices may permit UPS drivers to enter buildings – but not individual units – to make deliveries. The program is successfully operating in New York and San Francisco.

“By expanding into these high density areas, more residents can benefit,” said Jerome Roberts, UPS vice president of global product innovation. “Smart access devices enable our drivers to enter buildings without keys and leave packages safely in lobbies or building package rooms. Customers who have used the service say it’s safe and easy for them. For UPS, this innovation adds efficiency to our operation by ensuring our drivers make more deliveries on the first attempt.”

Latch’s smart access system lets residents and others use smartphones or other digital credentials to unlock doors throughout a building, including at the main entrance. An embedded wide-angle camera within each device captures a visual record of every interaction by a non-resident that authorized users can monitor from the Latch mobile app. UPS, however, is using Latch systems only to enter building common areas, not individual apartments. Residents and property managers can use Latch to enter the building and to manage guest access. To manage deliveries, residents can use the UPS My Choice® mobile app or website.

Smart-lock-enabled UPS® deliveries will be available to both new and existing Latch customers in qualifying buildings. A building’s qualification depends on several factors including size and location. Prospective customers and residents can register their building at Latch.com, and Latch can direct qualifying customers to certified installers in each market.  

“We believe that smart access can fundamentally change the way that people live in urban environments, and enabling deliveries with UPS is one of the most significant parts of that evolution,” said Luke Schoenfelder, Latch chief executive officer.

There are currently about 20 million multi-family residential units in the United States, with about 350,000 added each year via new construction, according to Latch. To ensure that even more residents have access to smart deliveries, Latch is making its R-Series device available as a standalone product for the first time. This device allows residents, property managers, and trusted service providers like UPS to access their building using a smartphone, a door code or a keycard. Originally available only as part of a full-building system, the R-Series can now be purchased and installed on its own for a single door or entranceway. 

Other UPS innovations that provide delivery options for consumers to manage their deliveries include the free UPS My Choice® service, which gives consumers more control over their residential deliveries. UPS Access Point® locations are a related offering. These locations are convenient retailers such as grocery stores, dry cleaners, florists and The UPS Store® locations, which serve as alternative delivery locations for consumers who cannot be home to receive packages.

“UPS has been innovating the package delivery industry for more than a century,” Roberts said. “Today, Internet of Things technology like smart access products play a pivotal role in the UPS global smart logistics network and our ongoing mission to improve the customer experience.”

Source: UPS