Use of common carrier lockers for urban freight delivery to Seattle Municipal Tower reduces total delivery time by 78 percent, with zero failed deliveries.

Results of a test of a new urban goods delivery strategy .


Summary Information

A parcel locker system is a self-service technology that allows customers to pick up their packages when it is convenient for them. Common Carrier Locker Systems provide secure delivery locations for multiple delivery carriers in public spaces. In spring 2018, a common carrier locker system was placed in the 62-floor Seattle Municipal Tower for ten days as part of a joint research project of the Urban Freight Lab (UFL) at the University of Washington's Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics Center and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), with additional funding from the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans). The project is part of the UFL's Final 50 Feet Research Program to optimize operations in the final 50 feet of the supply chain.

Researchers collected delivery data at the Seattle Municipal Tower over 10 days without the locker and over the 10 days with the locker in place. Tower tenants were recruited for the pilot, with 36 tenants volunteering to participate. Instructions were provided to United Parcel Service (UPS) and U.S. Postal Service (USPS) drivers and tenants to learn how to use the lockers.


The average time it took the UPS driver to make door-to-door deliveries in the Municipal Tower was 27 minutes, with the driver visiting seven different floors on average. In contrast, the total time it took the UPS driver to make a round-trip delivery to the locker was 5.6 minutes. This represents a 78 percent reduction in delivery time when compared with the conventional door-to-door delivery.

Use of the locker also cut the parcel failed first delivery rate to zero.

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The Final 50 Feet Urban Goods Delivery System: Common Carrier Locker Pilot Test at the Seattle Municipal Tower

Author: Goodchild, Anne

Published By: University of Washington: Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics Center

Source Date: 10/01/2018



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Benefit ID: 2019-01431