UPS adding lockers for shipment pick-ups

Sandy Springs-based UPS is adding lockers for customers to pick up and drop off shipments, adding to its “alternate delivery” locations.

UPS did a test of nine “smart locker” locations in Chicago starting in 2014, and is now expanding the lockers to Georgia and other locations across the country. The lockers are accessible 24 hours a day using a tracking number or delivery notice and photo ID.

The shipping giant this month added more lockers in Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington state.

It plans to add lockers in Georgia, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Texas by August. The lockers will be located outside independent retailers and 7-Eleven convenience stores partnering with UPS.

By the end of this year, UPS plans to have locations at 300 locations across the country.

The lockers are part of UPS’s broader Access Point network of package and pick-up locations at independent shops that partner with UPS. Consumers would pick up packages at the lockers after one failed delivery attempt — when they aren’t home for a delivery, and the UPS driver leaves a delivery notice with information on when and where to pick up the package. Another option for some customers is to arrange for their deliveries to go directly to a locker. The lockers can also be used to drop off packages for shipment.

UPS touts the lockers as a way to increase online shopping by the “e-commerce stranded” — people who have trouble getting their packages delivered because their apartment buildings won’t accept them, or who aren’t home to receive deliveries quickly enough.

“Therse are areas where people were perhaps not shopping [online] because they couldn’t get their packages,” said Kalin Robinson, director of the UPS Access Point locker program.

Other companies, including Amazon, have also used lockers for customers to pick up deliveries.