The Amazon Hub Apartment Locker came to my apartment complex last year. Like the more familiar Amazon Locker at retail locations, the Amazon Hub provides a place for apartment residents to pick up packages from Amazon and other carriers at their own convenience. Residents don’t have to worry about their packages being stolen from their doorstep. The leasing office can get out of the package business. Amazon saves money on not shipping out replacement products. I will answer five questions that I’ve gotten from readers about the Amazon Hub.
Is the front door to your apartment building locked?
I live in a large garden-style apartment complex with multiple buildings and the main gate is always open during daylight hours. The Amazon Hub is next to the outdoor mailboxes in a courtyard behind the leasing office. Drivers for Amazon, FedEx, UPS and U.S. Postal Service park at the leasing office and use a cart to bring packages to the Amazon Hub.
If the Amazon Hub was inside an apartment building with restricted access, drivers should have the same access as the U.S. Postal Service does to deliver mail during regular business hours.
How does Amazon and the other carriers put packages into the Amazon Hub?
The delivery driver logs in on the touchscreen to put the Amazon Hub into carrier mode. While each delivery service has their own package scanner, the scanners communicate with the Amazon Hub via Bluetooth. When the driver scans a package, an appropriately sized door pops open. The driver puts the package into the compartment and closes the door. After all the packages are put away, the driver logs out on the touch screen to return the Amazon Hub to pick-up mode. Shortly thereafter, email notifications are sent out to residents.
Does the Amazon Hub need an internet connection?
The Amazon Hub does requires an internet connection to send out email notifications that packages are available for pick up. It’s probably a cellular modem. The only cable connected to the outdoor version of the Amazon Hub is a heavy-duty power conduit from the building behind it. The Amazon Hub has an air conditioner that keeps the computer behind the touchscreen cool during the summer.
Do you know the installation cost for your apartment complex?
The Amazon Hub has 12 units with 123 compartments when first installed to serve 300+ units at my apartment complex. Based on some of the figures I’ve read about, the one-time cost to the leasing office was probably $50,000 USD. That’s probably how much the leasing office was paying someone to manage the package room as a full-time job per year. Getting the leasing office out of the package management business is a key selling point for the Amazon Hub.
Does the Amazon Hub accept all packages?
According to Amazon, the Amazon Hub accepts 99% of packages. The exceptions I’ve noticed at my apartment complex are packages that require a signature or too large to fit into the Amazon Hub.
If a package requires a signature, you will need to sign for it. Or, more likely, chase the package down after you find a tag on your apartment door because you weren’t home to sign it. Unless you have a lazy UPS driver who does a driver release for the signature. UPS had left several signature-required packages on my doorstep, including, ironically, a brand-new UPS. Fortunately, none of the packages walked off.
If a package was too large, it would end up in the leasing office. When I ordered a three-foot-wide shelving unit, I had to pick it up from the leasing office. When I ordered a second shelving unit several months later, I picked it up from the Amazon Hub. The leasing office replaced the last unit with a new unit that has two three-foot-tall and one six-foot-tall compartments. The extra-tall compartments are great for shelving units and other DIY furniture.