UPS is expanding a program that lets you pick up packages at alternate delivery locations.
The company calls these drop-off locations UPS Access Point smart lockers. They’re usually found outside such places as convenience stores like 7-Eleven and are accessible 24 hours a day.
The UPS smart locker program previously involved nine locations in Chicago, but the company recently announced it’s expanding the program to 300 locations nationwide.
Kalin Robinson, director of the UPS Access Point locker program, describes it as a boon to online retailers — and, in turn, online shoppers:
UPS Access Point lockers can be easily accessed when it fits the shopper’s schedule, giving an online retailer added value to present at checkout. The lockers enable more shoppers to enjoy the ease and simplicity of buying online.
So if you’re not home when a package is delivered, the delivery person can leave a notice telling you when and where you can pick up the package.
To pick up a package from a smart locker, you need the notice or tracking number and a photo ID. According to UPS’ instructional video, the process can take less time than it takes to withdraw cash from an ATM.
CBS MoneyWatch notes that the expansion of the smart locker program comes at a time when some delivery services, including UPS, are struggling to keep up during busy times.
During the 2015 holiday season, UPS rented U-Haul trucks to help keep up with demand and said in December that it is “quite common” for the company to do so when needed.
Nonetheless, UPS’ on-time delivery rates plunged that month, falling to 91 percent compared with 97 percent during the same time in 2014.
What’s your take on this news? Would you opt to pick up a package at a smart locker? Let us know what you think below or over on our Facebook page.