In another whack at porch piracy, UPS is expanding an in-home delivery service through smart lock partner Latch to 10 additional cities, after successful tests in New York and San Francisco begun in July 2018.
Latch’s devices allow UPS drivers to make in-building deliveries to common areas of multi-unit buildings when residents aren’t around. By mid-year the program will be expanded to Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Miami and Seattle.
For each Latch delivery, the UPS driver receives a unique credential on a handheld device which only works for the specific building. Each time the credential is used Latch records the entry digitally, creating an audit trail that identifies the user and the time of access, establishing a secure record of the transaction.
Latch lets users remotely unlock a building’s doors with its mobile app, including the main entrance. An embedded wide-angle camera captures every interaction by a non-resident so users can monitor them from the app.
“By expanding into these high-density areas, more residents can benefit,” said Jerome Roberts, UPS vice president of global product innovation in a statement. “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.”
Jet.com, a unit of Walmart, began using Latch for urban deliveries in 2017. Not surprisingly, Amazon is also a player in this space with its Key program, launched in the fall of 2017. Amazon introduced a new wrinkle last year 2018, enabling deliveries to the trunks of late-model GM and Volvo vehicles with the Key app.