Amazon (amzn) has taken another step toward consolidating control over the process that leads goods from the warehouse floor directly to the doors of its customers. To that end, the retail giant has just introduced Hub by Amazon, which are Amazon-owned locker systems installed in apartment buildings.
By partnering with some of the nation’s largest apartment building owners and managers, the e-commerce giant has already signed contracts to install Hubs in buildings with more than 850,000 units across the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal.
The lockers are able to receive packages from any major carrier, such as FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service. The physical modular unit, which is about 7 feet by 7 feet and has 42 lockers in various sizes, is accessible 24 hours a day and costs landlords $10,000 to $20,000 upfront with no further monthly fees. According to the Journal, “most landlords said they don’t plan to charge residents but to offer it as an amenity. They could also make back some of that cost in savings on staff labor.”
The lockers are intended to mitigate the amount of time building staff spend fielding package-related queries and problems from residents, as well as to prevent mailrooms and lobbies from getting overloaded with deliveries. Hub by Amazon units also are aimed to improve security around deliveries, ensuring residents can get access to their items outside of regular working hours.