One of the downsides of Parcel Motel is that they are locker based – if all the lockers are full your parcel is delayed. Each ‘Motel’ has 80 lockers in total. 40 small, 28 medium and 12 large. There are reports on their blog of overcrowding at lockers and they suggest other nearby locations. My Motel isn’t on the list but I’ve a feeling it is getting towards capacity. I had three parcels delivered to their Belfast Address, one on Thursday evening and two on Friday morning. The parcel delivered to Northern Ireland on the Thursday was scanned into their Dublin dept on Friday at 1PM. The other two parcels were scanned in at 6PM. I expected all three to be ready for collection on Friday evening. However, at 10.30 I received two texts within 5 minutes of each other letting me know that a parcel was ready for collection. I was expecting a third, but it never came.
When I got to the motel, I went to pick up the first parcel, and a large locker popped open. Inside was a small packet that could easily fit in small locker. I then knew the motel was full. The second packet again was in a large locker but would have fitted comfortably in a small locker. Funnily enough, the two parcels delivered on the Friday were ready for collection on the Friday evening. The parcel delivered on Thursday wasn’t ready for collection until Saturday. Obviously a one day delay isn’t the end of the world but if the trend continues it could get very backed up over the next few weeks.
There are two things that could be done to overcome this issue. 1) Have some sort of reward/discount for picking up the parcel quickly. I think there is only one delivery per day to my local locker which happens late at night. Maybe Parcel Motel could offer 50c off your next parcel if you pick it up within 24 hours. While it will obviously cost them money in discounts, if it’s causing delays now, I can only imagine how long the delays will be closer to Christmas. People will stop using PM if they can’t trust it to be reliable. I know I will switch to Parcel Wizard or Parcel Connect if the delays get worse than 2 days.
The second solution is a obvious one in my mind. I had three parcels all of which would have fitted in one locker. I’d happily pay for the three parcels as usual even if they put them all in one locker. Yes this will take a bit more logistics and probably need some reprogramming so the computer will flag parcels on the same account. I would be interested to see what percentage of people pick up more than one item at a time. I know, I regularly have multiple parcels delivered at the same time thanks to Amazon splitting Prime orders and taking up multiple lockers seems a bit silly when they’re short on space.
If you are using Parcel Motel over the Christmas period there may be delays and please pick up the parcels quickly to free up space in the motels!