Roy Gilbert

Condos lobbies are getting buried under mountains of home deliveries

Parcel retrieval at The Saint will be placed adjacent to a co-working area in the lobby to make the space more multifunctional. Article content

The responsibilities of a concierge in a residential building are many, from security and administrative tasks to responding to emergencies. Yet ever since the onset of the pandemic, one task eclipses all others: package management.

Sean Paramalingam works as a concierge at several residential buildings in the GTA and has watched parcel volume skyrocket over the past 15 months. At the 450-unit Epic on Triangle Park near Queen and Dufferin streets, Paramalingam went from receiving about 100 packages a day pre-pandemic to as many as 250 now.

“That’s a full-time job right there,” says Paramalingam. “Few people realize just how much things have changed.”

Lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and mandatory store closures have led to a colossal boom in package delivery. Pretty much anything you once bought in a store can now be delivered to your door, from exercise bikes to ice cream sandwiches. According to Statistics Canada, retail e-commerce increased by 69 percent year over year in December 2020. It took Canada Post 67 days to deliver 1 million packages in 2017; in 2020, it delivered 1 million parcels per day for 187 days straight, including 2.4 million on December 21. FedEx added 5,000 new staff in Canada in the second half of 2020 alone. Article content

It all adds up to an avalanche of deliveries and an unexpected logistical nightmare for concierges and building management.

The most pressing […]

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