AUSTIN, TX – Of the myriad impacts COVID-19 has on the apartment building industry, one of the most lasting impacts may be parcel volume. When brick and mortar stores temporarily closed and consumers hesitated to venture out, tenants increasingly turned to online shopping.
For property managers, the result has been a rush of packages being delivered to multi-family communities. Unfortunately, for these managers, this trend is not going to slow anytime soon. In fact, the data suggest exactly the opposite.
"COVID-19 may have sped up online shopping behavior, but local residents' shopping habits don't just decline as virus problems subside," said Michael Patton, founder and CEO of Fetch. "E-commerce is here to stay, and package management is a burden property managers will have to grapple with at an increasing level for the foreseeable future."
Fetch, an external package solution for multi-family communities, recently published three-year projections for package volumes in the multi-family sector. From January 2019 to January 2020, the parcel volume per unit in the multi-family communities served by Fetch only increased by a modest 2%. However, when concerns about the coronavirus emerged in February, parcel volume rose to 29% year over year.
This was just the beginning. Year-over-year package numbers rose 39% in March and 48% in April. Even when mandatory closings and stay-at-home orders were lifted, parcel volumes continued to rise in May (58%), June (63%), July (37%) and August (41%), increasing year-on-year.
The average monthly package volume per apartment building for active Fetch users was over 10 packages in May, compared to 6.34 in the previous year, with the average of June (9.72), July (9.53) and August (9.83) the Holiday season average of 9.05 in December, slightly exceeded 2019.
"With the volume of parcels that apartment communities are currently experiencing, it's like every day is Cyber Monday," Patton said. "Multi-family houses need a sustainable solution for their increasing parcel demand, as our forecasts show that this trend will only continue."
Fetch predicts that monthly package rates for users will decrease slightly to 8.19 packages per apartment building in 2021, before rising to 9.41 in 2022 and 10.65 packages per month in 2023. Ecommerce growth rates rose to an assumed 18% in 2020 and the growth rate is projected to stay above 13% for the next two years before settling at 12.9% in 2023.
Fetch, which will ship around 2.7 million packages in 2020, is expected to deliver just over 8.7 million packages to apartment buildings by the end of 2021. These growth forecasts include expected new customers, with that number increasing to more than 36.8 million packages by 2023.
“In the audit compared to the previous year, Fetch recorded a volume increase of 248.4%. In 2019 in particular, there were 438,637 packages and in 2020 there were 1,091,608, ”Patton told GlobeSt.com. "Please note that this also includes new customers. We currently serve 227 properties across Texas. "
Fetch closed a Series B worth $ 18 million in August. Iron Gate Capital and Pando Ventures led the round and were supported by existing investors Signal Peak Ventures, Silverton Partners, Seamless and Venn Ventures
The company uses a large network of warehouses and fetch delivery drivers to act as a direct package management solution, completely removing communities from package management. GlobeSt.com learns that residents can conveniently control the delivery service from their sofas.