Natalie Brannelly of Southco explains how the company is working closely with the Parcel Locker sector to deliver the optimum electro-mechanical latch
Southco is fast establishing its credentials within the postal locker sector for latches that secure indoor and outdoor electronic locker enclosure applications.
As e-commerce and online shopping become more and more popular, the number of failed delivery attempts to private customers is rising. Furthermore, there is a greater desire amongst consumers to have the option to collect items from a parcel locker terminal. As a result of both these factors, the parcel locker sector is experiencing rapid growth as more and more logistics service providers are choosing to offer the self-service market-efficient automated pick-up and drop-off points to meet these requirements.
The parcel locker terminal is focused on the "˜last mile' of a shipment. That is the period when a parcel leaves the transport network for the last step of the delivery - often a small distance, but a part of the process which can cause disproportionately high costs. The business community, particularly in central and eastern Europe, is witnessing a huge rise in the growth of e-commerce. This, together with a general growth in parcel shipments, is placing significant strain on the industry. Also, people are working longer hours and the number of single households is rising. Consequently, fewer parcels can be successfully delivered. This not only leads to more dissatisfied customers but also increased cost implications.
In addition to offering a wide range of functional, cost-efficient and innovative benefits to logistics service providers and end users, the parcel locker terminal meets the vital challenge of the "˜last mile' in the delivery process by providing an effective and practical approach to delivery problems. Furthermore, it reduces last mile costs caused by undelivered parcels.
Arguably, one of the most vital components in any parcel locker terminal is the electronic locking system used to secure the locker doors. This is all the more important as there is a high probability that the content in the lockers will be of high value, as the parcels are likely to contain items purchased from e-commerce sites. This is where Southco is unmatched in the industry.
An engineered access hardware designer and manufacturer of electronic access systems, Southco's wide range of products and systems includes a product designed specifically to provide concealed security for enclosures - the Rotary Electro-Mechanical Latch "R4 EM" product family. This electro-mechanical latch has evolved into a proven system across a broad and diverse range of industries. A sophisticated and technologically advanced latch, the robust and reliable R4 EM enables the secure and cost-effective protection of sometimes high-value items held in parcel lockers. Today, Southco is working globally within the postal and parcel sectors to develop its R4 EM technology to provide intelligent, reliable and cost-effective electronic latching systems specifically for indoor and outdoor applications.
Described as easy to install and maintain, the R4 EM delivers the convenience of electronic access control with the security of a proven, robust, metal rotary latch design in a compact, integrated package. Easy push-to-close operation and electronic actuation simplify access across a wide variety of applications. Optional switches or sensors can provide system feedback on latch or door open or closed status. Two-bolt mounting of fixing enables quick and low-cost installation. Its electric gear motor delivers major advantages over solenoid driven latches, in that it is more efficient in terms of its low electrical power consumption and high working and ultimate load capabilities. A convenient mechanical override feature enables manual or emergency release during power failure.
The R4 EM latch offers excellent vandal resistance and long-term durability and reliability (in the region of 100,000 cycles). Its embedded microprocessor enables very low power electronic signal control and flexibility for signal conditioning for added security. It will accept signals from access control devices such as numeric keypads or swipe-card reader, smart card reader devices, biometric devices and remote computer.
For further information about the R4 EM latch and other products from Southco, please go to www.southco.com/.