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Supply chain shortage affecting multifamily package delivery for property managers and apartment residents

The multifamily industry is facing challenges in combating the sheer amount of packages arriving at communities daily. At the same time, property managers are finding it increasingly difficult to receive materials or appliances in a timely manner due to the supply chain shortage. Deliveries to communities are simultaneously too much and too little all at once. Residents and property managers are experiencing a high volume of cancellations and delays while communities are also receiving too many packages to properly house in lockers, offices or front lobbies. Supply Chain Dive published an article detailing how “normal is still nowhere in sight,” meaning the supply chain setbacks faced in the past couple years are still persisting. 

“If you know anyone who works in demand forecasting or inventory management for a retailer, they could maybe use a hug,” said Ben Unglesbee.

Not only are community residents impacted by the supply chain shortage in everyday shopping, owners and operators are struggling to complete projects, maintenance requests and unit turns without experiencing hefty wait times in delivery. 

Supply Chain Dive sheds light on how inventory and planning aren’t progressing as companies have hoped, and urges consumers to plan ahead this holiday season. Retailers are unable to match inventory with demand and, at the moment, are only able to guess what their inventory will look like. 

As if limited inventory isn’t enough, consumers are advised to expect product cancellations and delayed availability. Retailers are promoting more price deductions to clear inventory space, while simultaneously experiencing a shortage of goods. Delays in shipping cause the lack of inventory, leading retailers to cancel orders due to not being able to keep pace with consumer demand.

Multifamily is seeing the effects of the supply chain shortage in everyday package delivery, as it is reported more than 36 million packages are being delivered per day in the United States, according to data from Packola. “E-commerce, of course, is at the forefront of this rapid growth in parcel delivery volumes. Consumers want their packages to be delivered quickly and safely to their doorsteps.”

With e-commerce becoming the norm for shopping, property managers aren’t seeing any slow down of the amount of packages arriving to communities, even with the supply chain shortage. But nonetheless, apartment residents are feeling the effects of the growing amount of cancellations and delays. This is what makes direct-to-door delivery for apartment residents so coveted today – the luxury of receiving packages right at an apartment door after a long wait or delay makes the delivery process just that much simpler for residents.  

And residents aren’t alone. Ordering materials or replacements for maintenance requests has become increasingly difficult and a much lengthier process than it was in 2019. “Even when an actual materials shortage isn’t the case, the ship, boat, truck, or train that’s filled with the windows in the right size for your rental house may not be able to be unloaded for weeks,” said Kristi Waterworth from The Motley Fool.

“Developers estimate that supply chain issues have caused construction delays up to six months and cost increases as high as 40% over the past year,” according to Christine Serlin from Multifamily Executive.

On the bright side, Supply Chain Dive reports expecting heightened promotions throughout the summer to aid retailers in clearing out their excess inventory. 

“Once again, the retail world is headed into a holiday season defined by (to use a word that has been overused but unavoidable since the pandemic began) uncertainty,” said John McQuiston, Wells Fargo Managing Director and Global Head of Originations, Receivables and Trade Finance. 

According to an article from Forbes, “The rising cost of logistics also complicates forecasting. Higher costs drive up the price of essential products and create shortages of available products. The average cost of container rates has risen more than 500% since the pandemic began.” 

On the ground level, logistics services are experiencing a shortage of drivers while fuel costs are continuously rising. According to a 2022 article from Podlogis, the rising price of fuel is a prevalent story in most people’s feeds. “According to AAA, the current national price for a gallon of gas is $4.08. That is around a 30% increase from the $2.86 price per a gallon of gas just a year prior.”

So, what does this mean for residents ordering packages to the community?

Although carriers and distributors work together and strive to deliver each package as quickly as possible, with supply chain issues affecting the market there are no guarantees that packages will be received when consumers expect them. However,  there are a few things that consumers can do to ensure their packages will be delivered in the shortest amount of time.

  • It is recommended that consumers do their holiday shopping EXTRA early, prepare for delays in shipping times and expect some cancellations of packages as retailers just can’t meet the current demand with supply chain and logistics challenges. Prepare back-up options for items with uncertain arrival dates.
  • When ordering multiple items from the same shop, consolidate goods into one package if possible to ensure all items come at the same time. This makes delivery much easier for both the distributor and the carrier, optimizing delivery. 
  • Fetch community residents should use their Fetch address for all packages.. If not yet registered, residents can do so here:

Consumers, Owners and Operators… get prepared. This holiday peak season is looking slow and uncertain for package delivery.

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