Enclosures

Preventing package theft with secure parcel boxes

1st August 2022
Kiera Sowery

Founded in 2017, MB Sentinel (MB) is a manufacturer of mailbox and package delivery boxes for residential and commercial buildings. MB fills the need in the marketplace for consumers to have a secure space to receive delivered packages at their homes.

The challenge

MB Sentinel is a manufacturer of mailbox and package delivery boxes for residential and commercial buildings. MB’s offerings include parcel box solutions for curbside and driveway, in-fence and column integrations, multi-family and HOA, and wall inserts. MB Sentinel also offers customers the ability to customize security features of their mailbox to find the right solution that works for them, and allows for future security upgrades.

MB’s postal box solutions hit the market at just the right time. With ecommerce growing over 32% in the US in 2020 alone, the need for a secure parcel drop box solution is higher than ever. With this robust growth in ecommerce comes the rise in packages being left at buyers’ doorsteps, making them vulnerable to damage or theft. In fact, according to a survey by C+R Research, nearly half of respondents reported receiving a delivery at home every week, with 43% reporting themselves as a victim of package theft.

Utilising a secure parcel box ensures peace of mind for consumers who are waiting for their online purchases to safely arrive at their residences and places of business. While designing their patented postal boxes, MB knew they needed a high quality locking solution to ensure their boxes were not only secure but also resistant to vandalism and corrosion in outdoor environments. They also needed a reliable supplier with the manufacturing capabilities to scale these solutions for growth.

The solution

By partnering with Southco, MB was able to fulfil all of their access hardware needs with one supplier. Southco provided mechanical locking options and electronic locking upgrades, as well as an ergonomic hinge solution that makes the parcel box door feel more substantial for the end user.

Electronic access control

Southco’s R4-EM Electronic Rotary Latch is integrated into the front delivery door of all MB’s models and is connected to an electronic keypad, which actuates the latch to open the door. Depending on security and delivery requirements, the R4-EM can also be used on the rear door of the enclosure. For example, when a model is integrated into a structure like a fence, a second keypad and latch combination allows the homeowner or renter access from the rear of the enclosure.

The electronic latch can also be installed on the rear doors of free standing enclosures with separate letter trays and package compartments. In this application, only the homeowner can access both compartments from the rear door by entering a unique access code into an access controller connected to that electronic latch. The front door can be equipped with a secondary lock code that only allows package carriers to access to the lower parcel compartment, while the postal carriers can still deliver letter mail as usual.

Southco’s Electronic Access Solutions (EAS), like the R4-EM Electronic Rotary Latch combine Southco’s proven engineered mechanical locks and latches with electronic actuation, providing enhanced security and remote controlled and monitored access. In case of a power outage, the R4-EM can be installed with a mechanical override, which allows the user to open the door manually. MB Sentinel chose Southco’s E5 Cam Latch and PT Lock Plug for their exterior doors as mechanical override options.

Mechanical learning

When choosing a mechanical solution for securing the rear door on full cabinet wall insert placements, MB chose the A7 Compression Latch, which provides a weather-tight seal from the elements and keeps intruders from having access from the front door located on the outside of a home or business. The heavy duty, lever-style action provided by Southco’s A7 series provides door-closing leverage for heavier gasketed door applications through a combination of strength, ease of installation and simplicity of operation.

Ergonomic positioning hinges

All MB Sentinel Package Delivery Systems are equipped with Southco’s E6 Constant Torque Position Control Hinge. The E6 series features integrated constant torque, which allows for constant resistance throughout the entire range of motion. As a result, users are able to easily position parcel box doors and hold them securely at any desired angle – fully opened, fully closed or anywhere in between.

Implementation and results

Business at MB Sentinel is growing and customers appreciate the quality of their products. MB has been awarded two patents and their mailboxes have earned recognition in the industry, winning a 2021 Star Award from The Texas Association of Builders (TAB).

With growing demand for their secure parcel boxes, MB has recently opened distribution-to-builder segment through Acme Brick, a Berkshire Hathaway company, to now offer immediate access to homebuilders to purchase their solutions.

Partnering with Southco helped MB Sentinel offer a high quality locking solution with ability to customize security options. Southco’s extensive manufacturing capabilities and operational excellence, also makes them the perfect partner to scale business with MB’s projections for future growth.

Partnering with Southco helped MB Sentinel offer a high quality locking solution with ability to customise security options. Southco’s extensive manufacturing capabilities and operational excellence, also makes them the perfect partner to scale business with MB’s projections for future growth.

 

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