An Amazon logistics centre. / afp

Amazon trials a pioneering delivery system on the Costa del Sol

The Amazon Key system will mean fewer packages have to be taken away when nobody is at home, and the first will be installed in Estepona next week

IGNACIO LILLO MALAGA.a

Imagine the scene: the Amazon driver rings your doorbell to deliver a package but nobody is home. Instead of taking it away again or finding a neighbour prepared to take it in, he introduces a code on his tablet which opens the entrance door to the apartment block remotely and lets him leave the package outside your home.

This is the Amazon Key system, which is being currently being trialled in Malaga. The subsidiary of the American multinational has signed an agreement with the College of Property Administrators to install, free of charge, devices which will allow its drivers to open the entrance doors remotely.

The system is already being used in several countries and the Costa del Sol has been chosen because the area has considerable real estate growth, José Basallote, who is leading the project, told SUR.

“A lot of young people are buying apartments in communities of more than 50 owners and they are used to this type of technology,” he said. The Amazon Key system is available for blocks with at least 30 properties.

More packages can be delivered

How does it work? A small router is installed beside the control which opens and closes the entrance door. Once the Amazon delivery driver has obtained a code, they have 10 minutes to enter and leave the package. The recipient can choose where they would prefer it to be left, for example on their front door mat if they trust their neighbours. Basallote said this system means more packages can be delivered, and the process only takes a couple of minutes.

Amazon’s aim is for 250 communities to be using this sytem in December, and over 1,000 in the first quarter of 2023. The first one on the Costa del Sol will be next week, in a residential development in Estepona.

In communities with a large number of Amazon deliveries in each month, the company will propose that a special facility be created for packages to be deposited, similar to those found in filling stations and other premises in towns.

Only the first phase of the project is being installed in Malaga at present, but there others are in the pipeline. For example, phase 3 is currently in use in the USA: it enables the delivery driver to open the boot of the customer's car remotely, and leave their package inside.