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UPS brings package pickup locations to the US, starting in New York and Chicago

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Intends to hit all major US markets next year

Shopping online is supposed to be a convenience, but there remains the hiccup of actually being at home to receive your package. That's an irritating hurdle if you're out of the house all day, and delivery services have begun to resolve it by dropping packages off at local businesses that you can swing by when you're ready for pickup. UPS is now the latest delivery company to start using lockers and other pickup locations in the United States. It's starting with nearly 300 locations in New York City and Chicago, and it plans to expand into every major metropolitan market in the US across 2015. All UPS stores will also begin serving as pickup locations in January. People who live near any one of these can set it as their preferred delivery spot, and UPS drivers will sometimes even fall back on it if a home delivery attempt fails.

UPS already has 12,000 pickup spots in Europe

The service is much like what many online shoppers have become familiar with from Amazon, which can deliver packages to a number of lockers that it's installed inside of other businesses. USPS and FedEx offer similar services as well, though FexEx only advertises locker locations in Dallas and Memphis. UPS isn't using lockers exclusively, though. Its pickup points also consist of businesses that are being trained to handle package handoff too.

UPS is calling these pickup locations Access Points, and while they're new to the US, they aren't new for the company: UPS has 12,000 of these lockers in Europe, across seven countries. With its expansion into the Americas, it plans to reach 20,000 locations by the end of 2015.