How to Prevent Package Theft This Holiday Season

The 2020 holiday shopping season is already well underway and poised to break records for online sales. Deloitte expects holiday e-commerce sales to surge as much as 35% compared to last year, generating up to $196 billion1. This should come as no surprise since 75% of consumers say they’ll do at least some of their holiday shopping online this year – a 65% increase over last year – and 43% plan to do their shopping entirely online2.

But with more packages comes more opportunities for porch pirates to steal packages. In fact, a recent survey by Accenture estimates that 77% of consumers want their online purchases delivered to their home3. This compounds an already significant increase in home deliveries since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with a surveillance camera, a recently delivered package in plain sight is an easy target for porch pirating.

Property managers should expect to manage significantly more packages this holiday season as residents opt to avoid stores and shop online. Communities could potentially see as many as 486 package deliveries per week during the holiday season4. This is important for multifamily communities to be aware of as the number of packages they receive typically increases from an average of 150 packages per week to 270 packages per week during the holidays – an 81 percent increase even during “normal” times5.

Let’s take a look how to prevent package theft this holiday season:

Package Theft is a Major Issue

With the increase in packages comes an increase in porch pirate and package theft incidences. From March to July of this year, 1 in 5 Americans reported having had a package or delivered item stolen. And the majority of package theft – 40% – occurs at apartment communities. While package theft is a major nuisance for consumers, it also has financial repercussions. In fact, Americans report losing an average of $106 to porch piracy, and about 30% report not receiving any financial reimbursement for their loss. Sadly, less than half of Americans reported that their porch pirate was caught by police6

Smart Lockers Fight Porch Piracy

In order to prevent package theft, many properties place resident packages into the property office for safekeeping until residents come to pick them up. However, more than one-third of property managers report that their community’s package storage solution is not adequate during high volume periods like the holiday season. Looking for package theft prevention solutions so you won’t become a package theft victim? This is where innovative proptech solutions like Parcel Pending’s smart package lockers come into play. 

Parcel Pending offers a wide range of solutions that ensure the simple and secure delivery and retrieval of packages and online orders. Our electronic lockers help property managers to enhance their residents’ overall experience, save valuable staff time, and drive resident retention. 

Why are smart lockers the best solution to fight package theft? Unlike cameras, parcel lockers provide physical protection and security for packages, not just a deterrent that may or may not be effective. Parcel lockers in residential communities also provide residents with 24/7 access to packages where they live, so residents don’t have to go offsite or rearrange their schedule to wait for a courier.

The way Parcel Pending works is simple. Recipients are instantly notified by text, email, or app notification when they have a delivery. Once the notification is received, the recipient can pick up the package using the unique code provided in the notification, or by using our mobile app. Property managers do not need to sign for, sort, or distribute packages to residents. Instead, our multifamily locker solutions provide a secure, fast and easy way for residents to retrieve their own packages at their convenience.

Although many Americans are working from home or spending much more time at home, the reality is that they may not always hear the doorbell or delivery truck. Sometimes residents may be on a conference call, cooking, running a quick errand outside of the home, or otherwise occupied and they may not be aware that their package or delivery has arrived on their doorstep. Smart lockers give them (and property managers) peace of mind knowing that their package will be safe and secure until they can retrieve it from the locker

Residents value the fact that parcel lockers keep their packages safe and secure. Additional smart locker benefits include:

  • Contact-free pick-up: Scan the barcode in the delivery notification or push a button in the mobile app
  • Efficient: Streamlines delivery process; flexible solutions reduce space needed to accept deliveries
  • Advanced: Flexible API allows for seamless integration with property management software systems
  • Weatherproof: Durable lockers protect packages from sun, rain, wind, and snow
  • Accessible: Multi-sized lockers accept most package sizes; ADA compliance supports any user
  • Versatile: Multiple locker sizes to accept most packages
  • Mobile-friendly: Receive delivery alerts, manage packages, and retrieve deliveries with your smartphone
  • Customizable: Custom configurations, color options, or wraps to match property aesthetics or branding

Video Doorbell Cameras & Other Security Measures

When it comes to preventing package theft, property managers and/or residents can also opt to install a video doorbell camera or other security surveillance systems on their front porch. This can potentially help to deter a package thief.

Tap into the BOPIS Trend

Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) helps to avoid the threat of porch pirates altogether. Residents may want to consider BOPIS as their go-to shopping method this holiday season to steer clear of any package theft incidences. In fact, 67% of consumers in the CommerceHub survey say they are likely to continue using curbside pickup post-pandemic when delivery isn’t available or fast enough7 and 53% of retailers are expecting BOPIS will play an increasing role in their business, according to the Digital Commerce 360 survey8

Other Porch Pirate Prevention Tips

  • Choose signature delivery. When possible, select “signature required” so that you can be sure to receive your package and avoid theft.
  • Use a courier hub. There are many different locker hubs available nationwide that accept packages and deliveries from all types of retailers and e-commerce companies. 
  • Enlist a trusted neighbor to help. Ask your neighbor to keep an eye out for your package and retrieve it immediately upon delivery (if possible). Provide your neighbor with an estimated delivery date and time so that he or she can monitor accordingly.
  • Deliver packages to your office (if you’re still working in an office).You can easily send packages to your place of work for a safer delivery option.
  • Sign-up for delivery alerts. It is always helpful to sign-up for delivery alerts via text or email so that you can track your package in real-time and be ready to retrieve it upon its delivery to your doorstep.
  • Extend package pick-up hours. Community managers can offer extended common area package pick-up hours to help prevent package theft.

While there are many ways to prevent package theft, the best solution is a parcel locker

The holidays are just around the corner. Many properties already have a lot on their plates providing much-needed services for residents. Managing even more packages could take up valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Parcel Pending lockers can help make receiving those special holiday deliveries safer and more secure for residents without sacrificing convenience. Reach out to a member of our team today to find the best solution for your property’s needs and budget.


  1. CNBC, “Holiday spending will hinge on how much the rich splurge and the poor cut back, Deloitte says,” Available at:,with%20sales%20reaching%20%24145%20billion.
  2. Messenger, Haley. NBC News. FedEx, UPS face ‘shipageddon’ with potential shortfall of 7 million packages a day over holiday season. (2020, October 20).
  3. Accenture, “Most U.S. Shoppers Want Retailers to Close on Thanksgiving Day, Accenture Survey Reveals,” Available at:
  4. Parcel Pending. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Prime Day – Post-Pandemic Holiday Shopping Expected to Result in Record Package Volume. (2020, September 4).
  5. National Multifamily Housing Council. (2018, November 14). Special Delivery: 2018 NHMC/Kingsley Package Delivery Report [Press release]. Retrieved from:
  6. (2020, July 9). Survey Finds 1 in 5 Americans Were Victims of Porch Pirates Since the Start of COVID-19 Stay-Home Orders [Press release]. Retrieved from:
  7. Footwear News, “Shoppers Are Still Increasing Their Online Spending & They’re Looking for Alternatives to Amazon,” Available at:
  8. Digital Commerce 360, “US online sales rise 43% amid pandemic in September,” Available at: