Package Theft is a Major Issue: New York Times Reports That 90,000 Packages Disappear Daily in NYC

Even with thousands of people working from home due to the pandemic, finding successful package theft solutions is still a major issue. According to a recent survey from ValuePenguin.com by LendingTree, 1 in 5 Americans reported being a victim of porch pirates during the pandemic1. This expands on previous reporting from The New York Times, which revealed that an estimated 90,000 packages disappear daily in NYC without explanation, up roughly 20 percent from four years ago2

A quote from the article summarizes the dire situation:

“I can’t have my medications delivered here or anything that is essential,’’ she said. “I don’t know what the solution is, but I do know that it’s getting worse.”

However, package theft isn’t just rampant in New York. It’s also growing in other major cities like Denver and Washington. Nationally, an estimated 23 million Americans have had a package stolen from their front porch or mailbox and 15 percent of all deliveries in urban areas fail on the first attempt because of package theft and other issues3.

All of this has led to creative and sometimes extreme solutions to keep packages from getting stolen. To ensure secure package delivery, consumers are now going to great lengths to protect their packages.

Redirect Deliveries

The ValuePenguin.com survey reveals that 40% of package theft victims were residents of apartment buildings. The New York Times reports that one apartment building has designated a retired woman to watch over packages for all residents to prevent package theft.

Asking neighbors to keep an eye out for packages is one easy way to prevent package theft. Residents can provide a trusted neighbor with an estimated delivery date and time, enabling that neighbor to keep an eye out for deliveries and monitor for porch piracy accordingly.

Additionally, a growing option is for consumers to send packages to where they are going to be – lockbox storage at supermarkets, convenience stores, or drugstores are acting as package holding centers. Consumers may also want to consider sending packages to the office (if they are still working in the office) for a safer delivery option.

Install a Home Security Camera or Doorbell Camera

Another popular solution is the growing market for video doorbell cameras. Property managers and/or residents can opt to install a video doorbell camera or another home security system on their front porch.

A doorbell camera or security camera can serve as a partial deterrent for porch pirates but rarely provide leads for authorities when footage is handed over to law enforcement.

Reschedule Deliveries

On a more extreme end, a 2017 Shorr Packaging Corp. survey, found that 53 percent of respondents said they changed their plans so they could be home to get a delivery despite not having to sign for it4

Even though companies such as Amazon and UPS are trying to help customers tackle the problem with real-time tracking services, even working from home doesn’t guarantee that people will catch the delivery driver or be able to receive the package directly. Residents in apartment buildings still run the risk of having their package dropped in the lobby or at their door without being notified.

Residents should consider signing up for delivery alerts so that they can track their packages in real-time and be ready to retrieve them upon their delivery to the doorstep.

Buy Online, Pick-Up in Store

BOPIS is another growing way to avoid the threat of porch pirates altogether. BOPIS allows consumers the convenience of online shopping and the flexibility of getting their packages – often from an in-store locker – on their own time.

Residents may want to consider BOPIS as their go-to shopping method this holiday season to steer clear of package theft. 67% of consumers in a recent CommerceHub survey say they are likely to continue using curbside pickup post-pandemic when delivery isn’t available or fast enough5 and 53% of retailers are expecting BOPIS will play an increasing role in their business, according to the Digital Commerce 360 survey6.

Install Smart Package Lockers

The most convenient and foolproof way to keep packages safe is still to lock them up and keep them out of sight. A growing number of apartment buildings are installing smart package locker systems, like those offered by Parcel Pending, as a must-have amenity for residents, helping to ease the package management burden from property managers.

Unlike cameras, parcel lockers provide physical protection and security for packages, not just a theft deterrent that may or may not be effective. Parcel lockers in multifamily communities provide residents with 24/7 access to packages where they live, so they don’t have to go offsite or rearrange their schedule to wait for a delivery person.

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, drive resident retention, and, most importantly, prevent package theft.

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

To solve America’s growing package theft problem, property management should strongly consider investing in smart technology solutions like Parcel Pending’s smart parcel lockers to keep packages safe and secure.

Parcel Pending can help make receiving those special holiday deliveries safer and more secure for residents without sacrificing convenience. To learn more about our multifamily smart package locker solutions, click here.

Sources:

  1. ValuePenguin.com. (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: https://www.prnewswire.com/news/valuepenguin.com/
  2. Hu, Winnie & Haag, Matthew. New York Times. 90,000 Packages Disappear Daily in N.Y.C. Is Help on the Way?. (2019, December 3). https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/02/nyregion/online-shopping-package-theft.html.
  3. University of Washington, Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Center Urban Freight Lab. (2018). The Final 50 Feet Urban Goods Delivery System: Common Carrier Locker Pilot Test at the Seattle Municipal Tower October 2018. https://depts.washington.edu/sctlctr/sites/default/files/SCTL_Muni_Tower_Test_Report_V4.pdf.
  4. Shorr Packaging Corporation. The 2017 Package Theft Report: Porch Pirates, Purchase Habits, and Privacy. (2017). https://www.shorr.com/packaging-news/2017-05/2017-package-theft-report-porch-pirates-purchase-habits-and-privacy.
  5. Streets, Madeline. Footwear News. Shoppers are Still Increasing Their Online Spending & They’re Looking for Alternatives to Amazon. (2020, October 5). https://footwearnews.com/2020/business/retail/commercehub-survey-ecommerce-grows-avoid-amazon-1203063688/.
  6. Crets, Stephanie. Digital Commerce 360. COVID-19 drives a surge in online shopping. (2020, November 11). https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/coronavirus-impact-online-retail/.