Package theft is now a major issue. According to a recent New York Times article, an estimated 90,000 packages disappear daily in NYC without explanation, up roughly 20 percent from four years ago. 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 first attempt because of package theft and other issues.
All of this has led to creative and sometimes extreme solutions to keep packages from getting stolen. Consumers are now going to great lengths to protect their packages. New York Times reports that one apartment building has designated a retired woman to watch over packages to protect from package theft. Meanwhile, New York Times also reports that companies are banning employees from having their personal packages shipped to their place of work because corporate mailrooms are overwhelmed and ill-equipped to handle the large volume of personal package deliveries.
Another popular solution is the growing market for video doorbell cameras, which serve somewhat as a deterrent for porch pirates but rarely provide leads for authorities when footage is handed over to law enforcement.
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 package despite not having to sign for it and 20 percent of people will leave from work early if they are expecting a delivery. Even though companies such as Amazon and UPS are trying to help customers tackle the problem with real-time tracking services, changing plans and skipping work to stay home are not options for everyone.
The most convenient and foolproof ways to keep packages safe still remain locking them up and keeping 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. Additionally, a growing option is for consumers to send packages to where they are going to be – locker hubs at supermarkets, convenience stores, or drugstores are acting as package holding centers.
Finally, Buy Online, Pickup In Store (BOPIS) is another growing way to avoid the threat of porch pirates altogether. As an option from a growing number of retailers, this allows consumers the convenience of online shopping and the flexibility of getting their packages – often from an in-store locker – on their own time. This trend is gaining steam – BOPIS spending increased 43 percent during the 2019 holiday shopping season and it shows no sign of stopping.
To solve America’s growing package theft problem, we need to invest in smart technology solutions like Parcel Pending’s smart parcel lockers to keep packages safe and secure.
To learn more about our locker solutions, click here.