These days, more and more of us depending on online shopping, deliveries, and buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) to tend to our everyday needs. With these consumer habits on the rise, package theft is also a growing problem, however.
For example, in New York City alone, 90,000 packages are stolen every single day. And that number is on the rise. There also isn’t strong evidence to suggest that fences, people being home, and video surveillance do much to thwart determined porch pirates. And in the case of video surveillance, there are legitimate security concerns around popular home video systems like Ring.
So while there’s no foolproof way to protect ourselves from risk and accidents, there are steps we can take to ensure the safety and efficiency of deliverable items. And luckily, none of the ideas listed below are very tricky. Keep reading for some suggestions on how to prevent package theft and how to hide your package from nefarious individuals trolling the streets.
Pick The Time And Place
Often, delivery companies will provide options for customers on when and where their packages are going to arrive. This is an opportunity for you to think strategically about what will be best for you, your family, your clients, and your schedule.
Perhaps you spend a lot of time at work – consider routing packages to the office, where you or one of your co-workers are available to receive them and store them safely until it’s time for you to head home for the day.
In a lot of instances, you can adapt the time and place to best fit your needs and avoid a lingering package on your doorstep – a tempting treat to swipe if left out in the open for too long.
Use Smart Lockers
Another great option that is gaining traction around the world is the use of Smart Lockers. You may have seen these popping up in your local grocery store, office, or apartment building. And while it can feel intimidating to incorporate new technology into your life, it’s really quite easy with smart lockers.
It’s as simple as downloading an app and letting the process unfold in a way that is significantly more efficient for companies, delivery professionals, and you. Smart lockers are a safe, secure means of transfer and many are even temperature-controlled, making them a great fit for food deliveries. They are all the rage in certain communities where prescription fulfillment has been historically challenging – smart lockers can make medicine, technology, and other necessities available to people. It’s an exciting change in how we exchange items.
Also, with this technology, it’s nearly impossible for a porch pirate to do their dirty work, and better yet, you can retrieve your package whenever it works for you. Plus, smart locker companies often offer 24/7 customer support, so if for some reason you do run into a snag, you’ll be able to sort it out immediately.
Talk To Your Neighbors
An obvious suggestion, perhaps, but effective all the same! Talking to your neighbors and developing deep community ties to where you live not only enhances the safety of packages, it strengthens the bonds between humans and can often provide a sense of purpose in an increasingly isolated society.
In addition to trading eggs, flour, sugar, and plant watering duties when the needs arise, we can ask our neighbors to keep an eye out for packages that arrive throughout the day – they can hide your package for you in a pre-determined location or simply keep an eye on the goings-on of the block.
And while the issue of package theft might seem like an individual, personal attack, the truth is that this affects all of us. When packages are stolen, there is added pressure on the supply chains and businesses that provide the goods that were unfortunately stolen. Across the country, nearly 2 million packages are stolen per day. Some industry professionals estimate that this amounts to 25 million lost goods and services. Numbers like that impact all of us.
So the moral of the story? Knock on your neighbors’ doors. Get to know each other, and help each other out. It can make all the difference.
Directions For Delivery Professionals
Another idea to utilize is specific directions for delivery professionals.
Now, it’s important to keep this within reason or risk infuriating a person who is working to meet your needs. You don’t need to send a FedEx delivery driver on a pseudo-scavenger hunt, per se. But you can list things like “inside the porch door” or “behind the big flower pot” to ensure that your package is somewhat concealed from strangers passing by.
“Out of sight, out of mind” is a powerful framework – it works just as well on us as it does on porch pirates.
With a little intention and effort, you can prevent package theft and hide your packages in an effective way. At the risk of sounding like a nagging grandmother, those couple extra steps at the onset of the process can save you time, stress, and also money.
Do your future self a favor – prevent package theft, hide those packages, and bask in the satisfaction of receiving what you need, when you need it.