Package Theft is a Major Problem: 1 in 5 Americans Have Reported Being a Victim of Porch Pirates During the Pandemic
Even with thousands of people working from home due to the pandemic, package theft is still a major problem. According to a recent survey from ValuePenguin.com by LendingTree, 1 in 5 Americans reported being a victim of porch pirates during the pandemic. This expands on previous reporting from The New York Times, which revealed that an estimated 90,000 packages disappear daily in New York City without explanation, which is up roughly 20 percent from four years ago.
A quote from the New York Times 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 is not just rampant in New York City. It is also growing in other major cities like Denver and Washington, D.C. 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. To ensure secure package delivery, consumers are now going to great lengths to protect their packages.
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. 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 the 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. Even though companies such as Amazon, FedEx and United Parcel Service are trying to help customers tackle the problem of porch pirates with real-time tracking services, even working from home doesn’t guarantee that people will catch the delivery man 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.
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. 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, Pick-up 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.
In order to solve America’s growing package theft problem, property management needs to invest in smart technology solutions like Parcel Pending’s electronic parcel lockers to keep packages safe and secure.
Parcel Pending by Quadient is the leading provider of package management solutions for residential, commercial, retail, and university properties in the United States and Canada. With nearly 3 million packages successfully delivered monthly, we offer a wide range of solutions that ensure the simple and secure delivery and retrieval of packages and online orders. To learn more about our multifamily smart locker solutions, visit our website at www.parcelpending.com.