Every year with the holidays comes good cheer, chilly weather and, unfortunately, porch pirates. This is the season when thieves work overtime to steal packages from doorsteps — but you don’t have to be a victim.
More than 11 million people had packages stolen from outside their homes last year, according to one survey. With shipping being top of mind for most of us right now, it’s a good time for some reminders on how to keep your merchandise safe.
Here’s Amazon, FedEx, UPS offering tips on protecting your packages against theft
With so much at stake, all of the major package shipping companies have made it their business to try to thwart porch pirates. Here are some options from Amazon, FedEx and UPS and the U.S. Postal Service on how to ensure your packages are kept safe:
Amazon believes the key to security lies in giving online shoppers more options for safe delivery.
The world’s largest online retailer offers a number ways to secure your stuff. The company has installed lock boxes in well-known locations like stores and other secure sites. They also offer:
- In-home delivery: By using the Amazon Key Smart Lock Kit, couriers can drop packages off inside Prime members’ homes. The system works in tandem with an Internet-connected door lock and camera. This is available in select cities.
- In-car delivery: Prime members can have couriers put packages inside eligible vehicles with Amazon Key In-Car Delivery, which is also available only in select cities.
FedEx wants customers this holiday to take advantage of several security measures the popular delivery and shipping company has put in place:
- Send your package to a local FedEx store: Instead of having your package delivered to your door, you can opt to have it delivered to the nearest FedEx store. At no additional charge, the location can hold it for you for up to five business days. Find the nearest FedEx to you at fedex.com/locate.
- Request a signature: As a shipper, you can request that packages you send require a signature before they’re released. That will help ensure that the box is never left unattended.
- FedEx Delivery Manager: This free service at fedex.com/delivery allows you to customize home deliveries to fit your schedule. You can opt for a vacation hold, reschedule delivery and more.
United Parcel Service (UPS)
- UPS My Choice: The company offers UPS My Choice lets members leave the driver instructions on where they want the package left, get delivery alerts, get confirmed delivery windows and more. The service is free but also comes with a premium option for $40 a year.
- UPS Delivery Intercept: UPS also lets customers hold their packages at a UPS facility or reschedule a delivery via Delivery Intercept. A fee may apply.
U.S. Postal Service
- Informed Delivery: The Postal Service offers Informed Delivery, an email notification service which lets homeowners know what’s coming to their mailboxes while you’re away. Those who sign up get scans of all first-class mail that will be delivered to their address later that day.
- Require a signature: To ensure safe delivery, USPS also allows signatures on the following: Priority Mail Express (if requested), Certified Mail, Collect on Delivery, Insured Mail (over $500), Registered Mail, Return Receipt, Signature Confirmation and Adult Signature.