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Parcel theft, UPS calls in AI for help

Parcel theft, UPS calls in AI for help
Parcel theft, UPS calls in AI for help

Parcel theft is growing as the cost of living increases. Many are battling to find innovative ideas to stop this. In Australia alone more than 4 million parcels have gone missing in the last year. In America more than 49 million were never opened by its rightful owner. UPS has now come up with a “new predictive analytics solution” to tackle the problem. 

United Parcel Service (UPS) is an American multinational shipping, receiving and supply chain management company founded in 1970. It’s now turning to Artificial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms, to deal with the scourge of parcel theft. 

With the help of cutting edge technology, UPS is able to rate and score a specific address provided. It determines if the parcel will be delivered without hiccups, or whether something is likely to go wrong. 

According to DeliveryX this will help merchants to make a call before the parcel leaves the storage room. Addresses with low scores will be given an alternative option to avoid a parcel going missing. If the score is low retailers will be advised to rather pick up the parcel before it’s dispatched to an address.

More than a million parcels stolen from Aussies

According to Finder, 4.2 million parcels have gone missing in Australia, in just the last year. This was revealed by recipients who took part in a recent study. The study also found that over a million parcels have been stolen from Aussies home after it had been delivered. “One in eight Australians (12%) have had a parcel get lost in transit, while 4% had a parcel delivered to the wrong address.”

The cost of the items reported stolen or lost in total added up to a staggering $541 million worth of packages in the last year alone (April 2022 – April 2023).

U.S battles with 49 million parcels stolen

Americans are also falling prey to parcel criminals. According to the latest report conducted by Security.org a whopping 49 million Americans have had at least one parcel stolen this year (2022-2023). Theft in Alaska was ranked the highest with 29% of its residents who ordered online delivery, suffering a blow. “The incident rates and average loss captured in our research reflect more than $2.4 billion in stolen goods over the past 12 months.” 

The survey has found that the number of parcel theft in America increases during festive seasons. “Nearly 1 in 4 (23 percent) of our respondents say that they’ve had a package stolen in the three months leading up to March 2022, beating the previous peak in December 2020.”

Simple ways to protect parcels

  • Remind yourself with a note when a parcel is due for delivery, to ensure you have a safe place for it to be delivered, and remove it as quickly as possible afterwards. 
  • Arrange with your neigbour to keep the parcel for you, or arrange it to be delivered at your work address.
  • Request a signature or install a camera on the front porch. 
  • Leave instructions for the courier where to place the parcel to keep it out of sight from passers-by.

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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