Artificial intelligence (AI) and technology is now helping fight package theft. UPS Capital Insurance Agency has launched a program that can help customers hang on to their packages. UPS Capital is a division of the logistics giant UPS.
Package theft is nothing new. The problem has been around for some time.
The new initiative, Delivery Defense powered by AI, analyzes a customer’s address characteristics and generates a ‘Delivery Confidence Score’ for each address. If the address produced a low score, then a package recipient can recommend in-store collection or a UPS pick-up point.
Help for merchants
Company president Mark Robinson says Delivery Defense allows merchants to select optimal approaches for seamless and successful deliveries, prioritizing the customer experience. “By proactively identifying and addressing potential shipping issues, DeliveryDefense data ensures a smooth customer journey. Merchants can leverage alternative options, such as nearby UPS Store locations or other convenient access points, to optimize delivery outcomes.”
Parcel theft in the US
According to a November 2023 report by Security.org, 17% of Americans have had a package stolen in the past three months. The typical stolen parcel was worth about $50. Forty-four percent have had a package taken at some point in their life.
The report adds that nearly one in five Americans has had a package stolen containing a gift for someone else. “Such thefts can create a tricky predicament for the giver, particularly if they are one of the many procrastinators who rely on last-minute holiday shopping.”
Picture proof delivery
Last month, FedEx launched picture proof of delivery (PPOD) for express deliveries. This is to assure customers that a package will indeed arrive at their doorstep. The picture-perfect delivery comes just in time for the holiday season.
Here are a few ways you can ensure you don’t fall victim to package theft:
• Carefully plan where the package is delivered.
• Track your package so you know it will arrive.
• Keep the delivery area visible.
Postal service secures parcels
Postal services are also helping secure customer’s packages. Australia Post (AusPost) has launched an automatic parcel locker service in time for the festive season. A delivery failure at a customer address may seem like a crisis. But AusPost is solving this problem. A missed delivery parcel will be placed in a free 24/7 parcel locker within one kilometer of the customer’s address.
Last year, UK parcel box manufacturer Penn Elcom reported parcel theft is on the rise in the UK. The report, which was produced by the international research group YouGov found that 1 in 10 people had a parcel lost or stolen between May 2021 to April 2022, which amounts to 1.009 billion packages globally for US$37.9bn.
About the author
Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.