Package security is a significant concern for retail businesses and shipping companies. Many carriers have package safety and handling protocols in place. However, when packages need to be delivered at times or locations where the recipient is unavailable to receive the items in-person, goods are vulnerable to theft by criminals known as porch pirates. 

Porch pirates are elusive and tactical. They operate so efficiently that tracking them can be difficult. So how can these porch pirates be deterred even when you can’t see them in action?

When you can’t be home to receive your package, there are several simple ways you can protect your goods from theft and even deter porch pirates from targeting your home in the first place.

1.   Install a Secure Lockbox  

A secure lockbox is mounted to a wall in your doorway or your porch floor. The durable, heavy-duty steel unit is challenging to break into. The box is accessible only via a code that you share with your courier using a mobile app or in the notes section when you place an online order. There are several styles of lockboxes to choose from, each with its own unique features.  

Having a lockbox is an inexpensive way to care for your packages. Some features of lockboxes may include insulation for groceries, recalibrating locks, surveillance cameras, or Wi-Fi connectivity allowing you to see who approaches the box on your smartphone. 

By choosing an inconspicuous location to place your lockbox, such as the side of your garage, you can lower the chance of a porch pirate finding your package.

Alternatively, if you don’t want a permanently mounted device outside your door, you can use a Porch Pirate Bag. The bag is made from cut- and abrasion-resistant reinforced PVC and comes with a cable lock system that attaches to your front door or gate. The courier places the package inside the open bag then closes the lock, which you open when you arrive home using a combination. 

2.   Invest in a Smart Solution Key

Smart solution keys allow you to redirect deliveries in real-time and receive packages by unlocking your garage door or gate and even the back of your car through your smartphone. This is an ideal solution for people who are always on the go and are comfortable navigating technology. 

You could also invest in an Amazon Key Home Kit, which includes the Key app, smart locks, and security cameras. Amazon Key integrates with the smart locks on your front door or garage, allowing Amazon delivery drivers to open the doors and place the packages inside your home. The camera follows and records their movements for your peace of mind. 

3.   Pay for a Receiving Service

Major postal couriers, including FedEx, UPS, and USPS, can hold your package for you in a secure locker until you can pick them up. You can also easily find a locker near you by entering your zip code into the carrier’s online or app-based system. This removes the stress of worrying about your package throughout the day. 

If you live in a busy area, having a locker can ensure your packages are safe and you’re guaranteed to get them.

Premium services are convenient if you are rarely at home and expect to receive packages regularly. Not only can you request specific delivery times and have your package on hold, but you also get better customer service.

4.   Use an Advanced Tracking Application

Whether you’re an Android or iOS user, there are app trackers designed to help you know useful information about your package. Parcel, for example, supports over 300 carriers and pins your packages in real-time. Deliveries allows you to import all your orders in one system and customize the updates you receive.  

Contactless delivery is preferred nowadays, and with a tracking device that shows you a pin in real-time, you can trace your courier’s route. This is good for people working from home because when a package arrives, they will immediately know when to go to the doorstep.

5.   Provide Delivery Notes to Your Courier

Add notes for your courier when placing your orders detailing the location where you want them to place a package, providing your phone number (if you want them to contact you), giving your gate code, and requesting non-weekend deliveries.

People overlook this strategy, but it is a simple solution to common delivery problems, such as not being able to get through a gate or leaving a package in the wrong place, making your goods vulnerable to porch pirates.

You should also check the signature required box when completing the shipping details of your order. Most major courier services offer this option and it means that the driver won’t deliver the items without a recipient to sign for the package. If you know you won’t be home during the delivery timeframe, redirect your package to your office or authorize your neighbor to receive the package. 

6.   Upgrade Your Security System

Lights and noise can be intimidating for porch pirates. Upgrading your security system to include motion-activated lights and an alarm system that can be tripped via motion sensors at your doorstep is a great way to deter porch pirates. 

Another essential addition to your home security system to prevent package theft is security cameras. Cameras mounted in visible locations can scare off potential thieves and stop your home from becoming a target.

Having a security system with a loud alarm can help minimize the risk of theft by alerting your neighbors. If it comes with a security monitoring service, it can contact the local authorities notifying them of suspicious activity, making it difficult for porch pirates to step onto your property.

7.   Use the Doorman App

Like a receiving service, Doorman is designed to accommodate busy professionals who work 9-5 jobs and often aren’t home to receive packages. Couriers deliver packages to the Doorman offices in the evening and you use the app to select a timeframe during which you’ll go by to pick it up. Doorman has locations in Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City, and you can choose times between 6 pm and midnight to retrieve your parcel.  

Ensure Your Packages Never Go Missing

Porch piracy is a growing problem with people increasingly ordering items online for delivery. However, there are simple solutions that protect your packages and deter thieves from targeting your home in the first place. From using a smart key to mounting visible security cameras, you can ensure your packages arrive safely and securely.  

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