How Amazon Is Trying To Stop Package Theft

Every day, 1.7 million packages are stolen or go
missing off doorsteps across the country. This is higher than it’s ever
been before and it’s costing Amazon and other sellers millions. Expansion of online retail has resulted
in expansion in the crime of package theft, which brings you to something
around $9 billion a year in stolen packages. Now creative solutions
are popping up everywhere, from doorbell cameras to automatic locks,
porch lockers to alternative pickup points. Big and small companies and everyday
people are trying to stop the thieves. This is a custom built bait
package that is recording him on four different cameras and it’s about to unleash
a pound of the world’s finest glitter along with
some other surprises. We wanted to find out who’s losing
the most when a package goes missing and what are Amazon and other
companies doing to fight back? A 2019 survey
conducted by found that nearly one in five
Americans report having a package stolen. And according to a new study by
C+R research, each stolen item costs an average of $109 to replace, a cost
typically passed down to the seller who’s responsible for the
refund or replacement. A lion’s share of the loss is
being absorbed by the entity doing the greatest amount of selling, which
in this case is Amazon. Amazon Prime members say they receive on
average 51 packages at home every year, and all respondents spent an average
of $222 a month on online orders. However, 42% of customers say
they avoid buying expensive items online because of theft, meaning Amazon is
missing out on even more sales revenue. In total, the thefts add up
to more than $25 million in lost goods and services each day. There are stories and anecdotes out
there about more organized thieves actually following trucks and picking
packages up off of porches. But the majority of package theft
occurs from someone walking down the street, seeing an opportunity
and grabbing it. Wakefield Research conducted a study on
package theft in 2018 that was sponsored by Comcast,
which owns CNBC. In urban areas, you see as much as
35 % of adults saying that they’ve personally had a package stolen. In a suburban area, that figure is 20
% and in rural areas it’s 13 %. SafeWise also conducted a study. It found the places with the highest
rates of package theft are the Bay Area, Salt Lake City and Portland. Between like 10 and three is going to
be the busiest time and it’s usually a time when people are at work
or at school or out running errands. The nicer neighborhoods get packages stolen
far more than what you would think are the rougher sides of town. And I think because they’re
going after the better booty. So what happens when
a package is stolen? According to C+R Research, victims will
alert more than one entity. 83 % contact Amazon or the seller, 60
% contact the delivery service, 48 % checked with neighbors and only
13 % called the police. So who is it that’s
financially responsible for the loss? Your major sellers, your Amazon,
eBay, are replacing stolen goods. The shippers themselves largely
aren’t incurring this cost. Now some like FedEx will offer
$100 worth of default liability. You can purchase more. U.S. Postal Service offers zero liability
but you can, of course, purchase more insurance. But on the whole that
$9 billion is being absorbed by the sellers. Even though it may seem
like Amazon replaces your item immediately after a theft, if that item
is sold by a third party, that’s who pays for the
replacement or refund. You can also contact the carrier, the
shipper, but they are going to try to get recourse again
from the seller. But your best chance is to go to
where you bought it from and see if they’ll send you out another one. It’s up to the discretion of the
seller whether they want to replace your item. At the end of the day, it’s
the consumer who pays for this because think about it, the rates
have to go up. You can’t afford to keep
having this type of loss. Although many police departments don’t
track package theft specifically, the numbers are definitely up. Denver, for example, saw a 68 %
increase in package theft from 2015 to 2018. Because small retailers and huge
sellers like Amazon are spending more on refunds and replacements every
year, they’ve got a big incentive to stop the crimes. One solution
the e-commerce giant offers is an automatic front door lock system called
Amazon Key, available in 50 cities for free with compatible
smart lock kits. It lets users unlock the front
door remotely, allowing a delivery person entry into the home. Amazon Key
can also open certain garages and compatible cars, allowing packages to be
left in a trunk, for example. And building managers can use Amazon
Key for Business, giving delivery drivers a smart fob with time limited
access to drop off packages inside an apartment complex. However, C+R Research shows
that only 4 % of package that victims use Amazon Key. That number may be
low for one reason. Even though you can literally watch it
in real time, the idea of unlocking your door for a stranger while you’re not
there so they can go in to your home I think strikes
some people as disquieting. And then there’s Amazon lockers. Packages are left inside these automatic
electronic lockers for pickup at convenience stores, grocery stores, apartment
buildings, malls and other locations in more than 900 U.S. cities. Locker+ locations, often on college
campuses, are staffed and can hold packages for up to 15 days. Amazon also offers pickup in-store at
certain retailers such as Rite Aid, GNC, Health Mart and Stage Stores. We have 11 % who said that
they’re sending their deliveries to an Amazon locker or similar type of service. And then we have 10 % who said
that they use some sort of package lockbox. These individual lockboxes like these from
Kingsley Park are often secured to a porch where carriers enter
an access code to leave packages. And then finally, we have 18 %
of respondents said that they wind up sending their deliveries to
their work address. Amazon says the vast majority of
deliveries make it to customers without an issue and that its
customer service is available 24/7. Amazon Map Tracking also allows customers
to view the progress of their delivery in real time when
a driver is close. And for packages delivered by Amazon
it offers a photo on delivery. Of course not all online
shopping happens on Amazon. So there’s also a variety of
smaller companies offering electronic smart lockers. It’s really tough to put a
canoe into our lockers or a mattress, but other than that, we put tires all
the time, we take some pretty big items through the lockers. Parcel Pending has 4,000 locker locations
at retail and grocery stores, companies and apartment complexes in
48 states and Canada. We’ve been working with one e-tailer
who ships over 300 million packages and they have talked about tens of
millions of dollars of loss in packages. And so to put in a
solution like an electronic locker system, for them it’s almost a drop in the
bucket because the loss in packages is not an insurable event for them. So it’s coming out of their pocket. When lockers aren’t an option, consumers
often turn to more homegrown solutions. About a third of consumers will actually
have a package delivered to a friend or have a friend or neighbor
or family member pick up the package. Some things are more extreme. We actually found one in five have taken a
sick day or called in a PTO or vacation day to their employer so that
they could be home specifically to receive a package that they
were afraid might be stolen. The carriers themselves now offer a
solution too: skip porch deliveries altogether by picking up your
package at a storefront. We’ve got between the UPS Stores and
then we announced a partnership with CVS, Michaels, Advance Auto to add a
third one in there, where receivers can say, okay, I want my packages
delivered in those stores as opposed to their home. UPS says it delivers around
20 million packages every day and that 63 million customers have signed
up for its My Choice program. Customers can schedule deliveries, reroute
packages or set their default package delivery location to one of
40,000 secure access points around the world. In the next year or so,
90 to 95 % of the U.S. coverage will be within five miles
of a UPS access point. FedEx, which says it delivers 15 million
packages a day, has a similar program called Delivery Manager. It lets customers enter specific instructions
for where and how couriers should make a delivery or lets you reroute
a package for pickup at one of 14,000 retail locations like FedEx
Office stores, Walgreens, Krogers and Albertsons. By 2026 we expect the
growth to be roughly 100 million packages a day. So we’re going to have to have plans
in place to make sure that there aren’t packages laying out on people’s front
porches for hours or in some cases days if they’re not home. And USPS offers a service called Informed
Delivery, which it says has more than 21 million subscribers. It offers a snapshot of every
day’s expected deliveries and allows subscribers to opt for a package to be
held at a post office instead of being left at the front door. FedEx, UPS, USPS and other
carriers also offer package tracking. And although you can file a claim
for missing packages if they were insured through the carrier, it’s
typically not the carrier’s responsibility once it’s arrived. Once a package is delivered, it’s
out of our custodial control. And so it’s really up to law
enforcement to work directly with consumers on any reported theft. There’s a handful of outside
companies like TrackerSense and Logistimatics that make one time
GPS trackers for packages. And then there’s startups trying
to streamline the entire tracking process. LA-based Route recently launched
its app to offer one-stop-shop tracking for consumers. So you open up our app and
you see everything that you’ve ordered from every merchant in a
single map interface. Route says its algorithms can detect
if a package is wrongfully reported as stolen, helping reduce loss
for its 1,800 merchant partners. And for a fee of 1 % of the
item’s value, Route will also cover the cost if a package is stolen. Once the
carrier usually drops the package off on a porch, their job of delivering that is
done and a lot of times that’s why they’re taking pictures now to show,
you know, the proof that the package was actually delivered. We’re pretty alone on an
island in covering porch pirating. Doorbell cameras are now a common way
that consumers try to protect their packages once they’re no
longer the carrier’s responsibility. C+R Research found that 25 %
of package theft victims install doorbell cameras like the systems
made by Boston-based SimpliSafe. It’s making sure that we have
that reliable, high quality video footage where you’re going to capture the face of
the person on it so that if somebody does steal a package, we
can follow up on that. But doorbell cameras don’t only
capture those with bad intentions. Their American flag that they had outside
their front door had fallen down and the moment captured on video was
a neighbor walking by, seeing that, righting the flag and saluting to
the flag before moving on. If a crime is underway, SimpliSafe
now offers realtime monitoring of video footage when an alarm is triggered and
can dispatch police to the home. They will know that this is not a
false alarm, it’s not a waste of time. This is a really valuable use of their
time to catch a crime in action. And there’s a lot of controversy. Some people feel like, you know, it’s
giving a lot of access to Big Brother. But I think we all want
Big Brother helping us when it’s helping us recover from a crime. SimpliSafe’s video doorbell costs $169 and
it offers a smart lock starting at $99. Competitor Ring
starts at $99.99. And Google’s Nest Hello video
doorbell starts at $229. The problem with that is you get a picture
of the bad guy and you see the bad guy walk away with the package. But what are you going to
do with the bad guy? Who’s going to go after him and
is anything really going to happen? And are you going to catch
the guy who took your item? Typically not. Hey, put that down. Screenshots of package thieves from these
doorbell cameras often end up posted online in forums like Nextdoor
in hopes the community will recognize and stop the thieves. More and more, neighbors are taking
matters into their own hands from baiting thieves with garbage-filled packages,
boxes rigged to explode with blank shotgun shells, or the infamous
glitter bomb packages planted by a former NASA engineer. We would want to encourage people not to
take the law into their own hands and to go through the proper process of
alerting police and not try to set anything up that could
be potentially dangerous. Carriers and law enforcement recommend filing
a police report when a package theft occurs. When you see
the same body type and disguise happening repeatedly in a neighborhood and
you’re keeping that footage and you’re sharing it with local law
enforcement, there’s a much better chance that you are going to catch someone. Still, even with a police report, the
chances of catching them are slim. It’s actually really quite difficult to
find people who are doing this, really unless you’re caught
in the act. The Denver Police Department, one of
the few that tracks package theft, says it arrested 7 %
of package thieves in 2018. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service
is your best bet. However, they were able to make arrests of
less than 1 % of the number of packages that are being
stolen per year. And that’s just arrests. It’s not
convictions and it’s not necessarily finding any of the lost loot. USPS says postal inspectors arrested almost
2,500 suspects for theft of mail and packages in 2018. The average value of a stolen package
is far below what would constitute a felony. In California, for example, the item
needs to be worth more than $950. But in South Carolina, a
proposed Defense Against Porch Pirates Act would make it a felony. And in
Texas, lawmakers recently passed a bill that would fine package thieves between
$4,000 and $10,000 with a possible jail sentence between six
months and 10 years. And some police departments have
experimented with beating thieves with packages and staking out doorsteps. The reality is, as Amazon continues
to bring more shoppers online, there are simply more opportunities for
these easy, simple thefts. I think it’s our job to
continue innovating because there will be continued innovation on the
criminal side as well. Amazon and other sellers are highly
motivated to stop the huge losses incurred by package theft, which
means the solutions are constantly improving from doorbell cameras, tracking
and secure locations for package delivery. There will come a time when we
look back at the way we handled e-commerce deliveries, and I think
it’ll probably seem fairly primitive that you just have these
cardboard boxes sitting on porches. Whether it’s things like the
Amazon Key or lockboxes, technological innovation is so robust right now and
especially if you combine that with an opportunity for individual entrepreneurs
to make money from solving this problem, I really think that it
will be figured out to some extent. I actually think it’s probably gotten
a little tougher for criminals to steal something because there’s more
attention paid to this, consumer awareness on it is growing,
which our data reflects. But you’re starting from
a pretty easy position. This is not a
difficult crime to commit.

100 thoughts on “How Amazon Is Trying To Stop Package Theft

  1. I would rig the package with something to cause them bodily harm. If you’re missing numerous fingers you would think twice before committing another theft. It’s illegal, but so are illegal aliens. So I don’t care…!!!

  2. So is cnbc trying to be cool or something? With this girl that sounds like she is 16 and should be narrating a vox video on YouTube.

  3. Is package theft an issue in Japan?

    I've heard it's so safe over there that elementary school kids walk and ride the subway to get to school!

  4. Why do have such a stupid system in the US?
    My country, which is one of the safest countries on earth, don't have this system.

    The delivery guy will knock on the door to deliver the product, if no one answers, he will try again another day or leave the package on a pick up location.
    If there is no signature, there is no delivery, period.

  5. The boxes should have gps trackers. Each carrier should have a signature verification without cost. And each carrier should have a cam of proof of delivery system.

  6. "UPS my choice" (7:35) wasn't my choice to sign up for, it was UPS choice to make me sign up to be able to contact UPS about issues with receiving my package.

  7. What is not shown in the video is the many third party contracters who are stealing these packages. They do not carry the kind of responsibility that a personal carrier does. They use their own private cars and they are not uniformed. So they often get away with claiming a package was delivered when it wasn't.

  8. I find it grossly misleading that they decided to leave out the fact that UPS DELIVER'S PACKAGES TO THE WRONG ADDRESS CONSTANTLY! And their lame investigation department only calls the recipient of the lost package roughly 5 days after stated delivery just to ask if anyone in the neighborhood has delivered the package to the right address.

  9. This is so stupid, in India here 🇮🇳🇮🇳 any online merchant Amazon, Flipkart etc always call the customer 2-3 hours before delivery, we get sms updates for delivery guy contatct number and package is only delivered with signature of person or family members.

    If u miss delivery time, u get at least 2 more attempts for re-delivery.

    Almost full proof without any hassle 🤗

  10. That is rich coming from a company that didn't want to give the police the name of the driver caught stealing packages.

  11. How about damage made by that loader just throwing the boxes. Amazon should see how we load trailers at the C.ontainer Store .

  12. most my packages don't even make it during shipping,… plus when they do come, they just bring a slip and run like sanic too the door…. and if i catch them they don't even have the item in the truck… Also people been hacking the smart doors, or people don't properly close,etc and boom now your involved in a B'n'E.. alerting police will do nothing.. they don't care about packages or your mail

  13. I find that AMAZON is so quick to offer one day delivery…waiting home is not fun. Package does not arrive, or it's left at the wrong address. Amazon does not make it easy to replace. They offer a refund and minus all awarded credits from the package. We do pay…twice. I try to purchase items separately and watch to ensure packages are delivered on the promised date.

  14. At least say his name, Mark Rober is amazing. They 100% deserved the glitter/fart bomb! At least he did something about it

  15. I have a POBox but many of my purchases cant be delivered there and require a physical addy. Perhaps Amazon should start with USPS.

  16. I’m honestly surprised this is still an issue. If I ran the online shopping industry these measures would have been pre-meditated

  17. 1. Most police departments don't investigate porch stolen items even with video evidence.

    2. Didn't an Amazon delivery driver just get caught stealing a UPS package while he was delivering an Amazon package?

  18. I don't see a solution in the works amongst the victims… just people trying to play "catch-that-thief" with gadgets. If they really wanted to solve the problem, they would have gone straight to developing a service that could easily allow them to employ people to keep their packages safe.

  19. people dont steal in japan or switzerland. theft is huge in america. american system of raising their youth is messed up

  20. I made a large steel lockbox for package deliveries, simple solution. You leave it open, they place the package(s) in it, they close it autolocking it. Then it can't be opened till I open it, and you'd need 30minutes with a heavy duty angle grinder to break into it. Cost about $300 in steel to make it. Given the weight is likely something close to 1000lbs, it doesn't even need to be attached to anything,

  21. The statistics show how useless law enforcement officers are to real people and how little faith people have in them.

  22. Don't know why they don't do it like we do in china, each area has a small designated space usually walking distance away, you get a code to pick up your parcel within three days, if it doesn't arrive you definitely get refunded. Saves so much money and time

  23. In Vietnam, the shippers call the customers to know if they can receive the package or not. If not then they will deliver it on another day.
    Most of the office employees make their office a receive address. Just go downstair for 5m and you got your package.

  24. As soon as i seen the title and thumbnail i knew you were gonna reference Mark Rober. Its like youtube candy or something.

  25. This is why more sellers need to ship to PO Boxes. Safe, secure PO Boxes. It's so infuriating when a seller says "we don't ship to PO Boxes" and I have to ship it to my damn office because home delivery is unsafe. And if they use USPS the office address gets forwarded to the office PO Box anyway. So stupid.

  26. Seems to me that the package Bin is a good idea. it is just like a big mailbox .in fact you can put your mail in there too… Then when you're gonna have a package delivered you leave it unlocked.then the delivery guy puts the box in there and locks it.

  27. In my country every home has tall wall and gate and if no one at home the delivery person will left a paper for redeem the package at the mail place unlike US where people can walk on ur front lawn and delivery person left the package in front of the door. When ever I watch movie or in the news with the house like that I always thought it ask to be rob cause it make it easy for theft to walk in front of ur door or back door instead of tall gate and wall that is harder for them to get in

  28. Amazon should make a metal cage that can be chain locked to your property and can be opened electronically by the delivery man.

  29. I always thought Americans must be very honest as their packages are left on their doorstep by couriers. In the UK the delivery man knocks to deliver and if no-one is in, the package is delivered to a neighbour

  30. Wow 51 packages a year you rich people really got it nice. I’m 30 years old and I can never afford to shop online hell the nicest thing I own is my phone and I’m pretty sure the phone company owns it

  31. Where I live, here in Québec, when we are not home they let a notice in the mailbox and deliver the package to our local post office.

  32. In india Amazon delivers the parcel in customers hand instead of just leaving it outside !! They come the next day if the customer is not avaiable at home.Simple Solution !!

  33. I have lived here 30 years but have Never had a package stolen. I Have had USPS deliver the mail ALLL over the neighborhood reeking having on business and banking.

  34. UPS stores are a possible solution but they are very expensive to set up. I like the idea of UPS/FedEx lockers inside convenience stores or small localized neighborhood drugstores. Both location are well setup for hosting such lockers and they would be paid to host such lockers. As cigarettes become more difficult to sell through convenience stores, the UPS/FedEx lockers would give the convenience stores a much needed new profit stream. We also have a couple of UPS stores in my city they can leave the packages at if they can't contact me.

  35. I live in a city of 2 million people and when they deliver a package their stupid delivery system puts it on the floor next to the door and sidewalk. Now they complain about thieves? Really. What a bunch of idiots. I complained many times to customers services about it and they done nothing. Even contacting the sellers, they don't follow simple instructions like asking for a signature on reception.

  36. I work for Amazon and trust me, Amazon is smarter than you think you are when it comes to getting a refund/replacement for your package.

    UPS/FedEx are still fine. USPS is simply HORRIBLE!!

  37. Ups make their employees to work faster. They have to move from client to client in tight timetable. Stopping at 1 customer slow him down for a minute. 90 customers =lost minutes and possibly job. They will write while driving to next client. They don’t even hide package.

  38. 5:43 – They just casually drop one of the simplest and effective solutions for avoiding package thieves, and never mention it again in the whole video. This obviously won’t work for everyone, but if you have a day job, ask your employer if it’s okay to ship packages to your work.

  39. Amazon won’t fix this issue. Some people get normal packages, which means postal services need to up their game for package safety.

  40. How to stop? How about don't just left the package there if no one is available to physically receive it. Well, that's how it's done in my country. No one available to receive the package, they bring it back to the courier facility. Then, you have to retreive it there.

  41. Delivery people in Denmark aren’t allowed to leave packages outside without written permission. If you aren’t home at time of delivery and it doesn’t fit in the mailbox, the package will be taken to the nearest pickup location. You usually need to sign for them before you are given them.
    Problem solved. 🙂

  42. this video more likely encourage thief to stole your package. becasue its only 7% of stolen package get caught by police.

  43. I wish Amazon had like a porch locker that is basically a keypad safe with a key lock on the top, where a Amazon delivery person would enter a one time key code and the the consumer opens the top hatch with a personal key

  44. SEUR (DPD) get other people to sign for the package other than the owner. I have had a TV left at a motorway service area – daffodil bulbs left at someonelses property and car parts never delivered to name just 3 deliveries – only once have they delivered to my doorstep.

  45. What happens if you go to a locker, put your code, and the door opens but then you close it. Is ur package gone forever

  46. In my country the courier doesn't leave package in front a door. Someone in the house has to take it from him. Problem solved.

  47. It should NEVER have been an option to be able to have your package left in front of your door step. It should either be handed to a person at the home/address, OR left at a local pick-up depot, OR scheduled for re-delivery. NEVER just left in front of someone's door. This world has a lot of greedy people. This option needs to be removed from all delivery companies.

  48. I dont understand why they dont just put tiny gps chips in every package. There are affordable options, and maybe they could charge people for not returning them. Returning them would be just as easy as putting it in an envelope.

  49. In France if the package is too big for the mailbox and the owner is not there, the package is sent back to the nearest postal office and the person has 3 days to pick it up, it seems crazy to me to just leave a package outside the door, of course someone will steal them

  50. You know, in france, the postman rung at your door and wait for you, if you arnt home he dontlay down the package on the front door, he just put an message in your mailbox saying that you were absent so you need to go to the post office to get your package. It's as simply as that 🤷🏼‍♂️ You don't need electric door lock with face recignition or any other (useless) things.

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