Seven strategies to combat porch pirates
With more people returning to work as restrictions ease, unmanned parcel deliveries are subject to theft or damage when not properly delivered – the offenders are known as ‘porch pirates’.
According to data from parcel-delivery service CouriersPlease (CP) Brisbane recorded a 22-per-cent increase in porch piracy last year and in Melbourne 13 per cent.
CP chief transformation officer Jessica Ip says collection points play the main role in safeguarding deliveries.
“As long as Australians continue to be mindful of venues that might pose infection risks, the online shopping phenomenon will continue,” she said.
CP suggests seven measures retailers should encourage their online customers to adopt when ordering online.
Opt for retail insurance
By purchasing parcel insurance covers, shoppers can be reimbursed if the purchase is lost, damaged or stolen. When shopping for expensive or fragile items, some retailers automatically add an insurance fee during checkout.
Have parcels delivered directly to work or to a friend’s house
If the recipient is not home, it is advised to have parcels redirected to a friend’s house or to a workplace, if permitted by the delivery partner.
Choose a collection point
Many collection points are open after hours and have customer parking. Such points include petrol stations, pharmacies or newsagents.
Set up Wifi security cameras
A battery-powered, weatherproof camera will do just the trick. Through a smartphone app, customers can track real-time motion, set up sensor alerts, loud sirens or night-time deterrence to scare away intruders or thieves. They can be bought from major retailers for around $160 each.
Avail a lockable parcel box
For shoppers who buy expensive items online, a lockable parcel box will provide some peace of mind. Couriers will have to open the parcel box, place the item and close it. Once placed in the box, it can only be opened from the bottom, which is usually within the house or a safe place. Such boxes retail for $100 to $500 and can be found in Bunnings.
Prefer discreet packaging
Retailers can offer sustainable and non-branded packaging for orders which helps safeguard high-value goods.
Organise a neighbourhood watch
These groups are often created on social media and include members of the neighbourhood. If you see suspicious activities, you can keep the members informed.