Top Tips to Secure Package Deliveries

secure package delivery

Residential package delivery is at an all-time high.

According to a study of 2,000 online shoppers, 44% receive packages at least once a week. That’s a significant amount of daily home deliveries. Interestingly, the study was conducted in October 2019, pre-pandemic.

During the pandemic, data shows ecommerce order volume has increased by a whopping 47% compared to the same time frame last year. This graph from Convey illustrates the exponential “growth in online orders by week in 2020 compared with a year ago.”

Ecommerce shipments in 2020 outpace 2019

Package theft is serious business.

With so many packages being delivered everyday, it is easy to see how package theft has become serious business. Package thieves, aka porch pirates, are running rampant: 36% of online shoppers reported at least one stolen package.

Additionally, 44% of those victims claimed they’ve had at least two packages stolen. Porch pirates cost victims $106 on average per offense. Based on these statistics, we estimate porch pirates stole over 100 million parcels and raked in over $12 billion last year. These are staggering numbers!

So how can we prevent package theft, especially during a time when online shopping and home delivery are vital?

You can take steps to secure package deliveries.

No matter your situation, there are ways to secure your delivered packages. Below we weigh the pros and cons of the most recommended options so you can decide what works best for you.

Mailbox Service

Mailbox services allow you to rent a physical mailbox at a centralized facility. Available services include USPS post office boxes, UPS mailboxes, and Amazon Hub Lockers. For a monthly fee, these services keep your parcels secure until you’re ready to pick them up. Best of all, most are accessible 24 hours a day, allowing you to access your mail when it’s most convenient for you.

Unfortunately, mailbox service locations are not widespread. While post offices are located in most towns, other mailbox services are limited to larger cities. Those living in larger cities may find it unwieldy to carry large, heavy, or multiple packages home, especially if using public transportation.

Mailbox services are great for apartment dwellers and others who may not have a porch or private delivery area. They are also perfect for frequent travelers. However, beware that some mailbox services charge an extra fee for packages, and some will not even accept delivery of oversized boxes.


  • Keeps parcels secure until you’re ready to pick them up
  • Most are open 24 hours


  • Limited locations
  • Recurring fees


  • Those without a porch who live/work near a mailbox service location
  • Frequent travelers

In-Store Pick-Up

Some online-only retailers, such as Amazon, offer shipping to partner merchants who have stores all over the country. Similarly, retailers that have physical locations often give online shoppers the option to have orders shipped to a nearby store.

Because businesses can bundle many orders in one shipment to a store, they can offer discounted or free shipping with the in-store pick-up option. Since there are many other customers taking advantage of this same service, you may have to wait in long lines to pick-up your order, especially during peak hours and seasons. In addition, most stores only offer package pick-up during specified hours.

Even so, the in-store pick-up shipping method is an excellent option for those who only shop online occasionally. It’s also a great choice for anyone who lives near a designated pick-up store. And this option comes in handy when purchasing gifts for those living in your household, preventing them from seeing package details like brand and size.


  • Free shipping often available
  • More locations to choose from than mailbox services


  • Subject to store hours
  • May have to wait in long lines, especially during peak hours/seasons


  • Those without a porch who only shop online occasionally
  • Those who live/work near available store locations

Require Signature for Delivery

The “Require a Signature” shipping option notifies delivery personnel to obtain a signature from someone at the ship-to address. If no one is available to sign, the shipping company will hold your package at one of their local shipping centers.

This is an ideal choice for those who are usually home during delivery hours. It’s also an ideal shipping option for high-value packages that you want to be sure aren’t sitting unattended on your doorstep.

If no one is home to sign for the package, be prepared to travel to your nearby shipping center. Most shipping facilities are located in remote areas of town or in industrial parks. While inconvenient, it can be well worth it knowing your precious package is secure. But beware! Shipping centers will only hold deliveries for a short period of time before returning them to the merchant.


  • Package is only held if you’re not home


  • Subject to shipping facility hours
  • Shipping facility locations are usually remote
  • Parcels only held for a short period of time


  • Those who are typically available to sign for packages
  • High-value items

Video Doorbell

A video doorbell with two-way audio is one of the best ways to secure package deliveries. Video doorbells are motion activated. So you will receive a notification on your mobile device whenever motion is detected. In addition, the camera will start recording. Using a connected app, you can view live video and communicate with whomever is nearby.

This means that you can receive real-time package delivery notifications. And if any would-be thieves approach your delivered goods, you can scare them away using the audio feature. In addition, you’ll have video footage you can report to the police.

Unlike the options above, a video doorbell allows you to safely and conveniently ship items directly to your home. It is the perfect solution for frequent online shoppers and those who live in rural areas.


  • View and record video of anyone approaching
  • Real-time package delivery notifications
  • Two-way audio


  • Initial upfront investment
  • Recurring fees for app usage and/or video storage


  • Those with a designated delivery zone like a porch or stoop
  • Those who live in rural areas
  • Those who frequently shop online

Smart Door Locks

Smart door locks replace your existing doorknob and deadbolt. These locks allow for keyless entry into your home. Using an app, you can lock and unlock your door remotely. Some models also include a keypad entry option.

Combining a smart door lock with a video doorbell gives you the ultimate delivery security. The video doorbell will notify you when your package is being delivered. Using an app, you can speak to the delivery person through the video doorbell, requesting they place the package inside. Then, using the same app, you can unlock and lock the door.

However, smart door locks are not easy to install. They do require an electrical connection, so professional installation is recommended. With that in mind, smart door locks are better suited to home owners than renters.


  • Other practical uses beyond securing deliveries
  • Can be used with Amazon Key
  • Allow limited access to trusted neighbors and friends


  • Initial upfront investment
  • Not easy to install


  • Homeowners

Smart Garage Door Opener

A smart garage door opener is a less invasive alternative to smart door locks, and can be cheaper to install. Similar to a smart door lock, a smart garage door opener allows you to operate your garage door remotely with an app.

You can use it in the same manner as mentioned above, but instead of giving a delivery person access to your home, you only allow them access to your garage.

Unfortunately, this option is only available to online shoppers who have a garage with certain models of motorized overhead door. You can purchased a smart garage door opener or see if your existing model is compatible with an interface module to make it “smart.”


  • Other practical uses beyond securing deliveries
  • Allow limited access to delivery personnel, neighbors, and friends


  • Initial upfront investment
  • Recurring fee for app usage


  • Those with a garage equipped with an automatic overhead door

Interested in a video doorbell, smart door lock, or smart garage door opener?

We sell, install, and service all three! We’d be happy to answer any questions you have or give you a customized quote.

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2019 Package Theft Statistics Report, C+R Research

Ecommerce shipments increase 47%, order delays spike as coronavirus continues, Digital Commerce 360

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