In the United States alone, online shopping saw a spoke of 15% from 2018 to 2019. The online shopping market was to the tune of $605 billion, and it was estimated that 8 out of every 10 adults indulged in some online shopping. Since package delivery and online shopping go hand-in-hand, packages being dropped off at a doorstep became as common as seeing a mailbox or lawn adorn the front of a house.
Enterprising minds saw a vast opportunity open up before their eyes; they started introducing special lockers for packages and package mailboxes. people wanted their packages to be safe away from the sun or rain while they sat on their porch waiting for their rightful owners to carry them inside when they got back from work or college. But certain maliciously enterprising minds made another career out of this - package theft.
As of 2019, it was estimated that roughly 40% of the online shopping population had suffered from stolen packages. But all this is old news. The world has now got much bigger problems.
If you're looking for a package locker closest to you or for alternate methods to make your package delivery experience smooth, convenient, and safe, then there a number of things to consider. While the majority generally shopped for luxury products such as clothes, gamin equipment, electronic devices, etc., the bulk of essential goods such as medicines and groceries were bought the traditional way - from physical stores or in malls.
The global pandemic that is present worldwide, however, has changed things drastically. Even those people who were disdainful of buying anything online were perhaps forced to do at least some of their shopping online because several stores were shut, or people feared to catch the deadly virus from close contact with infected people in stores.
As a result, even basics goods such as vegetables and fruits, beverages, baked goods, and medicines were made available online as much as possible. For those lucky enough to live in areas with a low number of cases reported, it may be difficult to believe that people in worse hit areas were not allowed to step a foot out of their homes and had to make do with what essential goods could be delivered to containment areas.
Picture this tragic situation and tense people, and add the misery caused by package thieves. At the least, the theft would cause annoyance while the worse could be something as bad as someone starving or dying because their medicines or similar life-saving items were stolen.
Another important aspect of online shopping delivery is the spectrum of products, and how companies have adapted to changing demands to sustain themselves. One could not have expected pizza, fruits, and batteries to be delivered by one delivery center. But the situation such as food delivery services has also started delivering other basic products. So it's doubly important to ensure that you have a delivery box where all such goods can be dropped off and collected from at ease.
Parcel or smart lockers may sound like a good idea but aren't the solution to all delivery problems. Luckily, there are a number of options for you to choose from depending on your shopping pattern.
Non-perishable items such as electronic gadgets, books, tinned or packed dry foods can easily be dropped at your doorstep in package lockers. Some of the best ones can be drilled and nailed down in your front lawn or anywhere outside your house. These lockers are equipped with alarms and motion sensors and can be accessed only by people who have the right authentication code or biometric features. The best ones have compartments so even if you get a mix of, say frozen food and bathroom cleaning supplies, they can be separated and placed in the locker. These lockers protect your packages from natural elements like sunlight and rain to a large extent and can be easily cleaned and maintained. Plus, they are extremely safe and large enough to store a good number of things for extended periods of time.
Fruits, vegetables, raw meat, expensive and niche medicines are some examples of items you don't want to leave lying around even for an hour. They need to be washed and stored immediately according to specific instructions. In such cases, the products are best collected directly by the buyer.
In case you're unable to do so, then you can either ask the courier company, all of which are required to have the necessary storage facilities depending on the kinds of goods they deliver, to retain it with themselves until you can collect them, or arrange for a go-between.
A few cities in the US have delivery service personnel who will collect such items and deliver them to you at your convenience to a place of your choice. So if your important packages are due to arrive at home the next day in the daytime but you may be a work, the delivery service will ensure the package gets delivered to the new address instead.
As a last resort, don't hesitate to take help from your neighbors and friends to collect packages on your behalf, especially the important ones. This is definitely not an option you want to exploit more than absolutely necessary and be sure to return the favor when someone else needs similar assistance from you. This is a far safer option than getting your package stolen or damaged, and when you don't have any other options available to you.
No matter how you opt to collect your packages these days, ensure your safety along with those of the packages by thoroughly sanitizing things such as the package/smart lockers or mailbox to keep yourself safe from coronavirus. If you opt to collect the package from elsewhere, then it would be worthwhile to sanitize the package itself and its contents before they are used. The time has come to not only make the delivery process safe but to also ensure packages are received in a safe and sterilized manner.