John White, MBA in IoT - Internet of Things, Internet of things Columnist • Inc Magazine Jun 24, 2017 · 2 min read · 2.7K

The Internet of Things is Revolutionizing Tracking and Receiving Packages

The Internet of Things is Revolutionizing Tracking and Receiving Packages

E-commerce is more popular than ever, and people are starting to order even their daily necessities online to avoid having to go to the store. It's so easy to get what you need that some retailers even make buttons you can push that will automatically order your toilet paper and laundry detergent, among other must-haves.

Life is more hectic than it has ever been before and people are looking for ways to simplify their lives. Unfortunately, with the rise in online shopping, an increase in package theft comes with it, which has some online retailers worried. If shopping online stops being convenient, what will happen to all these businesses?

Package thefts have become such a huge issue that people are installing doorbell cameras to catch thieves in the act. Unfortunately, at that point, your package is already gone.

According to a 2016 study by IoT home products company August:

  • "U.S. homeowners receive an average of 27 packages each year"
  • "26% receive deliveries at least once a week"
  • 53% worry packages will be stolen from their doorstep
  • 74% have been victims of package theft
  • This increases to 81% during the holidays
  • "The majority (74%) of packages are stolen during the day when homeowners are out"
  • "Theft victims spend close to $200 replace each stolen package"
  • " 80% of homeowners mentioned that they would rather invest in smart technology. . . which would eliminate this worry once and for all, rather than continue to spend money replacing stolen goods."
  • 49% of people stay home to meet delivery drivers when they are expecting a package
  • 20% of people will leave from work early if they are expecting a delivery

People are worried about stolen packages to the point they are missing work. It doesn't take an economist to figure out that eventually, they will find this practice unsustainable and eventually stop ordering things online in favor of driving to the store to get it themselves.

In a perfect world, pressing a button in your bathroom when you are out of toilet paper only to have a drone drop it on your doorstep hours later is the height of convenience. You don't even have to make a shopping list or tie a string around your finger in order to remember this often-forgotten necessity.

But when you have to worry about someone driving by and seeing the toilet paper on your doorstep, realizing they are also out of toilet paper, and taking it for themselves, this stops being a convenience and instead becomes another burden of daily life. Going to the store on your way home is certainly preferable.

The Internet of Things has come up with a number of solutions to stolen packages. So far the doorbell camera seems to be one of the most popular choices, followed by sitting at home waiting for your package to arrive.

Other solutions have included package tracking that allows recipients to reroute packages to a different destination or put off delivery to a different day, but those solutions can cost delivery companies additional time and resources as well as delay delivery to the recipient.

Keeping track of your packages in transit to prevent theft can also be more time consuming than just driving to the store to make your purchase and carrying it home yourself. Some solutions just aren't all that convenient.

So far there is only one package delivery solution that safeguards packages from thieves and weather, doesn't delay delivery, doesn't waste your time on package tracking, and doesn't require missed work: smart mailboxes.

A smart mailbox can alert you to the delivery of your package while keeping it locked away from would-be thieves until you return home to retrieve it. Imagine going on vacation without having to worry about going to the post office to stop your mail or having your regular Dollar Shave Club delivery stolen. The bottom line in e-commerce is this: people want convenience. They want to be able to shave a little time off their to-do list by clicking a few buttons and having their stuff dropped off at home.

They don't want to trade driving to the store for tracking deliveries and heading home from the office early.

If e-commerce ceases to be convenient, there are going to be entire industries that will find themselves in dire straits. Learn more about Internet of Things solutions to e-commerce issues from this infographic from Mail Haven. You might be surprised how much package theft is going on out there and how many solutions are being proposed to stop it!

Originally published on Inc.

Lance 🐝 Scoular Jun 25, 2017 · #9

👥ed 🐝🐝🐤🐳🔥🚲

+1 +1

In Canada thieves specialized themselves in folowing the delivery trucks and when a delivery man leaves your package at the doorstep because you weren't home, they still your non delivered in hand property. Thief, it's a job, you study, you organize, you adapt and you make a living, till you are caught.

+4 +4
Lance 🐝 Scoular Jun 25, 2017 · #7

Pt 2/2
I received the Fedex tracking number from the supplier by email and I contacted the Fedex
office here in Sydney with the consignment note number.

I authorised Fedex to use my debit card for any charges that Customs may levy and advised that I would not be at home when the Fedex driver made the delivery.

As a signature was required on delivery, I negotiated an arrangement that I would leave a copy of the consignment note with a signature acknowledging receipt of the package in our mail box. 📝📪

I also advised that I would leave unlocked the boot/trunk of one of our cars in the driveway so the Fedex driver could place the package there and with a click press the lid locked. 🚗

And it was done.

When I arrived home the next day I unlocked the car's boot, and voila, the package was there safe and sound. 📦

Mission accomplished! 👍

BUT, that was due to my industry knowledge and expertise. 🤔

For the lay person, the result may have not have been as succesful John, for the reasons you detail in you 🥚cellent article.

BTW John, did you recieve @David B. Grinberg 's gift 🎁 yet? 😁

+1 +1
Harvey Lloyd Jun 25, 2017 · #6

The issues you describe are of consequence, but sense their is an even larger issue at play. With each added convince do we not remove the human aspect of jobs, social and conversation? Can we truly continue to populate the earth under a a time for money standard where time is being replaced by conveniences?

I do enjoy the conveniences and use them. The "burden" of security of the package will eventually give way to the security of our jobs.

+1 +1
Lance 🐝 Scoular Jun 25, 2017 · #5

Pt 1/2
You raise important issues John, domesticaly. But purchasing from overseas can increase the risks.

In Australia, there are a great deal of online purchases from overseas as well as domestically, as overseas prices on certain products can be cheaper than from local stores either brick and mortar or online.

Back in about 2003, I ordered some sotware in a box (CD) from the USA. It came by Fedex to Australia. As a Licensed Customs Broker in Australia at the time, (I relinquished my licence after 40 years) I knew there wold be some issues to overcome as a small package import even though it was coming express courier by Fedex.

I paid the supplier for the product and the freight and delivery to Australia and my home to the supplier, but I wold have to pay any applicable duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

+1 +1

Very timely, John. I order most of my products via online merchants. I live in an apartment complex, which one of the advantages is most of my packages are left at the office if we are not home. However, not all of them and especially during the holidays. This is a great idea!

+2 +2
John White, MBA Jun 24, 2017 · #3

#2 David, not yet. I'll keep checking every 5 minutes. ;)

+1 +1
David B. Grinberg Jun 24, 2017 · #2

John, I sent you a birthday package in the mail. Did you receive it yet? If not, I'll track it down. Keep buzzing!

+4 +4