men looking at a map
Two diplomatic couriers review the world-wide network of U.S. Diplomatic Courier routes map, circa 1950s. Two Couriers reviewing giant wall map “The world-wide network of U.S. Diplomatic Courier routes”
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The world is a never stopping hub of activity and one that needs a constant renewing of consumables and resources to continue forward. There are many routes consumables and much-needed goods can go through to end up at their desired destinations. This is where the world of couriers come into play, some of the bigger companies that move letters and parcels, even blood and organs – have airports of their own with fleets of aircraft linking the major hubs, cities, and countries.

The toing and froing takes a lot of organization and overall care as well as immense people-power for the goods being delivered. It is inevitable that some items being delivered will get damaged due to the sheer volume being moved, simple outer packaging tears to completely destroyed packages like those left in the rain are common but thankfully, for the most part, the goods get to where they are going to be happily received and the complicated world of on-time courier deliveries continues as it should.

Without these complex companies, the world and its commerce would not be the same, deliveries would take longer by standard postal services, this would not be ideal for perishable goods as well as those that are time-critical and needed at the destination should that be a crucial spare part for a nuclear power station or a supply store deep in Alaska.

For the most part, the cogs of the machine keep turning but there is one major point that has been causing disruption for many including the suppliers, shipping and courier companies and on to the end-user – this disruption comes in the form of doorstep theft of the packages after they are delivered that is becoming more and more common, it is estimated that 11 million

Americans have had a package stolen from them in the last year!

There are some foundation steps we all can put in place to stop theft or at least have something to go on, should it happen.

As a Buyer:

  • Request tracked deliveries, some couriers allow you to see how many stops your package is away and so it is simple to receive by you or a friend, and not a fiend.
  • If tracking is not available, request the day it will be delivered and make sure someone is home, you can always get the item delivered to your workplace.
  • In most situations, it is safe to leave the package in a ‘safe place’ or with a neighbour but if it does go missing, you won’t have much leeway as you have essentially stated you are happy for it to be left anywhere, and with someone else.
  • If you or someone else cannot be home to receive the delivery, request to collect it from the local depot – courier companies are easy to contact online with booking systems and so on, they are not so easy to actually talk to on the telephone but this has always been the way.
  • Most thefts are due to an open opportunity and the criminal will just go for a parcel or package if they see one left alone, install a floodlight on your porch to deter would-be thieves.
  • Install solar garden lights, nice CREE LED bulb ones with a good lumen output, the more light about the place the less likely you are to get a visit from a bad person.
  • Consider getting a ‘parcel keeper’ or ‘strongbox’, they are usually made from metal and allow couriers to deposit letters, packages and parcels in a safe place ready for your return.
  • CCTV and video doorbells are a really good theft deterrent, there is some outlay but security is key and goes toward a safer environment. If you cannot afford a system just yet, just buy some ‘CCTV in operation’ signs and put them up, only you will know the secret.

As a seller:

  • Check the address is clear and legible, add your return address and mobile number on the back of the package too, in case of any problems or a failed delivery. Double check the address as simple mistakes like this can be costly and timely.
  • As well as packaging the object/s well so as not to be damaged whilst in transit, try to disguise it in some way, perhaps putting in a different box, wrapping with brown paper or bubble wrap on the outside so the contents cannot be seen –  basically don’t give away the contents of your parcel. Cushion the object/s inside so no rattling can be performed to guess the contents.
  • Pay for tracking, yes it costs a little more but normally you can pass this added expense onto the customer, it costs less overall should there be any problems and there is no excuse for the receiver not to get the parcel. Don’t forget to advise the receiver of this too so they know when to expect the delivery
  • Pay for insurance is the items is of high value, this will ensure you are reimbursed if it should go missing or is damaged in transit.

The simple fact of the matter is that police forces are too busy with other more serious crimes to spend time looking for your lost package unless the thieves are caught red-handed or some CCTV footage is captured. We all have to protect ourselves and others if we can so be wary of strangers about the place whether at home, work or play.

Thanks for reading, be safe out there!

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