Tips on Shipping & Receiving Your Packages

Tips on Shipping & Receiving Your Packages

With the holidays around the corner and travel still uncertain, shipping is becoming a crucial part of everyday life and business.  Thanks to our friend Chris at Atmosphere Printing, we’ve put together some tips to help protect your package from theft.

We’ve all had that feeling before, getting a notification on your phone that a package has been delivered after you just stepped out, and you begin to pray that it will still be in the storm door 15 minutes later when you return home.  The unfortunate truth is that it’s usually up to the shipping carrier as to whether or not to leave your package. Each carrier has a slightly different policy, and it’s up to the judgement of each individual driver to make the decision on the safety of your package.  Fishtown has multiple different zones so your experience might be different throughout different parts of the neighborhood, as well as depending on your use of specific shipping services like express or priority shipping.

1. The United States Postal Service (USPS) should NOT leave a package  unsecure on your doorstep. They will likely bring the package back to post office and leave you a pick up note. After the first delivery attempt, as long as you have the tracking information, you can usually also opt to ask to have it redelivered (with more specific instructions, like if you have a fence they can place it beyond) or have it delivered to a neighbor’s home. This can all be done through their website.  Because USPS typically has the same carriers assigned to specific routes, you can also leave specific delivery instructions on a note taped to your mailbox or door, don’t forget to waterproof your note!

2.  Similarly, UPS also should NOT leave a package unsecure at your door. They might attempt to deliver next business day or they might drop it off at a UPS Access Point. UPS is typically easy to work with and if you get a chance to chat with your driver, make mention that you’d like to have it delivered to the access point if you aren’t home so you can just pick it up later in the day rather than have to wait next day.   Some UPS drivers will leave your package in a storm door, or on your porch if it is not easy to spot from the street.  To avoid this practice, tape a note to your door or mailbox or chat with your driver.   You can also set your delivery to a UPS access point.  If you do this, make sure the receiving name matches your name on your ID.  UPS Access Point: https://www.ups.com/us/en/services/individual-shipper/ups-access-point-deliveries.page

3.  While USPS and UPS, FedEx almost notoriously leaves packages unsecure and sometimes don’t knock when delivering.  While shipping with Fedex may save you a few bucks or a couple days shipping time, the peace of mind of knowing your package will arrive safely may be worth choosing a different carrier.

4. Weekend Deliveries… With carriers experiencing an increase in volume, most of them have added weekend delivery routes, even including Sundays.  Try to avoid having something delivered on the weekend unless you know for certain you will be home. Often times weekend drivers are not your normal route driver and tend to leave packages without the same regard for security.  This also means if you are expecting a package on a Friday and it did not arrive, there’s a good chance they will try to deliver it before the following Monday.  If you get your packages shipped to a business that isn’t open on weekends, you may want to update your shipping address with the carrier to ensure your package security.  This can typically be done on the carrier’s website.

5.  Amazon is another company that sometimes does what they want in regards to deliveries. Amazon driver’s switch from day to day, however, you can leave fairly detailed messages with them in your Amazon shipping preferences. They will likely leave a package and take a photo of where it was left.  You can also have your Amazon order sent directly to an Amazon locker for you to pick up at your convenience.  Amazon Locker Locations:  https://www.amazon.com/findalocker

6.  Get a lot of packages? Consider getting a larger external mailbox or signing up for a PO Box at your local post office.  Make friends with your neighbors that might be home more regularly than you, and make an arrangement to look out for each other’s deliveries.  Don’t forget to definitely buy them some drinks if you’re frequently asking them to look after your packages!  Sign up for text message delivery alerts, or apps like “Shop” that track all of your deliveries and orders across all carriers and stores.  There are also VIP subscriptions and memberships to many shipping carriers that include perks like rescheduling your delivery or changing delivery location with no fee.  Installing a porch or doorbell camera can also help deter package theft.

Kae Anderson
Author: Kae Anderson