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Package Theft Statistics: Why People Trust UPS the Most

July 14, 2020

by Emily Clark

Senior Product Marketer, Clutch

With people shopping online more during the COVID-19 pandemic, package theft surges and shipping carriers struggle to deliver packages on time. Clutch surveyed 752 people about which shipping carrier they trust the most to deliver their packages safely. We found that although historical delivery systems like UPS remain the most trusted, Amazon is growing more popular with its alternative delivery methods. 

“Am I being followed?” may be another concern that delivery drivers face during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With people online shopping more due to quarantine, the U.S. has seen a resurgence in people stealing packages from homes. 

Recently, police reported porch pirates trailing delivery trucks around neighborhoods and stealing packages from the truck once drivers left to make a dropoff. 

In January 2020, people reported 1.7 million stolen or lost packages per day, which resulted in an average of $25 million worth of lost items or services. 

As people rely more on delivery for groceries, medication, and clothing, shipping carriers must find ways to deliver packages safely and quickly. 

Clutch surveyed 752 people about the shipping carrier they trust the most to deliver their packages. We found that UPS is the most-trusted shipping company, with USPS and Amazon in a tight race for second.

With COVID-19 changing how people shop, the demand for package safety escalates, especially as porch pirates find new ways to steal. Shipping carriers increase their security precautions while consumers think of creative ways to deter thieves

Our Findings

  • Nearly one-third of people (29%) trust UPS the most to deliver their packages safely, especially as people buy more online. 
  • About one-quarter of people (22%) trust Amazon the most with package delivery as Amazon leads the way in delivery innovation. 

Almost One-Third of People Trust UPS the Most to Deliver Packages Safely 

As online shopping surges, people trust historical shipping carriers like UPS and USPS to deliver their goods. 

Almost one-third of people (29%) trust UPS the most to deliver their packages securely, which indicates customer loyalty to a historic shipping carrier.  

Shipping Carriers People Trust the Most

Meanwhile, 27% of people trust USPS the most to deliver packages, and 22% trust Amazon. DHL is the least popular shipping carrier. 

People place such high trust in UPS for two reasons:

  • Its history of on-time delivery 
  • Its comprehensive package tracking 

People Trust UPS Due to Its Long History of On-Time Delivery 

Founded in 1907, UPS has over a hundred years of experience with supply chain management. The company has adjusted its delivery strategy through wars and economic crises, demonstrating the ability to adapt in difficult times. People trust UPS to know how to navigate the pandemic due to its long history of executing on-time shipments. 

During COVID-19, UPS has seen a large boom in business due to an increased demand in package delivery. This sudden rise, however, has also signaled a change in how the business operates.  

In April 2020, UPS reported that home deliveries accounted for 70% of its shipments versus the usual 50% before the pandemic. 

In April 2020, UPS reported that home deliveries accounted for 70% of it shipments rather than the 50% before COVID-19.

Home deliveries are more expensive for UPS than business shipments because there are more frequent truck stops and farther travel distance.  

UPS added a “peak delivery” surcharge to partner companies, including Amazon, for a sudden surge in shipments. While UPS usually applies this fee during Christmas due to an increase in packages, for the first time, in May 2020, UPS added the fee in the summer months. 

With these additional surcharges, UPS can hire more people to deliver packages and maintain its supply chain during high demand hours.

People Trust UPS Because of Its Comprehensive Tracking System 

People also value UPS’s tracking services. UPS offers comprehensive package tracking that allows customers to see where their package is from the beginning of its journey to the end.

Package tracking helps customers know when their package will be delivered, which can prevent package theft as the customer can wait at home for the package to arrive. 

Tracking decreases the likelihood of losing a package through UPS. If a package doesn’t make it to its destination, the buyer can simply check where the package was last seen and call UPS to ask what happened. Tracking gives customers a feeling of security in UPS, which boosts its reputation.

UPS maintains customer trust due to its reputation for quick and transparent services. 

Package Theft Increased During COVID-19 as Number of Deliveries Rose

Package theft has risen significantly since 2017 and peaked during COVID-19 as people ordered more online as a result of shelter-in-place orders and social distancing.

E-commerce spending is up more than 30% from March to mid-April 2020 versus the same period last year. 

E-Commerce Surges During COVID-19

With this sudden rush to buy books, groceries and other items online, the pandemic has put a strain on shipping carrier resources. 

Due to more online orders, shipping carriers like UPS and FedEx temporarily paused their Service Guarantee, which gives a full refund to customers who receive a package after the expected date. This service guarantee suspension indicates that UPS and FedEx expect more delivery delays.

Delivery delays make package theft easier as people aren’t sure when their package will arrive. 

Porch pirates have stolen packages from over 25 million households in the last 90 days, according to research conducted May 17 - 23, 2020. This is a huge spike in theft during COVID-19. 

Porch Priates have stolen packages from over 25 million households during COVID-19.
Source: Security.org

As UPS and FedEx attempt to speed up deliveries, they could be decreasing package safety as more valuable packages are left unattended outside. UPS and FedEx also announced that they no longer will require signatures upon delivery.

While shipping providers struggle with the surge in packages, homeowners find new ways to deter package thieves.

5 Ways People Deter Porch Pirates From Stealing Packages

More than half of people have reported not receiving a package they ordered online, which demonstrates the need for security measures to prevent package theft. As shipping carriers figure out how to make package drop-offs more secure, people take package security into their own hands. 

So, how do you prevent package theft? 

Five common ways to prevent package theft are: 

  1. Install security cameras
  2. Require a signature for packages
  3. Have packages delivered to the workplace
  4. Have packages delivered to a P.O. box
  5. Subscribe to delivery alerts 

Using these preventative measures is a proactive way to stop porch pirates. Creating fewer opportunities for people to steal and monitoring your home are simple ways to deter thieves. 

Still, people find creative ways to get back at porch pirates. 

One homeowner rigged a fake package to detonate once the package was lifted off the ground. This completely harmless trick created a loud noise that scared thieves from the porch.

Other homeowners left decoy packages on their steps to confuse porch pirates. Some packages included dirty diapers or glitter bombs within boxes.

These creative methods are meant to deter porch pirates from future theft, as well as to “get revenge” on the thieves.

People look for different ways to best protect their goods from being stolen, especially as theft rates increased during COVID-19. 

One-Quarter of People Trust Amazon the Most for Package Safety, Beating FedEx and DHL

While UPS and USPS still dominate as trusted shipping carriers, people now rely on Amazon more for their complete online shopping experience. 

Almost one-quarter of people (22%) trust Amazon the most to deliver their packages safely. 

22% of people trust Amazon the most to deliver packages safely.

Amazon beats both FedEx and DHL in consumer trust, a big feat for a company that is not dedicated to delivering packages only. 

Amazon, however, does not deliver packages entirely on its own. Amazon partners with UPS, which it relies on to deliver about 50% of its packages.

Still, with its enormous sales, Amazon delivering 50% of its orders makes it a rival to both UPS and FedEx. 

People trust Amazon due to its innovation and record-fast delivery system. Over 100 million people use Amazon Prime in the U.S., and 93% of people continue their Prime membership after one year, indicating a reliance on Prime delivery guarantees. 

Amazon launched two-day delivery in 2005, becoming the first e-commerce store to promise such quick delivery time. In 2015, Amazon rolled out an initiative for same-day delivery, which put further pressure on its logistics business. 

A Timeline of Amazon's Delivery System

By creating one of the fastest delivery systems in the world, Amazon had to rethink its supply chain. In that same year, Amazon created Amazon Flex, followed shortly after by the launch of Prime Air in 2016. 

Amazon Flex is an on-demand contract network like Uber where anyone with a car can sign up to be a delivery driver. 

Amazon Flex

Amazon Flex contracted consumers to help with package delivery. It allowed Amazon to build out its local network of delivery drivers. 

Prime Air is a drone delivery system designed to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less. Drone delivery decreases the turnaround time from purchase to being in the owner’s hands. While not widely available, Amazon is still working on using Prime Air on a large scale.  

The quickness and accessibility of Amazon Prime helped build Amazon’s reputation as a trusted method of package delivery and fostered a sense of security for its customers. 

Considering Amazon has become more trusted than DHL and FedEx, UPS and USPS may also see a revenue cut in their shipping business.

Americans Trust UPS, USPS, and Amazon the Most to Deter Package Theft

The need for efficient and safe package delivery is at an all-time high with the increase in online shopping fueled by the global pandemic. 

People changed how they shopped in COVID-19, ordering groceries online and shipping more items to their front door. Logistics companies face a strain on resources as they scramble to deliver all orders on time. 

With this increase in packages comes an increase in package theft. Porch pirates take advantage of more package deliveries to steal millions of dollars worth of goods from people’s doors. 

People trust UPS the most to deliver their packages safely due to its history of on-time shipments and comprehensive tracking technology. USPS and Amazon trail closely behind as the most-trusted shipping carriers. 

With the rise of package theft during shelter-in-place orders and social distancing, customers look to additional security measures to protect their packages. Common preventative channels include installing security cameras, requiring a signature on arrival, and shipping items to the workplace or a postal box. 

Consumers continue to trust Amazon more to deliver packages. With its Amazon Lockers, people have a more secure alternative for delivery than just at-home drop-off. Further, the e-commerce company is making waves using new logistics strategies like Amazon Flex and Prime Air – becoming one of the most innovative shipping brands.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed how people buy and sell items, solidifying the need for efficient and safe shipping carriers to make consumers happy. 

About The Survey

Clutch surveyed 752 people in the U.S. about their delivery preferences. The survey ran on June 8, 2020.

About 46% of respondents were female; 37% were male; and 17% declined to indicate their gender. 

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