Porch Piracy; The Most Vulnerable Part of the Supply Chain

porch package theft

Unattended delivery creates an opportunity for thieves to steal packages before the resident collects them. It is believed that these types of incidents are increasing dramatically, and media attention has amplified awareness and concern of “porch pirates.”

Ben Stickle, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice administration at Middle Tennessee State University, who presented his porch piracy research at Post & Parcel Live in June, suggests ways logistics companies can address this emerging crime.

“Package theft is an emerging crime type due to the tremendous growth in online shopping and the delivery of goods directly to a home. In recent years, retailers have increasingly relied on unattended home deliveries to meet the consumer demand for products, as well as to make the package delivery process convenient. This trend has inadvertently added a new twist to the typical residential theft; package theft.

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Not only is package theft a problematic crime for consumers because of the associated cost and accompanying frustration it entails, but it is also a concern for retailers because the crime is a by-product of current delivery practices and it has massive implications for logistics companies as they are responsible for replacement and re-fulfillment of stolen items.

Due to its relative infancy, package theft has not been researched in-depth by scholars so there is very little information about package theft, in general, and even less information is available concerning how it is committed. “In 2017 I began a research project with three of my colleagues to provide valuable insights into the techniques thieves use to steal packages along with methods to prevent this crime…”  Post & Parcel


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