As UPS Takes on Delivery Theft, Shippers Turn to Real-Time Visibility

Online shopping is a modern marvel. With just a few taps on our screens, we can summon everything from quirky toys to the latest TVs. Yet, there's a dark side to this convenience. And in 2022, 49 million Americans experienced it—the trend of 'porch piracy,' or the unexpected theft of packages from our doorsteps. The numbers tell a disheartening story: each theft averaged a $50 loss, totaling $2.4 billion. But these raw digits go beyond statistics; they represent ruined birthdays, anniversaries, and cherished moments.

Recognizing the escalating challenge, UPS unveiled DeliveryDefense™ – a modern twist on traditional security systems. This pioneering solution taps into real-time visibility and artificial intelligence, boosting package security by analyzing past delivery data to predict risks and suggest safer delivery routes. And what's truly thrilling? This solution is just the beginning.

As Delivery Thefts Rise, Industry Professionals Take Notice

As online shopping continues to boom, the accompanying rise in delivery thefts has not gone unnoticed. While offering countless conveniences, e-commerce has also unwittingly opened the door to a significant challenge: package security.

The Rising Incidents of Delivery Theft

As e-commerce continues its meteoric rise, shippers face a looming shadow: the relentless increase in delivery thefts. It’s bad enough that 49 million Americans were victims in 2022, as discussed. But a deeper dive into the details reveals not a transient hiccup but a burgeoning crisis. Across the U.S., roughly 1.7 million packages get stolen daily. Moreover, 36% of Americans recount the sting of a stolen package from their porch, a statistic surging to 41% in urban centers. But the challenges don't stop at our doorsteps. Between October 2022 and March 2023, over 300 mail carriers were targeted, signaling a rise from the previous year. During these months, reports also documented a disturbing 25,000 mail theft incidents. And for added perspective? Mail theft incidents surged by a staggering 600% from 2017 to 2020.

Impact on the E-commerce Sector

The convenience of e-commerce shopping from the comfort of our homes has unintentionally made it easier for thieves to target unattended packages, causing significant challenges for the e-commerce sector. Shippers and retailers now face the headaches of missing packages, disgruntled customers, and the cost of reshipping. To make matters worse, about half of consumers feel that delivery companies aren't doing enough to prevent these thefts, potentially damaging the industry's reputation. In response, many are turning to solutions like rerouting packages to workplaces or relatives' homes or being home during expected deliveries.

Exploring Security Challenges Faced by Shippers

Ensuring secure deliveries is no small feat. Shippers confront a myriad of challenges:

  • Scale and Complexity – Overseeing a vast delivery network demands meticulous planning and considerable resources.
  • Limited Surveillance – Despite technological advancements, achieving consistent surveillance remains a hurdle.
  • Real-Time Monitoring – Real-time visibility is vital, but maintaining it across a vast delivery network can be technologically difficult.
  • Balancing Security and Access – Ensuring security while providing convenient access for authorized personnel is a delicate balancing act.
  • Cost and Resource Allocation – A comprehensive delivery security system requires significant investments in personnel, equipment, and technology.
  • Visibility and High Delivery Costs – Buyers crave transparency regarding their packages, and setting up infrastructure to support timely deliveries can be expensive for businesses.
  • Data Security – Breaches can jeopardize suppliers in various ways, from system inaccessibility to loss of customer data.

UPS Takes on Porch Pirates with New Initiative

From 2019 to 2022, roughly a billion new e-commerce shoppers emerged globally, highlighting the sector's rapid growth. Yet, with this growth, it was also a sector woefully unprepared for resulting vulnerabilities, such as porch piracy and fraud. So, in response, UPS Capital launched DeliveryDefense, a predictive analytics tool crafted to enhance the shipping experience and protect merchants from these threats.

Explaining UPS's DeliveryDefense Initiative

DeliveryDefense, a feature of InsureShield Shipping Insurance by UPS Capital, stands out as a trusted ally for e-commerce retailers. This tool uniquely assesses delivery risks nationwide, offering retailers a valuable edge. Mark Robinson, President at UPS Capital, says, “DeliveryDefense empowers merchants to select optimal approaches for seamless and successful deliveries, prioritizing the customer experience.”  

How DeliveryDefense Utilizes Predictive Analytics to Assess Delivery Risk

Using UPS's extensive data, combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning, DeliveryDefense gives merchants a 'delivery confidence score' through an easy-to-use API. This score helps retailers make smart delivery decisions based on address analysis and past loss data. Here's how it works:

  • High Scores – Indicate that all shipping options will likely result in successful deliveries.
  • Average Scores – Point to potential risks, prompting merchants to consider added shipping protection.
  • Low Scores – Advocate for options with a more robust chain of custody, like an in-store UPS Store pickup.

Does It Actually Work?

Addresses with lower DeliveryDefense scores face 63 times more post-delivery issues than higher-rated ones, highlighting the system's efficacy. Moreover, the platform is user-centric, making integration easy with intuitive APIs like InsureShield Connect. The fact that big players like Costco and Luxottica are beta-testing DeliveryDefense should say enough about its potential. However, there’s a long way to go. This system is just one component of the larger, intricate puzzle of robust delivery security.

Real-Time Visibility: An Invaluable Player in the Fight Against Delivery Theft

The digital shopping age is all about convenience and speed. Yet, there's a missing piece: knowing exactly where packages are and when they'll arrive. Real-time visibility fills that gap. Instead of knowing when an order leaves the warehouse or reaches a hub, you get a play-by-play, live update from order to doorstep. Additionally, thanks to tech like GPS and data insights, it’s possible to foresee disruptions and sidestep them for smooth deliveries.

How Real-time Tracking and Monitoring Enhance Shipment Security

Real-time visibility is transformative for the delivery ecosystem in numerous ways:

  • Improved Customer Experience – Retailers identify and address delivery issues before customers do, building trust. Rerouting during delays further pleases customers. Using tools like fleet tracking to enhance real-time visibility increases customer satisfaction by 54%
  • Cost Efficiency – On average, failed deliveries cost U.S. companies $17.20 per delivery. Accurate, real-time data can slash these expenses.
  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency – Retailers optimize backend operations, offering tighter delivery windows and elevating customer contentment.
  • Scalability – Many retailers struggle with a lack of real-time visibility during transit. Tackling this not only boosts security but also scales delivery operations.

Pairing Real-Time Visibility with Carrier Solutions

Customers want to see where their packages are in real-time and expect to. With advanced tech and machine learning working together, real-time tools can now predict package arrival and enhance its safe delivery.

Synchronizing Real-Time Visibility Solutions with UPS's DeliveryDefense

The potential synchrony between real-time visibility solutions and UPS's DeliveryDefense is unmistakable. Real-time visibility tools give businesses a direct look into their shipments from the moment they leave the warehouse. These tools predict arrivals with pinpoint accuracy thanks to machine learning, factoring in constraints like capacity and regulations. Meanwhile, DeliveryDefense ups the game by evaluating delivery risks and suggesting the safest delivery points. Together, they ensure packages are timely and delivered safely and smoothly, with fewer issues, and to the delight of customers.

Leveraging ​​Real-Time Data Analytics for Safer and Smarter Shipments

Don’t only take our word for how real-time data analytics can work harmoniously with UPS’s DeliveryDefense. Look at the following ways real-time transportation visibility is transforming logistics as we know it:

  • Real-Time Tracking and Visibility – Today's logistics companies are tapping into AI and IoT to provide instant tracking of shipments. Knowing your shipment's location is just a click away with this technology.
  • Real-Time Freight and Lane Analytics – This is like the brain of logistics, using live data to make smart decisions. Systems can enhance efficiency and cut costs by analyzing everything from orders to traffic patterns.
  • Fraud Detection – Data analytics is more than just optimizing routes; it protects against fraud. Firms using it proactively as a vigilant security system experience a massive 47% decrease in fraud losses.
  • Improved Decision-Making – With live, real-time data, logistics companies have a clear view of the supply chain and can make informed decisions, optimize routes, forecast demands, and save costs.

Four Ways Shippers Can Use Real-Time Visibility for Optimal Security

For today’s shippers, ensuring a package's security is just as important as its timely delivery. Now that you have a better idea of UPS's DeliveryDefense, you can better appreciate the draw of real-time visibility and how it can help foster optimal security. 

  • Route Monitoring: By using real-time tracking, shippers can keep a watchful eye on the shipment's route, ensuring it follows its intended path and remains safe during its journey.
  • Immediate Alerts and Notifications: Setting up instant alerts for any anomalies during transit, such as unexpected stops, enables shippers to act quickly against potential security breaches.
  • Exception Management: With the power of real-time data analysis, shippers can spot and address any hiccups or discrepancies in the shipping process, fortifying security measures.
  • Predictive Analytics and Risk Assessment: Shippers can harness real-time visibility data to predict and assess risks on shipment routes. This foresight allows them to make strategic tweaks in high-risk zones, reducing theft chances.

Securing the Future of Deliveries with Real-Time Visibility

The convenience of online shopping comes with a shadow: porch piracy and delivery thefts. As these challenges grow, shippers aren't just tracking packages anymore. They're using real-time visibility to predict risks and ensure every package arrives safely. Route monitoring, instant alerts for mishaps, and smart, data-driven decisions are just a few ways. But for shippers to make the most of these tools, they need the right partner.

Intelligent Audit isn't just another name in logistics to think of partnering with; they're one of the industry’s top freight audit companies. They bring a mix of tech-savvy solutions, from business intelligence and analytics to machine learning and the clarity of real-time visibility. Yet beyond just tech, Intelligent Audit values relationships, emphasizing strong ties with carriers through transparent data sharing. Moreover, their expertise in secure carrier payments, invoice solutions, and savvy financial strategies can be transformative for shippers under pressure. 

So, embrace real-time visibility, partner with the best in the business, and ensure every package's safe and timely delivery. Get started with Intelligent Audit today and see how.

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