Understanding packaging theft: a survey

Package theft is steadily on the rise in the United States as more and more consumers shift to do more of their shopping online. While many people associate package theft with the holiday season, data shows that package theft is actually an issue throughout the year, especially around consumer holidays like Amazon Prime day. A 2015 report estimated that 23 million Americans had packages stolen from their doorsteps.

To better understand how American consumers are being affected by package theft in 2017, Shorr Packaging recently surveyed American consumers.  The purpose of this survey of 1,000 people was to understand who’s being affected by package theft, what cautionary methods Americans are taking to avoid their online shipments from getting taken, and to see how consumers believe online retailers can keep their packages safe. Let’s look at same of the takeaways from the report.

  • 31% of surveyed respondents said they had personally experienced package theft.
  • 92% of people prefer to send their packages to their home.  Surprisingly enough only 5% said they ship packages to their workplace.
  • 42% of surveyed respondents prefer to send a package to an area not visible by the public where delivery companies can leave packages.  35% have sent a package to another address to prevent theft.
  • 47% of consumers purchase items from online stores because they have discreet packaging that doesn’t indicate what’s inside.
  • 29% of consumers believe discreet packaging would help to prevent package theft.

One interesting takeaway from the survey data is that consumers tend to blame online retailers for package theft but not shipping companies. 61% of respondents said that they felt online retails are not doing enough to prevent package theft. On the other hand 58% of respondents believed shipping companies are doing what they can do to prevent package theft.

There was also some interesting data about what makes packages appealing to thieves. Here are the top 5 reasons consumers believe packages get stolen from their homes.

  1. Location of the box after arriving (33%)
  2. Branded packaging (31%)
  3. Descriptive text on the box (20%)
  4. The size of the box (13%)
  5. The shape of the box (3%)

They also asked what online retailers can do to prevent package theft. Listed below are the most popular responses.

  1. Discreet packaging (29%)
  2. Not sure (23%)
  3. Offer to ship it to a secure location (18%)
  4. Package theft insurance (16%)
  5. Track boxes with GPS (9%)
  6. Different size boxes if the box shape clearly indicated what is inside (4.5%)
  7. Require a signature for the package (.5%)