Ensuring Safe Delivery of Your Holiday Packages

Following Black Friday as one of the largest shopping days of the year is Cyber Monday, a whirlwind of online gift buying that occurs on the Monday immediately following Thanksgiving. As reported by the Mountain View Police back in 2012, this Grinchy practice has gained an unfortunate foothold as more of us shop in the comfort of our own home rather than battling crowded malls and waiting in long lines at brick and mortar establishments.

Not long after they’ve been purchased, these oversized packages will be delivered to homes around the Silicon Valley, placed on front steps, at doorways, and on porches in Mountain View and surrounding communities.  Many parcels sit unclaimed until the homeowner returns but in the meantime, they are ripe for the picking by ‘porch pirates’, people who swoop in and steal unattended deliveries.

How can you guarantee that your festive finds won’t become ‘porch pirate bounty’?

If you frequently purchase items online and aren’t readily available to accept these packages at home, have your packages delivered at work or have a trusted neighbor accept them on your behalf.

Another option that’s growing in popularity is the parcel drop. These containers are built to accommodate large cardboard boxes and packages that simply won’t fit in a USPS sanctioned mailbox.

Parcel drops can be customized to accent your home by using certain materials and architectural designs and are permanently integrated into landscaping or fencing. For those who don’t require a permanent, individualized fixture or simply don’t have the funds for one of the $1,500 to $2,000 custom units, attractive freestanding parcel receptacles are available for a fraction of the cost. A number of companies offer parcel units priced from $350 to $750.

Reasonably priced residential parcel receptacles are offered by.

An issue that does pose a small challenge with parcel drop units is that technically, all boxes should have the United States Postal Service ‘stamp of approval’. But, generally mail carriers are allowed to use their judgment and most will opt to deposit packages in parcel receptacles if available. This isn’t an issue, however, for other carriers such as DHL, UPS, and FEDEX.

With an overall upsurge of package deliveries expected, the installation and use of parcel receptacles will likely increase. Parcel fixtures that accept both mail and packages are a great alternative for people who travel frequently or work long hours and they definitely deter those  unsavory‘porch pirates’.