Solving the Porch Pirate Problem: The Rise of Smart Boxes

The Smart-Box Revolution: Enhancing Package Security in the Digital Age

Look, Smart-Package Reception is becoming a thing. I‘ve knocked doors for over a decade now and I see it time and time again. Literally EVERYDAY, dozens of packages, out sitting on people‘s porches. This has become even more of a problem in the modern era, with a huge increase of people ordering things online.

Covid only exacerbated the problem. I mean, you have millions of people sitting inside their homes, unable to go out and shop the way they used to… and nothing really changes people’s habits as effectively as being forced to do so does.

I was just thinking the other day—whoever lands this idea, and actually makes it work, is going to win BIG. There’s one major problem though.

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An In-Depth Look at Eufy’s $399.99 Smart Box by Anker Innovations”

 See, the problem isn’t the smart boxes themselves. Companies, after all, have these products. Anker Innovations recently released a Eufy smart box that retails for somewhere around $399.99, and it’s a pretty damn sexy product if I may say so myself. It has a huge space for packages, it’s bolted to the ground, it has code-access controls, smartphone compatibility, and even a high definition camera in the front! Long story short—the problem isn’t so much that the products aren’t there for homeowners to buy, but that the DELIVERERS HAVE TO ACTUALLY USE THEM.

Amazon’s Dominance in Package Delivery: Implications for Smart Box Adoption

Look, let‘s be blunt. Amazon more or less has a monopoly on package delivery in this country. The website offers everything Wal-Mart does, and can even ship it to almost anywhere in the US in two business days (here in Southern California I often get deliveries next-day...). It‘s pretty tough to compete with that, especially for companies that aren‘t worth over a trillion dollars.

Back in the early 2010s, most things bought from were shipped using a third-party carrier like FedEx or UPS. In 2014, however, Amazon began delivering packages itself with a service called “Fulfilled by Amazon.” That’s when those signature blue delivery vans started appearing on local streets.

Amazon Key vs. Smart Boxes: Balancing Convenience and Security

And as we know, delivery-drivers come in all shapes and sizes. Sure, some of them are going to play nice and deliver a package with the customer‘s security and peace of mind in mind, but many don‘t. How many videos have surfaced out there of package-deliverers just throwing packages at someone‘s front door? Or tossing them and leaving them? And sure, maybe when we think about it, a company like Amazon (they‘re not greedy at all! right?!) might not care all that much about giving their delivery drivers leeway when it comes to completing their routes and meeting their quotas. At the end of the day, these are people that have to fulfill a specific number of deliveries in a day otherwise they‘ll be written up, or just outright fired. It isn‘t like they have many options to complain here. Stories pop up everyday about how Amazon treats their non-executive employees like drones instead of human beings (maybe most companies in corporate America do?).

So that‘s it . . . in a nutshell. Amazon will have to impose some sort of incentive, or more likely, a punishment, for delivery drivers that don‘t comply with homeowner‘s smart package receptacles. But how would they be able to track such a thing? Is it possible to have a system that will somehow monitor this? Well, anything short of their delivery drivers having bodycams and tracking the footage, door to door, to see who is and who isn‘t following the rules . . . no. A system doesn‘t exist to be able to enforce this type of compliance.

Unless . . . Amazon has all the control! Which they’re certainly trying. It’s called Amazon Key—where they can deliver a package into your property, like inside your front door, or your garage. But this introduces, of course, a whole entire other host of problems involved with people having access to your property and coming into the home. That’s the advantage of a smart box—that you can have more security for your packages, without having to compromise by letting people into your home without being there.

When can we expect an end to porch pirates?

Unfortunately, as of now, it seems that until Amazon releases such a device (since not all delivery drivers will follow the ‘special instructions‘ fill-in), this problem will persist. So, for now it‘s a gamble if you want to install one of these devices. There is no guarantee that all of your packages will have greater defense from porch piracy. Although with more of the devices coming into the market, and there being this massive gap in residential security that needs to be filled, we could see big changes in this aspect over the next several years. Rest assured I‘ll keep you posted on what‘s going on.



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