Package Problems

As we approach the Holiday season, the largest shippers in America are already preparing for the holidays and so are the porch pirates!  Now is the time for you to plan ahead and get the word out to your community about the holiday package hustle.

Plan Accordingly

Carriers are already posting service interruption alerts, disclaimers, and updates on their websites. As I write this article in August, the US Postal Service just announced temporary peak pricing for the holiday season, just as they did in 2020.  From October 3rd to December 26th, you can expect to see higher prices for all package deliveries through USPS.  FedEx has already posted their last day to ship for December 25th.  UPS® previously suspended the “UPS® Service Guarantee” on many of their services and is slowly reinstating some of those suspensions. With the holidays approaching, you should still keep an eye on their website and others for updates.

If you’re planning to leave town for the Holidays, don’t forget to have USPS hold your mail, which you can do quickly and easily on their website They now also have “informed delivery”, which allows you to digitally preview the exterior address side of your mail and manage and track your packages while still at the facility. This tool is worth promoting to the community even beyond the holidays. Perhaps they can keep an eye on important mailings from your Association!

Prevent Package Theft

Porch Pirates are more prevalent than ever, and they could care less about homes that have security cameras. Good luck tracking the thief and reporting it to the police if you don’t know who the thief is! At the end of the day, all you really want is your package back, which most likely will not happen. So, what are other ways to out-wit the pirates?

If you have a garage and you’re ordering a lot from Amazon, you might consider getting the Amazon Key. For less than $50, this device gives the Amazon delivery person a one-time code to open your garage, place your package safely inside, then close it back. The device is web based, connects to your phone, and includes a camera. If, however, you don’t have a garage, consider using an Amazon Locker for safe and secure deliveries. While you are required to drive to the location of the locker, it at least keeps your package safe and secure where others can not get to it, including nosy family members.

Here are some additional tips on preventing package theft from your mailbox or stoop:

  • Do not put outgoing mail in your mailbox with the red flag extended. It is best to use letter slots at the Post Office or hand it directly to the carrier.  Even free standing/independent blue Post Office boxes located in the community have become questionable.
  • Pick up mail from your mailbox or doorstep promptly after delivery.
  • Pay bills online and sign up for direct deposit or debit wherever possible.
  • Ask neighbors to accept your packages or to place your package in your house.
  • When possible, request deliveries to require signature.
  • Always sign up for delivery alerts.
  • Have deliveries sent to your office.

If you take all these steps, hopefully you will not have to suffer any thefts or delays. Most large carriers have options online for reporting thefts or lost packages. The USPS, however, ask that you call Postal Inspectors at 877.876.2455 if your mail or package is stolen.

By Candace Lewis, CMCA, AMS, PCAM

Candace is a portfolio manager and coordinator of professional education and designations for Cardinal Management Group. She has been with Cardinal Management’s team since 2016 and has nine years of community management experience. Candace serves on the WMCCAI board of directors, as co-chair of the WMCCAI Scholarship Committee, and also serves as a member on both the Public Outreach and Conference and Expo Committees. In 2020 she was awarded the WMCCAI Rising Star and Recruiter of the Year awards.