Many business owners get vital supply chain provisions, such as equipment and shipping or production materials, delivered directly to their business address. Unfortunately, package theft is a huge problem in the U.S., with an average of 1.7 million packages stolen or lost every day. Package loss or theft can deal huge blows to entrepreneurs and small businesses who rely on e-commerce to help supply them. If you have had a package lost or stolen from your business, here are some steps you can take to mitigate financial or physical losses.
Wait 24 Hours
With shipping delays being an unavoidable reality, your package may just be late. If the company you ordered through hasn’t reached out about a delay, you can check your order status on the company website, or reach out directly; most modern delivery companies should have multiple customer communication channels for just this kind of situation.
Track the Package
Most packages, and even some business mail, have a shipping number that allows you to track your package via GPS. Often your seller will send you a tracking link, or you can simply enter this number into a search engine, and it will lead you to the shipment company’s website. Many shipping platforms offer real-time tracking text alerts as a part of their delivery management software. This can be especially useful for business owners expecting high-priority packages.
Check With Surrounding Businesses and Offices
If your business is located in a large complex, it can be very easy for packages, as well as mail, to be delivered to the wrong door or mailbox. This means that if your package is missing, you should first check with nearby businesses to see if anyone has it by mistake.
File a Police Report
If you have proof that your package was stolen, then you will need to file a police report with your evidence. Investing in front door cameras and other security systems for your business can help discourage and resolve package theft. Filing a police report may take an extended amount of time to fully work out, so you may also want to contact the seller if your package was stolen.
Contact the Seller
It is always a good idea to reach out to the company that you are expecting your parcel from if you are experiencing delays or suspect theft. The company should be able to track your package via their route management app or logistics and distribution software. This can provide more information (that isn’t customer-facing) about your order’s whereabouts. Even if you have already filed a police report with evidence of theft, you can and should still contact the seller while you are waiting for results, and they may be able to offer you compensation for the stolen goods.
Contact the Shipping Company
If your package is lost or incorrectly delivered on the part of the shipping company, you may need to file a claim. You may be entitled to financial reimbursement, which is decided on a claim-by-claim basis. The filing process will vary from company to company, but here is the contact information for some of the most common U.S. companies:
- UPS: You can file a claim on the UPS website, or call their help and support center at 1-888-742-5877.
- FedEx: You can file a claim on the FedEx website, or call their support line at 1-800-463-3339.
- Amazon: You can see if your package is eligible for a claim on Amazon’s claim conditions page, and file a claim through your “orders” portal. You can also call their customer service line at 1-888-280-433.
Small companies and contractors responsible for last-mile fulfillment and delivery should have contact information on their website, or available through the relevant business partner you placed your order with.
Report the Activity to the Landlord
You should alert your landlord if you experience lost or missing packages in your building, as they may have security measures in place monitoring the premises that can help you file a police report. If they do not, you can speak about implementing security measures. Keeping your landlord aware of these kinds of issues may not only benefit your business, but the other businesses in your complex as well.
Will the Company Replace My Package?
The compensation provided by sellers will vary from case to case, and may be influenced by the ability to produce evidence of lost or stolen goods. Some online sellers may offer full-refunds in the event of package theft, while others may offer to resend your item, or refund the price of the item, not including the price of shipping. You should be able to find information about compensation for lost or stolen packages on the seller’s site, or you can reach out to their customer service department if you have further questions.
How to Prevent Lost or Stolen Packages
Package theft can disrupt your supply chain and be time-consuming to resolve. Here are a few ways that you can prevent package theft at your business:
- Install security equipment — as we’ve mentioned before, front door cameras can help deter package theft, as well as help you file a police report in the event that someone steals your package.
- Enable GPS tracking alerts — GPS tracking is a necessity for business packages. They give you an accurate window of when your package will arrive, decreasing the amount of time your parcel sits unattended.
- Communicate with your neighbors — If you are unable to pick up your package for any reason, communicate with your neighboring businesses or even your landlord to see if they will store the package for you until you can retrieve it. This is another way to keep packages from sitting vulnerable and unattended.
- Request restricted delivery — Restricted delivery means that a signature will be required for package drop-off. You can assign authorized signers, such as yourself, your neighbor, or your landlord.
Request in-store pickup — If you are unable to have your package safely delivered to your business, you can often request in-store pick up, even if you order online. This allows you, or a designated co-worker or family member, to pick-up your package safely from the store itself.