Can AI thwart greedy porch pirates? UPS is already trying it out to ‘optimize delivery outcomes’

UPS is utilizing artificial intelligence to thwart unscrupulous porch pirates and ensure that their customers get the items that they ordered without worrying about theft.

The company utilizes a program developed by UPS Capital called DeliveryDefense that uses AI and machine learning to generate a delivery risk assessment based on two years of UPS delivery information, historical loss patterns, and address characteristics. It then generates a score that retailers can use to recommend the best delivery option to ensure a package reaches its intended destination,” Fox Business reported.

“By proactively identifying and addressing potential shipping issues, DeliveryDefense data increases the confidence in a successful delivery,” Mark Robinson, who is the president of UPS Capital, told Fox Business via a statement. “Retailers can recommend alternative delivery options, such as UPS Store locations or other convenient Access Points, to optimize delivery outcomes.”

“If we have a score of 1,000 to an address that means that we’re highly confident that that package is going to get delivered,” he stated. “At the other end of the scale, like 100 … would be one of those addresses where it would be most likely to happen, some sort of loss at the delivery point.”

Americans have become quite familiar with package theft. Either items you ordered just never arrive in the first place or there is a substantial risk of packages being stolen off your front porch if you don’t immediately bring them inside.

Sometimes the thieves don’t even wait for the package to hit your front porch.

“A doorbell camera in Chesterfield, Virginia, recently caught a man snatching a box containing a $1,600 new iPad from the arms of a FedEx delivery driver. Barely a day goes by without a similar report. Package theft, often referred to as ‘porch piracy,’ is a big crime business,” CNBC reported.

A study by determined that 49 million Americans have had at least one package stolen in the last 12 months as of 2022. The average value of an item lost was $50. That racks up to about $2.4 billion in stolen goods last year.

“DeliveryDefense uses the billions of data points from UPS’ historical delivery data to generate a ‘Delivery Confidence Score’ on a scale from 1 to 1,000 that indicates the likelihood of a successful delivery,” Fox Business noted.

“In cases where a given address yields a low score, a merchant can recommend that the consumer pick up the product in-store or have it delivered to a UPS Access Point, which can be located in retail stores or UPS Stores,” the media outlet added.

The AI tool is being made available to businesses regardless of their size. It can be easily integrated into a seller’s order fulfillment system using an API. Smaller clients can use a web version of the AI tool.

Consumers can receive text or email alerts about their package deliveries through the UPS My Choice program.

“The tool lets consumers provide instructions about where they want a package delivered at their home or an alternative location like their office, the home of a neighbor or relative, or a UPS Access Point. The company says that over 100 million consumers use the UPS My Choice program,” Fox Business noted.

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