Avoid Missing Parcels With A Home Security Locker

Anyone who regularly buys large items online knows the frustration of receiving a missed delivery slip on their doorstep. At best, this translates to an unnecessary trip to your local post office and at worst, the parcel is returned to the sender before you get a chance to pick it up. A new Aussie startup has patented a solution to this annoyance that could be worth checking out.

Postage security lockers are nothing new of course — examples include ParcelPoint and Australia Post's 24/7 Parcel Lockers. However, most of these solutions still require you to head to an off-site location. The My Parcel Box 'Vault' attempts to cut out the middleman — it's basically a security box for your doorstep. In theory, this allows parcels to be delivered at any time of the day, regardless of if you’re home or not.

"People who work full time or fly in fly out are usually not at home to accept a delivery," explains My Parcel Box founder Cillian Stockdale. "My Parcel Box solves this problem by allowing a parcel to be left securely by your own front door whether you are home to meet the courier or not. [This] means you can now get your parcels delivered right where you want them, with no inconvenience whatsoever. The days of waiting around for a courier are gone."

The My Parcel Box Vault measures 55x40x60cm, which is large enough to hold two standard cases of wine. It comes with an electronic combination lock to ward against theft (the unit can be secured to the ground with four bolts or chained to a solid object via an eyelet at the rear). It also comes with a barcode which couriers scan in lieu of a signature to confirm that the parcel has been delivered

It costs $249, plus a $1.10 service fee per week. The delivery method has been endorsed by Australia Post along with a range of courier services including Couriers Please and Direct Couriers.

While this all sounds great on paper, can we actually trust the average courier to use the box properly? Delivery services aren't exactly known for their reliability — all too often we've discovered a missed delivery slip on our doorstep despite being home the whole time. Putting your faith in an individual postman could be a bit of a gamble.

You can find out more about the service at the My Parcel Box website.

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Comments

    Why on earth does a physical safe involve a 'service fee'?

      http://www.myparcelbox.com.au/parcelbox-work.php I really don't get it, even with the explanation here of 'ongoing technology costs'. It sounds like you're renting the box, not owning it :S

    Seems a bit of a rip. $245 for a steel box? Then an ongoing fee for what? Oh to access courier information, which is free anyway (when you place an order, whoever you order from usually passes on the courier tracking number to you so you can check the couriers website yourself).
    The box is a good idea, but the monthy fee isn't. I also have a feeling you could probably get something like a steel case from Bunnings and rig something similar up yourself for under $100. And really who's going to pay a monthly service charge when some months you may not even use the box.

    Delivery people who know how to open a gate or a letterbox are in short supply these days. Unless they can drop the parcel over the fence into something that scans and secures the item, it's a lost cause.

    Considering Australia Posts own delivery people are the absolute worst of the lot at just leaving slips without even pretending attempting delivery, I very highly doubt this will work in the slightest.

    This video sums up the problem.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKUDTPbDhnA

    Thanks for the article Chris.

    Just to answer the queries about the service fee which seems to have caused some confusion. As you are probably aware most courier companies require an Authority to Leave (ATL) of some form if they are not obtaining a signature. So although you could get your welding gear out and make your own box, there are few carriers who would be willing to use it.

    The ongoing service we provide is holding that ATL on behalf of every customer with our supported carriers. The nominal fee of $1.10 a week ($40 for the first year) allows us to keep carriers advised of who we currently hold ATLs on behalf of and update any changes in user details to ensure delivery.
    It also enables us to approach other carriers, expand the network of carriers who deliver, provide training to carriers and develop a user interface which allows you to see all your pending deliveries.
    Contrast our weekly fee to systems where you pay per delivery (generally for it to be sent somewhere for you to pick it up yourself) and the cost saving adds up.

    Re Auspost, our system is Approved for Delivery by Australia Post. Our boxes come with a sticker to place on your letterbox, which advises delivery contractors that the address has a My Parcel Box unit to address the delivery slip issue.

    The box itself is a lot more than a steel case- it has a scan-able barcode which allows carriers to mark your delivery point and also allows a link to the ATL which we maintain. It also carries a UK designed electronic combination lock which enables you to regularly change the PIN and which will open 15, 000 times on a set of AAA batteries. It is also a fairly solid piece of equipment, weighing in at just under 20kg to ensure the security of your deliveries.

    Cheers
    MPB

    This doesn't take away the issues once thieves recognise these boxes, that they will be a target. And from my understanding paying $250 plus a rental fee is an aggressive rip off. Once more, if it's chained to something, a thief just needs bolt cutters and away it goes.
    Aust post lockers are only good if you are in the area they have lockers placed. As I buy online for nearly everything, I want security in knowing my items will be in a secure spot, monitored by someone.

    Parcel Security and after hours pick up points are important for me and I'm sure others who can't pick up during business hours.

      Thanks for your thoughts Funken.

      Not too sure about your suggestion that they will be a target though. Most customers have their box secured to the ground, the chained option is primarily aimed at the rental market.

      If you looked at the size and weight of the vault unit, it's fairly unlikely that it would be carried away especially as any potential thief would have no idea whether it contained anything.

      Given that many parcels are simply left on doorsteps or in 'safe locations' near front doors at present, My Parcel Box offers a substantial improvement in security.

      With regard to the pricing, that amount includes delivery (which is substantial given its size and weight) and you own the unit, there is no rental.

    Can't wait to hear about people receiving delivery slips in their parcel box!!!!
    I've had Couriers Please ring me when I'm out and I've advised to leave the parcel and txt'd the driver a ATL. Sorted. That's a solution. This is a Bandaid fix for auspost/startracks apathy

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