What leads to a lost package? UPS and USPS explain

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seashell wreath (Getty)

(NEXSTAR) – More than 850 million packages are expected to ship this holiday season, the U.S. Postal Service estimated in early November. Unfortunately, not all of these packages will be delivered perfectly.

Some packages are mistakenly taken by porch hackers – an estimated 210 million packages have “disappeared from the porches” between November 2020 and November 2021. For others, the packages may not even reach their porch.

“While not common, lost packages do happen,” a UPS spokesperson told Nexstar. Similar sentiments were shared by officials from Amazon, FedEx, and the U.S. Postal Service.

What can lead to a lost package

According to UPS, too big or too small a box, insufficient padding, misplaced labels and unclear delivery instructions can lead to lost packages. Reusing an old box and not removing old labels can also create problems.

In addition to properly packaging your shipment, USPS notes that it is important to include all elements of the destination address, such as apartment number, post office box, and zip code. If you send the package, please don’t forget a return address. USPS also recommends putting the shipping and return addresses on a card or piece of paper inside the package, which can be helpful if the shipping box is damaged or the shipping label falls off.

What to do if your package never arrives

The way to report a missing package varies for each shipping company, but most can be done online:

Having so much information on the package can help with your claim. This includes sender and receiver addresses, package size, and the most recent tracking information.

All four shipping providers offer online tracking services for the packages you ship and receive.

Watch out for scams

Scammers send phishing emails containing fake tracking links that can allow unwanted access to your private information or download malware to your device. They may also try to trick people into paying new shipping charges or use bogus “missed delivery” labels asking you to call them.

The Better Business Bureau encourages consumers to watch out for suspicious text messages, calls or emails regarding their packages. In addition, the BBB recommends verifying the authenticity of all messages regarding your package to avoid falling into the trap of a scam.

When your package arrives on your porch, watch out for porch pirates and how bare wrappers can attract them.


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