“Porch piracy” has long been an issue for both homes and businesses making e-commerce buys, but Amazon claims to have found the remedy in the form of its expanded “Key by Amazon” service, which it plans to roll out to both Amazon shoppers and commercial or residential property owners.
In November 2017, Amazon announced its Key service, a method of remotely opening your front door for package deliveries. It was a limited offering, available only to those who could install the technology into their own homes. Amazon later expanded the program to include in-vehicle deliveries in April last year.
That initial release was met with some issues, however, not the least of which was the unwelcome prospect of consumers remotely opening their homes to complete strangers just to for the sake of an e-tail order.
In response, Amazon partnered with myQ, a producer of remote garage door controllers, and integrated its Key delivery service into myQ’s existing technology, announcing the changes to the service at CES in Las Vegas this week. Starting in the second quarter of 2019, users can simply open their garage doors with smart hubs, if they have one, and allow the carrier to place the package in a secured area that isn’t the home’s front room.
“A self-contained extension of the home, the garage offers a convenient destination for delivery hurdles such as potential theft and missed deliveries. We are proud to collaborate with Amazon on this game-changing in-garage delivery initiative,” said Jeff Meredith, president and CEO of myQ’s parent company, Chamberlain Group.
Additionally, Amazon has expanded the program to both commercial and residential properties with its “Key for Business” program. The e-tailer will create a platform for businesses or properties to provide delivery access through door codes or a smart key fob that can store multiple door passcodes. This may come as welcome news for both businesses that count on Amazon deliveries to survive and individuals who live in apartment complexes.
“Key for Business provides a service that benefits our residents and our bottom line, especially as home delivery of goods becomes more important to our consumers and their personalization needs,” Cindy Fisher, CEO of Kettler, a property developer, stated in a statement. “The visibility of the driver’s entrance and the coordination of the fob system creates peace of mind for our residents, in being able to deliver packages securely to their homes. Additionally, this operational workflow creates time efficiencies for our on-site property staff.”
Key for Business was made available immediately following Amazon’s announcement on Monday.
Amazon initially opened Key by Amazon to 37 U.S. cities last year. As long as a consumer lived in the area of operation and maintained a Prime account, there was no additional cost. This time, there is no indication that the service will be limited at all and interested businesses can currently request consultations for the service. Amazon has already had hundreds of businesses sign up for the service, according to reports from CNBC.
Package thieves have become commonplace in the United States as the number of packages delivered by carrier services continues to increase. In 2018 UPS and FedEx are expected to combine for over 1.2 billion package deliveries. A study commissioned by InsuranceQuotes.com found that 25.9 million Americans, 8 percent of the country’s population, have had a package stolen—and that was just during the holiday season. Just before the holiday, a viral internet video captured a NASA engineer’s contraption blasting a would-be package thief with glitter.
Delivery logistics is clearly at the tip of the tongue for many businesses, especially as mastering the “last mile” has become the next holy grail of package delivery. UPS is also experimenting with its own indoor delivery program with Latch, another tech company that specializes in smart access devices. However, the program has, so far, been limited to the New York City area.