written by Melissa Becker
2020 has definitely changed the shopping habits of most consumers. With the holiday season approaching, online shopping will continue to grow. But there is a downside … delayed deliveries and an explosion of shipment losses. Are you prepared?
Greg Smith, Executive Vice President of Berkley Asset Protection, notes three major shipping issues:
- Delivery delays due to higher daily package volume
- Lack of jeweler follow up to track packages and confirm delivery
- Lack of signature-on-delivery, a change necessitated by COVID-19 social distancing guidelines
Since signature requirements are not being enforced in the same way they were pre-COVID, there has been a notable increase in lost and stolen packages along with fraudulent claims that packages were not received. “There are more opportunities for theft from the doorstep and less accountability on delivery,” Smith said. “It can be hard to determine who is stealing these packages. We’re missing the signature confirmation.”
Safe shipping tips
As businesses think about the holiday season and shipping, Berkley Asset Protection reminds retailers about the basic loss prevention tips that still count:
- Secure merchandise in an inner box or rip-proof envelope that will fit into an outer shipping box
- Label the inner box/envelope
- Seal the box and all seams with clear, non-descriptive shipping tape
- Double package your shipments and restrict movement to minimize theft
- Avoid jewelry terms on the label
- Require signature at delivery; this may encourage the delivery person to hand the package to a recipient instead of dropping it outside the door.
- Call your client about all high-value packages. It is good customer service, and it identifies issues much sooner.
- Track your merchandise through the shipping system. Shippers continue to scan packages as they move from one stop to the next. This tracking can help you identify the loss location.
Because you will probably send and receive more shipments this holiday than ever before, document the packaging and check-in procedures. Then train EVERY staff member who may be involved. Assign someone to track packages daily.
As we head into the holiday season, it’s important to remember these tips to keep yourself and your business protected.
Berkley Asset Protection, a Berkley company, is the only specialty insurance provider that offers insurance for all aspects of jewelry and fine arts businesses: jewelers block, fine art, commercial property and liability, and workers’ compensation. The company also offers Lavalier Personal Jewelry Insurance and coverage for individuals’ collections.