With the holiday shopping and shipping season in full swing, more Amazon customers across the country will be able to access the “Amazon lockers” service, where packages are shipped and stored in secure lockers instead of delivered to doorsteps.
First implemented in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, WA, in 2011, Amazon lockers are now available in cities nationwide, including new spots this year in Jacksonville, FL; Sacramento, CA; Indianapolis, IN; Harrisburg, PA; and more.
The lockers are typically situated outside of places like gas stations, restaurants, or shopping centers, often accessible 24 hours a day through a secure code given to the customer via email or text. The program was designed to help cut down on “porch pirates,” or people who steal delivered packages left on customers’ doorsteps.
Theft is a common concern among online shoppers, given that an estimated 23 million packages were stolen from doorsteps in 2015. A survey of Florida residents in Jacksonville also found that 36% of shoppers had experienced package theft and 52% said they were reluctant to place orders online for fear of packages being stolen.
The locker system provides a more secure alternative, according to Amazon spokesperson Jim Billimoria, especially for shoppers who may not be at home during the day when packages are usually delivered. Even when customers opt for overnight or two-day delivery, which in some cases might cost 50% or more in delivery fees, it can be difficult to know exactly when the packages will arrive.
“I don’t have to be home to use it. I don’t have to worry about it being delivered to my house,” said Jacksonville resident Krystina Langan, 29. “I can give the code to a relative and have them pick it up… I can have it shipped to a locker where I’m [traveling] at.”
Despite its security benefits, the Amazon locker system does have some drawbacks. During the busy holiday season, available lockers fill up rapidly, leaving some local customers without a safe delivery space. Internet shopping sales typically generate $931,490 every 30 seconds on desktops and $269,683 on mobile devices throughout the globe; on Cyber Monday alone, online sales just within the United States reached an all-time high of $3.45 billion.
“We do handle a lot of orders,” Billimoria said, noting that the Amazon locker program could see further expansion in future years.
For now, customers can find any available locker locations at amazon.com/findalocker.