**Reducing Packaging: Amazon’s Effort to Improve Delivery Speed and Efficiency**
Amazon, the e-commerce giant, is taking steps to improve delivery speed and efficiency by reducing packaging, including the traditional cardboard box that is commonly used for its orders. This change aims to cut costs, enable faster deliveries, and meet the company’s sustainability goals. In fact, Amazon’s sustainability report revealed that about 11% of items delivered in 2022 were shipped without the signature Amazon-branded box, instead arriving in their original containers.
“The recognition by a number of senior leaders was just that this is becoming more and more important,” said Pat Lindner, Amazon’s vice president of packaging and innovation, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “There’s a significant need for our company to take the next step in innovation around packaging.”
While customers will still have the option to add Amazon packaging to their order at no extra charge, boxless shipping will be the default. However, some consumers express concerns about the potential increase in package theft due to the elimination of the box.
**The Rise of Package Theft**
Package theft, often referred to as “porch piracy,” has been on the rise. Criminals take advantage of opportunities, hoping to find valuable items that can be resold, such as phones, video game consoles, or computers. Some thieves are driven by a compulsion and steal for the thrill of it.
Psychological research suggests that our brains release dopamine in anticipation of a reward, and the unpredictability of that reward increases the amount of dopamine released. Therefore, the unpredictability of valuable items hidden in cardboard boxes may actually make the theft more appealing to porch pirates. However, if the thieves can immediately see that a shipped item has little value, they may be discouraged from stealing it.
It is important to note that regardless of packaging changes, package theft will still occur. Whether Amazon’s decision to reduce packaging will ultimately increase or decrease theft remains to be seen. Nevertheless, leaving valuable items, like brand new Apple AirPods, sitting on a doorstep in the manufacturer’s packaging is not advisable.
“The vast majority of deliveries make it to customers without issue,” assured Amazon in an email statement. “If something occurs, we work with customers directly to make it right. We have a variety of ways we work with customers to provide visibility and options to their package delivery. Amazon’s customer service is also available 24/7 to help customers with any matters related to their package delivery.”
**Creating Goodwill: Opting Back In to Boxes**
Amazon aims to create goodwill with its customers by reducing the number of boxes they receive and discard each week. The company recognizes that customer satisfaction dropped in 2022, and this change is part of its efforts to address this issue. This program, which has existed in different forms since 2008, continues to evolve.
It is important to note that not all products will be shipped without a box. Items that could be dangerous, such as those with sharp edges, will not be included in the program for safety reasons. Likewise, collectibles and intimate items, like sexual wellness products, will still be shipped in packaging for privacy.
Determining which items can be shipped without a box involves conducting tests that involve compressing items, vibrations, and drops from different angles. Additionally, Amazon is working with its vendors to improve their own packaging. The company is helping suppliers develop packaging that is sturdy enough to ship on its own without undermining the purpose of reducing packaging.
In conclusion, Amazon’s decision to reduce packaging is aimed at improving delivery speed and efficiency, cutting costs, and meeting sustainability goals. While some concerns about increased package theft exist, the elimination of the box may actually deter thieves who are motivated by the anticipation of valuable items. It is essential for customers to weigh the risks and carefully consider their options when choosing to have their packages shipped without a box. Amazon remains committed to customer satisfaction and offers various ways to address any issues that may arise during package delivery.