NEW YORK - With more than 13 billion packages moving through the U.S. last year driving over $500 billion in e-commerce sales, a new industry has emerged around stealing packages left unattended in building hallways and lobbies.
With an estimated 90,000 packages going missing a day in New York City, a start-up is looking to build a network of freelancers to accept packages for people who are not home.
Gabriel Cepeda, 23, is the founder and CEO of Pickups Technologies. He though up the business after one of his own Amazon packages was stolen.
The company has a network of individuals who will accept packages at any time of the day for about $5.
It works by the shopper choosing "use pickups" as the shipping method on the online retailer's website.
Cepeda says, "We’re peer-to-peer, but our patent-pending machine learning algorithms allow us to work behind the scenes with shipping carriers and retailers to help reduce failed delivery and package theft costs, while improving the overall customer experience."
The company currently only serves shoppers in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn but hopes to quickly expand.