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AI Is Policing the Package Theft Beat for UPS

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Packages left outside doors are increasingly targeted by porch pirates.

UPS says AI helps merchants make better decisions on where and when to ship directly to consumers, or to recommend pick up at secure locations.

Credi: Sopa Images/Lightrocket/Getty Images

UPS and other large logistics companies are rolling out technology to curtail porch piracy.

UPS's application programming interface (API) for DeliveryDefense, which will be available for small and medium-sized businesses next month, assigns locations "delivery confidence scores" on a scale of 1 to 1,000 using historic data and machine learning algorithms.

UPS Capital's Mark Robinson explained, "If we have a score of 1,000 to an address, that means that we're highly confident that that package is going to get delivered. At the other end of the scale, like 100 ... would be one of those addresses where it would be most likely to happen, some sort of loss at the delivery point."

Recipients whose addresses generate a low score can request in-store collection or a UPS pickup point.

DeliveryDefense is based on a dataset containing billions of delivery data points, with a focus on delivery characteristics, like the presence or absence of secure mailrooms.

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