There’s a reason they don’t make umbrellas out of cardboard.
Cardboard has many merits: it’s cheap, versatile, and easily recyclable. But it’s not even close to being waterproof.
Despite this well-known fact, corrugated cardboard is often the only thing that stands between your online deliveries and the elements.
No one wants to come home a soggy parcel on their doorstep. Unfortunately, it happens, and a frustrating and time-consuming return process often follows.
Don’t have a covered porch? Here are a few ways to protect your online deliveries from rain and snow.
1. Outdoor Storage Box
Most hardware stores sell large, plastic storage containers for outdoor use. They’re great for organizing pool toys and gardening tools – and for shielding parcels from the rain.
Plus, these boxes relatively plain. Drive-by parcel thieves aren’t likely to be tempted unless they witness a parcel going in.
It’s not fool-proof, but leaving a storage box on the doorstep and instructing couriers to drop the parcel inside is one of the simpler ways to protect online deliveries from the rain.
2. Secure Parcel Mailbox
We came up with the Parcel Guard as a solution to stolen and rain-soaked parcels. It’s a mailbox designed specifically for online deliveries – and it’s weatherproof.
The Parcel Guard fits parcels up to 11.8 x 15 x 7.1 inches in size, about the same as a 12-bottle wine box. The lockable drop slot lets boxes and other deliveries in, but not out, protecting them from anyone who doesn’t have a key or combination.
3. Porch Furniture
Don’t have room for a storage box? Chairs and tables can also offer some protection from the rain.
Hiding parcels under porch furniture is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Many couriers do it even without instructions.
Furniture doesn’t offer the same level of protection as a mailbox, but it is more discrete if you’re short on space.
4. Amazon Key/Amazon In-Car Delivery
Amazon, one of the biggest sources of online deliveries, has devised a new way to keep parcels out of the rain.
The Amazon Key is a smart lock system that enables Amazon’s couriers to enter a home using a one-time ‘key’ and leave parcels inside. Amazon In-Car Delivery is similar, allowing couriers to leave packages in the trunk of a recipient’s vehicle.
At this point, both options are only available in certain cities, but they may become prevalent in the future.
5. Alternate Delivery Locations
Can’t settle on a solution that works for you? There’s one more way to protect your online deliveries from rain: reroute them to an alternate location.
This is a smart option if you’re planning to be away when the package is set to land on your door.
Instead of using your home as the shipping address, have the item shipped to your workplace or a friend’s house. Just be sure that someone will be there to receive it.
Packing Parcels for Safe Delivery
What if you’re a sender? If cardboard is your only option, there are things you can do to increase the odds that your parcel will withstand the elements and arrive in one piece:
- Follow our step-by-step guide to packing and sealing a parcel for safe delivery.
- Place the shipping label into a waterproof plastic wallet and secure it to the side of the box with water-resistant glue or packing tape. Don’t cover the entire label with packing tape – the reflectiveness makes it hard for couriers to scan the barcode.
- Seal books, paper, and other items vulnerable to water individually in plastic bags inside the box. Shrink-wrapping the items is another option.
Cover the box in a protective wax or polyethylene plastic coating. It won’t make the box waterproof, but it will be more water-resistant.