In the United States alone, online shoppers spent more than $409 billion in 2017 and are projected to spend $461 billion in 2018. That’s a lot of packages! Two of the top delivery services companies alone average 19 million packages a day. Those packages may be coming from the other side of the world, transferred from one means of transportation to another, and yet they are most at risk when they get to your home. Thirty percent of Americans have been victimized by the “porch poachers” who steal those packages, and that percentage continues to grow.
Now there is the BoxLock, the most convenient and effective way to thwart would-be thieves. Imagine a high-tech padlock. Use the lock on a container large enough to hold packages and then connect the lock to the Internet via WiFi. The lock can then scan the package label to determine that the recipient and date of delivery are accurate. If so, the BoxLock opens, delivery person places the package into the container, closes the lid and locks the BoxLock. You receive notice of the delivery on the BoxLock mobile app. It’s one of those products where we say, “Gee, I could have thought of that.” But we didn’t. Brad Ruffkess did.
Brad is the founder of BoxLock, Inc. It seems he was born an entrepreneur. Early on, he started a lending library and opened a rock museum. For his fifth birthday, his parents gave him a briefcase and business cards. While at Tulane University earning a degree in computer science and communications, he launched his first viable startup, had some successes, had some failures, had some really valuable lessons. His degree and his natural entrepreneurial skills landed him eventually at the Coca-Cola Company, where he excelled in developing many of the company’s brands. Then he saw a problem that he knew he could solve: the porch poachers. BoxLock was a new chapter for him and one in which the stakes were high, the challenges great and the successes so much more meaningful.
The BoxLock is simple to use. All you need is a storage container with a hasp, a WiFi connection and the mobile app (available for Android and iOS). The stylish and durable lock is encased in tamper-resistant zinc, and the shackle is made of a hardened steel. The heart of the lock, the technology, is proprietary. The poachers don’t know if there is a package in the container or not. They “grab and dash”–they need to see the package to be sure it’s worth the risk. And, no, they cannot just grab and container and dash: You will bolt the container to your house or the porch, putting the bolts inside and out of sight.
Brad partners with companies such as UPS, FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service and Amazon to encourage a seamless adoption of the process. It’s attractive to parcel delivery companies, because it takes less time than the delivery person knocking on the door and waiting to see if someone is home. It certainly saves the time needed to make a second delivery attempt, and then there’s the gridlock of paper work when a package is reported as lost.
Brad also partners with firms that manufacture a line of “Works with BoxLock” storage containers.
There are three versions of the BoxLock:
BoxLock Home is designed for one-family homes and small businesses. BoxLock Pro is subscription-based for contractors, franchise owners, and any business or family that needs up to 5 locks and 10 users. BoxLock Enterprise supports an unlimited number of users and BoxLocks. The technology integrates with a client’s existing Application Programming Interface and offers more advanced software for more complex business needs.