If you own a business, having a UPS self-service drop box on site can keep your packages secure and attract new customers. Whether you are able to get a dropbox or not will depend, however, on whether UPS believes that your business is a good location for package drop off.
What is a UPS Drop Box?
A drop box is a UPS self-service option that allows users to drop packages into a secure container or pickup by a UPS driver. Drop boxes typically contain an area that holds shipping materials, allowing customers to pack their items and address shipping labels on their own.
UPS places its drop boxes throughout the communities it serves. Typical locations include office buildings, retail shops and educational institutions. While some drop boxes are located inside buildings, others are placed outside for easy access. Drop boxes display pick-up schedules so that customers know when they can expect their items to be received and processed by UPS.
Advantages to On-Site Drop Boxes
There are several advantages to having a UPS drop box in your place of business. These include:
- A drop box provides you and your employees with a safe, secure place for your outbound packages. This can be particularly helpful if UPS pickup times in your area are earlier or later than your business’s normal operating hours. Because the packages are in a secure unit, you don't have to worry about someone stealing your parcels from a hallway or unattended mailroom.
- Drop boxes located inside a retail business or in an office hallway or foyer might attract new business. Many people visit the UPS site or app to find a UPS drop box in their area: This search could lead a new client or customer to your doorstep.
- Your staff will not need to make extra trips to drop off packages or express mail envelopes.
- If you sell items that are often given as gifts, having a drop box nearby might attract customers who appreciate a one-stop shopping/shipping option.
Disadvantages to On-Site Drop Boxes
While there are some significant advantages to having an on-site drop box, there are also some drawbacks.
- Although hosting a drop box on or near your property can attract new business, the reality is that some UPS shippers may ask you or your staff to assist them with UPS related issues. This can become particularly annoying if the UPS delivery driver does not regularly restock supplies at the box, which may result in shippers asking your staff about labels and boxes. Since your business is not a UPS agent, these requests can distract your employees, lower morale and inhibit productivity.
- There is also the risk that the presence of a UPS box near your office might attract potential thieves. While break-ins to delivery boxes are rare, they can happen. This could create additional headaches for you and your staff.
How to Get a Drop Box
Contact UPS online through its website and ask about getting a drop box installed in or near your place of business. Keep in mind that there may already be UPS drop boxes in your area, so the company may decline your request. If you don't have any luck with UPS, you may want to try other delivery companies, such as DHL or FedEx.
Drop Box Alternatives
Failure to get a drop box in or near your business shouldn't inhibit your ability to work with UPS as a delivery carrier. UPS package labeling and payments can all be made online, and your UPS delivery driver can supply you with packaging materials free of charge. You may be able to arrange for item pickup during your normal business hours by making a request directly to UPS.
Lainie Petersen lives in Chicago and is a full-time freelance writer. She has a long career in business and media, primarily in marketing, online content and regulatory compliance. She holds a master's degree in library and information science from Dominican University.