Signature Options when Shipping UPS and FedEx
Options for package delivery confirmation
UPS delivers over 15 million packages a day. FedEx delivers over 8 million. So, how do all of those packages get to the right people? Both have sophisticated tracking systems to ensure that packages are delivered to the right address. Once they are there, however, the process is a little less… automated.
If you are shipping to a business/commercial address, it is likely they will have regular hours, and there will typically be someone there to accept the package. For this reason, drivers typically get a signature on delivery from someone at the business, unless the business has a policy that signatures are not required or another special arrangement.
Deliveries to residential addresses are more problematic. Residents are not always home, and by default the carriers will leave packages at the door without requiring any signatures. If this wasn’t the case, shipping costs would be much higher as drivers would have to reattempt delivery for a huge number of packages. Many UPS and FedEx shipments are left with someone nearby (an apartment manager for example, or a neighbor). Depending on this person’s relationship with the intended recipient, this can be a convenience, a hassle, or even a disaster. Some packages are, of course, misplaced or stolen from front or side porches.
When you ship, you do have the ability to control the delivery to some extent.
FedEx and UPS options
Indirect Signature – This is a flexible option that allows someone at the delivery address to sign, or a neighbor or building manager. Alternatively, the recipient can sign the door tag to allow the package to be left at the door later.
Direct Signature Required – Someone at the delivery address must sign for the package. Note that it is not possible to specify a specific person. Any person that is at the delivery address can sign. This option is required for all FedEx and UPS shipments with a Declared Value over $500.
Adult Signature Required – This option is often used for shipments of alcoholic beverages (when it is required). However, it is also recommended for high-value shipments because the driver should check for ID. This means it is more likely that the driver would pay attention to who the person is that is signing for the package, and they might check the name to make sure it is the intended recipient.
Redirect to Hold – This option will result in the package being held at a FedEx or UPS location, such as a FedEx Office Print and Ship Center or the UPS Store. A government-issued photo ID is required, and the name must match the recipient’s name on the package.