In 2014, UPS began delivering packages to access points when the first delivery attempt was unsuccessful. The program has grown over the years and it's more common than ever for packages to be delivered to access points, particularly in urban areas. Not all areas are currently using access points, but it seems that UPS is working on expanding this program.
An access point is a UPS-affiliated retail location offering convenient package drop-off or delivery near your delivery address. A UPS Access Point is represented by a broad array of locations, including newsagents, grocers, and convenience stores. Packages are held in a secure location until they are claimed by the package's owner.
Access point benefits
These access points have improved the delivery experience for customers in a few ways:
1. Reduction in package theft. Packages left at front doors are frequently stolen. This can cause customers a lot of frustration and anxiety, particularly if the package contained a really special or unique, irreplaceable item, such as the childhood photo book that Mom just sent you.
2. Fewer packages are returned, undelivered, to the seller. I've received a fair number of Final Delivery Attempt notices that have caused me to try to work from home or change my work schedule so that I could accept the delivery of the package the next day. And sometimes I couldn't adjust my schedule and the package was returned to the company and then I had to wait for them to reship the package. With UPS access points, I don't have to worry about this.
3. Extended hours to collect packages. Most access points are open from early morning until evening, which makes collecting the package possible before or after work or on the weekends.
How it works for package recipients
1. You'll receive a notice on your door telling you that there is a package that can be picked up at an access point tomorrow. If you don't see the notice or if it blew away or was mistakenly not left, you can track your package's progress by tracking the order at ups.com or via the tracking link the seller sent you. Your access point's name and address will be provided.
2. When you go to the access point tell them that you have a package waiting for you and be ready to show them your photo ID. Driver's licenses, school IDs, and passports all work.
3. They'll locate your order and they may have you sign for the package electronically or they may just hand the package to you. In my experience, once you sign for that first package, you may not have to sign for another one. This may vary from one access point to another.
4. The access point will hold your package for a few days. If you don't collect the package, the access point may return it to UPS, who in turn returns the package to the seller.
Tip: if you can't get to your access point within a day or two, give them a call and ask them to hold your package for a few more days. All of the access points I've contacted have been happy to hold the package instead of returning it to UPS. I can't promise that you'll have the same experience, but give it a try!
5. UPS will always try to deliver your package to the access point closest to your delivery address. However, if that access point is at capacity with other customers' packages, they'll deliver your package to the next closest access point.
How it works for sellers
Sellers, such as UncommonGoods, who ship packages with UPS don't have an option of opting in or out of having their customers' packages delivered to an access point. We're all opted in automatically and we can't request to not have packages sent to an access point.
Once a package is delivered to an access point, the seller is not able to have the package redelivered via UPS. The package must be collected at the access point.
If you have any questions about access points, UPS has some links that are pretty helpful:
If you've got other questions or need some help, our customer service team is here for you! Give us a call at 888-365-0056, email us at email@example.com, or chat with us online.