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Theft from packages and theft of packages are both major concerns for American consumers. The first often occurs as what is sometimes referred to as a press-and-grab theft. The criminal presses down on the top of the shipping carton, the weak tape yields, and the criminal pulls products out of the box. The box flaps then spring back up, leaving the theft undetected until later.

So-called “porch pirates” are responsible for the second type of theft. Millions of Americans every year have packages stolen off their front porch or out of their mailbox. Porch pirates tend to target packages that appear to contain high-value items.

What’s the best way to prevent a press-and-grab theft? Ensure that the shipping carton is securely sealed. Some types of tape create a very surface-level seal that is easy to break. Water-activated tape (also called WAT, Kraft paper tape, or brown paper tape), on the other hand, actually fuses with the carton material to form a theft-deterring bond. Make no mistake: thieves always look to take the “path of least resistance,” and a WAT-sealed package definitely is not it!

How can you reduce the risk that a shipment will fall victim to porch pirates? That involves a decision about how important it is for your company to display branding on the external packaging.