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MA#4 - CopyIf you ship more than 5 billion packages annually, you’re going to lose a few of them. But Amazon is determined to limit the number of packages that get lost due to unethical behaviors and theft by delivery drivers. To do so, it has devised a sort of trap, using false packages, to see which drivers respond appropriately—and which ones need to be fired.

The dummy packages, which usually are empty or filled with worthless items to give them some weight, feature fake labels too. They get added randomly to trucks leaving various distribution centers. When the delivery driver scans the fake label, the handheld scanner will display an error message that indicates the package has not been entered into Amazon’s system. The appropriate response would be to call a supervisor or simply leave the package in the truck, to be returned to the Amazon distribution center at the end of the driver’s shift. But because it is not in the system, it appears that if the driver were to take the package, no one would know.

Instead, Amazon knows. Although it has not commented officially on the policy, an informant with some insider knowledge claims it already has caught drivers engaging in theft. Beyond the drivers, the company also reportedly includes videos of people being caught red-handed in the training it provides warehouse employees, to discourage them from thinking about stealing.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Are dummy packages an effective way to reduce theft?
  2. What other tactics might Amazon use to lower the risk of stealing in its supply chain?


Source:  Hayley Peterson, “Amazon Plants Fake Packages in Delivery Trucks as Part of an Undercover Ploy to ‘Trap’ Drivers Who Are Stealing,” Business Insider, September 22, 2017