UAE parcel theft rockets to an all-time high with over 1.2 million packages lost or stolen in just 12 months

  • First global report on parcel theft
  • 100,000 more people affected by parcel issues in UAE compared to previous 12 months
  • One in ten people globally are now reluctant to shop online because of fear of theft
  • One in five UAE residents likely to explore parcel theft security – double global average
  • Abu Dhabi hit by both highest rates of parcel theft within UAE and the highest increase in the previous 12 months

LONDON, Oct. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Doorstep parcel theft is sweeping the UAE, according to the first global report on parcel theft. More than 1.2 million parcels were lost or stolen, a 1% increase compared to the previous 12 months, despite lockdown restrictions lifting.

The results are part of the world’s first global parcel theft survey, which found that close to one in ten people had at least one parcel lost or stolen from May 2021 to April 2022. This amounts to a staggering 1.009 billion packages1 globally, at a total cost of US$38.1 billion (DH 142.52 billion).1

Worldwide, there was an all-time high of stolen or lost parcels with an estimated rise of 155 million2 compared to the previous 12 months, despite initiatives to tackle the surge post-covid. This is more than a 2% increase.

The Penn Elcom Global Parcel Theft Report was commissioned by Penn Elcom, a globally recognised British steel manufacturer and producer of the Penn Parcel Box, and sponsored exclusively by Scurri, the world’s leading courier management platform for eCommerce and shipping, and produced by YouGov. It revealed that the UAE had the lowest rate of increase in parcel theft and loss of the countries surveyed, but the number of people affected still rose from 1.09 million between May 2020 and April 2021 to a new high of 1.2 million2 the following 12 months (+1%).

Regionally, it was found that people who suffered parcel theft or loss increased year on year by:

  • +58,500 in Abu Dhabi (+4%)
  • +38,250 in Sharjah (+3%)
  • +34,000 in Dubai (+1%)

18 to 24-year-olds were the hardest-hit age group for parcel thefts and loss in the past 12 months (16%).

Nationally, an astounding 29% of people surveyed have had a package lost or stolen in their lifetime, amounting to over 2.92 million parcels. This is expected to rise without preventive measures.

The psychological impact

One in five people in the UAE (19%) were anxious about parcel theft, with this concern more common among male respondents (71%, compared to 29% women). This split was also seen in fear of stolen parcels (72% men, 28% women), as well as reluctance to make new online purchases (78% men, 22% women).

Despite a lower rise in parcel problems than the global average, 21% of residents have actively researched parcel-theft prevention products – double that of respondents elsewhere. But, while men in the UAE have concerns about parcel safety, women are more likely to research prevention solutions (one in four women, to one in five men).

Penn Elcom’s chairman, Roger Willems, said: “A surge in online shopping accelerated by Covid, along with seasonal rushes, means couriers are under intense pressure. Professional thieves are known to follow delivery vans, stealing packages minutes after they are dropped off, while opportunistic thieves take advantage of parcels left on doorsteps.”

According to the Penn Elcom Global Parcel Theft Report, the UK saw the largest increase in parcel theft and loss over the survey periods (+5%). Australia came second (+3%), followed by Canada (+2%), the US and the UAE (+1% respectively).

Google Trends data shows that global searches for ‘parcel theft’ have rocketed as shoppers continue to order online, especially for seasonal holidays. The study found that one in ten people worldwide are also now reluctant to shop due to fear of theft, impacting retailers.

Gavin Murphy, CMO of Scurri, said: “We expect parcel piracy to continue to rise as global parcel deliveries increase3 if measures are not taken. We are doing our best to support delivery companies and save online shoppers the headache of missed deliveries – as well as the heartache of lost and stolen parcels.”

Penn Elcom is campaigning to restore confidence in online shopping and has a solution. The Penn Parcel Box, made from quality British steel and designed using Penn Elcom’s decades of steel engineering expertise, is a secure, stylish, weatherproof solution for parcel deliveries for homes and businesses.

The Penn Parcel Box was developed in response to enquiries from customers who had problems with parcels going missing. “We have both engineering and manufacturing expertise, so when customers present us with a new challenge, we have the skills to develop a solution for them. Our innovations are in response to customer demand,” said Rob Platt, Penn Elcom’s Sales & Marketing Director.

YouGov, the leading British research group, surveyed 2,000 random consumers in the UK, US, the UAE, Canada and Australia in May 2022. 50% were male and 50% female, ranging in age from 18-55 and above.

Images are available at:

FOR MORE INFORMATION: including interviews and a copy of the Penn Elcom Global Parcel Theft Report:

Mark Foxwell,, +44 (0) 7796 473020
Charlie Jones,, +44 (0) 7710 695794
Siobhan Stirling,, +44 (0) 7990 543829


Penn Elcom is a UK manufacturing success story, with 50% of sales being overseas.  Established in 1974, the company is a world leader in flight case and speaker cabinet hardware as well as 19-inch racking solutions.

Scurri is a leading software provider that connects and optimises the eCommerce ordering, shipping and delivery process for online retailers. Scurri is an Irish company, which last year announced a €9 million investment to accelerate growth in the European markets. This brings the Wexford-based company’s total funding to €15.3 million to date. Scurri currently derives over 61% of its revenue from the UK, and will power over 100 million parcel deliveries this year by enabling merchants to present the most efficient delivery option via more than 700 carrier services.


1 Total price value has been estimated by average parcel cost, based on annual online retail spend versus annual volume of packages shipped
2 Survey results extrapolated to global and national populations
3Pitney Bowes, 28.09.21: Global parcel volumes rose to 131 billion in 2020, a 27% year-on-year increase, and are predicted to double again by 2026 to 266 billion.

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