Vault Group, winner of the Innovation Concepts Award in the Small Enterprise category 

Relief in store for crime-hit courier companies

Courier companies in South Africa have become a soft target for criminals, especially now that online shopping has taken off and there are so many courier vehicles on the roads carrying high-value packages.  

But it will soon be a whole lot harder for thieves to carry out heists on couriers. VaultGroup, specialists in secure storage, has come up with a solution to outwit the criminals. 

“Courier companies are making massive losses and people are losing faith in the industry. As a consumer, I’ve been thinking, ‘Do I really want a courier van to come into my road?’ We realised that courier companies are suffering so we developed something for them,” says Lance Baum, VaultGroup chief operating officer.  

That something is called AutoVault and criminals are not going to like it. 

It’s an extremely secure system of lockers that uses geolocation and will only open when the courier driver arrives at the correct delivery address. When the driver is about 100 metres from the place where a particular package has to be delivered, the locker containing it – and only that locker – will unlock. 

What’s more, the locking system is remotely programmed and operated for the safety of the driver. 

Lance says geolocation-based storage is better suited to the courier industry than time-delay systems, which work in retail but could be detrimental to courier drivers. 

“AutoVault is designed to cause as little disruption or inconvenience to the drivers as possible,” says Lance.  

On the other hand, it should cause plenty of disruption among criminal elements who, up to now, have had the odds stacked in their favour. 

Hopefully, this crafty innovation will bring some relief to the hard-hit courier industry. 

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