Mailhaven: New startup protects your packages

MailhavenThe minds behind Arrow Food Couriers have put their understanding of logistics to work to create a new company: Mailhaven. Co-founders Nathan Armentrout and Kela Ivonye are addressing the issue of missed deliveries and stolen packages that plague couriers and e-tailers to the tune of more than $40 billion annually.

According to my neighborhood e-newsletter, there was a rash of stolen packages this holiday season. Depending on the delivery driver, often packages aren’t hidden from the sight of the street or sidewalk. Neighborhoods like mine are very quiet during the day; a package on a front porch of an empty house is certainly a temptation.

Package conditions also will be a problem Mailhaven will address. Once, a family member surprised me with a cooler full of highly perishable food items from my native New England not knowing I was out of town. The cooler sat in the August sun for three days, and everything was ruined.

Mailhaven aims to eliminate stolen, ruined and late packages for its clients. For the first iteration of the company, clients can sign up for a monthly fee — $9 for up to two packages a month, $19 for unlimited packages — and then have all of their packages shipped to the Mailhaven offices at 1229 S. Shelby St., c/o Mailhaven. A Mailhaven courier will alert the client the package has arrived, then hand deliver the package to them anytime between 5 and 11 p.m. during the hour block of their choice.

This service also reduces the carbon footprint of packages because multiple delivery attempts won’t have to be made.

Eventually, this service will evolve. Ivonye said that likely the next iteration will be in place by November or December, which involves hardware: locked boxes that are opened by the courier by scanning the delivery barcode and then opened by homeowners using an app or key. The box would alert the client when the package was deposited, and the client can pick up the package at their leisure.

Apartment complexes or neighborhoods might have several central boxes, and an apartment complex on Frankfort Avenue will pilot the program.

The Mailhaven records all activity, which can be used by couriers and e-tailers to reduce fraud.

As founder of Arrow My Food, Ivonye knows a little bit about delivery. He told us, “One big problem our couriers and I had was waiting for customers to come to the door. Even if customers were informed via phone or our app that allows real-time location tracking, it would take up to two minutes for them to collect their deliveries.”

This is why Ivonye is counting on couriers being on board — automated mailboxes would make delivery faster and more efficient.

In the meantime, the courier service is now available, and you can sign up online.

All three people on the Mailhaven team, including marketer Casey Larue, are University of Louisville grads.