Communities / Products / Public safety

A&C Pack and Ship uses automation to protect Baltimore’s packages, porches from theft

The Baltimore-based company is up for the challenge of keeping Baltimore’s packages safe with its new 24/7 automated package receiving services.

A collage of Smiota lockers and Maryland Crabs. (Image created in Canva)

It’s 1 p.m., and you’re still at work. Lately, you’ve been contemplating the idea of getting one of those new-fangled camera doorbells for added security. However, you haven’t taken the leap just yet. Today, you’re eagerly anticipating a new pair of beach sandals from your favorite courier. Armed with the tracking number, you anxiously await notifications about the status of your package.

Finally, the notification arrives just after you’ve ventured out to try that new soupless ramen spot in Charles Village. Excitedly, you head home, leftovers in hand, eager to try on your new wares. But as you step out of your car and toward your porch, disappointment washes over you — your package is nowhere to be found. You instinctively glance at your neighbor’s porch, but it’s not there either. Could it be the work of porch pirates, striking again?

(L to R) Automated storage lockers and A&C Pack and Ship’s storefront. (Courtesy photo)

Nicole Orr, CEO of A&C Pack and Ship, envisioned a seamless and worry-free shipping experience for customers when she and her husband Calvin established their multi-shipping courier service right in the heart of Baltimore City. Situated on W. Lombard Street, the business aims to simplify the shipping process and ensure the safe delivery of packages.

In an email to, Orr enthusiastically announced the introduction of a new service line featuring automated package lockers provided by Smiota, a California-based company. These lockers, located in Southwest Baltimore, offer round-the-clock accessibility, setting A&C’s lockers apart from Amazon’s that exclusively handle Amazon shipments. A&C’s lockers are open to packages from all major carriers, including FedEx, UPS, Temu and more, providing customers with a convenient and secure location for receiving deliveries regardless of the carrier.

Orr explains the process of using Smiota lockers as follows: Customers reserve a locker through the app, receive a notification when the package is ready for pickup and use a unique access PIN provided by the app. Orr clarified that while the Openpath app is currently used for door access at A&C, the two apps are not integrated; however, both operate on a 24/7 schedule and are easily downloadable.

With this integration, A&C Pack and Ship customers can have their packages conveniently delivered to the company’s secure and easily accessible lockers. Orr, who takes pride in A&C’s small and woman-owned business certifications, highlights the app’s functionality and visual appeal.

“When customers download the Smiota app, it becomes an invaluable tool,” she stated, further illustrating the app’s use value with an example: “Imagine A&C has already notified you about a package in the lockers, but it slipped your mind. We understand that life can get busy, and that’s where the app comes to the rescue. As you go about your day and happen to pass by or find yourself in the vicinity, the app proactively sends you a notification, reminding you about the package from A&C. Even if you happened to miss the text message containing the QR code, the app ensures you never miss a package through its proactive notifications.”

With the implementation of automation technology, the company now offers assistance beyond regular work hours. By leveraging automated software systems, A&C aims to enhance the security of their package lockers, addressing the issue of porch piracy prevalent in many neighborhoods. This makes A&C one of the first in Maryland to offer this service publicly. Notably, a local apartment complex previously installed refrigerated locker units in 2017 for grocery use.

Starting on Thursday, A&C will introduce 28 automated multi-courier lockers, adding to their existing fleet of approximately 50 manual lockers.

Learn more about A&C’s automated lockers


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