How Do Courier Services Track Packages? An Insider’s Look

Were you aware that nearly 51% of shoppers expect real-time visibility regarding the status of their couriered goods? 

In recent years, more and more customers want to avoid missing their parcel deliveries or waiting all day. This means they want to have control of tracking their orders. As a result, businesses rely on courier services and their tracking systems and processes to get packages to clients on time.

Yet, how does package tracking work? In our article, the expert team at Pillow Logistics has taken the time to explain how courier services track packages. 

How Do People Track A Courier Package?

Before we examine the courier services tracking process, we want to speak about how people track their packages: 

  • Through a courier website. Many courier companies have a website feature that tracks your packages with a tracking number. You need only input the number into the dialogue box. Then you will receive a real-time delivery update. 
  • Through text tracking. A few couriers like FedEx and USPS let you track your packages via text tracking. Simply use your mobile number. You’ll receive a text alert to their whereabouts when your packages reach different milestones. You’ll also get an expected delivery time. 
  • Through a mobile courier app. Some courier companies have a mobile app you can download and install. You can use this app to track your packages. 
man using a laptop from his home office to check on a courier delivery in Indianapolis

How Do Delivery Companies Track Packages? The Four-Step Tracking Process 

When a courier service refers to package tracking, they are talking about the monitoring process of deliveries at different times. For example, at Pillow Logistics, we track when your packages arrive at milestones. So when it goes from warehousing to delivery, we will know, and so will our customers.

Customers demand transparency. From the inception of the order to the final delivery point. Clients want their system to communicate in real-time with the courier’s enterprise resource planning (ERP), this is essential for tracking and performance. This connection provides real-time event updates as they occur.

Below we’ve detailed how delivery companies track packages. We’ve done this by explaining what a tracking process involves. 

Identification Number Generation

The first step of the package tracking process is assigning an identification number. If a parcel is trackable, it will have a unique ID number. This ID number lets courier services collate information about packages. 

Recently, more courier companies have used barcodes or QR codes as ID numbers. This is because they can hold more information about a parcel. For example, a barcode can detail a package’s weight, contents, and dimensions. It also details the recipient, target destination, and history. 

The Barcode System – Tracking And Data Updating

After a unique barcode has been made for each package, they will be loaded for delivery. A courier company will scan the barcode, and the information the barcode gives will be stored on their website. 

This is how customers can track where their packages are during the various delivery stages. Every time a package is delivered to a new location, the barcodes are scanned, and the information with the expected ‘ETA’ is updated. 

Driver Tracking – Real-Time GPS Monitoring

Part of a courier service parcel tracking system is monitoring driver tracking with the help of real-time GPS monitoring. The barcode tracking method discussed above lets a delivery company like Pillow Logistics know when an item hits a milestone and is on to the next stage of delivery. 

A courier company also needs to know where a parcel is between when it leaves a warehouse and arrives at its delivery destination. They need to know this to give customers an accurate ETA. This is where real-time GPS monitoring is added to the package tracking process. 

courier driver

Technology advancements in GPS systems allow courier companies to monitor their drivers. This lets them know their location (and thus a package’s location) in transit. Most courier systems have a feature that allows them to sync with the driver’s GPS to know how far away a parcel is within twenty seconds to a minute. 

Besides, driver tracking is important because it allows customers to see where their parcels are; it also lets courier companies optimize their routes for quicker deliveries. They can check in with drivers and see which routes are the most efficient for numerous drop-offs. 

Delivery Tracking Confirmation – E-Signatures

The last step a courier company takes when tracking parcels is getting the customers to confirm that they received their order. Delivery confirmation is one of the most important elements of tracking packages. 

Confirming a package made it to its destination gives the sender and courier service peace of mind. This is because they will know the package has been delivered to the correct person. 

Courier services track this final step in a few ways, but most use e-signatures. 

When a customer receives their package, all they need to do is provide an e-signature, which is confirmed on the system that the delivery is complete. When it’s confirmed, a company will keep its chain of custody log up to date. This is crucial, especially if sensitive materials have been delivered. It basically allows the courier service to no longer be responsible for the packages. 

It’s often not possible for a person to be present to sign for the package. That’s why many courier services use a picture-tracking confirmation method. This means they take a photo of the package being delivered at an individual’s home or work. They then add this picture to their scanned data as proof of delivery for the sender. 

Stolen and lost delivered packages are a significant concern for businesses. Thus, the e-signature or picture method is a great way to curb the loss of profit. 

on-demand courier service

Choose Pillow Logistics For Your Delivery Needs And Up To Date Tracking

Now you know more about how courier services track packages. You also know more about the role barcodes and real-time GPS play in successful parcel delivery.

For a courier service you can trust to deliver your goods in Indianapolis, you can count on Pillow Logistics. Our company will let you control the quality of care your packages get on their way to a customer. 

You can trust that our personnel will professionally and responsibly handle your packages. This is because we have trained our team according to industry standards. Ultimately, operating a company is stressful enough. So why not let us help you handle the logistics behind your deliveries? You can contact us to learn more about how we can help you.