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Tracking Tips, Services, etc.

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Neofate

Senior member
Joined
Apr 19, 2011
Posts
103
Heya,

Just a post about some services I use myself to track.. and my very broad, probably ambiguous, understanding of how shipping in 'general' works in relation to tracking.

As I say at the end, any drivers or employee's feel free to correct me, I don't claim to know it exactly by any means -- but try not crucify me. ;) I think the gist is close/right.

Tracking is an important part of what we do here when waiting on something!
I will focus on Private, US based services.

Namely the two UPS, and Fedex.
Both are great -- I prefer Fedex, but for the most part they both do the job.
Now here's the thing.

They have unique tracking systems which are updated at random intervals of the shipping process. (Scans).
These updates aren't always first displayed on their respective websites tracking. Shocking huh?
There are even some updates that show in other areas I will mention that never show on their tracking programs (which are filtered to some degree).

First, the standard:

Fedex tracking:

http://fedex.com/Tracking

UPS tracking:

UPS: Tracking Information


Most know to go to these sites and track...
There are a few more that I use:

First, is Packagemapping. This site is great, has a graphical representation which is semi-useful, but just looks cool imho. -- But further it automatically detects your tracking number and links the proper service to it. So if you past a UPS, DHL, Fedex, etc tracking number you don't have to tell it what company it is.. it knows.
Further, the updates here are at least as quick as the companies, and sometimes faster I find.
What I like most about it, is it lists more information -- it lists the reference numbers (information people put on packages to give them 'reference/description' -- it can even list phone numbers associated to shipper, and address.) Every little bit helps :

Packagemapping:

PackageMapping.com: Package Tracking UPS USPS FedEx DHL w/ Google Maps.

Then here is a much lesser known entity. This one updates sometimes with information that never appears on any of the others. So sometimes when you are expecting movement with a package and don't see it.. this one will show it. It also lists times specifically with each scan, etc. It isn't pretty.. but it is FAST, and accurate. I recommend it when you are just really trying to dig any movement at all from a package. (I use them in conjunction)

This one is some from Iship,.. and is their TrackIT algorithm software. You can find it here: (note it isn't supposed to be pretty)

https://iship.com/trackit/track.aspx

Just some info about tracking:

Generally UPS and Fedex will make an Origin Scan (when the truck picks up the item from the shipper), then an Arrival Scan (At the hub/shipper facility) -- Departure scan (When it actually leaves on a truck or plane to go to the next location.) -- You will notice some 'Unload' scans which are self explanatory, but when the trucks/planes are unloaded of course.

Finally you will see an Out for Delivery scan -- usually really early in the morning. This doesn't mean it is going to arrive at your home early.. they just scan and pack everything to be delivered that day on the truck .. so it could be well into the afternoon... but you can be sure it is on the way that day sometime.

There is also a "billing information received" -- This is when the shipper has made an electronic request for the company to come pick up a package to be delivered to you. This means UPS or Fedex has been requested to pick up your package at the person you bought it from, AND the information necessary to get to you has been entered into the UPS/Fedex system(computer). However, they have not picked it up technically.. likely on the way to get it.

Also to keep in mind.. not every scan gets entered into the tracking system,.. and sometimes an item doesn't get a scan.
So sometimes you could have a Billing Information Received, and then no activity until it arrives in your state. Which can be scary.. but is normal (though not likely to happen often).
Technically you can get NO scan on a tracking number and have it arrive at your house, where you would then track it about 30 mins after delivery and the information would then appear on it.

Information generally takes about 15-30 minutes to appear in the tracking systems from the time the GPS operated driver scanners input the data. So when you see a tracking update, you can be assured it is at least 15 minutes late..

When a truck picks up a package they are supposed to scan it.. then take it to the Hub. The hub then sorts them, scans it.. and depending on if it is ground or air -- (ground will go by railway, or trucks) and air (by plane) -- it gets placed in what are called 'Bins'.

Bin's are bigger containers you can put many packages in.

Each smaller package is scanned and placed in a bin in which that package tracking number is now tied to the Bin's tracking number. So whenever you get updates on packages during transit, it is the big BIN box being scanned not your package itself. (Some scans are the package, ie: Sorting, and out for delivery etc.. but the bulk are bin scans).
This is why a package can get 'lost' until it arrives.. because the person responsible made a mistake and didn't scan it approriately when putting it in the BIN, and then it doesn't get updated as the bin gets scanned across the country.

But the biggest point of this thread was the tracking sites! I don't claim to know exactly how UPS/Fedex work -- I've never worked for either (indirectly for fedex a LONG time ago.. but in a corporate manner) -- so if there are drivers here.. feel free to tell me how wrong I am with the scans.

Otherwise, take care!
 
Last edited:

Neofate

Senior member
Joined
Apr 19, 2011
Posts
103
Glad you and others are enjoying it. You are absolutely right -- often an OCD tendency kicks in in the anticipatory wait from order to arrival.. having the right tools makes a world of difference in this process. :)
 

Neofate

Senior member
Joined
Apr 19, 2011
Posts
103
@Neofate
I posted something like this awhile back also.
I like to use this place sometimes too, as well as iship.
PackTrack.com - all-in-one package tracking with UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL and more.
They track 81 carriers so for those international shipments it can be nice.

Excellent -- I've never used Packtrack so always enjoy a new site! Many have the same engines with different skins,.. as you can only have so much data pulled from the same sources. Though the rate at which the shipping domains allow repetitive returns/access differs, which accounts for the differing rates of return from various sites. Oddly enough UPS/Fedex often being slower than 3rd party engines.

Thanks,
 

Jellyfish

Eminent member
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Posts
1,213
I'll throw in some UK ones for good measure.

Track stuff here: parcelforce.com/portal/pw/track?catId=7500082

and here: track.postoffice.co.uk/portal/po/track?catId=20700386

and here: track.royalmail.com/portal/rm/track?catId=22700601&gear=authentication

These are just a few of many, some more reliable than others, but I find the Royal Mail tracking to be most up to date.

One thing to note here. When tracking items in the UK, if you have used Recorded delivery, this is only tracked at pick up, and delivery. You packet will stay "progressing through the system" until it is signed for, and the next update will include the electronic copy of the signator.

If it's special delivery, (which I would like to see more of tbh)
Then it is tracked all the way, at each geographical location it passes through, including the depot/sorting offices it goes through. SD's are also Guaranteed by RM either for 9.00am next day, and 1.00pm next day.

One misconception is that RD items are given special treatment by postal staff, they don't, and travel with the rest of the 1st and 2nd class mail. That privelidge is kept for Special Delivery, and has a price tag to match.
So when people have their goods sent by RD, and they don't receive the next day, they sometimes get a little worried, or annoyed. If things are running smoothly, then a RD should reach you by the next day, but obviously, that's not always possible, especially around holidays, xmas etc.

If I think of anything else useful I will edit accordingly.
 

Neofate

Senior member
Joined
Apr 19, 2011
Posts
103
Thanks Jellyfish -- I am unfamiliar with the UK nor any or Europe's packaging and shipping services to be honest. Interesting to read even just the different Times, and your own anecdotal reports of how things work vs. The U.S. based systems.
 

Peaches

Distinguished member
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Posts
904
This seems like the right thread to ask a question about FedEx tracking, & was wondering if anyone has had this happen to them?
I just checked on tracking status with FedEx, & it states:

Jun 7, 2011 5:39 PM
At local FedEx facility
SAN DIEGO, CA
Jun 7, 2011 5:36 PM
Shipment exception
SAN DIEGO, CA
Undeliverable package
Jun 7, 2011 5:20 PM
At local FedEx facility
SAN DIEGO, CA
Jun 7, 2011 3:48 PM
Picked up
SAN DIEGO, CA
Jun 7, 2011 2:28 PM
Shipment information sent to FedEx

My question is, what does exception, undeliverable mean?

The package is supposed to arrive today, but on the FedEx tracking site it shows exception/undeliverable, & as of 5:39PM yesterday it is sitting in San Diego, Cal., local FedEx facility.

I know that it could be that they have just not updated it yet on their website, but I am a bit worried that the package may not arrive today as it was supposed to.

Just wanted to note that there are 2 separate packages going to 2 different states, & they both say the same thing.

Any feedback from others on what their thoughts are would be greatly appreciated!
 
Last edited:

Peaches

Distinguished member
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Posts
904
Oh well, I guess no one has come across this situation.

Anyway, just wanted to say, that neither package arrived to their destinations today, the FedEx website has not been updated, & I am worried that the 2 packages will be stuck in limbo until they just disappear/get lost.

Last time I had a similar situation, it was with DHL, & after going back & forth with them by phone for 10 days, they finally had to tell me they lost the package, & had no idea what happened to it.

I'm just hoping I don't see a repeat of that situation with these 2 packages & FedEx :(
 

northstar77

Banned
Joined
May 26, 2011
Posts
504
@Peaches I hope this isn't the case. I know fed ex has a alot higher standard then DHL though. DHL used to have so many problems before they went out of business. I bet they show up soon.
 

Peaches

Distinguished member
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Posts
904
@Peaches I hope this isn't the case. I know fed ex has a alot higher standard then DHL though. DHL used to have so many problems before they went out of business. I bet they show up soon.

Thanks northstar for your concern, it would be a shame if these packages get lost.

I checked FedEx's website again today & there was still no change in the tracking info, the last thing put in was the June 7, 5:39PM entry,& nothing else.

I found out from the sender that this had happened with all the letters sent out at that time, so it's not just the two I mentioned.

He is checking out what happened with FedEx, & promised he would resend in the mean time, but it would be a big loss to him if FedEx screwed things up.

As far as carriers go, I always trusted FedEx the most, I have just started to read bad things about UPS recently, & DHL was the worst I have ever dealt with. I even googled DHL, & found a lot of unhappy customers reviews, so I had told the vendor I was using at that time to only use EMS or USPS in the future, since UPS & FedEx were not options.

Unfortunately he had used a fake name, & couldn't recover the loss, & then more unfortunate for me is that I trusted him enough to add the loss to my next order, & he just disappeared with both the lost order promised me, & the new order I placed with him.

So I was out of luck with 2 paid for orders.
I only trusted him because I had the DHL TN info, & I knew that wasn't his fault, & he was good with past orders, but, you never know when a vendor will turn bad, & it just happened that way for me.

Live & Learn!
 

northstar77

Banned
Joined
May 26, 2011
Posts
504
I'm sorry to hear about your losses @Peaches. Most of us have all lived and learned from our experiences. I'm sure its just an issue with fed ex and youll have your stuff soon. I pray all is well.
 

Peaches

Distinguished member
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Posts
904
Thank you @northstar, I'm sure everything will work out, always a bit frustrating though when the carrier screws up too, especially when it's hard enough to find a trusting vendor.

It's great to have these forums to guide us in the right direction!
 

Gullible

Exalted member
Joined
May 15, 2011
Posts
2,637
Here is a weird one. I got part of my shipment from a vendor and the tracking was normal. I didn't get the other part and they gave me a tracking # which when used gave the message that there was no such shipment in the system for that number. This was weeks after it was supposedly sent. I complained and they had the nerve to tell me this was the normal thing. They said it never shows anything until it's delivered which i know to be false. It might say it's in customs until it's delivered or inbound to usa or even that origin post is preparing shipment but it has never said there was no record of it weeks after sending. Or am i wrong?

@Neofate that was a very good post!
 

Keith K Stone

Renowned member
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Posts
5,642
Here is a weird one. I got part of my shipment from a vendor and the tracking was normal. I didn't get the other part and they gave me a tracking # which when used gave the message that there was no such shipment in the system for that number. This was weeks after it was supposedly sent. I complained and they had the nerve to tell me this was the normal thing. They said it never shows anything until it's delivered which i know to be false. It might say it's in customs until it's delivered or inbound to usa or even that origin post is preparing shipment but it has never said there was no record of it weeks after sending. Or am i wrong?

@Neofate that was a very good post!

I have had this happen a few times but not too often.
The reason this could happen is that someone missed a scan.
This happens on a daily basis, just human error actually.
Hang tight for a while, you know how customs is sometimes, sssslow
 

Gullible

Exalted member
Joined
May 15, 2011
Posts
2,637
It never did arrive. What got me was they tried to tell me this was the normal thing instead of a fluke. They said it "never" showed up until it was delivered which i knew to be false.
 

Gullible

Exalted member
Joined
May 15, 2011
Posts
2,637
They said they resent it and it usually takes a month so not enough time has passed yet. I did casually mention that i was a member of this forum and might make a report on them after all the dust settled. Not sure if that made any impression but they said they resent it. If i get nothing in another couple weeks i'll weigh in with a negative report. But the other stuff they sent was fine so i have hopes.

None of it was scheduled, i have no sources for xanax, morphine or any crappola like that. Sorry.
 
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