Every now and again we all have to send a package or parcel. Whether it’s a birthday present for a loved one far away or daily business shipments – packages are transported from A to B all day every day. But how do we know they’ve left A? And arrived safely at B?

Parcel tracking.

As the posting and delivery of packages becomes quicker and easier, many more people are using parcel tracking to keep an eye on their packages.

What is Parcel Tracking?

It is reassuring to know that your package is going to be delivered as you expect. Parcel tracking helps senders (and recipients) keep an eye on the progress of their package, with the simplest systems notifying them of key steps in the delivery process such as ‘packed’, ‘shipped’ and ‘out for delivery’. Both businesses sending packages and consumers or recipients receiving packages benefit from understanding the journey of the parcel – from leaving the warehouse to arriving at the door.

More detailed parcel tracking information is available, for those who like details. Online retailers, for example, may provide consumers with information such as “order confirmed”, “order packed”, and “order shipped” so the consumer understands each part of the process. Similarly, a courier service may update the consumer with notifications such as “order collected”, “order in transit”, and “order out for delivery”. This parcel tracking information gives suppliers and recipients peace of mind and may help predict delivery time.

The most detailed parcel tracking systems are becoming increasingly popular, involving personalised and adaptable delivery options. Recipients are often now able to input information to give specific details about their delivery preferences, creating a flexible and tailored delivery. For example, recipients may tell a courier service what times they are home and able to receive a package to ensure it is delivered straight to their hands, and not forever in game of cat and mouse with attempted redeliveries.

Why is Parcel Tracking Useful?

In our increasingly interconnected world, speedy delivery across the globe has become a standard consumer expectation. Likewise, businesses often rely on external couriers to provide delivery services, so understanding where postage is and when it will arrive is reassuring.

Not only do parcel tracking notifications give businesses and recipients updates on signposted events such as delivery, they make parties aware of any problems. Instead of waiting for days for a package to arrive, oblivious to any mishaps in the journey, recipients can now see their package progress and what any potential hold up is. Similarly, businesses can pinpoint where a package is and spot any unexpected issues incurred on its journey.

How does Parcel Tracking Work?

Parcel tracking systems vary from business to business and courier to courier, however general steps and methods are similar. Systems are likely to depend on a variety of factors, from shipment size to global location of destination.


Standard procedure is that a package has a barcode containing relevant details regarding sender and delivery, that is scanned at various stages of the package’s journey to signpost progress. When the package leaves somewhere or reaches a new destination, such as a courier depot, it will be scanned, and its new location or movement logged. Tracking information collected through the barcode is uploaded to a system which disperses this progress to the sender and/or recipient, giving updates. The final scan of the barcode is likely to occur when the courier delivers the package to its destination, evidencing its great migration from A all the way to B.

The final scan is a crucial one, as it alerts the sender that the package has arrived, and this particular delivery is complete. Delivery confirmation is equally beneficial for recipients, as they may be alerted to alternative locations or placement of delivery; for example, the package may have been left with a neighbour – at least you know.

This computerised system increases the speed in which postage tracking information can be given to the sender/receiver, however there is risk of human error. If a scan is missed or delivery changes uncommunicated, there can be confusion and postage unaccounted for. This is why it is of paramount importance that courier services follow all the steps and remain vigilant in ensuring postage is tracked and accounted for. Businesses should make sure they choose a delivery service they trust and know provide a consistent standard of reliable service.

Expected Delivery Time

Most parcel tracking systems give a designated day to expect delivery, but more exact predictions can be made. As mentioned above, recipients can sometimes allocate specific timeframes in which they would like the delivery to take place. Occasionally, couriers may prompt a text once out on delivery to let recipients choose their slot.

With Satellite Navigation, courier services can track their own progress in making deliveries and re-evaluate any given delivery time. It is even possible for recipients to watch the progress of the courier live on their smart phones and computers! This makes it incredibly clear to consumers just how close their package is and when to expect it.

Benefits of Parcel Tracking for Businesses

Aside from removing the need to wait around aimlessly for a package, tracking has many benefits for businesses:

  • Security – Awareness of where your package is and who currently has it.
  • Money – Ensure valuable products are securely delivered and do not end up in the wrong hands. Gives great comfort to consumers, especially for expensive products.
  • Accountability – If something does go wrong, it is clear to see who is at fault, be it warehouse, courier, or recipient etc.
  • Efficiency – By computerising tracking and being able to predict delivery times, it will help to speed up delivery processes and create internal logs.
  • Reliability – The more recipients know about the journey of their package, the more they are likely to trust a business and increase credibility.

Learn More with ONEPOST

Evidently parcel tracking is becoming an essential service for businesses to offer but let us help you. We understand how important tracking is, priding ourselves on accurate, secure, and timely parcel delivery in with UK and beyond.

At ONEPOST we can help you get the most out of your delivery service, personalised to your exact needs. We are postal management experts, let us help you by doing what we do best.