How does parcel tracking work?

Have you ever wondered how parcel tracking works? Even though it looks straightforward, there’s much more to it than you would think.

For a seamless online shopping experience, it is very important to promptly deliver the product to the customer. This is usually fulfilled by professional courier services. Each courier company has its own parcel tracking system that helps them deliver the package to the customer’s destination within the required time frame.

parcel tracking courier

Tracking packages

Tracking a parcel involves a tedious process of constantly localizing packages and containers at different times and different locations. In other words, with these sophisticated systems in place, both the courier company and the client can check the exact location of the parcel at any given time.

Let’s delve deeper

The first step in this tedious process of parcel tracking is generating a bar-code or an AWB (air waybill). This bar-code is usually generated whenever the online seller hands over the package to the courier. This bar-code will always be attached to the parcel, and it contains vital information, such as:

-type of parcel;

-sender address;

-destination address;

-buyer’s contact details, etc;

As soon as the parcel reaches the courier’s warehouse, the tracking will automatically be updated to reflect this. This is usually done by simply scanning the already generated bar-code at the warehouse, whenever the package arrives.

The next step is sorting – this is where the packages are sorted based on their destination, and scanned yet again in order to update the tracking of the parcel. After this, they leave the warehouse and make their way to the destination warehouse, where they’ll be scanned again once they enter the local courier’s warehouse. This, again, updates the tracking of the parcel.

When the parcel leaves the destination warehouse, it will be updated again. This is to let the client know that their parcel is at the local courier and is on its way. This is when the parcel is usually labelled as “out for delivery”.

Once the product is delivered to the end user or buyer, the tracking system is updated one last time with the delivery status of item. In this case it would be marked as “Delivered” and the delivery time would be displayed on the tracking system.

parcel tracking

How is tracking a parcel useful?

The client can track and see the movement of the package by entering the bar-code number (or AWB number) on the website of the courier company. This provides a step-wise progression of where the package is at the moment. It also displays the time when each step happened (i.e. when it entered the warehouse, when it left the warehouse, etc.). These tracking systems differ from company to company, some of them being more in-depth, while others being more basic.

The main advantage of these tracking systems is that it reduces the chance of the package being lost or getting misplaced. Furthermore, the customers also have an idea of the location of their products which keeps them stress-free. With thousands of packages being sent through courier each and every day, it is really important for courier companies to have a state-of-the-art tracking system for their parcels.

Tracking systems are also very handy whenever important or urgent parcels are being sent. You’ve opted for overnight delivery and even paid a premium for it? How do you know that the package is on its way and will arrive by tomorrow? This is where tracking systems come into play. Simply enter the AWB and see exactly where your package is.

Tracking systems have become extremely sophisticated, thanks to the advanced technology platforms that they now use. Even if your package is thousands of miles away, you will be able to track it with just a few clicks (or taps).

Do all courier services in the UK have tracking systems?

parcel being delivered

In short, yes – every major courier service in the UK has its own sophisticated tracking system, and they get better every day. Integrating with these major courier companies has always been JustShipIT’s strong point. Did you know that you can manage your inventory, print courier labels and also invoices directly from JustShipIT?

It really is that simple! Give it a try today!