You find a great deal online, order it in a second, and then start waiting for it to arrive. The package can arrive in a few days, but it can also take months to arrive. It’s logical for you to get impatient waiting for your purchase, or the next best thing – to get info about where it is on its way to you. Tracking services can help you with this. Here are a few Web services that allow you to track almost any package online from multiple providers.
1. Check the Carrier’s Site
If you know the carrier (e.g. your national postal service), you can check directly on their site, if they provide this service. This might be the easiest way to track your package, and you might not need any other services, but if the carrier doesn’t provide this information to end users, only to tracking services, you are out of luck. However, the carrier’s site should have the most up-to-date data, which is one more advantage.
17Track is one of the most popular package tracking services. It includes data for over 300 carriers – the postal carriers of about 200 countries worldwide plus about 100 other private commercial carriers. With 17Track you can track packages from thousands of online stores, but unfortunately AliExpress isn’t among them because of incompatibilities between AliExpress’s tracking system (Cainiao) and the tracking systems of the majority of other shippers 17Track follows.
When you enter a tracking number, you get info about the origin and destination carrier, as well as the dates when the package was received at each of the intermediary post stations/carrier offices. One of the really great features of 17Track is their extensive help documentation, so if you have any questions about the system, chances are you will find the answer there.
In terms of popularity and number of shippers and carriers, AfterShip is way behind 17Track, but they are still among the best package tracking services online. The service comes in both a free (up to 100 packages a month) and paid form.
It’s targeted more at online stores and shippers than at end users. If you are a site owner, you can take advantage of the integration of AfterShip with WooCommerce and Shopify and use it to add package tracking functionality to your site. AfterShip also offers notifications – i.e. you don’t have to check all the time; you get notified when there is a change in the status of the package.
PackageRadar is another service where you can check your package with 190 carriers. If you register, you will be getting notifications about the progress of your shipment. What’s unique about PackageRadar is that it tracks packages from AliExpress as well. It also has a separate service to track packages from China – this could be because the lion’s share of shipping originates in China.
If the services listed so far are not helpful in telling you the whereabouts of your package, you might try Track-trace. They don’t offer as many carriers as the other tracking services, but they offer the main ones – DHL, UPS, Fedex, USPS, TNT, etc. You can also simply enter the number from your Bill of Lading and see if the system can trace the delivery route.
What’s impressive about this service is the huge list of carriers with links to their sites. This list won’t be of much help with your present package that has already been shipped, but it’s a great resource for locating other carriers if you need them in the future. It can also take you directly to the carrier’s site for your present shipment (if you know who the carrier is).
There are many more global and local package tracking services, and the ones mentioned here aren’t necessary the best ones. The criteria for inclusion (or exclusion) of a particular tracking service was mostly the number of the carriers they include, the popularity of the service, and the level of detail they provide. If you are not happy with these services, feel free to check what else is available.