Do All Packages Have Tracking Numbers?

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The answer is yes, all U.S. parcel carrier packages have tracking numbers. A tracking number is typically assigned to a package by the company transporting it. With the exception of USPS mail, all major U.S. parcel carriers provide a tracking number for any item they deliver. Other types of delivery services, such as couriers and businesses delivering their own products, may not provide tracking numbers.

Does it Matter if Packages Have Tracking Numbers?

Every year, more and more of us are ordering online for convenience and savings benefits. Parcel carriers are responsible for getting the majority of these orders from the merchants to their customers.

Happily, carriers deliver most packages on schedule and undamaged. But occasionally, things can happen to a package after it leaves the merchant which keep it from ever reaching its destination. It can be misdelivered, lost in transit, damaged, or stolen.

Whether a package is delivered successfully or not, a tracking number can help you monitor a package while it is en route. A tracking number is assigned by a carrier to uniquely identify a package while it is in their possession. If you know the tracking number, you can check with the carrier to find out the package’s location, history, expected delivery date, and more.

Being able to use a tracking number to check on a package is a great convenience. It not only keeps you informed about the package’s status but also serves as an early indicator if the package goes astray.

Which Carriers Have Tracking Numbers for All Packages?

Thankfully, most U.S. carriers provide tracking numbers on their parcels. The U.S. carriers that assign tracking numbers to all of their packages are:

UPS
FedEx
DHL
LaserShip
OnTrac

Which Carriers Have Unique Tracking Number Practices?

United States Postal Service

USPS. While primarily known for their mail delivery services, the United States Post Office is ranked one of the top three parcel carriers in America. They provide tracking numbers for all items that are shipped using the following services. These services are the ones commonly used for, but not limited to, shipping bubble-wrapped envelopes and cardboard parcel boxes.

  • Priority Mail Express
  • Priority Mail
  • USPS Retail Ground
  • First-Class Package Service
  • Library Mail
  • Media Mail

Regular envelopes sent through the mail are not assigned tracking numbers. However, if you want to track one of these envelopes, USPS offers three services that provide tracking for an additional fee. The services are:

  • Return Receipt
  • Signature Confirmation
  • Certified Mail

Using any of these will attach a tracking number to the item being mailed.

Amazon

Amazon. Amazon is completely different from the other companies listed here. This multi-billion dollar company is not focused on logistics. Their carrier services are simply a means for delivering their e-commerce products.

While Amazon employs its own drivers to deliver orders to its customers, the majority of deliveries are outsourced to carriers, including USPS, FedEx, LaserShip, and others.  As we know, most of these other carriers will assign a tracking number to a package. Unfortunately, the tracking number will not be readily available to you while the package is in transit. Most likely, you will not even learn the identity of the carrier responsible for delivering your order until the package is already sitting on your front porch.

If you want to track a package from Amazon, you will need to use Amazon.com or the Amazon app.   Locate the order in Your Orders list and you will find a “Track Package” button or direct link that will let you check on the package without using a tracking number.

Conclusion

If you regularly order online, you are probably already aware of the benefits of packages have tracking numbers. In an upcoming article, we will look at how to use tracking numbers to locate and monitor online orders in transit.

If you receive packages at your campus, whether they have tracking numbers or not, our package tracking software can help you track them from the moment they arrive until they have reached their final destination.

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