What happens when parcel data is submitted to the carrier?
When a sender submits shipment data to the carrier, the carrier receives the information and prepares to pick up the package.
After a sender ships your package, it is received at the carrier service’s facility, where the package is scanned, and tracking information is entered into their tracking system. A unique tracking number is then generated and shared with the shipper and recipient, enabling them to track the package during transit in real time.
During the transit, the barcode on the package is scanned at various events (e.g., warehouse, shipped, etc.), updating the tracking status in the tracking system until it arrives at the destination.
In this article, we’ll review the most common updates and statuses displayed by the carrier’s tracking systems and highlight their meaning.
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Definitions of Each Shipment Tracking Status
Here is a list of the most common shipment tracking statuses and their meanings:
You might see a “Not found” message if the carrier service hasn’t yet received the package or added tracking information to their system. Alternatively, this status can pop up if you enter an incorrect tracking number or the item is outdated and no longer in their system.
We suggest you check to ensure that you have the correct tracking number and then wait a few hours to allow the shipping service to enter package tracking details into their system.
“Info received” means that the sender has placed a request with the carrier to collect the package. The package is in the pre-transit stage, i.e., the carrier service has received package information, but it hasn’t yet been picked up and scanned.
Great news, your package has been prepared and shipped from its point of origin! What that looks like more specifically is listed out below for common explanations for the “in transit” status:
- The carrier has picked up your package and is on its way to the destination.
- An international delivery partner has picked up your package from the sender.
- Your package has departed the logistics facility in the country of origin.
- Your package has arrived in the destination country and is awaiting customs clearance.
- Your package has been picked up by a logistics partner in the destination country and is en route to the carrier’s warehouse.
If the status in the tracking update has not changed for more than 48 hours, you should contact your sender and check the situation. It is normal for deliveries to take longer when shipping to remote destinations.
The “pick up” status means that the carrier has delivered your package at a nearby pick-up point, such as from a FedEx location or local post office. The carrier service has a collection deadline. If you fail to pick up your package in time, it might be returned to the sender.
At this point, you should immediately collect your package from the pick-up point to avoid a “return to sender” tracking event.
Out for Delivery
Your package has left the destination facility, and the carrier service (DHL, USPS, etc.) has dispatched it to a driver for its final delivery.
It would be best if you made arrangements beforehand to collect the shipment from the delivery address to avoid the package being returned to the sender. If the sender has scheduled a set delivery date and time, you will receive your shipment in a predictable manner.
The “undelivered” status suggests a failed delivery attempt. The carrier driver tried to deliver your package. Still, the delivery was unsuccessful for many reasons, including but not limited to: nobody being present at the delivery address, incorrect address, items seized by customs, damaged or lost, etc.
Major parcel delivery companies like UPS and USPS let you schedule a redelivery attempt if you fail to collect your shipment the first time.
As it sounds, this delivery status means that your shipment has been delivered to your delivery address or placed at the front door without any issues. However, if you didn’t receive the package even after receiving the “delivered” message or planned delivery time, we suggest you check with the carrier service, neighbors, and other family members.
The “alert” tracking status suggests that your package was most likely returned to the sender due to one of several reasons, such as the receiver didn’t accept the package during delivery, the delivery driver was unable to deliver the package due to an incorrect address, customs confiscated the package for containing prohibited items, etc.
Many carrier services automatically change the status of a shipment to “expired” if the transit time exceeds a set number of days (usually 60 days). The expired status can be generated for several reasons, including an incorrect tracking number, and your package might have been lost, seized, or damaged during transportation.
Parcel Data FAQs
In this section, we’ll answer some of the most common questions asked by customers concerning their parcel delivery.
1. How long does it take to get a tracking number?
Whenever you make an eCommerce purchase, you’ll usually get a shipping confirmation along with a tracking number within 1-3 days in your inbox. Major shipping carriers have web-based parcel tracking services that let you check your order status on your computer or smartphone.
2. What does “parcel dropped off with carrier” mean?
Parcel dropoff is a delivery service in which the sender drops off your package at a carrier drop off point or a post office. It is a convenient way of sending a package without having to wait for the carrier to collect it from them.
3. How long does it take for my order to ship?
Most orders leave warehouses within 1-2 business days. During times of high order volume or with specific shipments, shipping times may be slightly longer. Shipping times may also be affected by various factors, such as carrier services’ cutoff times, sellers not processing orders on weekends, and extended ship times for remote locations and international shipping.
Take Your Shipping Logistics to the Next Level with Sifted
When you start tracking your parcels, you notice a variety of tracking statuses at particular time intervals. These statuses keep you updated about package status while it is in transit until it reaches your desired destination.
The shippers sending these packages pay close attention to customer needs and ensure that deliveries are made in a timely manner to match customer expectations, but inevitably, issues can still arise.
Sifted understands that carriers are the backbone of shippers’ supply chains. Our Logistics Intelligence uses AI to compare your unique shipping profile with potential carriers and make informed carrier decisions.
Ready to get better carrier rates for your shipments? Get a free demo from Sifted