Shipment (and customer) on an electronic leash

Why do you need to know where your parcel is and what delivery status it has? If you own your business, tracking your online purchases may be extremely important for you. If you buy as a private person, it doesn’t usually matter so much. However, nobody likes waiting, not knowing if and when you’ll finally get your delivery. You do not want to miss the courier, and at the same time you are not eager to make your plans dependent upon the parcel delivery. And couriers really need to know whether they can reach you at the address indicated.

There is currently no courier company that would not offer online shipment tracking. User friendly applications available on couriers’ websites allow you to check the location and status of your shipment at any time.

How does shipment tracking work?

No matter what courier company or application they use, the general operating principle is very similar. At each stage of delivery of the parcel, a consignment note (shipping label) which allows its identification is scanned. Information about the current location and status of the shipment is then automatically entered into the system to which both the recipient and the sender have continuous access.

In order to check what is currently happening to your package, all you have to do is go to the courier’s website and enter the tracking number, reference number, sender or shipper reference in the tracking search bar. If you shop at an online store with good customer service, instead of entering the tracking number at the courier’s website you only have to click on the link sent to your email address after the transaction has been completed.

Notifications via email or SMS

Just to streamline customer support (customer meaning both the sender and the recipient), most courier companies not only provide the ability to track your shipment whenever you want, but also notify you about its status and location via text messages and/or emails. This is very convenient, especially for busy people who prefer to be informed of the progress of their shipment instead of checking on their own.

In the case of large deliveries (furniture, large household appliances, building materials) you can also get a courier phone number. However, most companies do not follow this practice as they want their couriers to focus on carrying out the assigned tasks (delivery of parcels), not on endless negotiations with customers.

It’s worth being in touch

The usage of a tool enabling shipment tracking is free, which is presented as a bonus for the customer. It is true, however, that the first and main beneficiary of this tool is a courier company. As any failed delivery means more or less of a problem for the courier company, for example the courier will have to try again, or the package will have to go back to the parcel depot, or to the parcel shop. In all these situations, to complete the delivery the courier will have additionally to agree with the recipient upon the delivery details.

The ability to track shipments minimises the probability of delivery difficulties. Automatically generated notifications about the next stages and the expected time of the delivery are a kind of electronic leash. The purpose is to maintain constant contact in which customer accepts the principles of mutual cooperation and becomes co-responsible for the effective delivery of the parcel, cooperating willingly and flexibly.

Many courier companies offer the possibility of setting a new delivery date or rerouting its delivery even during the delivery process. It is beneficial for both sides – the courier has got better chance to deliver the parcel, and the customer won’t have to wait longer for the ordered goods.

Will the tracking of shipments be unnecessary?

E-commerce turnover is growing year by year by tens of percent. The development of online commerce is accompanied by putting an increasing emphasis on satisfying customer expectations. And customers, as you may easily predict, wish to get their dream shopping as soon as possible. So as a result more and more shops offer delivery on the following or even the same day. Online stores are trying to compete with stationary shops on delivery timing – the purchased goods may be in your hands a few hours after the purchase.

According to some experts, in the near future delivery on the same day (within a few hours) will be the most commonly used delivery option  – even if you have to pay extra for it. So the obvious consequence of such a switch will be no need for, and finally the disappearance of, the parcel tracking service.