Parcel shipping services have risen to $99 billion in recent years thanks to the growth of e-commerce.
Many businesses are turning to alternative courier options to reduce shipping costs. One key factor they look for these days is a package tracking system technology that a courier can offer.
Accurate tracking cannot only satisfy customers but also reduce shipper’s overall costs. There is more to it though than the periodic updates shippers receive.
Curious how these tracking systems work? Keep reading for a behind the scenes explanation!
The purpose of having a tracking system is to be able to provide customers with detailed information about the route, delivery status, delivery date, and general status of their package.
How Couriers Track Shipments
Couriers will follow a specific procedure to ensure that each package that goes through their shipping channels is trackable and accurately tracked.
Generating the Barcode
The first step in the process is to create a barcode.
This happens one of two ways. The first method is to send the shipper the barcode and have them affix it to the package. The other process is for the carrier to generate and affix the barcode for the shipper.
This barcode is a unique ID code assigned to that one package. When courier scans the barcode, all of the details about that package can be brought up. This would include the origin, destination, and shipper’s contact information.
Enter the Package into the System
When the courier picks up the package, they will scan the barcode. This is the courier officially taking possession of the package. This initial scan will enter all of the package information into the courier’s tracking system.
Stored Tacking Information
Every time one of the courier’s agents scan the barcode all related data gets stored in the tracking system. This includes the date and time the barcode was scanned and the location.
Shippers may also find more detailed information in more sophisticated tracking systems. This type of information would include where the package came from and where it is going.
Receiving Distribution Points
Every time a package reaches one of the courier’s locations the barcode will get scanned again. Think of this as the courier “checking in” the package to that facility. Most couriers will also scan the barcode again when the package leaves.
If the package is only moving locally, there may not be a need for any intermediary locations. In this case, shippers won’t see as many location progress scans.
Out for Delivery
The final leg of the shipping process is referred to as the final mile. When the package leaves the last courier location, it gets marked as “out for delivery.”
The final step of the tracking system is to mark the shipment as “delivered.” This happens when the courier gets the package to the agreed upon address.
Reporting for Shippers
The scanning procedure allows shippers to log into their account and see where their shipment is at any time. This can give shippers peace of mind knowing that the shipment is on its way.
Tracking can also help resolve any issues such as a delayed or lost shipment. The tracking record allows both the shipper and carrier figure out where things went wrong.
Benefits of Tracking
The most significant advantage of package tracking is the reduction in shrinkage. This is when a package mysteriously disappears during the shipment process.
Shrinkage could be innocent, a package accidentally gets lost or dropped somewhere along the way. It can also be less savory; someone steals the package. Either way, tracking can prevent both of these from occurring.
Proof of Delivery
Shippers will appreciate the benefit of being able to prove that a shipment was delivered. Often a source of debate between customers and sellers is whether or not the package made it to the destination.
With accurate and automated tracking the seller can prove that the customer’s item made it to their front door.
When there is accurate tracking for packages, less time is spent looking for said shipments.
Couriers that use an effective tracking system also manage their shipments better. They can effectively predict their shipment volume and have the resources in place to handle it.
The best couriers use their shipment tracking to move packages through their system efficiently. This way they can organize packages by destination and urgency.
For those shippers who have high volume, or already have their own systems in place, integration is crucial. Some couriers will have the technology to integrate their system into their shippers.
This lets the shipper quote, book, track, and pay for the courier’s services all from within their own systems. This makes it more efficient for the shipper.
This is where the great couriers stand out from the ok ones. Look for a courier that can provide real-time or up to date tracking. After all, what is the point of tracking if it isn’t up to date enough to use it.
Package Tracking System
When it comes to using a package tracking system, the benefits abound for both the shipper and the courier. With the reduction of loss and human error, everyone will appreciate the benefit to their bottom line.
Customers who are waiting on their package will appreciate the ability to check the status of the shipment 24/7. Be sure to use a courier that offers accurate, real-time tracking on all of their shipments.
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