The majority of shipping companies offer package tracking. When you purchase postage that includes tracking, you will get a unique number that you can use to track your package online, by text or by phone. You can request a tracking number from an online retailer if they are using any major shipping companies.
Getting a USPS Tracking Number
Mail your package with a type of postage that includes tracking. For USPS, the following postage types include a tracking number: Certified Mail, Collect on Delivery, Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail, Registered Mail, Signature Confirmation and UPS Tracking. If you are purchasing a product online, make sure that one of these postage types is included in your shipping information.
USPS First Class Mail, Media Mail or Parcel Post do not include tracking. In some cases, you can add USPS Tracking to the products at the time of your postage purchase.
Save your receipt. It will include the tracking number. Ask the postal clerk to highlight the tracking number on the slip.
Wait several hours to one day for the tracking number to be recorded.
Email the company you ordered from online if you do not receive a confirmation of shipment with a tracking number. If you have chosen Priority Mail or any of the other postage products above, they should have a tracking number to give you.
Go to tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirm and type in the tracking number on your email or receipt. Press the “Find” button to track your package.
Text your tracking number to “28777” to get a text update of your package status.
Getting a FedEx Tracking Number
Purchase any FedEx postage to receive a tracking number. FedEx includes tracking numbers on Express, Ground, Home Delivery, Freight, office orders and Custom Critical shipments. This means that track almost all of their packages using this method.
Find the tracking number on your receipt or in an email confirmation. You can also track using reference numbers related to your package that can be obtained on the receipt, door tag or email confirmation.
Wait approximately one day for the tracking information to show up.
Go to http://www.fedex.com/fedextrack to track the package by tracking number or by reference number.
Call 1.800.GoFedEx to track a package by phone or to get the tracking number using the reference information at your disposal. If you are able to provide essential reference information, the operator may be able to give you the tracking number.
Getting a UPS Tracking Number
Purchase any shipment services by UPS and you will receive a tracking number. If you purchase an item online, choosing the UPS shipment option will ensure your package can be tracked by you and/or the sender.
Keep the receipt or confirmation email to get the tracking number. If you have purchased an item that is shipped via UPS, you will usually receive a shipment confirmation with a tracking email. In some cases, you may need to call or email the retailer to get the tracking number.
Consider creating a reference number for easy tracking if you are purchasing services from UPS. You can create a 35-character reference number that can be used for tracking.
Go to http://www.ups.com/tracking/tracking.html one day after your package has shipped to track it.
Email email@example.com with your tracking number to track the package by email.
Getting a DHL Tracking Number
Purchase any DHL shipping product. Note that DHL only offers international shipments in the US.
Save the waybill number. This is the copy of the original shipping slip that you used when shipping the product. If you have purchased a product, ask the company for the waybill number.
Enter your phone number when you purchase an item online that will use DHL services. Most DHL shipments text to this number when the item is one to two days from delivery. The retailer will add this number at the time of shipment.
Email the waybill number to firstname.lastname@example.org to get tracking information on your shipment.
Send a text message to “+44 7720 33 44 55” with your waybill number to get SMS tracking updates. International text message rates will apply.
Things You’ll Need
How to Track a Package
How to Trace a Money Order
How to Recover a Package Lost in the Mail
How to Track a USPS Package
Sources and Citations
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