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Tracking numbers are unique identification numbers assigned to packages when you mail or ship them. You can use a tracking number to identify the location of your item. The ID number is printed on the shipping label as a bar code that can be read with a smartphone or bar code reader.
When you drop off your package at a post office or any carrier such as FedEx, UPS, or U.S. post office – the package goes through several stops and pick-up locations until it reaches the last person who delivers it to the recipient. At each stop the package gets to, the bar code is scanned to record and track the location till it gets to the final destination.
How to use a tracking number to track a mail package
Go to the postal service website, such as FedEx.com for Federal Express or UPS.com for United Parcel Service. Enter your tracking into the specified field. You can find the tracking number on your receipt, which typically contains numbers and letters between 9 and 40 characters and sometimes hyphens or spaces.
Follow the instructions to click Find or Track. The site will display each location and time the package was scanned. Most postal carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS also have the option for you to receive email or text alerts with updates until your package is delivered to your address. In addition, when you are shipping the package, most courier services will request for your email and telephone number, check your email or text messages for status updates.
Here are tracking link pages of some of the most popular courier services:
If you lost track of your package through the shipping system or it has exceeded the expected delivery date, and you feel it could be missing, you can make a request to the postal carrier to locate your package. The UPS webpage has options for phone, email, and live chat. For USPS, you can fill out a delay mail report. For FedEx, you can call 1-800 Go Fed Ex.
When you call your package courier to enquire about your item, they will ask for your tracking ID number to help you locate it. They will be able to let you know the exact location with common status quotes such as “departed,” “in transition,” “at the warehouse,” “out for delivery,” and “arrived.”