International Shipping

How to Track International Shipments: Tips and Tricks for a Seamless Experience

16 min read
Tracking Package Worldwide

In today’s interconnected world, tracking package worldwide serves as the backbone of international commerce. Packages and parcels crisscross the globe, moving from one corner to another with remarkable efficiency. At the heart of this intricate logistics network lies an indispensable element that ensures the smooth flow of goods—package tracking.

Package tracking is not merely a feature; it’s a lifeline in the world of shipping. It serves as the eyes and ears of the entire process, offering real-time insights into the whereabouts of shipments, their condition, and estimated delivery times. The importance of package tracking extends far beyond the convenience it provides to both businesses and consumers. It’s a fundamental aspect of the global shipping industry’s functionality.

For businesses, accurate package tracking means more than just knowing where a shipment is at any given moment. It’s a testament to their commitment to customer satisfaction. Reliable package tracking ensures that promises made are promises kept. It empowers businesses to meet customer expectations and build trust in an increasingly competitive market.

Likewise, for consumers, package tracking isn’t merely a luxury; it’s a necessity. The convenience of knowing the exact location of a long-awaited package and receiving timely updates has become an expectation. Whether it’s an essential item needed for daily life or a cherished online purchase, package tracking brings peace of mind to consumers, assuring them that their goods are on the way and in safe hands.

tracking package worldwide

Why Package Tracking Matters

In a world where shipping routes crisscross continents and international e-commerce knows no boundaries, package tracking serves as the linchpin that holds the entire system together. Here’s why it’s crucial for businesses and customers worldwide:

Enhancing Transparency in the Supply Chain:

Package tracking offers a level of transparency that was previously unimaginable in the world of logistics. It allows businesses to monitor every step of a shipment’s journey, from the moment it leaves the warehouse to its arrival at the customer’s doorstep. This transparency extends to the tracking of shipments across borders, ensuring that businesses can maintain a watchful eye on the entire supply chain.

This transparency doesn’t just benefit businesses. Customers also gain access to real-time updates on the whereabouts of their packages, eliminating the uncertainty that often accompanies the shipping process. This transparency cultivates trust, fostering better relationships between businesses and their clientele.

Boosting Reliability in Shipping:

The reliability of shipping operations is a critical factor that package tracking significantly enhances. In a globalized marketplace, packages are often handled by multiple carriers and logistics partners along their journey. Package tracking systems unify these disparate actors into a coordinated network, ensuring that everyone involved can access the same real-time information.

This coordination and real-time information translate to more accurate delivery times and fewer disruptions. For businesses, this reliability ensures that customers receive their orders on time, which, in turn, leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers, on the other hand, can have peace of mind knowing when to expect their packages, making it easier to plan their schedules.

In essence, package tracking is the thread that weaves together the complex tapestry of the global shipping industry, offering transparency, reliability, and countless benefits to both businesses and consumers. It’s a tool that enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of global logistics, enabling goods to travel across the world with confidence and ease.

The Evolution of Package Tracking

The journey of package tracking has witnessed a remarkable transformation over the years, evolving from rudimentary methods to today’s highly sophisticated and real-time tracking solutions. Let’s take a step back in time and trace the fascinating history of package tracking, all the way to the digital age where it thrives:

The Origins of Package Tracking:

In the early days of shipping, package tracking was a manual affair. Shippers relied on handwritten receipts, checklists, and logbooks to keep track of shipments. These systems, while rudimentary, were the precursors to the comprehensive tracking systems we have today. They served their purpose at a time when shipping volumes were much lower, and global commerce was less complex.

The Barcoding Revolution:

One of the significant leaps in package tracking came with the introduction of barcodes. The adoption of barcodes in the mid-20th century made it possible to encode critical information about packages in a scannable format. This innovation paved the way for more efficient and automated tracking systems.

Digital Advancements:

The digital era brought about revolutionary changes in package tracking. With the advent of computers and the internet, tracking systems transitioned from static, manually updated logs to real-time, dynamic monitoring. Scanners and sensors became integral components of the process, allowing for the automatic capture of package data at various points in the supply chain.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS):

Real-time tracking reached new heights with the integration of GPS technology. GPS-enabled tracking devices offered the capability to pinpoint the precise location of a package, both in transit and at rest. This advancement dramatically improved the accuracy of tracking and provided a wealth of data to businesses and consumers alike.

The Role of Mobile Apps:

Today, smartphone applications have further revolutionized package tracking. Customers can receive instant notifications, view detailed tracking information, and even reroute packages from the palm of their hand. The user-friendly interfaces of tracking apps have elevated the tracking experience for consumers.

How Does Package Tracking Work?

Understanding how package tracking systems operate is essential for grasping their significance in the global shipping landscape. Here, we’ll delve into the fundamental principles and components of package tracking:

Basic Principles of Package Tracking Systems:

At its core, package tracking is all about capturing and transmitting data about a package’s location, status, and condition throughout its journey. This process involves several key principles:

  • Unique Tracking Identifiers: Each package is assigned a unique tracking identifier, often in the form of a barcode, QR code, or alphanumeric tracking number. This identifier is essential for differentiating one package from another and tracking its progress.
  • Scanners and Data Capture: Scanners are used at various points in the supply chain to capture the tracking identifier, allowing the system to record the package’s movement. This data is then transmitted to a centralized database.
  • Real-Time Updates: Modern tracking systems rely on real-time data transmission. This means that as a package moves from one location to another, the system updates its status and location instantly, providing accurate information to all stakeholders.
  • User Accessibility: Tracking information is made accessible to both businesses and consumers through online portals and mobile applications, allowing them to monitor the progress of shipments.

Components of Package Tracking:

Package tracking systems consist of several crucial components:

  • Tracking Numbers: These unique identifiers, often in the form of barcodes or alphanumeric codes, are affixed to packages. They’re scanned at different points in the supply chain to update the package’s status and location.
  • Scanners and Sensors: Handheld scanners and sensors located at distribution centers, warehouses, and vehicles capture data from tracking numbers or barcodes. They transmit this data to a centralized system via wireless or wired connections.
  • Data Systems: Centralized databases store and manage the vast amounts of tracking data. These systems organize and make data accessible to businesses, customers, and various stakeholders.
  • Communication Channels: Modern package tracking relies on internet connectivity to transmit data in real time. This enables businesses to provide their customers with up-to-the-minute information on their shipments.
tracking package worldwide

Benefits of Package Tracking Worldwide

Package tracking offers a multitude of benefits to both businesses and consumers, making it an indispensable component of the global shipping industry. Here’s a closer look at how this technology positively impacts different stakeholders:

Advantages for Businesses:

Improved Customer Satisfaction:

  1. Timely Updates: Package tracking provides businesses with a means to keep customers informed about their shipments in real-time. This constant flow of information assures customers that their packages are on their way, reducing anxiety and enhancing their overall experience.
  2. Managing Customer Expectations: Businesses can set more accurate delivery expectations, reducing the likelihood of missed deadlines. When companies consistently meet their delivery commitments, customer satisfaction soars.

Enhanced Inventory Management:

  1. Real-Time Inventory Data: For businesses, package tracking isn’t solely about monitoring outgoing shipments. It also plays a vital role in tracking inventory within their supply chains. Knowing the exact location of products and supplies helps optimize inventory management.
  2. Reduced Stockouts and Overstock: With precise tracking data, businesses can mitigate stockouts and overstock situations. This not only saves costs but also ensures a smoother supply chain operation.

Advantages for Consumers:

Increased Visibility:

  1. Location Updates: For consumers, package tracking provides a sense of control and transparency. They can follow their shipments from the moment they leave the warehouse until they arrive at their doorstep, eliminating the uncertainty associated with waiting for deliveries.
  2. Delivery Options: Many package tracking systems allow consumers to customize delivery preferences, such as rerouting packages or choosing specific delivery times, giving them greater control over the delivery process.

Reduction in Lost Packages:

  • Quick Resolution: In cases where a package is delayed or appears to be lost, tracking systems facilitate quicker problem resolution. Customers can contact the shipping company with tracking data in hand, expediting the search for missing packages.

Challenges and Solutions

While package tracking offers numerous advantages, it’s not without its challenges. Addressing these challenges is vital for ensuring a smooth and reliable tracking experience for businesses and consumers. Here are some common challenges and their corresponding solutions:

Common Challenges in Package Tracking:

Lost or Delayed Packages:

Lost or delayed packages can occur due to various reasons, such as errors in sorting facilities, incorrect addresses, or unforeseen logistical issues. These challenges can lead to customer dissatisfaction and operational disruptions for businesses.

Inaccurate or Delayed Updates:

Inaccuracies or delays in tracking information can result from technical glitches, communication breakdowns, or human errors in scanning packages. This can undermine the reliability of tracking systems.

Solutions and Strategies:

Enhanced Package Security:

  1. Secure Packaging: Businesses can improve package security by using tamper-evident packaging and secure seals to prevent theft or tampering.
  2. Insurance: Offering insurance options for packages can provide peace of mind for both businesses and consumers, ensuring compensation in case of loss or damage.

Improved Scanning Technology:

  1. Invest in Advanced Scanners: Upgrading scanning technology with more accurate and efficient devices can minimize scanning errors and delays.
  2. Training and Quality Control: Proper training of staff, routine quality control checks, and maintaining scanner equipment can help reduce errors and discrepancies.

Customer Communication:

  1. Proactive Communication: Keeping customers informed about potential delays and delivery issues can go a long way in managing their expectations and reducing dissatisfaction.
  2. Dedicated Customer Support: Providing responsive and accessible customer support can help resolve issues promptly, restoring trust and confidence in the tracking process.

How can I track an international package?

When it comes to tracking an international package, the process might seem daunting, especially for those new to cross-border shipping. However, with the right guidance, it can be a straightforward and empowering experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to track an international package and the various methods and tools available to consumers for this purpose:

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Track an International Package

Step 1: Obtain the Tracking Number

When you make an international purchase or send a package, you’ll usually receive a tracking number. This alphanumeric or numeric code is your key to tracking the package.

Step 2: Visit the Carrier’s Website

Go to the website of the shipping carrier or postal service that’s responsible for the international shipment. Common international carriers include DHL, FedEx, UPS, and national postal services like USPS, Canada Post, or Royal Mail.

Step 3: Locate the Tracking Section

On the carrier’s website, navigate to the tracking section. This is typically easily found on the homepage or under a dedicated “Track & Trace” or “Tracking” tab.

Step 4: Enter the Tracking Number

Enter the tracking number in the designated field on the tracking page. Make sure to enter it accurately, as even small errors can lead to tracking issues.

Step 5: View Tracking Details

After entering the tracking number, the carrier’s system will provide you with real-time information about the location and status of your package. This information may include when the package was shipped, its current location, expected delivery date, and any relevant delivery attempts.

Different Methods and Tools for Tracking:

  1. Carrier Websites: Using the carrier’s official website is the most reliable and direct method for tracking international packages. It provides real-time updates and detailed information about your shipment.
  2. Mobile Apps: Many carriers offer mobile apps that allow you to track your packages from your smartphone or tablet. These apps often provide push notifications for tracking updates.
  3. Third-Party Tracking Services: Some websites and apps aggregate tracking information from multiple carriers, allowing you to track packages from various sources in one place.
  4. Email Notifications: When you make a purchase or schedule a shipment with certain carriers, they may send you email notifications with tracking links, making it easy to access tracking information.
  5. SMS Tracking: Some carriers offer SMS-based tracking, where you can send a text message with your tracking number to receive updates via SMS.

Global Package Tracking Trends

The world of package tracking is continually evolving, influenced by technological advancements, data analytics, and sustainability considerations. Here’s a closer look at the current trends and innovations shaping package tracking worldwide:

Technological Advancements:

  • IoT Integration: The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming increasingly integral to package tracking. IoT devices, such as smart tracking tags, enable real-time monitoring of package location, condition, and even environmental factors like temperature and humidity.
  • Blockchain Technology: Some companies are exploring the use of blockchain for package tracking. This technology provides a secure and transparent way to record the journey of a package, reducing the risk of fraud or data tampering.

Data Analytics and Predictive Analytics:

  • Predictive Tracking: Data analytics is being used to predict potential delays or issues in the shipping process. By analyzing historical data and current conditions, carriers can notify customers of potential delays and take proactive measures to prevent them.
  • Customer Behavior Analysis: Data analytics also help businesses understand customer behavior and preferences. This insight allows for personalized tracking and communication, enhancing the customer experience.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Practices:

  • Eco-Friendly Packaging: Sustainable packaging materials, such as biodegradable or recyclable options, are being adopted to reduce the environmental impact of shipping.
  • Optimized Routes: Carriers are employing data analytics and route optimization to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, contributing to more eco-friendly shipping practices.

Last-Mile Delivery Innovations:

  • Drone Deliveries: Some companies are experimenting with drone deliveries for the last mile. Drones can navigate urban landscapes more efficiently, reducing delivery times.
  • Electric and Autonomous Vehicles: Electric and autonomous vehicles are being explored for the final stage of delivery, with the potential to reduce emissions and increase efficiency.

The Future of Package Tracking

The future of package tracking promises to be a dynamic and exciting landscape, shaped by technological advancements, emerging trends, and evolving consumer expectations. Here’s a glimpse into what we might expect in the coming years:

Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI):

AI will play a more prominent role in package tracking. Machine learning algorithms will be used to predict shipping times with remarkable accuracy, enabling carriers and businesses to manage logistics more efficiently.

Enhanced Real-Time Tracking:

Real-time tracking will become even more precise, thanks to advanced GPS technology and the deployment of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite networks. This will enable tracking not only within cities but also in remote areas and across oceans.

Autonomous Delivery Vehicles:

The deployment of autonomous delivery vehicles, including ground-based robots and drones, will increase. These vehicles will efficiently navigate neighborhoods and urban areas, further expediting the last-mile delivery process.

Augmented Reality (AR) for Customers:

Consumers may have the option to use AR glasses or smartphone apps to track their packages in real time. AR will allow customers to visualize their package’s location and estimated delivery time with ease.

Sustainability-Centric Tracking:

Sustainability and environmental responsibility will continue to influence the industry. Eco-friendly packaging materials, carbon-neutral delivery options, and the use of electric and autonomous vehicles will become more commonplace.

Enhanced Security Measures:

The use of biometric and blockchain-based security measures will help ensure that packages are delivered securely and to the right recipients. Customers can have peace of mind, knowing that their packages are protected from theft and tampering.

Global Trends Shaping the Industry:

E-Commerce Growth:

The rapid growth of e-commerce, especially in emerging markets, will drive further innovation in package tracking. As more consumers worldwide turn to online shopping, demand for efficient and reliable package tracking will soar.

Environmental Concerns:

Sustainability will remain a central concern, influencing not only how packages are delivered but also how they are tracked. Expect to see a growing emphasis on reducing the environmental impact of tracking systems.

Customization and Personalization:

As customers increasingly expect tailored experiences, tracking services will evolve to offer more personalized updates and options, such as delivery time slots that align with individual schedules.

Global Connectivity:

The expansion of global internet access and 5G networks will ensure that package tracking remains accessible in even the most remote areas, fostering a more inclusive and connected global shipping network.


Package tracking is not just a feature; it is an integral part of the modern global shipping ecosystem. It is the compass that guides packages on their journey across borders and the reassurance that customers can rely on. It’s a story of continuous evolution and improvement, driven by the collective desire for efficient, reliable, and sustainable shipping practices in the interconnected world of commerce.

Ready to experience the future of package tracking and shipping? ShipShop is here to help you navigate the ever-evolving landscape of global commerce. With cutting-edge tracking technology and a commitment to sustainable, secure, and efficient shipping, we’re your trusted partner in ensuring your packages reach their destination with ease.

Don’t miss out on the benefits of state-of-the-art package tracking, personalized delivery options, and a commitment to environmental responsibility. Join us on the journey towards a more efficient and sustainable shipping world. Try ShipShop today and experience the future of global package tracking at your fingertips. Your packages, your peace of mind, our priority.


To track an international package, you’ll need the unique tracking number provided by the carrier. Visit the carrier’s website or use their mobile app, enter the tracking number, and access real-time updates on your package’s location, delivery estimates, and more.

Package tracking enhances transparency, reduces customer inquiries, and fosters trust. It aids in inventory management, reduces lost or delayed shipments, and ultimately boosts customer satisfaction, helping businesses build loyalty and competitive advantage.

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