Tracking Amazon Packages the Smart Way
I am sure that everyone has gone to the “Orders” section on Amazon and clicked on the “Track Package” button. Being honest though, I can’t remember the last time I used Amazon’s own system.
Yes, the Amazon system does work. Sort of. But it’s not great and other than a delivery date and notification of delivery it gives very little in the way of useful information. Especially when something goes wrong.
Packages get delivered to me by three different carriers: UPS, USPS, and FedEx. And in that order. UPS delivers far and away the most packages to me. Each of these companies offers alternatives for tracking Amazon packages in addition to other benefits.
The basic service is free and you can set it up to receive email notifications of all shipments that are headed to your address, so it’s not just for tracking Amazon packages.
I get four emails the way I have set it. The first tells me that a package has entered the UPS system, the second tells me 24 hours in advance that a package is coming, the third tells me on the day that it is out for delivery, and lastly, the fourth tells me that it was delivered.
In addition you will be notified of a window within which they expect the package to be delivered. It’s usually fairly accurate but there have been a few times it’s been just outside the forecast times.
If your package is coming through UPS SurePost then you have the option to upgrade to standard UPS Ground. I think the upgrade was $4.99 the last time I used it. Most times it’s not worth doing for me but just occasionally it is.
If you do upgrade you will usually get it 24 hours earlier provided you haven’t left it too late. I have also noticed that on occasions when both UPS and UPS SurePost items are headed my way that UPS will deliver the SurePost item with the other delivery rather than hand it over to the USPS.
UPS also offers an app for the Kindle Fire, Android phones and Apple phones. I can’t vouch for the Apple version but the Fire and Android versions work well.
Called MyUSPS it’s available on a personal basis rather than a business basis. Having said that if you work from home like we do then you will get notifications for personal and business alike.
This system too will show all packages headed to your address with one exception. I have found that international packages do not show up in the system very often. Canada Post yes. Occasionally a package from elsewhere but as yet none of my Chinese shipments have shown up. If you don’t order much from overseas then it won’t be an issue.
Again, you can set it up to receive email notifications and I opt for notification when the package is out for delivery and the automatic delivered message. It is possible to be notified every time the package is scanned but that can add up to quite a few emails and frankly got a little annoying when I tried it.
Incidentally, and nothing to do with tracking Amazon packages, you will soon be able to see scans of letters headed your way although I believe this does not include Priority or Express mail.
The USPS also offers an app for both Android and Apple users but not (that I am aware of) Kindle Fire users. If you are interested in the apps then you need to look for “Informed Delivery” in Google’s Play Store or Apple’s iTunes. I don’t use either app so can’t vouch for them as I go through my desktop instead.
The FedEx system works on a name basis as well using the address. This means that the delivery is tied to me rather than just the address.
You do have the option to have alternative spellings of your name or nicknames and I tried putting my wife’s name in as an alternative but it doesn’t always work. She now has her own account so it’s not as flexible as the other two carriers to my mind.
FedEx has its own version of UPS SurePost called SmartPost and it too has last mile delivery by the post office.
Email notifications are also the name of the game here. You will get an email 24 hours ahead of delivery, one on the day of delivery, and one when it has actually been delivered.
FedEx also has an app for both Android and Apple users but not Kindle Fire users.
Overall I think tracking Amazon packages is better done through any of the above services. They all give more information than the basic Amazon system. All are free and all offer benefits in addition to simply tracking Amazon orders.
Incidentally, I believe that all three will allow you to set up text alerts rather than email alerts but that’s not an option for me. I live on the side of a mountain so no cell service.
Picture Attribution: By IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons