Track and Trace

In the line of the courier business, companies will use a track and trace system to determine where in the world its parcel is at any given moment in time.

Most of the big players in the courier industry use track and trace and this can determine which status your parcel or delivery is currently at.

The main courier companies which use the track and trace system are USPS, DHL, Fedex, TNT, UPS and air cargo freight.



Modern technology has allowed these courier companies and many more besides to utilise a real time tracking system.

The parcel is posted on taken into the hands of courier and by entering a tracking number, which will be unique to that package; you can see where the parcel currently is.

In many next day deliveries a parcel will be collected from a depot or company and then delivered to a central hub for sorting and next day delivery.



In the UK, Lynx Express collects packages and then proceeds to deliver to a central hub in Watford, Hertfordshire.

Then during the night, sorters and van distribution officers will load the packages into trailers for onward delivery to the nearest depot where the package is heading to.

So, for example if a company wants to send a number of DVDs showing a new advertising campaign to a design company in Edinburgh then it is collected by the courier during the afternoon on day one then shipped to Watford during the evening.

Operatives in Watford will then load onto the night trunk to Glasgow where that depot will take to the client in Edinburgh.

Track and Trace

The track and trace system is updated at the point of collection (in London).

Therefore if a customer has a parcel collected and then checks online on the courier firm website, it will show a status of "Collected by London Courier: Time 14.34". Another check made later in the evening will reveal, "Arrived Watford Hub: Time 20.43." The same package will again be scanned once it touches Glasgow depot in the early hours of the morning.



Once the package has arrived at the Glasgow depot and scanned in the status may reveal, "Arrived Glasgow Depot: 05.11." Glasgow will then load the local Edinburgh delivery driver with that package along with several others destined for the Edinburgh area and you might see a status reading, "Out for Deliver: EDI42030: Time 08.12." The EDI42030 is the code indicating the van run number, which is unique to that specific driver.

At some point during the day the package will be delivered and the customer receiving it will be asked by the courier in Edinburgh to electronically sign the hand held device which says the parcel is now received.



This is the point where the courier driver then sends that information electronically to a central database which can update within seconds.

The track and trace status will then show something like, "Delivered by EDI42030: Time 14.32: Signed, J. Walker." It is at this welcome stage the parcel has completed its life cycle of delivery and sending and receiving are happy.