Everybody has, at least once in their life, sent or received mail. It is just one of those things that happen to everyone at some point. Sending a letter or a package has turned from a luxury to an everyday thing with the advent of technology. But have you ever thought what goes into it? What happens to your package when you want to send it to another country? Or better yet – what happens when you buy an item in another country and need it delivered to you? What are the ways to track an international package? In this article, we are discussing exactly that topic – the practical ways to track your cargo and packages anywhere on the planet. Read on to learn more!
Are there different ways to track an international package?
When someone asks you about how to track your package, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? It is probably the tracking number you get when purchasing an item. This is a common thing – and its name says a lot about its purpose. But what happens when you cannot get said number, or when the service just doesn’t work? Are there any additional ways in which you can approach the topic? The answer is yes – there are. Here are some of them:
- The first – and the most obvious one – track an international package using its tracking number.
- You might also want to personally track your package when you are dealing with global cargo forwarding.
- Finally, what you can do is to get a GPS tracker for your items.
Using tracking number
Using a tracking number might seem obvious to some people, but we here at Kokusai Express Japan think it’s still worth talking about. When purchasing an item from a retailer, you will get its tracking number in the email the moment it leaves the warehouse. This is a personalized number that is attached to your item, with both numbers and letters in it. Don’t be surprised if the number somewhat changes through its travels – this can happen when it goes from one country to another. You will want to remember or copy this number in order to track an international package.
Remember, if you have separate packages, then each one of them will get their own separate shipping number. It doesn’t really matter if you bought something in bulk – the moment things are separated, they each are treated as their own postal entity. You will have to track each item separately, instead of looking at them as one purchase.
Now that you have your tracking numbers, you will need to figure out the shipping method used to get your package to you. This depends on the countries the package will travel through and the destination country – as well as your personal choice when making the purchase. For example, in the United States, USPS, UPS, and FedEx all have separate tracking tools that are their own. You need to figure out what your postal service is, and what its tracking tool is. Then, you can just enter the number you got in the search tool and see whether your package is on the customs or in the mail. Remember, if it’s still not in your country, you probably won’t be able to track it with the number you got. It needs to change to the regional variant for you to do so.
How to track an international package personally
If you are shipping something more expensive and valuable, you might want to track an international package personally. These items will require you to constantly be near them, so you might want to buy a plane ticket and just take them with you to their destination.
If the item is a bit heavier or bulkier, then getting professional sea freight forwarders might be a smart idea. And even nowadays, it is quite possible to jump on the container ship that holds your cargo and travel with it. This has its own set of drawbacks, however. This way of travel is not very luxurious – and there is not much comfort on ships like these. An even bigger disadvantage is that this is quite a costly way to track an international package. This may hurt your wallet by over $100 per day. Taking into account how ships like these can travel for a month or more, you can see the bill racking up.
Using GPS trackers
Another creative way to track your package is by getting a GPS tracker. These can cost you around $200-250, and they come with their own advantages and disadvantages. First, you can simply install the device and put it in your package and ship it. This way, you will be able to follow your package as it goes through its journey in real time. It’s a real joy to use, but there are, of course, some downsides.
First, the device can get damaged during the trip and lose the signal in that way. In order to stop this from happening, you need to invest extra money and time into protecting it. The second thing is that you lose control of the device once you ship your package. If something goes wrong, you will not be able to access it until it arrives at its destination. You also need the access to the package before the shipment to set up the device – so if you are purchasing something from another country, this might not be a possible way to track an international package. Finally, there is a risk of the battery dying and you lose track of your package completely.