For the eCommerce companies we work with, accurate shipment tracking is extremely important to their customers and for daily operations. If you are shipping all your products with the same carrier, you’re less likely to have issues when it comes to sharing and understanding tracking information. However, what do you do when you are faced with a single order that needs to be fulfilled by more than one carrier? We call this the proverbial “couch and a ring” scenario. It baffled me when I learned that some eCommerce companies still display a vague “tracking from multiple carriers” to customers when faced with this.
If you’ve ever juggled multiple carrier tracking on your own, the following might sound familiar:
You go to the carrier website. Each carrier has their own special website, and you’ll scan every heading to find the tracking section. Is it the top left, middle, bottom right? Is it called “track” or “trace?” Finally, you enter the PRO number you have been given, the statuses are listed in each carrier’s own cryptic language. If the shipment hasn’t been picked up yet, the PRO isn’t even visible, which leads to feelings of panic that your shipment is forgotten. And if your vendor accidentally gave it to the wrong carrier, good luck chasing down the BOL for the carrier sticker.
For smaller carrier or local delivery providers who don’t have websites, you would need to call their office or wait until you receive the invoice to know if it was picked up or delivered. If there are any exceptions with your shipment, there are often no further updates as claim progress without having to call or email someone there.