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Frequently asked questions

What is a carrier in the logistics industry?

In a broader sense, a carrier is an individual or an organization that owns or operates transportation equipment to move freight from one point to another by land, sea or air. Carriers play an integral role in the supply chain, connecting manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and end consumers. Carriers include postal services, parcel / express companies, trucking companies, airlines, container shipping companies, etc.

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What are the different types of carriers?

Carriers can be divided into different types according to certain criteria: ①Logistics services: postal services/mail carriers, last-mile couriers, freight forwarders, consolidators, stevedore services, 3PLs, etc.; ②Transportation: air cargo carriers, truckload carriers, LTL (less-than-truckload) freight carriers, ocean carriers/container shipping companies, etc.; ③Commercial zone: international carrier services, national carriers, regional carriers, and local carriers; ④Ownership: private carriers, for-hire carriers/contract carriers, and common carriers; ⑤Speed: standard services, express shipping services, overnight shipping / next-day shipping services, and same-day shipping services.

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Carrier vs Courier: What are the differences?

Speaking of package delivery, you might be confused about what carriers and couriers can do for you. Both carriers and couriers can pick up your package and deliver it to the designated address. Nevertheless, it's worth noticing that carriers and couriers differ in many ways. Carriers usually process bulky items, which are referred to as cargo/freight as a whole, and they don't offer door-to-door services. Different from carriers, couriers specialize in delivering smaller items. They pick up your package and deliver it to the recipient's doorstep.  Generally, carrier services are more affordable than courier services. However, It takes carriers longer to deliver your package.

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What are the top package delivery companies?

The top 10 package delivery companies in the USA include UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL, Aramex, Blue Dart, ShipBob, LaserShip, Spee-Dee, and Lone Star Overnight.  The top package delivery companies in the UK include Hermes, Royal Mail, FedEx, DHL, Yodel, DHL, Parcel Force, and TNT Express. The top package delivery companies in China are S.F. Express, EMS, ZTO Express, JD Express, YT Express, STO Express, J&T Express, DEPPON, and Kuayue Express. These courier services companies handle a large volume of packages, offer speedy delivery and package tracking services. Notably, ParcelPanel can be used to track all the packages handled by these companies.

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How to choose a carrier (or courier)?

Since there is a multitude of couriers available for package shipping, you might find it difficult to make a decision. When choosing a carrier, you should take various factors into account, such as pricing, estimated time of arrival, shipping requirements, package tracking, global reach, and extra services.  It's worth noticing that some carriers don't support remote areas, or the remote area surcharges will be particularly high. Moreover, if you choose USPS, in most cases, delivery on Sundays is out of the question because this is part of the standard service.

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What is all-in-one package tracking?

All-in-one package tracking means tracking packages (or tracking all carriers) in one place throughout the entire delivery process after the buy button, in combination with other value-added tracking services that a system provides to optimize logistics management and bring customers back for repurchases.

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What are the benefits of package tracking?

Without an efficient package tracking system, you'll be put at a disadvantage in the competition, and it will significantly lower the efficiency of your logistics operations. In contrast, investing in a shipment tracking system will be well worth it in the long run and help you outshine your competitors. Here are the main benefits of package tracking: ①Reduce costs in logistics; ②Improve the post-purchase experience; ③Avoid shipping issues & ensure on-time deliveries; ④Easily manage returns; ⑤Boost supply chain efficiency.

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How about ParcelPanel package tracking?

ParcelPanel seamlessly integrates over 1,080 carriers in the world to provide an all-in-one universal worldwide parcel tracking solution to online shoppers and e-commerce businesses. With ParcelPanel, you can automate tracking of all packages sent by a wide variety of carriers that you're working with, from famous carriers - such as USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, China Post, Royal Mail, DPD, Hermes, etc. - to lesser-known freight carriers in the logistics industry. Whether you want to improve first-mile tracking, last-mile carrier tracking, end-to-end shipment tracking, or logistics management, since ParcelPanel has an extensive carrier network covering numerous postal services, delivery couriers, truckload carriers, LTL carriers, air cargo carriers, ocean carriers, freight forwarders, you can count on our tracking services.

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How does ParcelPanel package tracking work?

You can query the tracking information on our official website by accessing the universal tracking page or the specific carrier tracking page. It's quite easy to do so. After you enter your tracking number and click the "Track" button, you'll find the tracking information on a new page. Currently, the ParcelPanel Shopify app and WooCommerce plugin are available. You must install ParcelPanel to automate shipment tracking. Then, ParcelPanel automatically starts pulling the tracking information with real-time updates from over 1,080 carriers for you as soon as the tracking number of your order is available. Your orders will be categorized into 8 standardized shipment statuses, including Info Received, In Transit, Out for Delivery, Delivered, Not Found, Exception, Failed Attempt, and Expired. The tracking statuses are associated with the tracking information that ParcelPanel receives. When seeing the first four tracking statuses, you can be assured that orders are being processed normally. Special attention is needed when the tracking status is Exception, Failed Attempt, or Expired. The moment you finish the installation, you can find a tracking page created by ParcelPanel. You just need to place it in your navigation menu to enable customers to track their orders. If you have enabled email notifications, your customers can also be informed of the shipment status via the email sent by ParcelPanel on your behalf. To learn more about ParcelPanel's features, please navigate to our Features section.

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How does tracking number lookup work?

Tracking number lookup is based on the integrations with different carriers and the tracking numbers that they are using. Ideally, the tracking number is unique for easy distinction and information retrieval. In fact, many carriers have similar tracking numbers, which makes it impossible for all package tracking systems to auto-detect carriers. To distinguish the carrier service you're using, it will be necessary for you to indicate the carrier. Based on big data and machine learning, ParcelPanel's carrier auto-detection accuracy reaches over 90% - the highest level in the industry. In case auto-detection doesn't work: ①If you're using ParcelPanel's official website, go to a specific carrier tracking page; ②If you are using the ParcelPanel app, select the carriers that you're partnering with from the first moment you use ParcelPanel to improve the tracking accuracy.

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