Missing tracking information: How to effectively trace your packages

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Imagine this all-too-familiar scenario: you've been eagerly anticipating the arrival of a package, but days pass, and there are still no delivery notifications coming from the courier company or the post office. This can be incredibly frustrating for both customers and businesses alike, as it leaves everyone in the dark about the whereabouts of their parcels. 

Missing or incomplete tracking information can lead to anxiety, confusion, and dissatisfaction, which can negatively impact your shopping experience and the reputation of the brand. Therefore, it's more crucial than ever to use reliable tracking package solutions that provide you with accurate updates and statuses regarding your deliveries

That’s where the next generation of logistics tools comes into play. Customers are usually provided with a tracking number, and this number can be used on tracking package services, providing real-time updates along with exact location and status of the delivery. 

Here’s a guide on how to get all the tracking information regarding your orders and avoid the commonly made mistakes when tracking, choosing the right courier company for safe deliveries

How to track a package online 

In order to find your parcel, you will need to be in possession of a tracking number, which in most cases was sent to you by email. 

  • Copy the tracking number making sure that it’s not an order number or other ID code. 
  • Go to Ordertracker and paste the tracking ID it on the search form 
  • Click on search or simply hit “Enter“

The complete report for the order will appear, including : 

  • The current location of your package, or the last place your package was scanned or processed
  • The status of the delivery, presented 
  • A detailed report for each step of the delivery and the courier companies involved in the shipping process.
  • The expected delivery date for the package, with an estimation based on 1000 parcels tracked from the same country of origin and heading to a close-by destination.

Credit: OrdertrackerCredit: Ordertracker

Another alternative for package tracking, is via the Package Tracker app for Android, which has been downloaded over 1 Million times, and works in a very similar way. The application extracts information from the parcel’s tracking number, and presents it in a mobile easy to use interface. 

Common Reasons for Missing Tracking Information 

Before diving into the solution, let's explore some common reasons why tracking information might be missing or delayed:

Carrier errors: Occasionally, carriers may fail to scan a package at each checkpoint, leading to gaps in tracking information. 

Technical issues: Glitches in the carrier's tracking system can sometimes result in missing or incomplete updates. This can be particularly prevalent during peak shipping periods, such as the holiday season.

Incorrect tracking numbers: Typos or incorrect numbers provided by the sender can make tracking a package impossible. Ensuring accurate tracking numbers is crucial, as 39% of consumers track their packages at least once a day.

Steps to Effectively Trace Your Packages

Now that you know the possible reasons behind missing tracking information, let's discuss some practical steps to trace your package:

Verify the tracking number: Double-check the tracking number you received from the seller. If you think it's incorrect, don't hesitate to contact the seller for clarification, as it might be an order number, which in most cases would not be used to track your parcel. 

Contact the carrier: Reach out to the carrier's customer service to inquire about the missing tracking information. They may be able to provide additional insights or resolve the issue.

Monitor the package's progress: Even without tracking updates, you can try contacting the destination post office to see if they have any information on your package's arrival.

Be patient: Sometimes, packages experience delays due to unforeseen circumstances like weather or customs issues. About 24% of all shipments experienced delays in 2020, so give it a few days, and the tracking information might be updated.

File a claim or report: If your package remains missing after an extended period, consider filing a claim or report with the carrier to address the issue.

Tips for Preventing Missing Tracking Information

To avoid encountering missing tracking information in the first place, consider these tips:

Confirm shipping addresses: Ensure the shipping address is correct before placing an order to avoid delivery issues. Incorrect addresses are a significant contributor to shipping delays.

Use reputable carriers: Picking the cheapest logistics service provider might not be the best option, especially when shipping high-value packages. Choose carriers with a reliable track record for providing accurate tracking information.

Opt for better tracking options: When available, select shipping options that offer more comprehensive tracking features. Some carriers, especially the ones that are included in the free shipping, like China Post for Aliexpress products are providing tracking information translated from Mandarin, which leads to regular misleads from consumers.

Some of the top carriers for International deliveries : 

  • DHL : The German company, a branch of Deutsche Post has been in the logistic business for over 50 years now.
  • FedEx : One of the most recognisable Shipping brands, and present in 220 countries.
  • UPS : Abbreviated from “United Postal Services” the US carrier is known for excellent domestic services, but also its massive logistic network.


Dealing with missing tracking information doesn't have to be a headache. By following these steps and utilizing helpful tools, you can effectively trace your packages and put your mind at ease. So, the next time you find yourself scratching your head over a missing tracking update, make sure you have a tracking number in possession, and track your packages independently. 

This article was written in cooperation with Esther Howell, independent tech journalist