How Can I Track Down My Shipment Without a Tracking Number?

by Oliver Mintz-Lowe; Updated September 26, 2017
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When you send or receive a package, more often than not it will arrive at the desired destination without any problems. However, there will be the odd occasion when the delivery takes longer than expected, or the shipment goes astray. In such circumstances, it may be necessary to track the order. The easiest way to do this is with a tracking number, but if you do not have one, there are still plenty of alternatives for tracking your shipment.

Step 1

Track by FedEx reference. FedEx has several points of reference that can be used instead of a tracking number. You may use a reference number, purchase order number or invoice number. Enter any one of these details into Fedex’s online tracking form (www.fedex.com), along with the shipping date, destination country and zip/postal code to track the order.

Step 2

Create a FedEx InSight account. This piece of software is designed to help you to monitor your deliveries without a tracking number. When you register, it allows you to check all inbound and outbound shipments and to receive automatic notifications of any delivery via email.

Step 3

Use FedEx Desktop. You can download the program to your computer from the FedEx website. You are able to set a nickname for each shipment, which means that you don’t have to remember the tracking number. The software sends alerts and popups straight to the user’s desktop.

Step 4

Use a UPS shipment reference. Unlike a UPS tracking number, which is predetermined by the company, a shipment reference is any identifier chosen by the sender. This can be a purchase order number, customer number or a word or phrase to describe the shipment. To track by shipment reference, locate the option on the tracking page of the UPS website.

Step 5

Sign up to UPS Quantum View. This software allows customers to track shipments and view information based on account numbers. According to UPS, Quantum View allows you to “manage your shipping information securely and efficiently”. The software enables customized tracking reports, allowing users to chose the information they want to see.

Step 6

Use track and confirm. With the United States Postal Service (USPS) it is possible to set up Track & Confirm alerts for single or multiple deliveries. To do so, enter the label or receipt number on the USPS website (usps.com/shipping/trackandconfirm.htm) to track the order. There is also an option to set up email alerts for deliveries.

Step 7

Obtain proof of delivery. If you are sending a shipment through the USPS, it is possible to have the recipient sign for the package on delivery. This information is then mailed, faxed or emailed to the sender.

About the Author

Oliver Mintz-Lowe has been a journalist since 2005. He has written content for BBC local radio programs and news bulletins. Mintz-Lowe received a Master of Arts in multimedia journalism from Bournemouth University.

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