We get a lot of questions about what to expect when tracking packages sent via the different services so I think it's time to share some information for future reference. Your tracking results will vary by service level, destination country, and how you run your package labels (online, PC postage, shipping software, etc). Additionally, the percentage of packages that actually get a delivery scan will vary too - they should all be well over 90% but some countries are just plain better than others at this.
First, we'll look at the various USPS service levels ...........
First Class Package International (FCPI): Tracking can only be described as "limited" at best and is not to be relied upon. The USPS does claim on their website that "FCPI includes electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International when you ship online to select destinations". Safely put, your results will vary.
IMS "International Priority Airmail" (IPA): The IPA service does not offer door to door tracking. IMS customers using Endicia to print labels will however at least get an acceptance scan here in Kalamazoo. Additional scans from there are a bonus and again, not to be relied upon.
IMS "Commercial ePacket" (CeP): This is a fully trackable (door to door) service available now to 31 of the most popular countries (including the two news ones mentioned above). For about HALF the cost of FCPI, you won't get quite the visibility of a PMEI or PMI package, but you do get a delivery scan (scan rates are about 95%, some countries better, some a little lower). For an example, cut and paste the tracking number LX595336037US to USPS.com
IMS "PMEI and PMI" (both "Standard" and "Presort Drop Ship"): Fully trackable services to most countries with more visibility (scans). For an example, cut and paste the tracking number CY008968223US to USPS.com
Once in a while, you'll hear from customers that the package shows "Delivered" when actually it hasn't been or you'd just like some additional information on the whereabouts. For many countries, you can actually enter the USPS tracking number into the destination country's postal web site and get more information. The country specific links for some of the most popular countries are as follows:
Effective October 2, 2016 the Commercial ePacket service will be available to Hong Kong. This brings the total number of countries to 29. Hong Kong will be in Price Group 11. Please let us know if you would like additional information about this trackable, cost-effective option for your eCommerce packages weighing 4.4 lbs or less.
OTTAWA – Canada Post is pleased to have reached tentative short-term agreements with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). The agreements will avert a work disruption, bringing much-needed certainty in the postal system for our employees and customers. Canadians can now use the postal system with confidence. This is especially important as Canadian businesses large and small are already planning for the upcoming holiday shipping season.
These agreements are for a period of two years, rather than the typical four-year contracts negotiated in the past. The issues facing the Corporation, with declining mail volumes and a growing pension obligation, are complex. This approach provides more time for thoughtful discussion and analysis on how to best address these issues without the ongoing threat of a work disruption. The agreements must be ratified by members.
Canada Post would also like to thank the mediators for their help in bringing a neutral perspective to the discussions.
The following service is now available through IMS for the "International Priority Airmail" (IPA) service. Customers must be integrated using Endicia Professional PC postage. Consult with IMS if not currently set up and we'll get you started saving and tracking!
What is Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International™?
Available to select countries only
Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International™ (eDelcon) service is provided at no additional charge to the following countries only:
*Service Temporarily Suspended
The electronic version of Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International (eDelcon) is available only through USPS-approved PC Postage vendors, Click-N-Ship, USPS® meter label solution (formerly known as Click-N-Ship for Business®), Web tools, and Global Shipping Software (GSS) or other USPS-approved software.
First-Class Package International Service™ (FCPIS) items paid for at post office retail counters and being mailed to eligible countries listed above can be tracked using the barcode of the PS Form 2976 (customs form) which begins with the prefix LC.
What is Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International (eDelcon)?
Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International (eDelcon) service provides tracking information which includes the date and time an article was delivered or, if delivery was attempted but not completed, the date and time of the delivery attempt. You can the check the delivery status of an item by going to USPS.com and clicking on the "USPS Tracking" feature.
This service is designed to improve customer service and strengthen the business-to-customer commerce channel. It is available for First-Class Package International Service (FCPIS) items and the following Priority Mail International Flat Rate items:
What Other Standards Apply to Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International Service?
The following additional standards apply to Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International service:
On paper, the Commercial ePacket (CeP) sounded like the perfect option for small package shippers who needed to balance cost with tracking and timely delivery. Well, after 6 months and tens of thousands of packages sent, the results are very impressive! Customers are saving 50% or more compared to First Class Package International (FCPI) and getting tracking.
The following chart details tracking data from a block of 2,908 packages. All results are included (no “cherry picking” the faster deliveries) - actual tracking numbers are available upon request. A package was considered “delivered” upon the first attempt.
|Pkgs in sample*||Scan rate||Avg delivery |
How does someone get the tracking data?
Simply go to www.usps.com and enter your tracking number (assigned by Endicia when you print your label, prefixed by “LX”). You can enter up to 35 packages at a time. Below is a sample of the tracking data:
USPS adds BRAZIL to the list!
Beginning September 28, 2015, customers can use the ePacket service to send packages to Brazil. From what we’ve heard from customers, this will prove to be very popular.
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, Latin America is the second fastest growing ecommerce market in the world. And at the heart of that growth lies Brazil. Beware however that private shipping carriers often include surcharges that aren’t billed until after a package has been shipped. This is why the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a great option for lightweight residential deliveries. See the entire article here.
Start shipping within a week!
If you’re interested in using Commercial ePacket in your business, please contact us - it’s very easy to get started. The only system requirement is to be using ENDICIA PROFESSIONAL shipping software. Unfortunately, Stamps.com is unable at this time to provide the consolidator integration necessary to print the unique labels.
To insure the best possible pricing, please provide a snapshot of your volume - both current and projected, along with the weight range and primary destinations. We’ll put together a plan to get you shipping within a week or so.