USPS Quietly Improves Tracking

Live USPS Tracking?

E-tailers and consumers know that USPS tracking is a joke. For several years, Delivery Confirmation (DC) was just what its name implies—a method of checking that a package had been delivered. Although USPS.com displays a “Track and Confirm” search field on their website, DC numbers have historically returned two points of information (acceptance and delivery), coupled with one very misleading statement:

Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later.

  • Your item was accepted at 1:06 PM on May 23, 2008 in St. Louis, MO 63103.

Information was generally not updated until the package had been delivered. More tracking points have begun to show up in the past 5 years, but we were still told to maybe expect more information each evening. Lies.

I happened to check on an incoming Priority shipment last week and noticed a new statement:

The item is currently in transit to the destination. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later.

Bullet Arrival at Post Office, January 06, 2011, 6:53 am, MARYVILLE, IL 62062
Bullet Processed through Sort Facility, January 06, 2011, 12:45 am, HAZELWOOD, MO 63042
Bullet Electronic Shipping Info Received, January 05, 2011
Bullet Acceptance, January 04, 2011, 9:06 am, MERRIFIELD, VA 22081

Well, that’s new, but I wasn’t sure if I should believe it. So I checked again later:

Bullet Out for Delivery, January 06, 2011, 8:10 am, MARYVILLE, IL 62062
Bullet Sorting Complete, January 06, 2011, 8:00 am, MARYVILLE, IL 62062
Bullet Arrival at Post Office, January 06, 2011, 6:53 am, MARYVILLE, IL 62062
Bullet Processed through Sort Facility, January 06, 2011, 12:45 am, HAZELWOOD, MO 63042
Bullet Electronic Shipping Info Received, January 05, 2011
Bullet Acceptance, January 04, 2011, 9:06 am, MERRIFIELD, VA 22081

What’s this? Live tracking, from USPS?!

Bullet Notice Left, January 06, 2011, 9:13 am, MARYVILLE, IL 62062
Bullet Out for Delivery, January 06, 2011, 8:10 am, MARYVILLE, IL 62062
Bullet Sorting Complete, January 06, 2011, 8:00 am, MARYVILLE, IL 62062
Bullet Arrival at Post Office, January 06, 2011, 6:53 am, MARYVILLE, IL 62062
Bullet Processed through Sort Facility, January 06, 2011, 12:45 am, HAZELWOOD, MO 63042
Bullet Electronic Shipping Info Received, January 05, 2011
Bullet Acceptance, January 04, 2011, 9:06 am, MERRIFIELD, VA 22081

USPS has again failed to announce any of these changes, so it’s hard to say what improvements we’re actually seeing (it could be limited to selected cities). I checked a few random customer shipments and each returned similar tracking information. The Click-n-Ship site also has a new layout, so it’s safe to say they’re rolling out new features:

Improved tracking is a great step forward for the struggling government agency, but this leaves me wondering why it hasn’t been announced.

Has anyone else noticed better USPS tracking?

5 Replies to “USPS Quietly Improves Tracking

  1. You got to write a blog on USPS recent outrageous international shipping rate. They eliminated the international surface shipping in 2007, and now (Jan 27 2013) increased international 1st class and priority rate 50% to 100%, which will eventually kills a lot of small business needs international shipping. Why shipping to Ontario Canada is like 5 times more expensive than shipping to Michigan is unknown. USPS boasted that they are independent of government support financially, but they are not, they get a huge tax relief from Federal government.

    1. Almost every business doing business in America that isn’t a small business gets tax credits from the government. This includes farmers, financial institutions, car manufactures, oil industries. You would be hard pressed to find a company that doesn’t receive some sort of tax incentive or subsidy.

  2. Their new improved tracking is even worse than their old tracking. They have consistently not updated before delivery on almost every package I have ordered since the change. I have one package I expect Tomorrow that is still showing in the town it left from.

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