General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

When UPS or Fedex updates each step in tracking, are they scanning each individual package, or are they scanning the cargo container (only)?

Asked by elbanditoroso (25818points) 1 week ago

Someone is sending me an overnight UPS envelope. This morning it showed “Arrived UPS Louisville Sorting facility” and a few minutes ago “En route. Departed Louisville Sorting facility”.

Did they really handled that individual envelope twice today?

Or is it more likely that they knew that my envelope was in a cargo container with a thousand other envelopes, so by scanning the cargo container (once) it updated every status for every item in the cargo container?

Do you know how that works?

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6 Answers

Patty_Melt's avatar

I wonder the same. I am waiting with you for an answer.

ragingloli's avatar

I would think they scan every item.
I would also think they automate that.
Robots, man.

kritiper's avatar

I think each container of packages (individual packages) is rescreen at every major hub. Like when I get a package from Des Moines, IA. it gets scanned in Lincoln, Neb., Denver, Colo., and SLC, Utah.

Patty_Melt's avatar

That shows the origin and destination, but not change points. I have a feeling there is a bar code made for each container, and that container gets scanned at each change of venue, things moving together until they stop going east or west, and reroute for north or south.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Packages are individually scanned & loaded into a container depending on their final destination. Both FedEx & UPS have designated hubs for further distribution. IF no container needs to be removed for further distribution, ALL containers are left on the truck & updated as received & departed by the original bar code on the containers via computer records. Most containers are set up so they don’t need to be disturbed until they make it to the final distribution point. Occasionally, there is a package that needs to be removed from the container & continued being shipped on its own. Those packages are usually placed in a different container to proceed through the appropriate hubs. There are certain hubs that open any containers & the packages are redistributed to new containers to be separated for their required journey. The packages are usually only re-scanned individually in order to re-consolidate to continue to the final destination. When a container has reached the final destination each item is scanned & loaded onto the delivery vehicles for the final delivery. Once on the delivery vehicle, the vehicle is tracked via GPS locator & you can go to their website to get a better idea of where the vehicle is located & when you might have the package arrive.

I was leaving my home to go to lunch last week when I received an email stating that my package was 3 stops away. So, I sat in my car listening to some good music, & watched as the delivery vehicle pulled up to my house, took the package, tossed it in my car, & enjoyed a good lunch without worry of any porch pirates messing up my day!!!

I have an account with both UPS & FedEx where I receive notices from the time the package is picked up until they are 1 block away. IF they aren’t within 2 or 3 blocks from my house, I still go to lunch because I have a parcel delivery locker where they place my packages when I’m not home. I usually eat about ¼ mile from my house & I check my emails when I finish eating to see IF I need to swing by my house before going shopping so I’m not tempting anyone to take my delivery.

Close to the same with USPS except they don’t track it down to the final few blocks. My delivery person for the post office is so predictable that I know about what time it will be delivered & it’s usually after I’ve eaten & I don’t have to worry. With USPS, I go online & request a notification of actual delivery so I don’t need to walk out to my mailbox until I know it has been delivered. With the delivery notifications, I’m removing my packages from the box within a few minutes of delivery cutting back on the time my package might be taken by thieves.

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