The United States Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx have online dashboards that let you see exactly which packages (and letters in the case of the US Postal Service) should arrive at your address. They’ll even send you emails and send you SMS notifications so you can keep track of things.
These are all free services, although UPS and FedEx have some additional paid features. For example, you can sometimes pay to schedule an exact package delivery time with UPS or FedEx, but you can always keep an eye on incoming packages for free.
United States Postal Service
The US Postal Service offers a free service called Informed Delivery. It̵
There are two functions here. There is a Mailpieces tab that lets you view scanned copies of the front of all letters that you received in your mailbox. Letters will be displayed on this dashboard for seven days after delivery. The dashboard only shows letter size pieces like regular letters and postcards, so magazines you are likely to receive won’t show up here.
The scans only show the front of the letters – Swiss Post will not open your mail! But it’s especially useful when you’re out of town and want to keep an eye on important emails that are waiting for you.
Regardless of whether you choose informed delivery or not, the United States Postal Service will always scan copies of your incoming emails anyway. When you sign up for this service, USPS only shares with you the data it is already collecting.
There is also a Packages tab that shows packages that are in transit or that have recently been delivered to your address. They know exactly which packages are coming to you via USPS and what day they will arrive. Packages will be displayed on this dashboard fifteen days after they have been delivered.
Unlike letters, USPS does not provide photos of packages.
In the morning you will receive an email notification with scans of the front of all letters that you will receive in your mailbox later that day and a note about whether you will receive packages. You can turn off these email notifications if you want. Simply click the Settings link on the Dashboard to access your email notification options.
You can register for Informed Delivery online. The USPS will send you a verification code in a letter to the address you provided to confirm that you are who you say you are before giving you access to this information.
UPS offers a service called “UPS My Choice”. This is also a free service that you can sign up for online. Using the online dashboard or app, you can view a calendar showing exactly when packages are arriving from UPS, as well as detailed links to available package tracking information.
They also sell a premium paid subscription that offers features like the ability to schedule packages for delivery on a different day, deliver packages to a different address, and request a confirmed two hour delivery window. However, you don’t have to pay anything just to track your incoming packages and get notifications.
UPS can send you notifications by email or SMS when a package is due for delivery the next day, another on the day the package is due, and a final message when it is delivered when the delivery date is up changes or when it is delivered Ready for collection at a UPS location.
You can customize your notifications on the UPS My Choice Preferences page on the UPS website. Under Alerts, look for the Delivery Notification options.
FedEx has a similar service called “FedEx Delivery Manager” which you can register online for free. Using the online dashboard or app, you can view the tracking information for all packages that are sent to your address. You can also take any available action, such as: B. Provide delivery instructions or instruct FedEx to keep the package in a nearby location for you to collect yourself. Depending on the package, you may be able to pay to schedule delivery for a different date and time, or to have it delivered to a different address.
You can choose to receive notifications via email, SMS, or even an automated audio phone call. These notifications are customizable so you can choose what and how you want to be notified. Notifications are available when a package is first addressed to you, the day before delivery, the day of delivery, if there is a delivery problem, when a package is delivered to your address, or when the scheduled delivery time has changed.
For example, with the default settings you will receive email notifications when a package arrives tomorrow, on the day it is due to be delivered and when it has actually been left at your address.
The US Postal Service’s Informed Delivery Service is available nationwide in the United States. Postal services in other countries may offer similar services.
UPS My Choice service is currently available in the US as well as thirteen other countries, while Fedex’s Delivery Manager appears to be only available in the US at the moment. Hopefully UPS and Fedex will expand these tools internationally as they are very useful.
Photo credit: Sean Locke Photography / Shutterstock.com.