Package Tracking

    Parcels, What do You Need to Know About Them?

    Parcels, What do You Need to Know About Them?

    What is a parcel? It seems like a trivial question, but why not ask it? It is well known that a parcel is a box delivered by a mailman or a courier. This knowledge is quite enough for a regular user. However, behind the parcel is a whole transportation process and solving complex logistics tasks. We don't see it, but if you have had problems receiving mail, basic knowledge about what and how is happening with your package will be helpful to you.

    Let's start with a precise definition of a parcel offered by Wikipedia:

    A parcel is a postal item that ships goods, documents, and literature. Parcels can also have a declared value, such as cash on delivery.

    Immediately, there are unclear terms such as "cash on delivery" and "value of a parcel". Let's figure it out. So, a parcel is a box containing items, documents, and other non-prohibited things sent from the sender to the recipient. Transportation companies are responsible for the paid service of transporting the shipment from the sender to the recipient. The process of transporting a parcel is called delivery.

    All correspondence can be divided by types and properties, which may intersect:

    Types of Correspondence

    Letters are used for sending paper correspondence or small items of small weight and size. Parcels are used for transporting things. For example, Amazon uses small envelopes for packaging small goods, which are hard to call a box; they look more like an envelope box.

    Parcel Size or Dimensions

    The physical dimensions of the package are measured by three parameters: height, width, and thickness. There are no strict dimensions standards. Each company can use its internal standards. For example, USPS has introduced an additional parameter, girth, which cannot be more than 108 inches for a parcel. Contact the shipper or visit their website to learn the parcel size standards.

    Parcel Weight

    Another physical parameter of the parcel is its weight. The weight must be within the carrier's maximum limits. As with dimensions, the more weight you have, the more you will pay to transport the package. For example, according to UPU standards, a Small Packet should not exceed 2kg. Shipment have restrictions up to 20kg and, in rare cases, up to 30kg.

    Type of Parcel Content

    This is what is transported in the package. This parameter is needed for the courier to understand how to handle it. Parcels can have specific content:

    • Fragile contents (glass objects);
    • Poisons or chemicals (dangerous to life);
    • Batteries or accumulators;
    • Money.

    We have listed only some specific types of content. You should contact the delivery service for a complete list of permissible contents. For example, Royal Mail does not allow lottery tickets to be sent abroad, but e-cigarettes are allowed, which may seem strange.

    Method of Parcel Delivery

    Here, everything is simple. The question is in what way your parcel is transported:

    • Airmail;
    • Ground: automotive;
    • Ground: railway;
    • Water.

    Parcel Tracking

    Pay attention to this property. If an untraceable parcel is coming to you, it can be a problem, and it will be hard to find if there are delivery problems. Any postal operator or private courier strives to reduce the cost of transportation. If they do not record the package at each new location during transit, this can save money. For example, China Post offers cheap parcels not tracked in the recipient's country. Usually, Chinese online stores use this type of shipment, and a small delivery cost is included in the price of the goods. If you can change the type of package to trackable, then we recommend doing this. Having a tracking number does not guarantee that your parcel will be tracked all the way; you will have to clarify with the sender what type of parcel you have.

    International or Domestic Parcel

    Everything is very simple here, too: if the parcel goes from one country to another, then it is international, and if it is inside the country, then it is domestic. Some companies specialize only in delivery within the country or even one city. I'm sure everyone ordered burgers with delivery through Glovo!

    We also want to highlight local companies specializing in the "last mile", which cooperate with postal and private couriers to deliver parcels directly to the recipient's hands. Our tracker is mainly aimed at helping to track international packages, but we try to provide the full path of the parcel. Therefore, we support tracking at many local carriers.

    Parcel Delivery Speed

    This property of international parcels intersects with the delivery method and is divided into:

    • Non-Priority;
    • Priority;
    • Premium (EMS).

    The list is sorted from the slowest to the fastest delivery and from the cheapest to the most expensive. If the express type delivers, the package is usually delivered by air.

    Parcel Insurance

    Parcel insurance is very important if you are expecting important cargo. You can be sure that in case of loss or damage, you will be compensated for the entire cost of the parcel's contents or refunded the amount you insured. However, this is another factor that increases the cost of delivery.

    Cash on Delivery

    A parcel sent with cash on delivery is a shipment paid for by the recipient at the time of receipt. Couriers are at risk with this type of parcel because the recipient may not pick it up after they deliver it, and the delivery operator will lose money on transportation. Check with the carrier to see if they support this type of delivery.

    Method of Receiving the Parcel

    This is a parcel's property describing how the recipient will receive it. It could be:

    • Delivery in hand with a signature;
    • Delivery to the address;
    • Self-pickup from the post office;
    • Postamat (automated post station).

    We have described the basic properties and types of parcels, which, in our opinion, should give you a complete picture. When contacting the post office or a private courier, you can use postal terms professionally. It will be easier for you to choose a carrier, a type of parcel, and a more balanced delivery in terms of price and time. Don't forget about insurance!

    If you are waiting for a package and want full information, use our universal parcel tracker. Enter the tracking number and get information from different sources. We are here to help you!

    Denys Sokolov
    Hi Everyone. I'm Denys Sokolov am the owner of Logic.Cool, a developer of China Post Tracking project and other online applications and mobile games. Please write me with any suggestions for improving the parcel tracking service.