How to Track Your Air Freight Shipment 

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delivery order tracking

In today’s fast-paced world, international trade relies heavily on air freight forwarding. It’s the lifeblood of getting goods across continents quickly and efficiently. But for businesses sending precious cargo, the wait can be nerve-wracking. Here’s where an air freight forwarding company comes in—your window into the whereabouts of your shipment, providing peace of mind and logistical control.

This guide will equip you with the knowledge to track your air freight forwarding seamlessly, using Zip Logistics as an example. We’ll delve into the different tracking methods, how to interpret the information and the valuable insights Zip Logistics offers to keep you informed every step of the way.

Tracking Toolbox: Your Options for Monitoring Air Freight

There are several ways to track your air freight, each offering different levels of detail:

  • Air Waybill (AWB) Tracking

This is the golden ticket for air freight tracking. The AWB, a document issued by the airline, contains a unique 11-digit number that acts as your shipment’s ID. You can enter this number on the airline’s website or a third-party tracking platform to see basic information like departure and arrival airports, flight details, and current status (e.g., “in transit,” “cleared customs”).

  • Freight Forwarder Tracking System

Many freight forwarders, like Zip Logistics, have their online tracking systems. These systems often provide more comprehensive information than the airline’s basic tracking. Zip Logistics, for example, offers real-time shipment visibility, including estimated delivery dates, potential delays, and even customs clearance updates.

  • GPS Tracking

Some forwarders offer GPS tracking devices placed within the cargo for high-value or time-sensitive shipments. This allows for near-real-time location updates, temperature monitoring (for perishable goods), and even tamper alerts.

Now that you have the tools let’s examine the typical stages of an air freight shipment and how to track them.

shipment tracking in tablet

Understanding the Shipping Journey

  1. Pre-Departure: Once your shipment is booked with Zip Logistics, we handle all the pre-departure logistics, including customs clearance. Our tracking system will reflect updates like warehouse cargo receipts and the completion of necessary documentation.
  2. Airport Arrival: Your shipment arrives at the departure airport. The AWB is scanned, and the tracking system will show this crucial milestone.
  3. Onboard the Aircraft: Your cargo is loaded onto the designated aircraft. Depending on the specific functionalities of the airline’s tracking system, this information might be reflected in the system.
  4. In-Flight: While the aircraft is airborne, real-time tracking isn’t typically available. However, you can estimate the arrival time based on the flight schedule.
  5. Arrival at Destination Airport: Upon landing, the AWB is scanned again. The freight forwarder and airline tracking systems will be updated to reflect this.
  6. Customs Clearance: Our team at Zip Logistics expertly navigates your shipment through customs. The tracking system will indicate when clearance is complete.
  7. Delivery: This is the final leg! Your shipment is delivered to the designated location. Zip Logistics keeps you informed every step of the way, and your tracking system reflects successful delivery.

Zip Logistics Pro-Tip: Bookmark your shipment’s tracking page for easy access. This lets you stay updated on the progress without repeatedly searching for information.

How to choose the right tracking method

The best method for you depends on your specific needs. The AWB or a freight forwarder’s system like Zip Logistics will suffice for standard shipments. If real-time location and detailed status updates are crucial, consider GPS tracking with your forwarder.

package is out for delivery alert in laptop

Understanding What the Tracking Information Means

Tracking information can be cryptic at times. Here’s a breakdown of some standard terms you might encounter:

  • Origin: The airport where your shipment begins its journey.
  • Destination: The final airport where your shipment will land.
  • Flight Information: Details about the specific flight carrying your cargo.
  • In Transit: Your shipment is on its way, likely on a plane or transported between locations.
  • Arrived at Station: Your shipment has reached a specific location, such as a customs checkpoint or a warehouse.
  • Cleared Customs: Your shipment has passed customs inspection and is authorized for release.
  • Delivered: Your shipment has reached its final destination.

Understanding Delays:

Sometimes, delays can occur. Tracking information might indicate “Held” or “Customs Clearance Delay.” Don’t panic! Zip Logistics’ tracking system often explains delays and estimated timeframes for resolution. Additionally, their customer service team can readily offer personalized assistance and address concerns.

Ready to experience the peace of mind that comes with seamless air freight tracking? Contact Zip Logistics today for a free quote and discover the difference real-time visibility and dedicated support can make for your business. With Zip Logistics, you’ll always know exactly where your shipment is every step of the way.

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