Package delivery changes with the times
As a young boy, whenever I heard that a package was on its way, I couldn’t wait for it to arrive.
Part of the anticipation is that I never knew when it would arrive.
When a package didn’t arrive within the anticipated time, you’d have to call the sender and have them track the package, which would take days, if not weeks, to find it.
I recall when FedEx started doing overnight deliveries, it became possible to know within a definable window when a package would be delivered. If the package didn’t arrive, there was a toll-free number you could call and they would tell you where the package was and when to expect it.
Not long after, UPS started a similar service. Now the United States Postal Service has it. It’s as common as postage to be able to track packages.
Of course, it didn’t take long for FedEx and UPS to provide online package tracking when the internet and the Web became available.
And now, you can check the status of your packages on your smartphone, but also request either email or text messages regarding the status of your packages.
About a year ago, the Postal Service rolled out a service called Informed Delivery (informeddelivery.com). This free service will send you an email every morning with photos of the letters you will receive in your mailbox that day.
Informed Delivery doesn’t send photos of packages, but as we’ve already said, that’s handled with tracking.
I find it fun to know in advance what will be in my mailbox around 3 p.m. when the postman fills my mailbox.
Continuing the one upmanship, I just received an email from UPS with a feature called Follow My Delivery that gives me more information than Package on Truck for Delivery. Instead, it will give me a live map of where the truck is that has my package on it.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the truck is headed to my address as its next stop, but I can tell whether the truck is moving or not.
So, while I miss the mystery of wondering when and if a package will be delivered, I must say I enjoy knowing what’s showing up every day and when something is going to be delayed.
Mark Mathias is a 35-plus-year information technology executive and a resident of Westport. He can be contacted at livingwith