Last Mile Delivery Tracking Guide - All You Need to Know

Updated on May 23, 2024 by Alisa Cvilij

last mile delivery tracking

Last mile delivery tracking empowers dispatch managers to track customer deliveries. The last mile covers the route from the point of despatch through to the final destination. This part of the delivery process is often the most problematic. The delivery address may be incorrect, or there may be a heavy storm en route. Vehicle tracking lets managers identify potential problems and redirect their vehicles if necessary.

We provide some insights into how to track your last-mile delivery. We also discuss the difference the right last-mile delivery tracking software can make.

In this blog article, you will find answers to the most important questions about last-mile tracking, from last-mile tracking setup for you as a business to ensuring smooth last-mile tracking of goods for your customers.

Table of contents

  1. What is last mile delivery tracking?

  2. How is last mile tracking different from tracking in other delivery methods?

  3. Why use a label in last mile delivery tracking?

  4. Last mile delivery tracking for you as a business

  5. Providing the perfect last mile delivery experience for your customer

  6. Important features to look for in last mile tracking

  7. The customer’s guide to tracking last mile deliveries

  8. How does last-mile tracking benefit you and your customers?

  9. Helping your customers track their last-mile deliveries

  10. An example of successful delivery tracking

  11. How to set up last mile delivery tracking using Track-POD

  12. Tracking orders for customers using Track-POD

What is last mile delivery tracking?

Delivery explanation. Last mile delivery is the last stage in an order's life cycle, from when the package leaves the dispatch warehouse until it reaches the customer’s premises. This is the most crucial part of the product’s journey. It is when things can go wrong, but the right tracking and process management will ensure smooth delivery.

Tracking explanation. Last mile delivery tracking is the process of tracking individual packages. It is very specific, as it provides route transparency to customers and dispatch management.  Vehicle tracking devices have been around for quite some time. But they have become more advanced with the latest technology. Logistics managers can now track the vehicles they manage remotely. They gain insights into how drivers and vehicles are performing. They can track their vehicles and their scheduled route and identify any problems along the way.

Managers inform their drivers of potential traffic issues and re-direct the vehicles if necessary. They know where their trucks are at any point in time. They know which trucks are running late and can inform customers of potential delays.

Tracking last mile activity has become a crucial part of managing the parcel’s journey.

what is last mile delivery tracking

How is last mile tracking different from tracking other delivery methods?

As discussed above, last-mile tracking is very specific and detailed, so each individual parcel can be tracked. Stakeholders such as salespeople and inventory management can also track these individual items as they go through the delivery process. This provides real-time information and transparency, building trusting relationships between suppliers and customers and improving the chances of repeat business.

Last-mile delivery prioritizes customer satisfaction by offering fast and cost-effective delivery options.

On the other hand, supply chain tracking gives updates of bulk shipment movements. This type of tracking is less specific as it monitors truck loads, not individual parcels. However, it does keep the various stakeholders informed of the progress of their goods.

Why use a shipping label in last mile delivery tracking?

Because shipping labels reduce errors in delivery and speed up the scanning process. Delivery labels can also be customized to print your company logo. A well-printed shipping label looks professional and creates a good impression.

Shipping labels can be printed or handwritten. They contain the customer’s name, address, and contact number. This information is essential as it promotes safe and accurate deliveries. A mobile number is also important so that the customer can be contacted in case of any delays. The driver may also need to call the customer for access to the premises. More about shipping labels you can read here.

Computer-generated shipping labels read the customer’s name, address, and delivery instructions from a database, reducing the chances of errors. Printed shipping labels are also easier to read than handwritten labels.

Barcodes or QR codes printed on the shipping label enable swift scanning of parcels. This speeds up the delivery process. QR codes have the capacity to store more information, such as delivery instructions.

Last mile delivery tracking for you as a business

Last mile tracking gives businesses visibility into their company’s logistics processes. It provides useful information about the various routes, empowering businesses/dispatchers/logistic managers to tweak the routes based on information received from the tracking system.

Tracking devices don’t just track vehicles. They provide information about fuel consumption and the condition of the vehicles. They can also track driver downtime and other driver activity. With the use of IoT, tracking devices communicate with remote servers. They send data to these servers to be stored for later use.

AI can use tracking data to predict traffic and weather conditions. This technology can also create rules around specific customer preferences. Based on previous tracking information, the tracker can detect problems and issue warnings beforehand. It can also be used in the case of customer disputes.

Businesses that outsource their deliveries to carrier organizations are still able to track their deliveries. They do this with the use of customer portals that can access the carrier company’s tracking system. This functionality is vital as it keeps managers updated about the progress of their customer deliveries.



Providing the perfect last mile delivery experience for your customer

  • For companies, that outsource their deliveries to third-party carrier organizations, their customers still need the assurance that their parcels are in good hands. They would also like to track their parcel. 
  • You can obtain the last-mile tracking number issued by the carrier company. Pass the tracking number on to your customer, together with a link to the carrier’s tracking site. In this way, your customer will be satisfied with tracking their parcel through the last-mile process.

Transport companies should use the latest technology to stay competitive. This will improve efficiency and provide the customer with a WOW! experience.

Real-time tracking does just that. It enables:

  1. Transparency: giving customers an exact location and expected time of arrival.
  2. Efficiency: Identify possible traffic snags upfront and send warning messages to key personnel.
  3. Accuracy: predicting ETAs, and delivering on time.

Benefits of last mile tracking for customers

Important features to look for in last mile tracking

There are a few important factors to consider when evaluating delivery last-mile tracking systems. Here are some specific pointers for choosing the right tracking technology:

Real-time tracking is essential for providing transparency to your customers. Look for a system that provides adequate customer notifications.

Tracking data should be stored in a reliable database or in the cloud. Later, this data can be used for analysis and planning purposes. Historical data is also useful if you have customer disputes. 

Safety is a major consideration when choosing last-mile delivery options. Here are some pointers for safety in tracking:

  1. Use tracking systems to monitor driver behavior. This includes their operating times, rest times, and long periods of idling. Drivers should take regular breaks to alleviate fatigue.
  2. Tracking systems can also identify bad driving habits such as speeding and sudden braking.
  3. A tracking system should provide alerts in cases of breakdowns, accidents, or hijacking.

Effective tracking systems provide fuel consumption statistics and predict potential vehicle maintenance requirements.

Features to consider when looking for last mile tracking solution 1

The customer’s guide to tracking last mile deliveries

Some customers prefer using a customer portal for tracking. Others prefer using the mobile phone app. Here’s how customers interact with the various communication mediums:

  •       Get a tracking number from the shipping company. This can be sent to the customer via email or SMS. You can also send the tracking number via a portal notification.
  •       Log in to the portal or customer app on their mobile phone.  Customers can also log into the shipping company’s website.
  •       Enter the tracking number.

In the window “Driver is heading to you,” the customer will see the following information:

  •       Traveling time left until arrival.
  •       Kilometers or mileage still to travel.
  •       Driver name
  •       A CALL DRIVER button in case of queries.

Customers can monitor the parcel throughout its journey. Significant delays en route will automatically adjust the ETA.

If there are delays, the dispatch office will contact the customer. Customers can also direct queries to the shipping company using their unique delivery tracking number.

The driver can contact the customer for access when the parcel reaches its final destination.

custom last-mile live tracking page

How does custom last mile tracking benefit you and your customers?

Today’s shipping software would not be complete without advanced tracking features. Sophisticated tracking systems don’t just follow a parcel from point A to point B.

They notify customers when the parcel’s journey begins, providing regular updates until delivery is complete.

  • Transparency throughout the delivery cycle fosters trusting customer-supplier relationships.
  • Customers get accurate ETAs from the tracking system. This helps them to plan around the delivery time.
  • Dispatch managers monitor parcels and vehicles from the comfort of their desks. They notify customers when vehicles are rerouted and provide revised ETAs.
  • Managers can monitor their drivers' performance and manage their safety. They can also notify drivers of any potential obstacles on the route.
  • Routes can be changed in real-time, diverting the vehicle to a safer or more efficient route.

Helping your customers track their last mile deliveries

Customer satisfaction is key to the success of your business. Delivery is a service that they are paying for, so make sure that they understand the process.

helping your customers to track deliveries

Documentation that is easy to read

Customers may not be familiar with map reading or following specific instructions. Create an instruction document with simple language and clear diagrams. Include pictures of the apps showing each step in the process. Be sure to include explanations of technical points such as GPS coordinates.

Customer apps and dashboards

Mobile phone apps are ideal for customers on the move. A user-friendly app on their phone can help them track their deliveries in real time. This is particularly relevant for e-commerce customers who are not office-bound and need to plan around their deliveries.

An ideal solution for businesses would be a large-screen dashboard. This would allow them to track their expected deliveries in real time.

An example of successful delivery tracking

Filter Services (UK) uses route planning and vehicle tracking daily. They report that they have reached 99 percent of their full delivery capacity, which has resulted in proportional revenue growth. 



How to set up last mile delivery tracking using Track-POD

Set up last mile delivery tracking apps for your dispatch personnel and drivers on desktop and mobile devices.

Instal live tracking software installed on your customer’s mobile device or laptop.

Once the apps have been installed, despatch and driving staff will be able to see the routing and delivery points. Customers will be able to see their ETAs and the progress of the delivery.

Here are some simple steps to help you set it up:

  1. Open the Track-POD dashboard.
  2. Set up your individual vehicles and drivers.
  3. To track specific vehicles:
  4. Click on the Driver column to open the drop-down menu.
  5. Click on FILTER.
  6. Select the vehicles you want to track, and switch on the filter.

Tracking orders for customers using Track-POD

Tracking information provides customers with accurate ETAs. This enables them to plan around their deliveries or postpone them to a suitable time. If something happens en route, they will be notified of changes to delivery schedules.

Customers appreciate transparency. Many are happy to pay slightly more for reliable deliveries.

Last-mile delivery tracking also means that dispatch personnel and drivers can interact with each other and manage any service delays.


Customizing your tracking screen

You can add your company logo to the tracking pop-up using a JPEG, GIF, or PNG file. Select to display signatures, photos, and a CALL button. Displaying the driver’s name and a Download ePOD button makes it more personal. You can even select button colors that match your company logo.

Final word

Undoubtedly, final mile delivery tracking is essential in logistics and e-commerce environments. Tracking software helps companies maintain a competitive edge in their field. It’s about great customer service and timely deliveries. Final mile tracking improves dispatch and logistics managers' visibility. It improves efficiency and reduces the number of customer queries.

Track-POD’s software is easy to use. New users quickly learn it and experience its benefits. Try its free option and experience the convenience first-hand.