This holiday season, there will be packages aplenty on people’s doorsteps.
With many of us gearing up (or already starting) to purchase gifts online, we all need a better way to track packages headed to our front door.
There is no shortage of available apps to help you track packages when you have a tracking number, but with so many options available, which are the best?
We’ve made the decision easy by highlighting the best package tracking apps to keep an eye on your packages this holiday season. Just download a package tracker app and grab your tracking number.
What Is a Package Tracking App?
Rather than switching between shopping apps to track your packages or searching the tracking numbers on the web, you can use tracking apps.
Installing a package tracking app on your smartphone allows you to view all your shipments from multiple sources in one place — no shuffling apps on your iOS or Android device.
Package tracking apps offer varied features, but many share a few similarities that we’ll cover. Our favorite package tracking apps will automatically add new packages to your watch list by linking with your Amazon account or scanning your email for tracking numbers.
We’ve emphasized tracking apps that are free or offer the majority of their features at no cost — just plug in a tracking number to get started.
While all of these package tracking apps are highly recommended, be sure to check out the details of each to find the perfect option for your shopping habits.
Route: The Best Package Tracking App
After hands-on testing with a multitude of package tracking apps for iOS and Android, we selected Route as our favorite. This great package tracking app is free and offers a visual map to see where your packages are in transit.
Route offers a beautiful and simplistic interface that is easy to use and integrates well with several email services, including Gmail, Outlook and iCloud. Route will automatically add the package if a tracking number is discovered within a received email.
Route also integrates easily with Amazon, allowing you to keep an eye on packages. Amazon has made it increasingly challenging to track packages with third-party apps, but solutions such as Route employ clever tricks to enable the feature.
The Route app even includes a built-in feature for dealing with order issues. With only a few taps, you can report packages that were stolen, arrived damaged or were lost in transit. Route is truly our favorite package tracker app this year for the holiday season.
Package Tracking App Honorable Mentions
We found our top package tracking app, Route, to deliver an optimal experience we believe everyone will love. However, as opinions are just opinions, we have listed a few honorable mentions for those seeking something different to track shipments.
The Shop app has become increasingly popular thanks to its tight integration with many independent online stores, thanks to the Shopify platform. But, in addition to integrating with small shops, the Shop app can import packages directly from Amazon.
If Amazon or the independent online store you purchased from doesn’t work with the Shop app, you can have the app scan your emails for tracking numbers. The Shop app supports Gmail and Outlook email accounts. (Sorry, iCloud fans, no luck here.)
Opening the Shop app does directly place you in a shopping tab in an attempt to show you shops and items you may wish to purchase, but navigating to your orders is only a tap away. If you decide to purchase with the Shop app, you can even pay later with monthly installments.
The Deliveries package tracker is the only paid app in our lineup, but at only $4.99 a year or 99 cents a month, it’s a worthy recommendation. If you choose to unsubscribe to the app at any time, you’ll be able to view package history but cannot add new deliveries.
Like the other apps we recommended, Deliveries allows you to track all your packages in a single location. For automated tracking, you can set up any email service to forward tracking numbers to the app.
Deliveries you add will be synced across your devices using iCloud, so you can track your packages across multiple devices. We also love that Deliveries allows you to add delivery dates to your calendar for easy tracking.
Oh, and the best part? The Deliveries package tracker doesn’t try to sell you products when you open the app like all of the other best package tracking apps on this list.
Download for iOS (not available for Android).
FedEx, Postal Service, UPS and DHL Tracking
Don’t care about viewing all of your packages in a single app? You can download individual apps for delivery couriers, such as FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and DHL.
While these apps won’t allow you to track everything, you generally gain access to more advanced tracking information, such as rescheduling deliveries and adding shipment notes.
If you don’t have a tracking number, many official postal services will enable you to see incoming packages merely based on your address.
Here are delivery apps for some of the most popular courier services:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I See Exactly Where My Package Is?
Package tracking apps use tracking information provided by postal services, such as USPS or FedEx, to display location information. You generally won’t be able to see the location of your package in real time, but you’ll see approximate locations based on recent updates from the couriers.
Can I Track a Package With an Order Number?
In most situations, you won’t be able to track a package with an order number. However, if you have an order number, you may be able to reach out to the retailer of your shipment and obtain a package tracking number.
How Do I Track a Package I Ordered?
We recommend downloading and installing a package tracking app on your Android or iOS device to track the packages you ordered. Our favorite package tracking app is Route.
Can Google Track a Package?
If you perform a Google search with your tracking number, Google will provide you with your tracking information. However, we recommend using a package tracking app for a more organized approach.
Michael Archambault is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology.