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Tips for tracking holiday shipments

We are entering that time of the year where there are a lot more online purchases being made. Unfortunately, that also means that more packages are being lost, damaged and stolen. We’ve compiled a few tips that will help all year long, with all packages you may be receiving and sending.

We’ll talk about it later, but specifically for The Coffee Project, you can also add an Order Comment during the checkout process to let us know of any special requests or concerns you may have. Things like, “Please add a signature request,” or, “Please don’t ship with X Carrier.”

Now onto the tips.

  • Be aware of when your packages are expected to arrive.

It sounds simple enough, but this may just be the most important of all the tips we’re going to share with you.

When you get your email shipping notice look at the shipping method and/or click the tracking link to see the estimated delivery date. Then write it on your wall calendar. If you prefer digital reminders you can simply flag the email with a reminder for the day the package should arrive. When you get the reminder, you’ll have the tracking number right there. Check it again to see if there was a delay, in which case you can create a new reminder. If the package is out for delivery and you didn’t get it you’ll know you need to check again and possibly follow up with the carrier.

The sooner you notice a package didn’t arrive when it should have, the easier it will be to track it down. When a package is missing reach out to your local carrier first. Many packages come with GPS Tracking. Those should be scanned at the location where the package was left. All three carriers we are going to discuss should be able to confirm if the package was delivered to the right location with GPS tracking and map views.

  • Sign up for delivery notices with the 3 main carriers.

The United States Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS all offer package tracking. You can customize these to go to your email or phone. The services are free and easily customizable so you can control the frequency of emails/texts, but can still stay on top of your packages. These services work for packages that have been shipped to you, not just the ones you’ve purchased yourself. So if someone has sent you a gift that you had no idea was arriving, it will still be included in your delivery notices from the carrier.

For UPS and FedEx we recommend Day of Delivery notifications as well as a Delivered notification. Day of Delivery lets you know it should be arriving and if you know when your deliveries normally happen you can be home to receive them. Delivered notifications come in within a minute or two after the package has been left. So if you are able to, you can quickly bring it inside.

  1. USPS – Informed Delivery

This service is available for consumers and can be accessed on the computer or your phone/tablet. Once you’ve verified your information and created your account you will be able to see scanned images of all the mail that has been sent to your address. You’ll also get a daily email of those images. If you don’t receive a particular piece of mail, there is checkbox under the image. Once you click the checkbox is submitted it to the post office as lost mail.

You can also track your packages. Each package will be listed with the date it was delivered or delivery statuses such as In Transit, Pre-Shipment, and Alerts. Unfortunately, right now it doesn’t seem to link your packages over to the regular USPS Tracking page.

You can copy your tracking number and manually track it HERE. Once you enter a tracking number it takes you to a more detailed tracking page where you can setup Text & Email Updates, as well as Tracking History and Product Information. This will give you a better idea of when your package is set to arrive.

  1. UPS – My Choice
    Once you sign up you’ll have a variety of notification choices. In addition to tracking your packages, you can reroute, reschedule, or authorize a shipment release for your delivery. 

With My Choice, each household member can have their own account, or you can have a master account for everyone in the household, including name variations. Once you’ve created your My Choice account with your name and address, no one else can add you to their My Choice account. The benefit here is a spouse buying a gift in their name. They can track the package without the other person knowing it’s arriving. They could even reroute the package or change the delivery date to make sure they get it, instead of the person the gift is for. Great for the holidays and birthdays.

This service is available for consumers and businesses. You also have access to a delivery planner for a quick snapshot of all the incoming packages. You can add driver instructions and provide alternate delivery locations.

Currently, UPS is offering 3 months free of their Premium service. You can switch back to the free version when your 3 months is over.


  1. FedEx – Delivery Manager

Very similar to My Choice, Delivery Manager allows you to see all packages being sent to your address. You can get text messages or email on a variety of status for your package as well as rerouting your package. FedEx has relationships with other business to allow you to reroute your package to be picked up elsewhere. For instance, the weather is bad, and you ordered computer parts. With Delivery Manager and partnerships, they’ve set up you can request your package to be delivered to a Walgreens, a neighbor, or held at the local FedEx center.



There isn’t much you can do to prevent a package from being lost in transit or misdelivered. Knowing when your packages should arrive or when the carrier has stated they’ve delivered will help speed up the process for recovery.

FedEx works with a lot of Walgreens locations as well as other select retailers for package pickup and drop-off.  You can find a list of Participating Retailers here. That list includes 9 larger retailers, plus FedEx Authorized ShipCenters.

Likewise, UPS has UPS Access Point Locations, which are the various local business they’ve partnered with.

Here at The Coffee Project we’ve been taking in customer feedback and working with our account reps on better shipping methods. Over the last year, you may have noticed some of those changes. While we aren’t quite ready to roll out a complete shipping policy change, we do have a lot of new things in the works.

We see every Order Comment, so feel free to use that whenever you place an order. Maybe you simply want to say HI or tell us how much you love that new coffee you tried last time. You can also use it to let us know you want to add the free Roast Magazine to your order, or that you prefer we don’t ship with Carrier X. You can also reply to your order email confirmation to make any changes. The sooner you contact us after an order the better. We do try to get shipments rolling out as quickly as possible.

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