Last Mile Carrier Tracking: Best Providers & Cost Optimization Tips

In 2023, over 41% of logistics costs were attributed to last mile carrier tracking. As the demand for faster and more reliable deliveries grows, optimizing last mile tracking is crucial for businesses. Learn how top carriers like FedEx, UPS, and USPS are leveraging AI and machine learning to enhance efficiency and cut costs. Discover proven strategies to make your delivery operations more sustainable and cost-effective.

What is Last Mile Tracking?

Last mile tracking is a system that lets businesses and customers see the final part of a package’s journey from the local hub to the customer’s home. It’s like having a GPS tracker on your package so you can see where it is in real time and know exactly when it will arrive.

What is Last Mile Tracking

Here is an example: Imagine you order a new smartphone online. After it ships from the warehouse, you get a tracking number, and here’s how last mile tracking works:

  • Day 1: You receive a notification that your smartphone has shipped.
  • Day 2: Another update tells you the package has arrived at a sorting facility in your city.
  • Day 3: You get a notification that the package is out for delivery.
  • Later that day: You receive a final update saying the delivery driver is a few stops away and your package will arrive within 30 minutes.

This system keeps you informed at every step, so you always know where your package is and when to expect it.

Why Is Last Mile Carrier Tracking Important?

Why Is Last Mile Carrier Tracking Important?

Improved Customer Satisfaction

A study by LaserShip found that nearly 60% of shoppers are willing to pay more for faster delivery. This shows how important quick updates are for keeping customers happy. Customers love knowing when their package will arrive and where it is along the way.

Last mile carrier tracking gives real-time updates and accurate delivery times, which helps customers feel secure about their purchases. For example, if you order a new phone, you can see it move from the warehouse to the local distribution center and then to your home. This reduces the need for customers to call for updates and makes them happier with their shopping experience. Happy customers are more likely to shop with you again because they trust your service.

Operational Efficiency

For businesses, last mile carrier tracking makes delivery operations smoother. By tracking delivery routes and vehicle locations, companies can find the best ways to deliver packages faster and more efficiently. For instance, if a delivery truck is stuck in traffic, the system can suggest a quicker route. This saves time and money, as deliveries are made on time using fewer resources. Businesses can avoid unnecessary detours and delays, making their operations more efficient and cost-effective.

Reduced Delivery Times and Costs

Last mile carrier tracking helps businesses ensure quick and accurate deliveries. By optimizing delivery routes, companies can save on fuel costs and reduce vehicle wear and tear. This minimizes delays and re-deliveries, leading to cost savings and faster deliveries, benefiting both the business and the customer.

Imagining this, you analyze the tracking data and find a new, more efficient delivery route that cuts 10 miles off each trip. Over a month, this change saves hundreds of dollars in fuel and reduces the delivery time by 15%. 

How Does Last Mile Carrier Tracking Work?

Real-Time Tracking

With last mile carrier tracking, businesses and customers can see exactly where a package is during its journey. GPS and IoT (Internet of Things) devices make this possible. GPS pinpoints the package’s location, while IoT devices send this information in real-time. So, when a delivery truck is on its way, customers can track its exact location and know when it will arrive.

Some carriers offer last mile tracking, some don’t. So if your carrier doesn’t support this, you can consider using a third service party like Synctrack Order Tracking. This app integrates with multiple carriers and e-commerce platforms, providing real-time notifications and live tracking links to enhance customer experience. It also optimizes delivery routes for better efficiency and allows direct communication between customers and drivers. Additionally, Synctrack ensures proof of delivery with electronic signatures or photos and offers data analytics for continuous improvement, making the entire delivery process smoother and more reliable.

Live Tracking Links

When your package is out for delivery, the system sends you a live tracking link via SMS or email. Clicking this link shows a live map with the current position of your package and an estimated delivery time. For instance, if you’ve ordered a new phone, you can see where the delivery truck is and how long it will take to reach your house. This transparency reduces anxiety and enhances trust in the delivery process.

Customer Communication Tools

Businesses keep you informed about your delivery status through SMS, email alerts, or tracking actively on websites like Track Order Now tracking tool. You receive notifications when your package is out for delivery, a few stops away, and when it has been delivered. This constant communication keeps you updated and reassured, reducing the need to call customer service for updates.

Direct Communication

Some last mile carrier tracking systems allow direct communication between you and the delivery driver. This feature is especially useful for addressing specific delivery instructions or resolving issues in real-time. For example, if you need to change the delivery time or provide special instructions, you can communicate directly with the driver through the tracking system.

Proof of Delivery

Proof of last mile carrier tracking

When a package is delivered, the system captures an electronic signature (eSignatures) or takes a photo of the delivered package. This proof is then sent to you, confirming that your package has arrived safely. Such evidence helps prevent disputes and enhances trust between customers and you.

Data Analytics and Insights

Last mile carrier tracking systems provide valuable data analytics. By analyzing delivery data, businesses can identify patterns and areas for improvement. For instance, if certain routes consistently experience delays, the company can investigate and make necessary adjustments. This continuous improvement process helps optimize delivery operations, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.

Top Last Mile Carrier Tracking Providers

Top Last Mile Carrier Tracking Providers

When it comes to ensuring packages reach their final destination efficiently, 3 top carriers stand out: FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Each offers unique features and benefits. Let’s see what these are!


FedEx is known for its fast and reliable delivery services. They are great for businesses that need quick deliveries and detailed tracking information. With FedEx, you can get real-time updates on where your package is at any moment. This makes it easier for customers to know exactly when their package will arrive, which improves trust and satisfaction.

  • Key features:
    • Real time tracking: Always know where your package is.
    • Various services: Options include overnight, ground, and international shipping.
    • Special services: Includes cold chain solutions and drone deliveries.
  • Benefits:
    • Reliability: Guaranteed on-time delivery.
    • Customer updates: Automatic email notifications keep customers informed.


UPS is another top choice, known for its extensive delivery network and dependable service. They offer a wide range of delivery options, from ground shipping to next-day air. UPS’s tracking system provides detailed updates at every step of the delivery. They also partner with USPS for some last mile deliveries, which helps keep costs down.

  • Key features:
    • Detailed tracking: Provides updates throughout the delivery process.
    • Multiple shipping options: Including residential and commercial deliveries.
    • Innovative solutions: Uses drones and electric vehicles for some deliveries.
  • Benefits:
    • Cost-effective: Competitive rates for ground shipping.
    • Weekend deliveries: Delivers on weekends.


The United States Postal Service (USPS) is well-known for delivering to every address in the U.S., including P.O. boxes. USPS is ideal for smaller packages and residential deliveries. They offer services like Priority Mail, which are both affordable and efficient. USPS also has a program called Informed Delivery, which gives customers real-time tracking and notifications.

  • Key features:
    • Universal service: Delivers to all U.S. addresses.
    • Informed delivery: Provides real-time tracking and updates.
    • Affordable rates: Competitive prices for flat-rate and priority mail services.
  • Benefits:
    • Wide reach: Extensive delivery network.
    • Cost savings: Great for small packages and residential deliveries.

That’s the overview, here is a comparison chart for you:


Feature FedEx UPS USPS
Real-Time Tracking Advanced with predictive windows Detailed status updates Informed Delivery with real-time updates
Delivery Speed Overnight, same-day Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air Priority Mail Express (overnight, 1-3 days)
Services Offered Overnight, ground, international, drone Ground, Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air, international, drone Priority Mail, First-Class, Media Mail
Network Reach Extensive global and domestic Strong global and domestic All U.S. addresses, including P.O. boxes
Customer Notifications Email notifications, live tracking links SMS and email alerts Informed Delivery
Weekend Deliveries Available for an extra charge Often at extra cost Standard, no extra charge for Saturday
Proof of Delivery Electronic signatures, photos Electronic signatures, photos Electronic signatures, photos, Informed Delivery
Cost Higher for premium, competitive for ground Competitive for ground, higher for express Generally lower, especially for small packages
Operational Efficiency Optimized routes, detailed analytics Route optimization, electric vehicles Broad network, universal service obligation
Innovative Solutions Drone deliveries, predictive analytics Drone deliveries, electric vehicles Informed Delivery, e-commerce integration
Extra Fees Charges for residential, Saturday Fees for residential, Saturday Fewer fees, no extra charge for Saturday


What are the Challenges of Last Mile Tracking?

Last mile carrier tracking is essential for ensuring packages reach their final destination efficiently. However, setting up and maintaining such systems can be challenging. Here are the main challenges and solutions.

Challenges of Last Mile Carrier Tracking

Technical Issues

One big problem with last mile tracking is dealing with technical issues. These can include weak GPS signals, network outages, and software glitches. These problems can cause delays and inaccurate delivery times, making it hard to know where packages are. For instance, if the tracking system goes down, it can be difficult to monitor deliveries effectively.


  • Use high-quality GPS and IoT devices known for their reliability.
  • Schedule regular check-ups and software updates to prevent problems.
  • Have backup systems in place to keep things running smoothly if one system fails.

Security Concerns

Security is another major issue. Protecting customer information from cyber threats is very important. Last mile tracking systems handle personal data like addresses and phone numbers, making them targets for hackers. Also, ensuring the physical safety of packages to prevent theft is a challenge.


  • Use encryption to protect data transmitted through your tracking system.
  • Implement strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and secure access protocols.
  • Use tamper-evident packaging and real-time video monitoring to prevent theft.

Cost of Implementation

Setting up last mile tracking systems can be expensive, especially for small businesses. Costs include buying and integrating new technology, training staff, and maintaining the system. These expenses can be a significant barrier for companies with limited budgets.

High Setup Costs - a challenge of last mile carrier tracking


  • Use a scalable tracking system that can grow with your business.
  • Consider leasing GPS and IoT devices instead of buying them.
  • Work with third-party logistics providers that offer tracking as part of their services.

High Setup Costs

The initial setup costs for last mile carrier tracking systems are high. This includes buying hardware like GPS devices and RFID tags, software licenses, and upgrading infrastructure. These high costs can be a major hurdle for new or expanding businesses.


  • Spread out the costs by setting up the system in stages. Start with the most critical parts and expand gradually.
  • Look for grants or financial assistance programs aimed at improving logistics.
  • Do a cost-benefit analysis to ensure your investment in tracking technology pays off.

How Carriers Solving for Last Mile Tracking in 2024?

How Carriers Solving for Last Mile Tracking in 2024

In 2024, carriers are tackling last mile tracking challenges by using advanced technologies like machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and open API technology solutions. These innovations are transforming how deliveries are managed and executed.

Machine Learning and AI

Machine Learning and AI are key tools for optimizing delivery routes. These technologies analyze huge amounts of data, such as traffic patterns, past delivery times, and weather conditions, to find the fastest and most cost-effective routes. Based on info from Kragujevac City and results from this study, by using ML and AI, companies can significantly improve delivery efficiency and reduce fuel costs by up to 20%. For example, a delivery company might use AI to reroute drivers in real time to avoid traffic jams, ensuring faster deliveries and lower fuel consumption.

Open API Technology

Open API Technology helps different apps and systems involved in the delivery process communicate with each other in real time. This synchronization means that all parts of the delivery chain are updated simultaneously. For instance, if a faster route is found, the driver’s navigation system and the customer’s tracking app are both updated immediately. This real-time communication ensures that drivers are always on the best route and customers always know where their packages are.

These technologies help carriers address common last mile delivery challenges like urban congestion, high costs, and the demand for eco-friendly practices. By optimizing routes and improving communication, deliveries become smarter, faster, and more efficient.

  • Urban congestion: AI and ML help find the best routes through busy city streets, reducing delays caused by traffic.
  • High costs: Optimized routes and real-time updates reduce fuel usage and operational costs.
  • Environmental impact: More efficient deliveries mean less fuel consumption, contributing to greener practices.


Last mile carrier tracking will always be crucial. In the future, carriers will keep improving and using technology to be more efficient and cost-effective. Currently, many third-party services, like Synctrack Order Tracking, include last mile tracking in their order tracking process. If you can’t afford expensive tracking packages from carriers, these apps are a budget-friendly option, starting at just $2-3 per month. I hope this article has given you all the info you need about last mile carrier tracking, from what it is to how to use it effectively.