Vocabulary Practice: Shipment Tracking

Read the text again and answer the questions with some of the words in bold.

All buyers are different. Some place an order and forget about it until the day it finally arrives. Others like to know exactly where their parcel is every step of the way. Be that as it may, all shoppers alike expect cost-effective shipping, realistic delivery times, and real-time information about the status of their shipment.

Have you already shipped my parcel?

What’s the estimated delivery date of the consignment?

What’s the rate per package?

You’ve probably heard all these queries on more than one occasion. Thanks to recent developments in technology, which offer real-time information about parcels in transit, you no longer have to waste valuable time replying to shipment-related questions.

Once a parcel is processed at a logistics facility it is fitted with a bar code (an optical machine-readable identifier) and a tracking number (a unique combination of letters and numbers which identify the shipment). The package is then scanned multiple times between pickup and delivery making it possible to pinpoint its exact location and the Fulfillment Center currently handling it. Delivery dates and estimated delivery times vary between service providers. Delays are not uncommon and frequently result from: adverse weather conditions, customs problems e.g. incorrect or incomplete documentation, random customs inspections, Fulfillment Center backlogs.