Royal Mail tracking

The Royal Mail is one of the oldest postal services in the world, being originally founded in 1516. Its services include parcel delivery, EMS and freight forwarding. Royal Mail is an iconic postal service, most well known for its bright red postboxes which can be seen across the UK.

What is the Royal Mail?

The Royal Mail is an iconic United Kingdom-based postal delivery service, which includes in its operations parcel and package delivery, EMS and freight forwarding. The postal service is one of the oldest in the world, originally founded in 1516 and its logo is not only synonymous with postage services but is among the most trusted and recognized delivery organisations in the world, especially in the United Kingdom.

A particularly noticeable part of the Royal Mail branding is the bright red pillar boxes which serve as postal points for customers, where customers can leave their mail and it will be picked up by Postmen and women during their rounds, to be forwarded on to their final destination. The postboxes are a familiar sight to people across the UK and the term "post-box red" was coined with the striking red colour of Royal Mail post-boxes seen on the streets of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Although the service predominantly serves UK customers, included in its services are the forwarding and delivery of mail from other couriers such as from its subsidiary company, Parcelforce and General Logistics Systems (GLS). Royal Mail can also be involved in handling and delivering for a number of online marketplaces and eCommerce websites, such as Amazon and eBay. The company delivers to some 29 million addresses across the UK six days a week, Monday to Saturday, and has over 12,000 Post Office branches in the UK and 52 Parcelforce Worldwide depots.

The Royal Mail Group became publicly traded in 2011. The postal centre's arm of the Royal Mail, the Post Office Ltd, became independent of Royal Mail Group afterwards and was reorganised to become a subsidiary of Royal Mail Holdings with separate management.

How can I track my Royal Mail package?

You can track your Royal Mail package using several options. You can track your Royal Mail package through the in-house Royal Mail tracking system, which can be found on their website. The second option is to use a specialist tracking system, such as Ship24.

The advantages of using a specialist tracking system have led many to opt to use them instead of with the parcel delivery company or service themselves. To explain these in better detail, please find a list below which accompanying explanations of how these are beneficial over traditional tracking methods:

  • Multiple courier tracking: Tracking with a single parcel delivery company or postal service such as the Royal Mail means that you are limited to just tracking through that service. Should your parcel change hands with another courier (such as if you are sending something abroad from the UK and the package is handled by Royal Mail subsidiary GLS when it leaves the UK) could mean that you have difficulty tracking your parcel beyond a certain point. With a multi-courier tracking system, you not only will be able to continue tracking your parcel no matter how many times it changes handlers, but you can do it all from one place with just the tracking number of your parcel. The Ship24 system is universal, meaning wherever in the world your package or parcel is, you can keep up to date with your parcel from the Ship24 website.
  • One-stop-shop tracking: Not only do people not want to worry about their parcel changing hands, but they also don't want to have to visit different websites to track packages that may be being shipped with different couriers. If you have ordered one item from Alibaba that is being handled by China Post, and another from eBay that is being handled by DHL, you would want to be able to track both of those parcels without having to visit both the China Post and DHL websites at the same time. With Ship24, you can track parcels being shipped with multiple couriers simultaneously. You can enter 10 different tracking numbers at a time on the Ship24 website and its universal tracking system capability has the power to give you real-time locational and status updates on all 10 parcels instantly. When it comes to shipping, Ship24 is the ultimate shipping solution.
  • Superior courier and online shop scanning: The universal Ship24 tracking system tracks and traces information on parcels from over 1200 couriers and counting, as well as thousands of online shops to get the latest information on your parcel location and current status. We are constantly adding new couriers and shops as part of our ongoing commitment to deliver the best shipment tracking solution for our users.
  • AI-drive machine learning: Not only does Ship24 offer market-leading universal shipment tracking but we have a dedicated development team which have built AI-driven machine learning and 24/7 data quality monitoring into our system. This means we are constantly updating and checking that our results are delivered to our customers.
  • Support: We also have a dedicated in-house support team which can help resolve tracking issues. Users should note that although Ship24 can help with all of your tracking needs, problems with individual parcels, such as damage or failure to deliver, are the responsibility of the handler. However, buyers and sellers are encouraged to use Ship24 to keep track of who is handling your parcel and where it is located in order to better understand or identify where a problem with your parcel delivery may have arisen. For instance, if you are experiencing delays, heading to the Ship24 website and tracking your parcel could alert you to it being stuck at customs because of an issue with processing. Therefore, you need to contact your courier about your parcel and check the current location and status with Ship24 before making the call.

Which Royal Mail package delivery options are the best?

The Royal Mail postal service offers several different parcel delivery options depending on the needs of the customer. However, it should be noted that the availability of these options may depend on the size and weight of a particular package and therefore it is best to check with Royal Mail to ensure the following services are available. Please find the most commonly used Royal Mail delivery options below:

  • Standard Universal service: The Royal Mails universal service is a standard parcel delivery service which it is required to maintain by law, where any item can be sent to any location within the UK for a fixed price, with the distance of the parcel within the UK not varying the amount.
  • Special Delivery: Royal Mail Special Delivery is an expedited parcel, package, and mail delivery option that guarantees delivery by 1 pm the next day, or 9 am at a slightly extra cost.

(With the special delivery option, a money-back guarantee is offered if the item is not delivered on time.)

  • Business services: This service is for businesses who stamp their own mail with either a simple rubber stamp and an ink pad or using a printed label. For more information on business services check the Royal Mail website.

All package delivery services provided by the Royal Mail can be tracked universally with the Ship24 website. Whether you are sending a parcel to your neighbour or across the world, Ship24 can give you locational and status updates on your parcel's journey no matter how many times it changes handlers.

There is no need to add additional information like parcel reference numbers or package destinations when wanting to track your parcel on Ship24, simply enter the tracking number you received when you bought your Royal Mail shipping (or that was sent to your by a seller when you purchased an item that uses Royal Mail shipping) and begin tracking your parcel immediately, with just the click of a button! You can check up on your parcel any time, for free, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Where is my Royal Mail tracking number?

In order to find out where your Royal Mail package is, you will need to use your tracking number which was sent to you when you purchased shipping with Royal Mail or that was sent to you in either a confirmation email after you made an online purchase (such as on an eCommerce site or online marketplace) or that will have been sent to you directly by a seller.

Once you have your tracking number, go to the Ship24 website (or google Ship24 to find us) and begin tracking your parcel instantly. There is no long form to fill out or multiple pull-down menus to select specifics about your parcel, just enter your tracking number into the search bar and Ship24 will begin tracking over 1200 couriers and thousands of only shops to find the exact location of your parcel.

In order to understand better what a Royal Mail tracking number looks like, it will typically be between 9 and 27 characters long, consisting of numbers, letters or both. An example of some of the tracking numbers received by customers is below:

  • JV050194837GB
  • 1582DAD1057688A7
  • 0B84043728503019000

To track your delivery status, follow the steps below:

  • Find the tracking number that was given to you with your purchase or in a separate email by the seller.
  • Enter the tracking code within the Ship24 search bar.
  • Once entered, click on the search button.
  • Sit back, relax and let the universal Ship24 tracking system scan thousands of couriers and shops for you.
  • View all your tracking records for your worldwide deliveries and UK domestic deliveries!

How long does Royal Mail take to deliver?

Depending on which service you acquired from Royal Mail, a tracked delivery will range from next day delivery to within 2-7 days delivery. To check the status of your delivery, simply input your tracking number onto the Ship24 homepage. You can track up to 10 parcels at the same time to keep track of your parcels' journey.

How can I send Royal Mail parcels under the EU IOSS scheme?

For businesses who sell to buyers within Europe to take advantage of the new Import One-Stop-Shop (IOSS) scheme brought into effect this year, they need to register with an intermediary provider.

IOSS registration is beneficial as VAT will be prepaid and therefore Royal Mail and or EU customs will not charge any further fees on imports, which helps improve both delivery times and customer post-purchase experience. Getting full IOSS registration is easy, with Ship24, providing and supporting the entire process, as well as ensuring ongoing VAT compliance with EU IOSS obligations. Once you have your IOSS number, you can begin sending Royal Mail packages to the EU under the IOSS and enjoy fast-track shipping, consolidated EU-wide VAT payments and optimize EU import efficiency.

For further information check out how to get an IOSS number so your business can begin benefitting from the EU scheme check out our dedicated IOSS page and in-depth FAQs and make sure your business stays ahead.

What do I do if I have a problem with my Royal Mail package?

You can contact the Royal Mail Customer Services by telephone, email or via the Royal Mail website. Please find the contact details below:

Before calling or sending your query to the Royal Mail, if it is regarding a delay to your parcel delivery, check the current location and status of your parcel on the Ship24 website first. This could not only uncover the reason behind your parcel delivery being late (such as if the parcel is stuck at customs) but it will also give you the latest information on where your parcel is and the status of your parcel which could be useful when talking to the Royal Mail customer service team.

What is the transit time for Royal Mail packages?

The parcel transit time or time it takes to deliver your package, to the Royal Mail will vary depending on the delivery options chosen, your final destination, and the size and weight of your particular parcel. When purchasing your shipping with Royal Mail, buyers should take into account all of the latter factors in order to pick the delivery option which best serves your needs. Also, at this point of purchase, you should be given an estimated delivery time by the Royal Mail for your package once you have entered the dimensions and weight of your parcel. However, the average shipping times for Royal Mail are listed below.

Typically, express deliveries made via Royal Mail takes 24-48 hours (within the UK), while ordering from China can take from 20 for registered Shipping (buyers should note that handlers may vary when purchasing from various international locations before being passed over to the Royal Mail for final delivery) to up to 40 days for economy shipping options, such as unregistered parcels (buyers should be warned that unregistered shipping options may not have tracking options available.

Does Royal Mail deliver on Sunday?

No. Royal Mail only delivers parcels/packages from Monday to Saturday. However, shipment tracking (or checking on the progress of your parcel) can be done 24/7 via the universal package tracking website Ship24.

While no deliveries will be made on Sundays, if you have ordered a parcel or are sending a parcel to an international destination, the location and status of the parcel could still change, due to the fast movement of your package can still happen on Sundays, just it will definitely not be delivered at its final destination.

How long does Royal Mail 1st class take?

When a buyer chooses 1st class Royal Mail delivery, it takes 24 hours to be delivered. The weight of the parcel must not exceed 20kg when choosing this option.

What is Royal Mail tracking information?

Royal mail tracking information will come in the form of updates or events which have happened to your parcel, such as if it is in transit or has been checked in at a depot along its route to its final destination. If any updates have occurred, they will be available instantly on the Ship24 universal tracking system, which you can use for free by simply entering your tracking number into the search bar.

When you search for your tracking events with Ship24, some of the most common tracking updates you will see will be the following:

  • In transit: the package is on the way to its desired destination.
  • Checked in at Depot: It has been checked in to a Royal Mail processing centre as part of its route
  • Delivered: the item ordered has been delivered successfully
  • Attempted Delivery: there was a problem with delivery/nobody was at the delivery location to receive the parcel

Whether you track your parcel using the standard Royal Mail tracking or with a superior universal tracking system such as Ship24, you will receive the same updates on your parcel. This is because all updates on your parcel are contacted directly from the depot, processing centre, transit operator or otherwise. Information on your Royal Mail parcel's location and status will be available instantly via the Ship24 website, where tracking is free and can be used 24/7.

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