How Does Live Tracking Work?
For a package to provide live updates, it requires technologies employed by carriers along the delivery route. The most common is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags attached directly to shipments. As packages move through facilities, antennas automatically read the tags and record location details.

Carriers also utilize specialized scanners to manually tag packages at points like pickup and drop-off. These scanners transmit tracking details to a centralized database in real-time. Finally, GPS is deployed in delivery vehicles to associate scanned packages with geographic coordinates.

Together, these systems allow carriers to frequently capture a package's journey and relay it to online tracking interfaces. Some provide updates as often as every 15 minutes for true real-time visibility into in-transit status.

Major Tracking Platforms
Nearly all major carriers now offer Live Package Tracking services through their own websites and mobile apps. Here are some of the largest players in the industry:

- UPS - Track shipments sent via UPS with maps and estimated delivery windows. Get automatic email and text alerts at key stages.

- FedEx - Follow FedEx deliveries live on a comprehensive tracking page. See package details synced to a mobile device in real-time.

- USPS - Monitor USPS mail and packages through an account. Get notifications on delivery status sent to email or the USPS app.

- DHL - Track international packages across 220 countries on the carrier's user-friendly website. Set preferences to push updates right to a smartphone.

- Amazon - Conveniently follow Amazon orders and packages handed off to carriers. Integrated tracking syncs with purchase history.

Truly Real-Time Capabilities
While most major carriers offer live updates every 15 minutes or so, some have adopted even more advanced tracking technologies. ShipStation's cloud-based system processes carrier data every 2-5 minutes for packages in transit. Shippo taps into carrier APIs to pull tracking changes near instantly for maximum visibility.