Tracking Tips for Courier/Freight shipments

In today’s “instant” world we expect to see where our goods are in transit at all times. However in a country as big as Australia that is not always possible.

Each transport carrier has different levels of trace-ability for their shipments. In this article we will try and make sense of some of the ‘tracking codes’ so you can better understand what you see on the tracking page on our site (and many other sites).

Firstly, to enable tracking of goods in transit you must have a ‘carrier compliant’ barcoded consignment-label attached to the goods. These types of labels are provided by the carrier or through freight aggregation businesses like Smart Send’s ( when a booking is completed.

Secondly, you cannot track goods until they have been collected. You will see a ‘Picked up’ scan when goods have been collected by a pickup driver. Then later on that day a ‘depot or location’ scan will become available to indicate the goods have arrived into the local depot for sortation to it’s destination. You do need to bear in mind technology does let us down from time to time so the sender should always obtain a signature on their copy of the pickup run sheet (or Sender’s Copy of the consignment-note) as a proof of pickup as a safe guard.

Some carriers do not scan between depots so you may not see additional scans until the goods arrive into the delivering depot. This means your goods may not scan for a week or more if they are traveling between the East and West coast; there is no need for concern however as your goods are simply in transit as they should be.

Once your goods arrive into the delivery depot you may see a range of scans such as:

DEL or On Board – this means the goods are out for delivery or delivered.

LOD – left on dock, generally because the consignment has arrived into the depot too late for delivery on that day’s delivery run.

LID – left in depot, same as above

CA – check address, the driver is querying the delivery address

CL – card left, the driver has attempted delivery and left a card because there wasn’t anyone at the delivery address to sign for the goods.

Short – the full consignment has not arrived into the delivering depot (one or more items in the consignment may have been delayed and are still in transit).
Attempted – driver attempted delivery and was unable to deliver; this could apply to apartment blocks or gated communities where the driver is unable to access the letterboxes to leave a card or sometimes the driver may deem it unsafe to leave the goods (in ‘Authority to Leave’ situations).

RTS – the goods have been returned to Sender

These are only some of the main tracking scans but there can be many others depending on the carrier used to transport your goods. If you’re a Smart Send customer we can assist if you’re unsure on any tracking scans you may see.

We do need to be aware that Australia is a huge country and quite often no one carrier is able to service the whole country without using agents. This often means that once your item travels outside the carrier’s main network the goods may not be track-able electronically. We at Smart Send can assist in this situation, if the goods are outside the quoted transit time (we always quote transit times in business days) we can contact the agent and get you an ETA (estimated time of arrival or delivery). In very remote areas there may be a depot collection required by the receiver.

We cannot track your goods at all if the Smart Send label is not on the goods prior to pickup, this is vital to knowing where your goods are and when they are on board for delivery. If the driver picks up on a manual label or consignment-note for any reason, we cannot track the goods without knowing that consignment number.

At any time you can contact Smart Send Pty Ltd on or via the ‘Customer Service’ support link on our homepage if you have any concerns with your delivery.