Recently, UPS announced it is adding a real-time tracking feature to My Choice accounts, a program and web-based dashboard used by individuals and home-based businesses to manage their UPS accounts.

Package tracking by UPS, FedEx and other shipping companies was among the most amazing early marvels of the web. But the tracking information they provide has changed little in the past decade. Customers view the progress of a package by monitoring its last location, apparently tracked when barcodes on packages are scanned. “Out for delivery” has become equivalent to cable-company fuzzy time like “between four and six.”

Real-time is the tracking metric of the GPS/mobile-web era

Think of all the services that have out-innovated the big shipping companies when it comes to real-time, location-based tracking.

People Tracking | Apps like Glympse allow users to share (either publicly or privately) their location in real-time. For instance, if you are driving to another city to visit a friend, you can send them “a Glympse” that shows your progress on a map and even provides the speed at which you are traveling (a feature especially popular with parents of teenagers). You can even set up a group Glympse to see the location of several people.

Commercial Airline Flights | Via the website of an individual airline or even through a Google search, flights can be tracked real time, making it easy for those who are picking up in-coming passengers to stay up to the minute on the status of their flight.

On-demand Delivery Services | On-demand companies like Postmates, which provides delivery services to small retailer and local businesses, have real-time tracking for shippers and customers to monitor, as we shared recently.

Ride Sharing | And, of course, one of the early killer-features of on-demand economy ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft is the real-time tracking feature that gives riders precise information on the location of the driver on their way to pick you up.

Until the era of drone-delivery when we’ll be able to look up in the sky and see our order flying our way, customers are going to become more demanding about the current location of a package (or person, ride, pizza, etc.) they are expecting.

Related Articles