Apple’s ‘Track Shipment’ not working? How to Understand the Tracking Reference, Specifically with TNT as the Carrier

Once logged into your Apple account, click 'Track Shipment' to find your tracking data

I’m sitting here, still in wait for my iPad mini, pre-ordered as soon as the Apple store opened here in the UK, and frustrated by the fact that even initial orders appears to have been delayed by up to 3 weeks. Despite being told 2 weeks at the point of order, my predicted date has continued to show 15th November, nearly 3 weeks after the event. I could make a special trip to any number of high street locations who are already showing stock, so this does feel like poor customer service on Apple’s part. I’ll blame the recently departed John Browett for deciding that it was more important for other resellers to have stock over those who pre-ordered. What else would you expect from someone from Dixon’s, other than poor customer service!

Anyway, I’ve now received my shipment notification, and am advised that TNT is the carrier of choice. When I first got the notification through, both the ‘tracking number’ and the ‘Our delivery reference number’ were showing the same 10 digits.

Get the tracking number from the Track Shipment page, make sure its 9 digits for a TNT International shipment

I visited the TNT UK website and tried the Track option, and strangely this produced a report for a delivery in Glasgow a week ago. It was soon obvious that the number was being truncated and producing a completely different result. UK consignment numbers for TNT appear to be 8 digits.

I still couldn’t find a way of getting a tracking result, and assumed that Apple had not in fact handed the consignment off to TNT at that point.

I came back to look again today, and found that the tracking reference has now changed to a 9 digit number. TNT uses 9 digit codes for international shipments, and if you want to track them, you have to use a different page on TNT’s international site

Make sure to click the link to 'Track International Shipments' if you are on the TNT UK website

Now I’m getting a match on the consignment, and its currently showing that the package is leaving Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, hopefully today. Looks like I can still expect to wait until next Wednesday before it finally arrives at my door, so still some more finger twiddling to look forward to.

Finally I can see the tracking details for my iPad mini!

Update 14/11/2012: The consignment status has now moved to ‘Out for Delivery’. Interesting that the shipment didn’t seem to be in any hurry to transfer through Pudong and Arnhem hubs, but the fact its come directly into Exeter has helped get it out for delivery on the same day. I was expecting this to go through a Birmingham hub, so good on TNT for having a more direct link.

Tracking Information now shows 'Out for Delivery'




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