I’ve been there. I know you’ve been there. There’s a good chance yours and my neighbors have been there. What I’m talking about, of course, is the time between when you order that item you so desperately want on Amazon and when it’s scheduled to arrive at your house so you can open the brown box, take said item out, and love it and cherish it forever and always.
Part of what fills the void between when you click the purchase button and when the box finally ends up in your loving arms is having the ability to check the status of the delivery. Amazon, like other delivery services today, gives you frequent checkpoint updates on the status and location of your package. The notifications about being at a slightly closer sorting facility or that the item is out for delivery are nothing new in today’s world or shipping logistics.
But what Amazon’s done in true Amazon fashion is take things a step further. In order to give their customers the absolute most up-to-date information on where in the world their precious cargo is, Amazon developed a service—aptly named Amazon Map Tracking—that offers essentially live updates on exactly where that package is. The service quietly rolled out late last year, but is just now starting to hit more customers across the U.S. Similar to how Uber’s app shows you how far away your driver is from arriving to pick you up, Amazon Map Tracking gives the user the ability to see how far away their delivery guy is, including letting you know how many more stops they have until they’re on the way to your delivery destination.
Hey @amazon thanks for the same day delivery for insanely inexpensive cost! Plus the feature where it shows where the Amazon delivery person is on a map and how many parcels they’re delivering before yours is a godsend and so nice to have in the Bay Area! You rock! ❤️🤙🏻 pic.twitter.com/j5nUxk3QuV
— J. Austyn Belanger (@JRyanNYC) February 25, 2018
"The Amazon Map Tracking feature is another delivery innovation we are working on to improve convenience for our customers and provide them greater visibility into their deliveries," Amazon spokeswoman Alana Broadbent told Business Insider last month.
While the service seems cool and will certainly calm the nerves for the obsessive folks out there who just need to know where that delivery truck is, it’s also a tad creepy—which is par for the course with regards to new Amazon services.
I’d hope that this would be an incredibly unlikely scenario, but it’s 2018 and you can’t discount anything these days, so let’s throw it out there: Who’s to stop someone from logging into this Map Tracking feature, locating their delivery truck, and essentially hunting their package down in an attempt to get it before the truck was scheduled to arrive? That raises all kinds of security questions and concerns for both the driver of the delivery truck as well as the customers whose homes that truck is scheduled to stop at. I imagine (read: hope) the service doesn’t give exact pinpoint location accuracy the way Uber does, which would make it at least a little more difficult for a customer to track down that truck.
I can already see the headlines, though, and the Dateline story that’s sure to follow.