India is a vast country and has the largest Postal Network in the world. The Government of India operates the postal system set up by the erstwhile British rulers, which serves as a major communication channel besides offering many other utility services for the public. India Post handles an incredible volume of traffic comprising various documents and parcels from individuals, businesses, and government departments, ensuring their safe and timely delivery within and outside India. The extensive postal network connects the extremities of the country, covering every rural area by setting up post offices that are accessible to one and all. August 1, 1986, became a milestone in India’s postal history due to the introduction of Speed Post, a premier service that guarantees speedy and timely delivery of consignments. Speed post tracking is the most important feature of the service for tracking the consignments throughout the journey until delivery.
The biggest postal network in the world
India has the biggest postal network that creates amazing connectivity across the length and breadth of the country with the help of more than One hundred fifty-seven thousand post offices, mostly in rural India, serving the largest population. The postal network is the country’s lifeline, connecting the most remote areas with the rest. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Kutch to Pangin, in Arunachal Pradesh, cities, towns, and villages have post offices at strategic locations. The post offices connect people across large distances and act as the centers for the unification of the vastly culturally diverse nation. Moreover, the post offices help bridge the urban-rural divide, and their outreach is double that of all the commercial banks in India.
A Post office serves 8,354 people across approximately 21.43 square kilometers. Rapid digitization of post offices is helping India to meet its development and financial inclusion goals at a much faster pace.
A step toward globalization
EMS, or Express Mail Service, existed in developed countries for many years, but it took almost 40 years for India since gaining Independence on August 15, 1947, to revamp the postal department to introduce Speed Post services. Joining the international network of EMS was an early sign of globalization, and India Post played a key role as the country gained wide internal recognition as a developing country. By the late seventies, the gradual introduction of computers for industrial and commercial use significantly impacted business operations and accelerated development. The nation was transforming into a fast-growing economy, and rapid advancements in trade and business needed the support of speedy communications and document exchange. To support the guaranteed mail delivery objective necessary for ensuring fast economic development through Commercial and Industrial expansion, the introduction of the Speed Post became a game changer in India’s history.
Taking up the challenge of courier companies
Before the introduction of Speed Post, the Indian Postal service was infamous for delayed, wrong delivery, and often non-delivery of consignments, including letters and parcels. No one could predict when a booked consignment would reach the address at the destination. The public was helpless as no alternatives were available until the early eighties when the courier companies stepped in to fill the expectation gaps. Initially, the courier companies operated across the metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata for both in-country and international mail service. They charged a bomb for delivering consignments, including documents and parcels, on time and within the shortest time. Due to the high cost, only business and commercial establishments availed of the courier services while the public suffered.
For the first time in India, people became aware of the possibility of maintaining defined timelines for delivering postal parcels on time. The courier companies had the necessary infrastructure to ensure timely deliveries and even had some tracking systems in place that gave more confidence to customers. The growing popularity of the courier companies was a wake-up call for the government, which then overhauled the postal department and introduced Speed Post for the public good.
Meeting the expectations of the new-age customers with speed post tracking
The government realized the limitations of the courier companies that had a much smaller network of services and could not reach out to the huge rural population. Moreover, the high cost of courier services was a bane for the masses who could not afford to look elsewhere besides the postal department. New-age customers preferred timely delivery of consignments, including documents. Specimens and samples and did not mind paying more. The changed attitude and new expectations of a nation ready to move forward faster provided an opportunity for the government to earn more revenue by offering time-bound services. Introducing the specialized service Speed Post was a mark of the commitment of India Post to ensure timely delivery of all types of consignments booked under the service.
The services were in tune with the EMS best practices followed internationally and empowered customers to track Speed Post consignments by using the consignment number as a reference. Right from the time of booking until delivery, customers can keep a close watch on all activities that facilitate the movement of the consignment from one destination to another.
The Speed Post is a distinctive service.
Speed Post service is available throughout India but in selected cities and towns and distinctly differs from the ordinary mail service. The contractual service stipulates defined delivery timelines across India and offers personalized services to regular customers for some specific stations. Specially trained officials are responsible for taking care of the network, and the department evaluates their performance against well-defined parameters to maintain the quality of service. The department is answerable to customers regarding any problems faced during delivery or delays by updating the delivery status during the different journey stages through SMS. India speed post tracking is a unique feature of the service that gives a lot of confidence to customers who can closely follow the progress of consignments. Ensuring speedier and guaranteed delivery is the hallmark of the service that has become immensely popular because of its extensive reach and affordable cost.
Catering to urgent communication needs
Besides adhering to the standard delivery timelines for various destinations, the Speed Post Centers cater to any type of urgent communication needs of customers with the help of a suitable infrastructure.
Free pick-up services are available for regular customers to meet present-day demands and ensure better customer satisfaction. In addition, the department offers a ‘book bow, pay later’ scheme for regular users, and bulk customers can avail of the self-booking facilities to avoid queuing at the counters and ensure speedier booking.
How India speed post tracking works
Every article and bag carries a distinctive identification mark duly documented to keep an eye on every consignment, document, and parcel. It helps to track and monitor the movement of the consignment at any point in time with the help of computerized tracking software, which the staff updates to record every activity about the movement of the consignment. The system allows tracing and tracking at each stage of handling and the transmission points, ensuring prompt sorting and distribution for timely delivery. With strong quality control in place, delays are between far and few.
India Speed Post Tracking – from booking to receipt
On booking any document or parcel, you will receive a computer-generated receipt containing important information such as the consignment number, IVR number, details of the booking post office, counter No., date, and time of booking.
Moreover, it contains the details of the sender and recipient, the weight of the package, and the amount charged.
It is important to furnish the complete addresses of the recent sender along with the PIN codes and even provide the mobile numbers. Mobile numbers are important for communicating messages containing updates about the movement of the consignment on a day-to-day basis.
Soon on booking the consignment, both the sender and recipient would receive a message on their mobile phones acknowledging the booking against a specific consignment note number and a link for tracking the consignment. On clicking the link, the tracking page of the India Post website https://www.indiapost.gov.in opens up.
The ‘Track Consignment’ screen has a cell for entering the consignment note No. Followed by entering a Captcha to initiate the search. On tapping the Search tab, you can view a detailed log of all events related to the movement of the consignment that culminates in delivery.
Every activity or event details include the date, time, office, and the nature of the event such as item booked, item bagged, item received, item dispatched, and item delivered in chronological order.
Tracking by phone
The consignment note has an alphanumeric number of 13 characters, starting with two alphabets such as EW, EE, EA, etc., followed by nine digits and ending with the alphabet ‘IN’.
You must enter this number on the tracking screen when using the online tracking mode.
However, there is another option of tracking by dialing the IVR No. 1800 266 6868 when you must key in the IVR No. of 13 digits (all numerical) to get a status update. The phone helpline can also speak to a customer care representative.
Various government departments use the Speed Post services for delivering important documents like passports, Aadhaar cards, Voter cards, ration cards, etc.
The Indian Passport Authority uses the post offices as an extended arm and has set up Passport Seva Kendras at certain post offices to ensure that citizens have easy access to passport services. The Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) is an extended branch of passport offices across India and offers all kinds of passport-related services. From passport renewal to making corrections, additions, and alterations, the PSKs handle all kinds of tasks efficiently and transparently.
Despite ensuring better access to passport services, the department does not allow the collection of passports from the offices. Instead, all passports are delivered by Speed Post to ensure that it reaches the hands of the holder by avoiding any chances of the passport falling into the wrong hands.
Soon after dispatching the passport, the applicant receives a message on the phone containing the consignment details that helps the passport track speed post by following the method described earlier.
Features of Speed Post service
Knowing the features of Speed Post service should help you make the best use to match your expectations of timely delivery of all kinds of documents and articles in India and abroad.
- Express and time-bound delivery of consignments throughout India and other countries.
- The maximum permissible weight of the package is 35 kilograms.
- All consignments are insurable for up to Rs. 1 lakh.
- Regular updates are sent through SMS to both the sender and recipient.
- E-commerce and online sellers using Speed Post can avail of the cash-on-delivery service.
- Bulk and Corporate customers can avail of free pick-up besides availing of volume-based discounts.
- In case of loss of article, delay in delivery, and damage or pilferage, the sender receives compensation amounting to double the Speed Post charges or Rs. 1000, whichever is lesser.
The service is now a part of the worldwide Express Mail Service available in different countries through the respective postal departments. For example, you can send a packet from India to Australia by Speed Post that moves through India and beyond only to hand it over to the Australia Post for delivering the packet at the destination. India Post tracking will provide all information on the consignment on a day–to–day basis until the time of handing it over to the Australia Post. Finally, upon delivery of the consignment, the sender receives a confirmatory SMS.
As the post offices remain closed on specified government and national holidays, you should plan your Speed Post dispatches accordingly.