Tracking your iPhone every step of the way with flightaware

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ineel, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. ineel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    #1
    Maybe I have just a little OCD when it comes to waiting for apple products. Anyways, a lot of people have been getting the "preparing for shipment" status on their order page. Once your iPhone ships from Shenzhen, it will fly across the globe to you most likely through FedEx. The iPhone is manufactured in Shenzhen, it will be packed an shipped from there. It will then be trucked to Hong Kong which is basically a few miles away. There it will board a FedEx plane. Once the phone is on the plane, the Fedex uses the plane's tail number as the tracking number for all the packages on the plane. When the plane departs the airport, FedEx will update your tracking info as "departed/left xxx" and give you a time. That time correlates to the departure time of the plane. Go to flightaware.com and using the "browse by operator" look for all FedEx "FDX" flights. The map will show you all FedEx plane in the air currently and their approximate position. Scroll down and look at the list of each flights. Look for all FedEx flights that have their origin as the place your package departed from. This will most likely be Hong Kong Intl (VHHH). There will most likely be multiple FedEX flights from the origin so you want to go ahead and match the departure time with the departure time on your tracking information, there it will also tell you where its flying to. There are several routes that FedEx may route your package. The most likely route it will take is to Anchorage, Alaska where it will be inspected by customs then onto Memphis for domestic overnight flights to your destination. FedEx recently acquired some long range Boeing 777F which have the capability to bypass the Anchorage fuelstop/customs and fly direct to Memphis. It's more likely FedEx will use their older MD-11F to Anchorage so they can be sorted there and fly to FedEx's regional hubs in Dallas, Indianapolis, Newark, or Oakland instead of Memphis to relieve congestion there. Because it is impossible to tell which route your phone will take to you, You can uses these same steps above to find which connecting flights your phone will be on using the tracking information fedex provides.

    When i preOrdered my iPhone 4 2 years ago, my iphone took this journey: Hong Kong>Anchorage>Memphis>Sacramento
    I also ordered a bumper case which came separately and took this journey:
    Hong Kong>Anchorage>Oakland--trucked to--Sacramento


    Hopefully this helps for anyone that is OCD about their iphone 5 shipment progress! Don't forget to press refresh a billion times a day!
     
  2. bollweevil macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    #2
    I can hardly believe you know what kinds of planes FedEx uses.

    I appreciate this thread.
     
  3. extraextra macrumors 68000

    extraextra

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #3
    This is crazy but also kind of cool. Dunno if I'm that crazy... yet. :D
     
  4. 1siklex macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
  5. naveah macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    Wow, what an informative post! The process you describe is actually intriguing, from a logistical perspective. I would be very interested in knowing what type of aircraft my phone flies on (something that probably only fascinates engineers), where it stops, etc.
     
  6. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

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    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #6
  7. Dennis187 macrumors regular

    Dennis187

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    below you
    #7
    Apple stopped trusting commercial planes for transportation, so they are turning to C-130s for the iPhone 5's.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. astral125 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #8
    My phones always come on UPS. Is it the same procedure?

    I've never been OCD about this before, but I think you might have messed with my head.
     
  9. GeeSixx macrumors regular

    GeeSixx

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    Sep 27, 2011
    Location:
    California
  10. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #11
    this level obsession...well, it's just impressive :)
     
  11. billinaz macrumors 6502

    billinaz

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Location:
    Goodyear AZ.... for now.
    #12
    You can get the tracking number faster by checking using the reference number field instead. Its your phone number.

    You can find out when the phone is leaving before you even can get your tracing number from apple this way.
     
  12. rritterson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    DC USA
    #13
    Because of the multiple routes, people's orders will go into 'prepared for shipment' and ship at different times, even though they will all arrive on the same day. With the ipad2 I preordered, it went straight to Oakland instead of Memphis, while several other Bay Area residents had theirs ship 2 days earlier than mine and head to Memphis instead. Turned out all 16GB Black 3G iPads shipped last and went direct to regional hubs, while many of the other models went through Memphis. Mine happened to get stuck in customs in HK for 3 days, but still made it from HK to my door in less than 24 hours and arrived on time.
     
  13. astral125 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #14
    My shipping phone number, account main phone number, or the number on the line which is being upgraded?
     
  14. zman2100 macrumors regular

    zman2100

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    #15
    Last year most iPhone 4S shipments came via UPS, but you can track it the same way.
     
  15. dave006 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #16
    Just a reminder to all: last year UPS and FedEx stopped updating status due to the extreme loads on their systems.

    So depending on when that happens this year, the tracking status of your iPhone may not be updated after Anchorage until after the knock on your door.

    Dave
     
  16. tugger macrumors regular

    tugger

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
    KTLH
    #17
    I was wondering how many iPhones an MD-11 can haul, but then another question popped: when iPhones are shipped from China are they already individually packed in the boxes we receive? Or are they shipped in bulk and packaged for individual delivery at some later point in the shipping process?

    So, back to the original question: how many iPhones can an MD-11 carry?
     
  17. ozziegn macrumors 6502a

    ozziegn

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Central FL Area
    #18
    This would be cool if I didn't have a life, a wife and a job. Therefore I'll just wait patiently like everyone else.
     
  18. billinaz macrumors 6502

    billinaz

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Location:
    Goodyear AZ.... for now.
    #19
    The cellphone number.
     
  19. kmanmx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Ever since I started working for one of the largest international couriers in the world, my faith things arriving on time decreased substantially :p
     
  20. billinaz macrumors 6502

    billinaz

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Location:
    Goodyear AZ.... for now.
  21. deannnnn macrumors 68000

    deannnnn

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Location:
    New York City & South Florida
    #22
    My Retina MacBook Pro flew direct from Hong Kong to Memphis. I didn't even know that was possible.
     
  22. Bo15 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #23
    The 777 can carry about 178,000 lbs from China to Mem non-stop and the -11 about 163,000 but can't go as far.

    777 global advantage video
     
  23. richpuer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
  24. zhandri macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Location:
    Germany
    #25
    if i remember correctly my 4s was shipped from the czech republic. (germany)
     

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