When getting a package tracking number, most people today just Google it, as the search engine has long been able to direct users to the correct shipping carrier’s site. Google Search package tracking could soon be directly integrated.

Google today announced a Package Tracking Early Access Program where shipping companies can “show people the status of their packages right on Search.” One mockup design shows a card in Search that lets you enter a tracking number.

Clicking “Track package” will display the results inline immediately. This includes package destination and expected delivery estimate, as well as an up-to-date timeline of shipping events. At the bottom are links to view details on the carrier’s site and contact information.

This offers a much more unified experience across sites and is not too different from Google Now shipping cards of old, or the less detailed Assistant Updates equivalent that’s just generated from your emails today. While carriers might lose page views, many visitors will likely still directly visit to access more fine-grained delivery options.

The beta program is available in all countries, and allows interested shipping carriers to participate and provide feedback.

To take part in the program, a carrier will need to provide a RESTful JSON or XML API that returns the package tracking information. We can work with you to reuse an existing API or setup a new one.

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