What is ETA & ETD? What’s the Difference?

keyKey Takeaways:
  • ETA refers to the expected time of arrival, whereas ETD stands for the expected time of departure.
  • Estimated time of arrival is the expected time of the shipment required to arrive at the destination.
  • Estimated departure time is the estimated time and date when the purchased order will reach its final destination.
  • Generally, the accuracy of ETA and ETD can be affected by multiple factors such as traffic, weather, and loading and unloading times.

Nobody wants to wait for things without knowing how long they have to wait, right? 

So making your customers aware of the time duration they can expect to wait can enhance their user experience. 


ETA (estimated time of arrival) or ETD (estimated time of delivery) can help you deliver business, employees, and customers a holistic overview of the delivery process and a better experience.

But what is ETA & ETD? And why are these two terms important for deciding the success of your business?

Let’s dive deep into the nitty-gritty elements of understanding the importance of ETA and ETD and figure out how you can calculate these two for your business.

What Is Estimated Time of Arrival and Why Is it Important?

Estimated time of arrival is the expected time and date the shipment can take to arrive at the destination from the day your customers place the order. It’s the calculation of the packaging and delivery process, and it helps the customers get a brief idea of when they can expect their order to arrive.

ETA can help you get a buffer time if something unfortunate happens in the packaging or delivery process that delays the shipment. You don’t want to consistently update the ETA for your customers and team for a poor experience, so calculate your delivery supply chain using the right tools and strategy.
If you can include ETA while the potential prospect is making the purchase, it can help them complete the transaction and increase the conversion rate of your business because 50% of the customers transact with a business viewing the delivery conditions.

The importance of ETA is rising day by day in the delivery business because of the changing customer behavior and rise in competition in the industry.

With the attention span of customers and patience level decreasing, ETA helps to hook the audience to make the transaction and get an idea about their delivery arrival.

But if you miss out on your ETA, you might lose the customer for their future transaction. You need to align your delivery process with the ETA promised to the customer and have robust technology in place for accurate calculation.

What Is Estimated Time of Delivery and Why Is it Important?

On the other hand, estimated departure time is the estimated time and date that an order will be delivered to the customer or its final destination. It plays a vital role in the last-mile delivery and is calculated by the last-mile carriers.

When the package leaves the storage facility of your business till the time it’s handed over to the consignee, the time it takes to complete this action is called the estimated delivery time.

It ensures that the successful delivery of the product takes place to avoid any miscalculations by the driver or other issues with the delivery segment.

You can update your ETD at any given time using a powerful route planner and notify your customer or employees if any change is required.

Now that you understand both the terms, let’s break down and spot the difference between the two.

The Key Difference Between ETA & ETD

It’s essential for you to understand these terms to avoid confusion or miscalculation in your dispatch management process.

ETA is the critical term you can use to help customers get a delivery time window or an estimated idea of when they expect their order to reach their doorsteps. ETA is necessary for the service industry to deliver a quality experience to its customers.

ETD is vital for the delivery team and the fleet managers to remain on track and avoid any miscalculations or delayed deliveries.

Specifying estimated delivery time can help the drivers to deliver time-sensitive packages on time and hit the road on time to deliver at multiple stops in a single shift.

But calculating both the estimated timings is essential for the smooth functioning of your delivery business. You want your driver to remain on track and avoid missed deliveries for your customers.

So how can you calculate ETA and ETD with no hassles and manual calculations?

Use a Route Planner to Calculate Accurate ETA & ETD

The simplest and error-free way to calculate the ETA and ETD is to use dedicated software. It helps you attain higher accuracy, minimal errors, and minimal effort to finalize the timings.

Using a route planning tool with live tracking and planning functionalities can help you with the following:

1. Calculate timing in advance

Calculate timing in advance

You can calculate the timings in advance by planning and scheduling your delivery process. Early planning can help you streamline the flow and share the information with your internal team and customers in advance for better management and a great customer experience.

You can seamlessly upload the order details from your Excel sheet in the route planner and plan the delivery route to avoid any miscalculations and human errors within a few clicks.

If your logistics or transportation process faces any hiccups, you can update the timings in no time and inform everyone involved in the network about the change.

2. Real-time tracking

Real-time tracking

You can use the real-time tracking feature to check the package’s delivery process and live location. It can help your customers get real-time updates and brief ideas about the arrival timings and experience a quality customer experience.

The GPS tracking removes the manual guesswork. Real-time visibility helps your fleet managers pass on the proper instructions and guidance to the delivery drivers to complete an optimized delivery process.

If anything goes downhill during the delivery process, you can take informed actions to remove the roadblocks to the packages’ smooth flow quickly. You can even get the detailed performance reports of the delivery drivers to analyze the weak points and help them polish their work rate for enhanced productivity for the upcoming shifts.

3. Quick notifications

Using a route planner can help you give quick notifications to the customers about the timings of their arrival. It can help your drivers remain on track with the ETD to avoid delays and failed deliveries.

The route planning and optimization tools can deliver the notifications via text, emails, or mobile notification to enhance real-time visibility.

With 88% of consumers expecting a real-time tracking feature in the modern-day eCommerce industry, it becomes necessary for you to use the latest and advanced tools for a quality experience.

You can update the estimated arrival time and the delivery time window to avoid poor customer experience if the situation demands a change in the delivery process.

Informing your customers is better than keeping them in the dark, right?

4. Agile route planning

Within a few clicks, you get detailed and optimized delivery routes for the last mile delivery. You can create multiple delivery paths for different drivers and dispatch them within no time.

You can bypass the hurdles of manual route planning and handle bulk delivery orders with finesse. You won’t face trouble with the clash of timings. The tool considers a delivery priority, locations, weather, and traffic conditions, among other critical factors, to deliver an optimized delivery path.

Your drivers can maximize efficiency and minimize the delivery time and operational cost.

5. Reduce time wastage

Reduce time wastage

The most significant advantage of route planning and optimization software is to avoid any human errors, troubles, or other roadblocks resulting in delayed or failed deliveries.

With the help of automation, you remove the redundancies in the delivery process and enable your workforce to remain on track with the estimated delivery time.

Also optimized route planning and accurate prediction can help logistics companies minimize the delivery cost per package delivery timings and cut fuel costs.

But not all route planning and optimization software can deliver these results. So how can you filter out a complete package route planner for your delivery business?

We researched on your behalf and selected one of the leading route planning and optimization software you can choose for your business.

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Upper Route Planner

A Simple-to-use route planner that every one is talking about.

  • Save up to 95% of planning time
  • Save up to 40% of time on the road
  • Plan 500 stops at once


The difference between the estimated time of arrival and the estimated delivery time is linked with the importance of the timings to the end-user. ETA is focused on informing customers to be aware of the expected arrival time, and ETD helps the delivery workforce stay on track and thoroughly estimate the time of delivery for different packages on time.

The estimated time of arrival in exports is when the package exports from the origin point to the final point using different shipment modes. It helps to inform customers regarding the expected date of the shipment to have a crystal clear idea about their package arrival.

The Actual Time of Delivery is the time it took actually to deliver the package to the destination point. It can be different from ETA because ETA is just the prediction, and the delivery process can get hindered because of unfortunate and unavoidable events that can cause a delay in the delivery.

Yes, ETD can be changed during the delivery process by the dispatcher using a powerful route planner or other delivery route management tool. The timings can be altered within a few clicks, and the information can be passed on to the internal team or customers.

Yes, different route planners can deliver the estimated delivery time once the delivery address can be entered in the application. Within a few clicks, you can get optimized and shortest delivery paths and timings to help the delivery driver remain on track with the delivery priority. You can also share real-time updates with the customers to deliver a quality delivery experience and update them about any sudden or unavoidable changes in the delivery timings.

Upper Route Planner Can Be Your Go-to Route Planning and Optimization Software

Upper Route Planner is one of the simple-to-use and feature-rich software available. It has the blend of advanced and latest route planning features and effective cost-pricing to stand out from the rest of the tools.

With an intuitive UX/UI, you can use different features available on the dashboard and get a more comprehensive view of your delivery operation with real-time updates within a few clicks.

You can minimize your route planning time by 95% and increase the productivity of your workforce to focus on driving new customers to your customer base. Your fleet management can have robust communication with the on-ground workforce using the software to handle dynamic issues with a collaborative effort.

Upper Route Planner enables you to add 500 delivery addresses from your Excel sheet, which increases the efficiency of your business by 40% within a few clicks.

Its precision-based algorithms help deliver accurate ETA and ETD to your internal team and customers with quick notification updates for a streamlined delivery process.

If you want your delivery business to scale and handle the evolving customer demands, then Upper Route Planner is the software you miss out on.

Get access to the 7-day free trial and get hands-on experience on the tool to get the accurate timings associated with your delivery business. You contact our expert team to resolve your queries or issues about the tools to avoid future hiccups while using Upper Route Planner.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner, a route planning and optimization software. With 28+ years of experience in the technology industry, Rakesh is a subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems. His ultimate goal with Upper Route Planner is to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges and simplify operations such as route planning, scheduling, dispatching, take a proof of delivery, manage drivers, real time tracking, customer notifications and more. He loves sharing his thoughts on eliminating delivery management challenges via blogs. Read more.