“Hi Tony. Any update on the status of the next shipment?”

You're responsible for coordinating shipments of supplies to a factory for your company. One of your suppliers e-mailed you yesterday to say that their shipment might be delayed. Today you want to know the latest news, so you write an e-mail to the supplier which starts like this.

Hi Tony. Any update on the status of the next shipment?

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Hi (name)

This is how most business e-mails in English start out: with a simple greeting ("Hi", "Good morning", "Hello") and the recipient's first name:

Hi Lana,
Can you send me the proposal we discussed yesterday?

Thanks,
Liz

Depending on your culture, this might seem too casual for business e-mail, but this is the most appropriate style for writing to someone within your own company. It even works for writing to people outside of your company if you know them or if your e-mail is just about something simple.

(Do you have) any update on (something)

An "update" is new information about something. For example, if your uncle is in the hospital for surgery, you can call another family member to get an "update" on his condition. Or if you've hired a realtor to help you sell your house, you might e-mail him to ask for an update if he hasn't contacted you for a few days.

To ask someone for an update, use the question:

Do you have any update on ___?

Or use the shortened version:

Any update on ___?

For example,

Any update on how uncle Harry is doing?

Do you have any update on whether you'll be attending the trade show yet?

the status of (something)

The "status" of something is its present condition. You can also think of it as "what's happening now". Here are some examples:

What's the status of my flight?

This question means, "Is my flight delayed? Is it on time? Or is it cancelled?"

I'll shoot Fran an e-mail and ask her what the current status of the redesign is.

This means "Is someone working on the redesign? Is it almost finished?"

The word "status" often appears along with "update".

a shipment

A "shipment" is a collection of stuff which is being delivered somewhere. It's similar to a "delivery", but usually a "shipment" is:

  • big
  • from somewhere far away (or at least out of town)
  • for business use

A "delivery", on the other hand, can be a package that someone sent you, or even some food that's being delivered to you from a nearby restaurant.

Here are things you can do with a shipment:

make a shipment

receive a shipment

await a shipment

A shipment can also "arrive".

Shipments usually contain things like:

goods

supplies

weapons (or "arms")

drugs