Everything You Need to Know About UPS Tracking


United Parcel Service (UPS) is one of the largest, and most trusted courier services in the world, and with UPS tracking there are several methods for eCommerce merchants and their customers to track shipments.

In this guide we’ll cover the basics of UPS tracking, including where to find the UPS tracking number, the UPS services that offer tracking, the meaning of the status updates, and how to track a UPS shipment in Easyship. 

How Do I Track My UPS Shipment?

UPS offers a variety of methods for tracking a package shipped domestically or internationally. To start, you’ll need to obtain the UPS tracking number, which is usually sent via email after you make an eCommerce purchase, or will be provided to you when you ship a package at a retail location.

UPS assigns an 18 digit tracking number that starts with 1Z, followed by a 6-character shipper number (a combination of numbers and letters), 2-digit service level indicator characters, followed by 8 digits that identify the given package.

  • IZ1234567891234567

Once you have the tracking number there are a few options for looking up the status of a delivery.

UPS website:

  • Enter up to 10 tracking numbers for a real-time status
  • Enter the tracking number into the USP chatbot from the Help Center

UPS Phone Number

  • Domestic: 1-888-742-5877
  • International: 1-866-782-7892

UPS My Choice

  • Sign up for an account to track packages, get delivery alerts, and track using the UPS delivery map, route packages to a UPS access point for pick up. Premium service is available for a fee as well if you require services like delivery to another address and a confirmed delivery window.

SMS Tracking

  • From the tracking website, you can sign up to receive SMS alerts by adding your number when prompted.

Easyship customers can easily track a UPS package through their dashboard by navigating to the Manage Shipments section, and selecting ‘All’, or searching for the UPS tracking number in the search bar. And with custom branded emails and tracking pages, your customers can conveniently follow the progress of their shipments.  

Which UPS services offer tracking?

UPS is known to offer its customers guaranteed day-definite and time-definite worldwide delivery services, based mainly on the shipment’s destination. Tracking is available for all services in most cases. Here are some of the most commonly used services for eCommerce shipping.

  • UPS Ground: 1-5 business days
  • UPS Express Plus: 1-3 business days
  • UPS Express: 1-3 business days
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight: 1-5 business days
  • UPS Express Saver: 2-5 business days
  • UPS Expedited: 3-6 business days

UPS Online Tracking Statuses and What They Mean

Before utilizing the UPS track package option, it is important to understand the various UPS tracking statuses, whether you are making use of the UPS ground tracking option or any other service.

Some of these statuses are as follows:

  • Returned to Shipper: A given shipment was returned back to the original shipper
  • Exception: A package experienced an unforeseen event (damage to parcel, address unknown, non-receipt of signature, etc) and as such, the delivery date becomes extended.
  • In Transit: The shipment is moving within the UPS network, and will be delivered on the originally scheduled delivery date and time.
  • On Vehicle for Delivery: The shipment has already been dispatched to a UPS driver and will be delivered to the recipient same day.
  • Updated Delivery Date: Whether you are tracking your parcel through UPS tracking phone number or online, when your shipment’s status shows the “updated delivery date” status, it means that although your shipment is in transit but for some reason, the delivery date will no longer be as originally scheduled.

How Long Does It Take for UPs to Update Tracking?

UPS updates tracking of packages throughout the shipment by scanning the barcode at each new location. Tracking information should be updated in near real-time. There may be instances where the driver delays scanning the barcode for various reasons, which would cause the tracking to not be up to date. If you suspect there are delays or problems, it’s best to reach out directly to UPS support service to resolve any concerns.

What Happens When UPS Tracking Isn’t Updated?

Customers are usually advised to allow up to 24 hours for their shipment’s UPS tracking number to be logged by the carrier. If your shipment’s UPS tracking is not updating, it could be that the package is yet to be picked up by the courier or that it has been picked up but yet to be scanned. If it has not been updated after 24 hours, it’s best to reach out directly to UPS customer support to resolve any concerns.

What Happens If My Package Doesn’t Arrive?

Although UPS is one of the most reliable courier services, there will be issues with deliveries from time to time for a variety of reasons.

If your package has not arrived, or you haven’t received an update on the tracking, here are some steps to take in order to resolve the issue:

  • Wait for 24 hours after the delivery date
  • Report the missing package to UPS
  • Give UPS time to perform a package search (takes up to 10 business days)
  • If package is found, UPS will route to the original recipient and once delivery is done, the shipper is notified
  • If the package you have been tracking using UPS ground tracking or any other service option is not found, the shipper will receive a damage/loss claim letter through fax, email, or post
  • You will then forward documents determining the shipment’s value to UPS, including purchase order, invoice, proof of mailing, etc.
  • UPS determines the value of the shipment and also takes steps to verify that the content falls within the guidelines of the carrier’s terms of services
  • The final step in resolving the issue of a UPS tracking order that never arrived is the carrier paying up the loss claim, either replacement or purchase cost. Should the company refuse the claim, UPS will contact the customer to let him or her know their stand.

Keep an Eye on Your Shipments with UPS Tracking

With the availability of tracking options, eCommerce business owners have been able to keep their customers abreast of their orders while in transit, whether they are using an UPS tracking  phone number to monitor the shipment or they are using the online UPS shipping tracking option.

With Easyship, eCommerce merchants can easily provide visibility to their customers from checkout to delivery with automated messages, dedicated tracking pages, and branded tracking features. Learn more about how Easyship can supercharge your shipping.  

UPS Tracking FAQ

Where is my UPS tracking number on my receipt?

Your shipment’s tracking number can be found towards the lower part of your receipt. It is located under the heading “Package Information”.

How many digits are a UPS tracking number?

The UPS tracking number contains 18 digits. This usually starts with “1Z” and ends with a check digit.

Why is my UPS tracking number not working?

All UPS tracking numbers will not work if the courier is yet to pick up the parcels. Another reason why the tracking number is not working could be that the parcel’s bar code is yet to be scanned.

What does out for delivery today mean?

If your UPS track package shows out for delivery today, it simply means that your parcel has been dispatched to a UPS driver and will be delivered to you same day.

How much does UPS tracking cost?

UPS does not charge separately for tracking. The total cost of shipping factors in tracking for those services that come with tracking.


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