UPS Not Updating Tracking Info

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March 23, 2024

UPS (United Parcel Service) says it delivers approximately 23.4 million packages daily across over 200 countries. 

With this number, you may wonder how the shipping company ensures that the parcels it handles reach their intended destinations.

Like USPS (U.S. Postal Service), UPS offers tracking features to help customers monitor the delivery progress via status notifications.

However, a tracking tool may not benefit you much if you know little about its functionality. 

Suppose you entered your tracking number on the UPS search bar and noticed that the system isn’t updating tracking details. In that case, you will likely wonder what it means.

Why doesn’t UPS update tracking information? How frequently does UPS update its tracking? 

FindPostOffice.org is your go-to online resource for topics regarding post offices in the U.S., including UPS tracking features. Our free-access search tool lets you look for a local post office quickly. 

This article explores what it means if UPS is not updating your package’s shipment status. Additionally, it discusses how you can resolve this tracking issue.  

 Whether you are a shopper waiting for a product you purchased from an online shop or a small business wanting to ensure your items get delivered, this article provides the information you need to ensure packages arrive safely. 

Why Is the UPS Tracking Not Updating? What Are the Reasons?

The following factors may cause an error or delay in the tracking update:

  • Bad weather conditions, like thunderstorms or heavy rainfall, can affect the tracking update for your package. 

Delivery is usually slower during harsh weather, resulting in the package taking longer to reach its destination and the tracking system not updating.

  • Another probable reason for delayed tracking information updates is the status of the vehicle carrying your parcel. 

Vehicular accidents or breakdowns may lead to delays in delivery and scanning.

  • The barcode might have been damaged in transit, making it extra challenging or impossible for postal workers to scan the parcel’s shipping label and update the tracking info.
  • Lastly, the postal employee might have forgotten to scan your parcel. This scenario might mean that UPS has yet to accept and record your package into its system.   

As you might’ve noticed, scanning is an essential part of the shipment procedure and, thus, tracking updates.

Is It Normal for UPS to Not Update Tracking?

UPS offers 24/7 tracking information for domestic shipments, so it may be rare for UPS not to update shipment details. 

As mentioned, there can be several reasons the UPS system is not updating the tracking status. UPS may have yet to process the package, or the tracking label may be unreadable.

You can contact UPS and request details about why your package’s tracking information has not been updated. 

You can also file for a missing package claim no later than 60 days of the scheduled delivery date.

How Quickly Does UPS Update Tracking After Delivery? Why Does UPS Take So Long to Update Tracking?

Some customers say they usually wait up to 24 hours for the carrier to log their shipment’s UPS tracking number.

Suppose your shipment’s UPS tracking is not updating. In that case, the courier may not have picked up or scanned your parcel.

Suppose 24 hours have passed, and you haven’t seen any tracking updates. In that case, it is best to contact UPS immediately to resolve the issue.

Does UPS Update Tracking?

As shown above, UPS offers 24/7 package tracking for domestic deliveries. 

Regular tracking details are not real-time. Still, updates can give you accurate information regarding whether your package is already in the UPS network, out for delivery, or has already been delivered.

Note: While parcels can be in transit on weekends, tracking may not be updated on Sundays.

The following sections discuss more UPS tracking features to set your expectations regarding the service.

How Often Does UPS Update Tracking?

The UPS tracking system updates delivery details every time a UPS representative scans your package.

Scans may happen when parcels leave a facility, arrive at a new processing center, and are transferred onto delivery vehicles.

The number of updates you will get may depend on how long your package travels and what shipping service you use.

UPS customers usually receive approximately six tracking updates from when the system accepts the package to when it arrives at its intended destination.

However, you may receive fewer tracking notices during busy seasons, like Christmas and Black Friday. This scenario may be due to the high volume of parcels, employees rushing to meet deadlines, and missing scans.

Is UPS Tracking Accurate and Updated in Real-Time?

UPS tracking only updates after the package is scanned, so it is highly accurate regarding its location.

For example, as packages come off of a truck and are packed into boxes at a facility in New York, they are scanned individually by a UPS representative.

That scan contains a specific tag for the facility in New York. The process updates the customer’s tracking number and the facility’s inventory information.

While UPS tracking provides details regarding your package’s location in transit between facilities, UPS tracking is not a real-time GPS (Global Positioning System) tool.

However, that’s understandable since attaching GPS devices to each parcel is pricey and potentially unsafe for UPS drivers as they will also be tracked 24/7. 

Is UPS Bad at Updating Tracking?

UPS customers may answer this question differently, owing to their unique experience with the shipping company.

That said, UPS is one of the top courier companies in the U.S. This fact suggests that it has quality tracking tools.

They also follow the typical tracking procedures, such as scanning package’s tracking numbers during transfers from one vehicle or facility to another.

 Whenever a package is scanned, its tracking number is updated with information related to the scan, corresponding to the action taken.

For example, an employee loading a truck with packages scans a  package. The scanner encodes information indicating an “in transit” notification.

Unfortunately, packages may slip past employees without being scanned, especially during holidays. 

Suppose your tracking has yet to update several days after the delivery date. In that case, contact UPS for help by clicking the contact link on the company website.

How Long Does It Take for UPS to Update Tracking?

Again, UPS constantly monitors your shipment’s progress during delivery by scanning the barcode each time it reaches a new address. 

The tracking information is updated almost in real-time. However, there could be delays in scanning the barcode for the reasons stated above, which could result in late changes in your tracking information.

Where Should You Track Your UPS Shipment?

You can find the most up-to-date details regarding your shipment on UPS.com. You can track your parcel through the following methods:

  • Tracking by reference numbers
  • Importing tracking information
  • Accessing premium UPS tracking features

UPS My Choice

This free UPS service offers more visibility into incoming and outgoing deliveries. You will not have to use tracking numbers and may even receive shipment photos.

SMS Tracking

You can register to receive SMS alerts from the tracking website by providing your mobile number when prompted.

Which UPS Services Offer Tracking?

UPS offers reliable day-definite and time-definite international and domestic shipping services. 

You have package tracking across all their services, benefiting consumers and business owners.

Below are UPS services that have shipment tracking services and their estimated delivery dates and delivery times

  • UPS Ground: Day-definite deliveries in 1-5 days
  • UPS Worldwide Express: Time-definite delivery services for over 140 countries and territories
  • UPS Worldwide Saver: Day-definite deliveries within one business day. 

Also available are next-business-day shipments to Canada and two-business-day deliveries to Mexico and many cities worldwide.

  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus: Time-definite with morning distributions to more than 140 countries and territories
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited: Day-definite express shipping to over 220 countries and territories

Why Is My UPS Tracking Not Working?

UPS tracking numbers will work after the courier picks up and scans the package’s barcode. If the courier does not scan the barcode, the tracking information will not update. 

Suppose you have concerns about your tracking information. In that case, you can visit the UPS website and raise your concerns through the available channels handled by their customer service.

What to Do if UPS Tracking Is Not Working

As mentioned, there are several factors why UPS tracking is not working on your end. Reasons include external causes, such as severe weather conditions, and internal ones, like manual or system errors.

UPS Tracking Is Not Updating: What Happens if My Package Doesn’t Arrive?

Regardless of your shipping method, there’s always a chance your package will arrive late. However, the frustration increases if you have no information regarding your parcel. 

Suppose your package does not arrive on your expected date, and there are no tracking system updates. In that case, you can take any of the following steps:

What to Do if Your Package Does Not Arrive

  • Wait for 24 hours following the initial delivery date.
  • If the package is still missing, report the incident to UPS.
  • Allow UPS up to 10 business days to perform a package search.
  • UPS will route the parcel to the recipient once it has been found. The shipper receives notification upon delivery, and the recipient can claim it anytime during the pickup window.
  • The shipper typically gets a loss or damage claim letter if their package is monitored using UPS Ground tracking and is not found. 

The shipper should forward documents to determine the item’s value to UPS, including invoices, proof of mailing, and purchase orders. 

  • UPS assesses the lost shipment’s value and determines whether it falls within UPS’s terms of service.

I Dropped Off My Package, but It Still Hasn’t Been Scanned Yet. What Can I Do?

Suppose you drop off a package at a UPS retail facility, which has yet to be scanned after some days. In that case, visit the UPS drop-off location where you handed off your parcel to inquire about its status.

Here are additional reasons the UPS network is not updating your package’s delivery status:

  • UPS facilities may not scan packages hours after a package drop-off. Sometimes, they process them the next day.
  • The parcel is in the UPS or USPS processing center queue.
  • The UPS workers or postal employees scanning packages overlooked the package and failed to scan it.
  • High shipment volume may also lead to a local post office or UPS facility not scanning packages upon receipt.

In such cases, you might have to wait a couple of days for the first scan and get a notification indicating that the package is already out for delivery.

The Same Process Applies to UPS Packages

USPS, another leading delivery service provider in the U.S., allows customers to file a Missing Mail search request for damaged or missing packages.

UPS also offers the same process to its customers. Here are some steps you must take when filing a claim:

  • Provide information regarding the package: You can give UPS the package’s weight, tracking number, or contact details for the recipient.
  • Support your Claim with additional documentation: You might also have to provide receipts, invoices, and purchase orders to help identify merchandise. 

UPS also recommends attaching photos of damaged parcels for damage claims.

UPS Website

The UPS website has a tracking search bar where you can input your package’s tracking number. UPS allows you to input up to 25 tracking numbers, one per line.

UPS Phone Number

You can contact UPS through its virtual assistant if you want immediate answers. 

Suppose you need further help. The assistant will direct you to SMS text, live chat, or connect you to a customer service representative (via phone during regular business hours).

You can use the following phone numbers to access the UPS help center:

  • 1-800-742-5877 (customer service)
  • 1-800-782-7892 (international shipping)
  • 1-877-289-6418 (technical support)

FAQs

1. Why does UPS or USPS show my tracking number as “Not found”?

Suppose you enter your USPS or UPS tracking number on the tracking page, and it shows a “Not Found” notice.  

In that case, the shipping service providers have not picked up and scanned your parcel.

Once their systems accept and process your package, you can log onto UPS.com or USPS.com and access tracking information.

2. Does UPS update tracking on weekends?

Like other shipping service providers, such as USPS, DHL (Dalsey, Hillblom, and Lynn), and FedEx (Federal Express), UPS offers weekend deliveries.

UPS delivers residential and commercial parcels from Mondays to Saturdays. 

On Sundays, only residential delivery is available. Fortunately, there aren’t any extra charges for residential weekend deliveries or if you use a UPS service that offers Saturday pickup.

3. Can you call UPS to see where the package is?

Yes. As mentioned, you can access UPS package tracking details via phone. 

The shipping carrier offers TTY (teletypewriter) or TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) access for people who are hard of hearing: 1-800-833-0056.

4. How much does a UPS tracking cost?

As indicated above, you can track domestic shipments for free via UPS.com or the UPS Store.

However, you can also pay extra for premium UPS delivery services to enhance your tracking experience:

  • UPS My Choice
  • Quantum View
  • Flex Global View

5. Why is the UPS tracking number not functioning properly?

As indicated above, UPS tracking numbers often don’t work if the courier has yet to process the package or scan the parcel’s bar code.

6. I’ve been tracking my package, but it doesn’t seem to be moving. Why?

Say you’ve been tracking your package, and it appears not to be moving. This scenario does not necessarily mean the loss of your package.

Unless otherwise noted, your parcel may still be within the UPS system and should arrive on the scheduled delivery date.

Suppose it has been several days since an update. In that case, it is best to contact the UPS help center.

7. How many numerals are there in a UPS tracking number?

UPS typically assigns an 18-digit number beginning with 1Z followed by a six-character shipping number (a combination of letters and numbers), two-digit service level indicator characters, and eight digits identifying the package.

8. What is a valid UPS tracking number?

UPS tracking numbers are shown in the following formats:

  • 1Z0000000000000000
  • 000000000000
  • T0000000000
  • 000000000

9. Why does UPS say the tracking number is invalid?

Once the system accepts and processes your package, you will get a UPS tracking number. Until UPS scans the tracking number and loads your parcel into the truck, the status will appear invalid. 

References

  1. Customer First, People Led, Innovation Driven
    https://about.ups.com/us/en/our-company.html
  2. Track
    https://www.ups.com/track?loc=en_US&requester=ST/
  3. Domestic Shipping
    https://www.ups.com/us/en/support/shipping-support/shipping-services/domestic.page
  4. File a UPS Claim
    https://www.ups.com/us/en/support/file-a-claim.page
  5. Contact Us
    https://www.ups.com/us/en/support/file-a-claim.page
  6. What is Priority Mail Express Military® Service (PMEMS)?
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-is-Priority-Mail-Express-Military-Service-PMEMS
  7. How Saturday Delivery Can Help a Business
    https://www.dhl.com/discover/en-my/e-commerce-advice/e-commerce-best-practice/how-saturday-delivery-can-help-a-business
  8. Saturday UPS Delivery and Pickup Options
    https://www.ups.com/us/en/business-solutions/pickup-dropoff-options/weekend-pickups-deliveries.page
  9. Track a Package
    https://www.theupsstore.com/tools/track-a-package