UPS Tracking Number Not Working


May 31, 2023

United Parcel Service (UPS) tracking numbers are one of the most vital aspects of shipment tracking. After all, how can you track a UPS package without a tracking number?

Thankfully, UPS and many other shipping companies make it possible to find your package route and location by providing accurate tracking information.

This article will help you learn the importance of a tracking number and what it looks like, along with its specific alphanumerical format.

It also provides examples of UPS tracking numbers, as well as other information about the number’s location and uniqueness.

Tracking numbers are confusing, but they’re necessary to ensure that you know where your UPS package is. To guarantee that it is delivered correctly, you should know what the number looks like and how to use it.

If you need help locating your package or want more information about it, try contacting your local postal service. To find the nearest post office, visit This website helps you find the 31,330 post offices in the United States.

Does UPS Tracking Sometimes Not Work?

Although delays and setbacks during shipping are not common, they do sometimes occur. If your parcel’s tracking has stopped working for several days, there may be complications with the delivery.

If your parcel still needs to be updated, contact UPS customer service. To get answers quickly, start with the virtual assistant.

If your concern remains unresolved, they will connect you to a live chat session or transfer your call directly to a customer service agent.

Why the UPS Tracking Number Is Not Working

All UPS tracking numbers will only work once the courier picks up the parcels or packages. There are a few reasons your tracking scan may not be updating. There may be times when tracking information is unavailable for a recently shipped package or that package has yet to be scanned at its next step in the delivery process.

Suppose you last saw an update to the tracking information for your package a few days ago. In that case, there may be an issue with the scan, or the package was misplaced.

Sometimes a package does not get scanned at an intermediary stop, and the system appears stalled. Sometimes, it is just the carrier running late.

Why Does UPS Say the Tracking Number Is Invalid?

UPS will assign a UPS tracking number to your order on the day it is shipped. Until UPS scans the package and loads it onto a truck, its shipment status on their system will be invalid. 

For best results, track your order after 8 PM eastern time (ET) or on the following business day. You can check the status of a UPS package here.

What Is a Valid UPS Tracking Number?

Each tracking number is unique and should correspond to the one in your email confirmation. You can also check your order receipts for the tracking number.

A tracking number can be invalid during the first few hours of pickup, so try rechecking the package’s status the next day.

If several days have passed and this issue continues, contact your courier’s customer service department for updates on the situation or instructions to resolve it.

What Do Tracking Numbers Look Like?

The tracking number on a UPS package contains 18 alphanumeric characters. It starts with a “1Z” and ends with a check digit.

Here is an example, 1Z 888 BB2 12 5432 9876. A check digit is used to ensure that the tracking number is valid.

How Many Digits Are in a UPS Tracking Number?

The 18-character UPS tracking number for domestic packages within the United States usually starts with “1Z”, followed by a 6-character alphanumeric code. It also contains two digits indicating service level and eight digits identifying the package.

What To Do if UPS Tracking Is Not Working

Follow these steps when your tracking results show an ‘error’ status or say the number is invalid.

  1. Before you can check the status of a shipment, enter its tracking number correctly. To avoid typographical errors, copy the number and paste it into the box.
  2. Your internet connection may be unstable. Check to see that other websites are working correctly.
  3. Your package may have yet to reach the courier. This situation often happens when you order something from an online shop. Retailers usually ship one time a day and register your package right after the shipment.
  4. If you are having difficulties with the tracking servers, try again later.

If you are still experiencing problems, contact the courier directly. Sometimes, a package is scanned only after it gets delivered.

How Long Does a UPS Tracking Number Take To Work?

Customers can expect to see their shipment’s tracking number logged by the carrier within 24 hours. If your shipment’s UPS tracking isn’t updating, it could mean that the courier has not yet picked up the package or it has not yet been scanned after it was picked up.

Can You Call UPS To See Where the Package Is?

You can visit the Customer Help and Support Center or contact 1-888-742-5877. Teletypewriters (TTY) and Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) Access for people with hearing impairments can contact 1-800-833-0056. For international shipments, call 1-800-782-7892.

Which UPS Services Offer Tracking?

UPS offers its customers a range of delivery options, including guaranteed day-definite and time-definite services for international shipments. The tracking system is available for most services.

Here is a list of e-commerce shipping delivery services from UPS:

  • UPS Ground
  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus
  • UPS Worldwide Express
  • UPS Worldwide Saver
  • UPS Worldwide Expedited

How Do I Track My UPS Shipment?

UPS offers several ways to track packages shipped domestically or internationally. To begin, you will need the tracking number sent to you via email after making an online purchase or printed on the label of the box or parcel you shipped. Once you have the tracking number, you can use various online tools to find out where your order is.

UPS Website

  • Enter up to 10 tracking numbers at the UPS website for real-time updates.
  • Go to the help center and enter your tracking number into the UPS chatbot.

UPS Phone Number

  • Get in touch with UPS via phone. Domestic number: 1-888-742-5877
  • International number: 1-866-782-7892

UPS My Choice

  • Signing up for an account allows you to track packages using the UPS delivery map and get delivery alerts. You can upgrade to premium service for an additional fee if you want your package delivered to a different address or with a guaranteed delivery window.

SMS Tracking

  • You can subscribe to the tracking website’s SMS alerts by adding your number when prompted.

You can also use your reference number if you do not have the tracking number. This number is up to 30 characters long and can help you identify the shipment. To track a package by reference number, go to and click “track by reference number.”

UPS Online Tracking Statuses

Before using the UPS Track package option, it is important to understand each of its tracking statuses, including the following:

  • Returned to Shipper: The shipment was returned to the original shipper.
  • Exception: The delivery of a package was delayed, as the parcel suffered an unforeseen event (it got damaged or lost) and could not be delivered on time.
  • In Transit: The shipment is in transit within the UPS network and will be delivered on or around its original delivery date.
  • On Vehicle for Delivery: The shipment has been picked up and delivered to the recipient within 24 hours.
  • Updated Delivery Date: This status means that although your shipment is in transit, the delivery time and date will be later than originally scheduled. Such is true whether you are tracking your parcel through UPS’ phone number or UPS online tracking options.


  1. Why does UPS show my tracking number as “not found?”

You will only see an update on your tracking status when your carrier has scanned and picked up your package. After your package starts moving, you can log onto a website and track its progress. Here are some tips to find out where your package is.

  • UPS My Choice is a service that allows you to control your shipments and give delivery instructions for free.
  • It also alerts you when packages have been delivered.
  • You can also have your UPS packages delivered to a nearby access point.
  1. What happens when UPS tracking has not been updated?

While UPS is usually efficient, it can often take up to a day to track status updates. Several factors might cause your package’s status to be delayed:

  • If you drop it off during the after-hours, UPS will only scan your package the next day.
  • It is in transit at a UPS facility.
  • The postal workers or UPS workers who were supposed to scan the parcel’s barcode missed doing so on that particular day.
  • Local post offices are shipping more packages than usual. Because of this, shipments aren’t initially scanned when they leave the building. 

Most shipments will take two days for the first scan to be uploaded, marking your package as “In Transit.”

  1. What should you do if your package does not arrive?

If you encounter a problem with your UPS shipment, we suggest following the same steps. You can also go to the UPS drop-off location in Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, Denver, and other cities in the United States where you dropped off your package. For UPS packages collected using a pickup service, you can call 1-800-742-5877 to learn the tracking number. 

If a UPS package is lost or damaged, you can file a claim within 60 days of the scheduled delivery date. Here are the steps you can take:

  • Provide details about the package. This information may include the package’s tracking number, weight, or the recipient’s contact information.
  • Let them know the role that you played in making your claim. Indicate whether you are the owner of the package or not. Are you the person sending the parcel or the receiver? If not, who is?
  • Include supporting documentation with your claim.
    Documents such as receipts, invoices, and purchase orders may help identify merchandise. Adding photos of damaged packages to your claim can be helpful.
  • Submit your claim to UPS. They will contact you about your claim once it has been submitted and update you on your application’s progress via a secure online account.
  1. Where should you track your UPS shipment?

You can sign up for UPS SMS Tracking, which allows you to receive text messages on the status of your shipments. Sign up for the service and start tracking by sending an SMS.

  • To track your package, go to and enter the tracking or InfoNotice number into the appropriate box. You should be automatically redirected to the tracking page after placing your order.
  • To add SMS notifications while you track your package, go to the “tracking detail” page and select “request status updates.”
  • Select “SMS text” to receive notifications and enter your mobile number.
  • Click the box to confirm that you agree with the UPS SMS Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  • Click “submit”, then confirm the request on your mobile phone. UPS will send you text messages with your shipment’s tracking information once the package has been delivered. 

Once you have verified your request by texting back the code, you will only be asked to verify it again if you opt out of the service. You can also track your shipment with the UPS Mail Innovations package ID number or the USPS Delivery Confirmation number by using USPS tracking at

  1. How long does UPS need to update a package’s tracking?

While UPS deliveries tend to be quick, USPS often takes up to 24 hours to update tracking statuses. Check the UPS website ( for more information.

  1. How much does UPS tracking cost?

UPS does not charge for tracking. The total cost of shipping includes tracking for services that come with it.

  1. Where is the UPS tracking number on my receipt?

To find the tracking number of your shipment, look at the bottom of your receipt. The tracking number can be found under the heading “package information.”


  1. Why has my parcel tracking stopped updating?
  2. Contact Us
  3. File a Claim
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  5. How do I track my UPS Mail Innovations shipment?,number%20to%20track%20your%20shipment