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Decoding UPS Tracking Statuses: A Complete Glossary


UPS, the ubiquitous shipping giant, plays a crucial role in facilitating the global flow of goods. Whether you’re a business owner sending products to customers or an individual eagerly awaiting a package, tracking your shipment is essential. But deciphering the often cryptic UPS tracking statuses can be a frustrating experience.

This comprehensive guide aims to demystify UPS tracking statuses, providing you with a complete glossary and insights into what each status signifies. By the end of this post, you’ll be able to confidently interpret your UPS tracking information and understand what to expect at each stage of your shipment’s journey.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding the Basics of UPS Tracking
    • What is UPS Tracking?
    • How to Access Your Tracking Information
    • Understanding the Tracking Number
  2. The Complete UPS Tracking Status Glossary
    • Shipment Creation and Pickup
    • In Transit
    • Delivered
    • Exceptions
  3. Troubleshooting Common UPS Tracking Issues
    • Delayed Packages
    • Missing Packages
    • Incorrect Delivery Information
    • Damaged Packages
  4. FAQs

Understanding the Basics of UPS Tracking

What is UPS Tracking?

UPS Tracking is a powerful tool that allows you to monitor the progress of your shipment from the moment it is created to its final delivery. It provides real-time updates, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to plan accordingly.

How to Access Your Tracking Information

There are several ways to access your UPS tracking information:

  • UPS Website: Visit the UPS website and enter your tracking number in the designated field.
  • UPS Mobile App: Download the free UPS mobile app for iOS or Android and track your shipments directly from your smartphone.
  • Email Notifications: Sign up for UPS email notifications to receive updates on your shipment’s progress directly in your inbox.

Understanding the Tracking Number

The UPS tracking number is a unique identifier assigned to each shipment. It is typically 18 characters long and contains specific information about your package, such as the origin and destination. Understanding the tracking number format is helpful for identifying potential issues or discrepancies.

The Complete UPS Tracking Status Glossary

This section breaks down the most common UPS tracking statuses into different categories, offering detailed explanations and real-world examples for each.

Shipment Creation and Pickup

  • Pending: This status indicates that your package has been created but not yet picked up by UPS. This might occur if you’ve purchased something online and the seller has created a shipping label but hasn’t handed the package to UPS yet.
  • Label Created: The shipping label has been generated for your package, and it is ready for pickup. You’ll see this status once the seller or shipper has prepared the package and printed the label.
  • Pickup Scheduled: UPS has scheduled a pickup for your package. This means that UPS has been notified about the package and has planned to pick it up from the sender’s location.
  • Picked Up: Your package has been successfully picked up by UPS and is now in transit. You’ll see this status when a UPS driver has physically collected the package from the sender.

In Transit

  • Out for Delivery: Your package has left the UPS facility and is on its way to your designated delivery location. This means the package is in the hands of the delivery driver and is actively moving towards your address.
  • In Transit: Your package is currently moving between UPS facilities. This status is common for packages traveling long distances or going through multiple sorting hubs.
  • On-Vehicle for Delivery: Your package has been loaded onto a delivery vehicle and is actively being delivered. This means that your package is on its way to your doorstep and could arrive shortly.
  • Delivery Attempt: The UPS driver attempted to deliver your package but was unable to do so. This could be due to various reasons, such as no one being home to receive the package, an inaccessible address, or an issue with the package itself.


  • Delivered: Your package has been delivered successfully. This status signifies that the package has been delivered to the designated address and the delivery has been confirmed.
  • Delivered – Signature Required: Your package has been delivered and a signature was required upon delivery. You’ll see this status if the package required a signature for proof of delivery, which is often the case for valuable or fragile items.
  • Delivered – No Signature Required: Your package has been delivered without a signature being required. This status indicates that the package was left at the delivery location without requiring a signature.
  • Undeliverable: Your package was unable to be delivered due to an issue, such as an incorrect address or an inability to access the delivery location. This status suggests that UPS has tried to deliver the package but encountered an obstacle that prevented successful delivery.


  • Exception: This status indicates that an unexpected issue has occurred with your package. This is a general term that covers a wide range of situations that prevent the package from moving forward as expected.
  • Address Correction Needed: The delivery address is incorrect, and UPS requires you to provide an updated address. This means that UPS cannot deliver the package to the given address and needs you to provide accurate information to correct it.
  • Delay: The delivery of your package has been delayed due to various factors, such as weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances. This status indicates that the package is facing a delay and will not arrive as initially expected.
  • Undeliverable: Your package cannot be delivered due to factors such as an invalid address or a recipient refusal. This status indicates that the package cannot be delivered due to a significant issue that cannot be easily resolved.
  • Other: This category encompasses various exceptions, such as package damage, missing delivery information, or customs delays. This category covers situations that don’t fall under the other exceptions and usually include a specific explanation about the issue.

Note: Each exception will usually include a brief explanation that provides more context about the issue.

Troubleshooting Common UPS Tracking Issues

Delayed Packages

  • Check for Weather Updates: Severe weather conditions can significantly impact delivery times. If there are storms or other weather events affecting your area, this could explain why your package is delayed.
  • Verify Delivery Address: Ensure that the delivery address is correct and accessible. Make sure you haven’t entered any typos or missed any crucial information in the delivery address.
  • Contact UPS Customer Service: If you’re unable to determine the reason for the delay, contact UPS customer service for assistance. They can check the status of your package and provide more information about the delay.

Missing Packages

  • Check Delivery Location: Make sure the package was delivered to the correct location and hasn’t been misplaced. Double-check the delivery address and look around the designated area for the package.
  • Inquire with Neighbors: If you live in a multi-unit building, ask your neighbors if they have received a package that may be yours. It’s possible that the package was mistakenly delivered to a neighboring unit.
  • File a Missing Package Claim: If you’re unable to locate your package, file a missing package claim with UPS. This will initiate an investigation to locate the package or determine if it has been lost.

Incorrect Delivery Information

  • Update Address Online: You can update your delivery information online through the UPS website or app. If you need to change your address or other details, you can usually do so directly through the UPS website or app.
  • Contact Customer Service: If you’re unable to update your address online, contact UPS customer service. They can help you update your information and make sure your package is delivered to the correct location.

Damaged Packages

  • Document Damage: Take photos or videos of the damaged package and any contents. This documentation will be helpful if you need to file a claim.
  • File a Damage Claim: Contact UPS customer service and file a damage claim. UPS will investigate the damage and process your claim if it’s approved.


This section answers common questions related to UPS tracking and provides helpful information for navigating potential issues.

What does “In Transit” mean?
“In Transit” means your package is currently being transported between UPS facilities. It does not provide specific location details. It simply indicates that your package is moving but doesn’t tell you exactly where it is at that moment.

Why is my package delayed?
Packages can be delayed due to various factors, such as weather conditions, incorrect addresses, unexpected volume, or unforeseen circumstances. UPS delays can be caused by a range of situations beyond their control.

How can I track my package without a tracking number?
You cannot track a package without a tracking number. You need the unique tracking number to access tracking information for your shipment.

What happens if I miss a delivery attempt?
If you miss a delivery attempt, UPS will typically try to deliver the package again on the next business day. You may also have options to reschedule the delivery or pick up the package at a UPS facility. UPS will often leave a notice explaining the reason for the failed delivery attempt and offering options for rescheduling or pickup.

What is the difference between “Delivered” and “Delivery Attempt”?
“Delivered” means the package has been successfully delivered to the designated address. “Delivery Attempt” means the UPS driver tried to deliver the package but was unsuccessful. The key difference is whether the delivery was completed or attempted but not finalized.

What are the different delivery options offered by UPS?
UPS offers various delivery options, including standard delivery, expedited delivery, and specialized delivery services like Saturday delivery and international shipping. UPS offers a wide range of options to suit different needs and timelines.

How can I contact UPS customer service?
You can contact UPS customer service through their website, app, or by phone. They are available to answer your questions and provide support.

This comprehensive guide has provided you with a detailed understanding of UPS tracking statuses and how to interpret them. By familiarizing yourself with these statuses and common troubleshooting tips, you can navigate the world of UPS shipments with confidence. Remember to bookmark this guide for future reference and feel free to check back for updates as UPS adds new statuses or changes its tracking system.