Skip to content

The Ultimate Guide to UPS Tracking: Everything You Need to Know


In today’s fast-paced world, where online shopping and global commerce are more prevalent than ever, tracking our shipments has become a crucial aspect of our daily lives. Imagine the frustration of eagerly awaiting a package, only to find yourself lost in a sea of unanswered questions about its whereabouts. Thankfully, UPS, a leading global shipping company, provides comprehensive tracking tools designed to ease this anxiety and keep you informed every step of the way.

This guide aims to demystify the intricacies of UPS tracking, empowering you with the knowledge and skills to effortlessly navigate their systems and ensure your shipments arrive safely and on time. From understanding the basics of tracking numbers to utilizing advanced features and troubleshooting potential issues, we’ll cover everything you need to know about mastering the art of UPS tracking.

Get ready to gain peace of mind, streamline your shipping experience, and become a confident user of UPS’s tracking services.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding UPS Tracking Numbers
  2. Navigating the UPS Tracking Website
  3. Tracking UPS Shipments Outside the Website
  4. Troubleshooting Common Tracking Issues
  5. Optimizing Your UPS Tracking Experience
  6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  7. Conclusion

Understanding UPS Tracking Numbers

What is a UPS Tracking Number?

A UPS tracking number is a unique identifier assigned to each shipment. It acts as a digital fingerprint, allowing you to monitor the progress of your package from the moment it is picked up to its final delivery.

Types of UPS Tracking Numbers

UPS uses several types of tracking numbers, each serving a specific purpose:

  • Air Waybill Number: A unique 18-digit number assigned to each package, commonly found on the shipping label.
  • Shipping Label Number: A 12-digit number printed on the shipping label, used for tracking smaller packages.
  • Reference Number: A customizable tracking number created by the shipper, often used for internal reference purposes.

Where to find your UPS Tracking Number

Your UPS tracking number is readily available in various locations:

  • Order Confirmation Emails: Most online retailers include the tracking number in their order confirmation emails.
  • Receipts: If you shipped a package directly through UPS, your receipt will contain the tracking number.
  • Shipping Labels: The tracking number is printed directly on the shipping label, making it easily accessible.

Navigating the UPS Tracking Website

Accessing the UPS Tracking Website

The UPS tracking website is your primary hub for accessing all your shipment information. You can visit the website by going to

Tracking by Number

Tracking your shipment on the UPS website is a straightforward process:

  1. Go to the UPS tracking website.
  2. Enter your tracking number in the designated field.
  3. Click the “Track” button.

The website will display the current status of your package, along with estimated delivery dates and a detailed history of its journey.

Advanced Tracking Features

The UPS website offers a wealth of advanced tracking features to enhance your shipping experience:

Real-time Tracking

With UPS’s real-time tracking feature, you can monitor the exact location of your package in real-time. This feature provides continuous updates, ensuring you’re always in the loop about your shipment’s progress.

Delivery Notifications

To ensure you never miss a delivery, you can sign up for delivery notifications via email or SMS. Simply provide your contact information on the UPS website or within the “UPS My Choice” app, and you’ll receive timely updates about your package’s arrival.

Delivery History

The UPS website allows you to access a complete history of your past shipments. This feature is invaluable for tracking delivery dates, reviewing shipment details, and referencing past tracking information.

Package Management

For those managing multiple shipments simultaneously, UPS provides a package management feature. This tool enables you to track all your active shipments in one centralized location, streamlining your tracking process.

Visual Tracking

For a more visual experience, UPS offers the “UPS My Choice” app. This mobile app provides a map-based tracking interface, allowing you to follow your package’s journey visually. The app also offers notifications, delivery schedule adjustments, and other valuable features to enhance your shipping experience.

Tracking UPS Shipments Outside the Website

Using the UPS Mobile App

UPS provides a user-friendly mobile app that allows you to track your shipments on the go. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Simply download the app from your device’s app store and sign in using your UPS account information. The app provides real-time tracking updates, delivery notifications, and a comprehensive overview of your shipments.

Tracking through Email

If you’ve provided your email address during the shipping process, UPS will send you email notifications about your package’s status. These emails will typically include tracking numbers, estimated delivery dates, and real-time updates on the package’s journey.

Tracking through Third-party Apps

In addition to UPS’s own app, several third-party apps offer package tracking functionalities, including support for UPS shipments. These apps can be helpful for consolidating tracking information from multiple carriers in one location. Popular options include ParcelTrack, Ship24, and AfterShip.

Troubleshooting Common Tracking Issues

Understanding Tracking Status Updates

UPS provides clear status updates throughout your shipment’s journey. Some common status updates include:

  • In Transit: Your package is on its way to its destination.
  • Out for Delivery: Your package is scheduled for delivery today.
  • Delivered: Your package has been successfully delivered to the recipient.

Addressing Delays

Shipping delays can occur due to various factors, such as weather conditions, unexpected traffic, or unforeseen events. If you notice a delay in your shipment, it’s essential to check the UPS website or app for updates and any potential reasons for the delay.

Handling Lost or Missing Packages

In the unfortunate event that your package goes missing, you should immediately contact UPS customer service. Provide them with your tracking number and any relevant information about the shipment. They will investigate the matter and assist you in locating the package.

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some tips for troubleshooting common tracking issues:

  • Double-check your tracking number: Ensure you’ve entered the correct tracking number.
  • Verify the recipient’s address: Confirm that the delivery address is correct.
  • Contact UPS customer service: If you’re unable to resolve the issue on your own, reach out to UPS customer service for assistance.

Optimizing Your UPS Tracking Experience

Create a UPS Account

Creating a UPS account provides several benefits, including:

  • Personalized Tracking: Manage and track your shipments easily.
  • Delivery Preferences: Set delivery preferences, such as alternate delivery locations.
  • UPS My Choice: Access advanced features and services.

Utilizing UPS My Choice

UPS My Choice is a premium service that offers additional tracking features and flexibility:

  • Schedule Deliveries: Reschedule your deliveries to a convenient time or date.
  • Delivery Notifications: Receive more detailed and personalized notifications.
  • Package Management: Organize and manage your shipments effectively.

Saving Tracking Information

You can save your tracking numbers for future reference on the UPS website or within the “UPS My Choice” app. This allows you to quickly access your shipment history and monitor the progress of packages without repeatedly entering tracking numbers.

Proactive Shipping

To minimize shipping delays and ensure a smooth experience, consider these proactive measures:

  • Package Preparation: Pack your items securely and ensure the address label is clearly visible.
  • Shipping Early: Allow sufficient time for the shipment to reach its destination.
  • Utilize Advanced Features: Take advantage of UPS’s advanced tracking features to monitor your package’s progress and address potential issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What happens if my package is delivered to the wrong address?

If your package is delivered to the wrong address, immediately contact UPS customer service with your tracking number and details about the incorrect delivery. UPS will investigate the matter and help retrieve your package.

How can I change the delivery address of my package?

You can change the delivery address of your package through the UPS website or app, or by contacting UPS customer service. The ability to change the address depends on the current location of the package and the shipping service used.

What if I miss a scheduled delivery?

If you miss a scheduled delivery, you can usually reschedule the delivery for a later date or time through the UPS website or app. If you’re unable to reschedule online, contact UPS customer service for assistance.

What are the different UPS shipping services available?

UPS offers a wide range of shipping services, including:

  • UPS Ground: A cost-effective service for ground shipments within the continental United States.
  • UPS 3 Day Select: A faster option for ground shipments within the continental United States.
  • UPS 2nd Day Air: A two-day delivery service for shipments within the continental United States.
  • UPS Next Day Air: A next-day delivery service for shipments within the continental United States.
  • UPS Worldwide Saver: An economical service for international shipments.
  • UPS Worldwide Express: A fast and reliable service for urgent international shipments.

Can I track international shipments?

Yes, UPS provides comprehensive tracking services for international shipments. You can track your international shipments using the same methods as domestic shipments, including the UPS website, app, and email notifications.

Is UPS tracking available 24/7?

Yes, UPS tracking information is generally available 24/7. However, real-time updates may be delayed during periods of high volume or when a package is in transit between locations.

What if I need to return a package?

To return a package, you can use UPS’s return shipping services or use a third-party shipping service. If you need a return label, check with the retailer for instructions.

How do I file a claim for a lost or damaged package?

To file a claim for a lost or damaged package, contact UPS customer service and provide them with your tracking number and details about the lost or damaged item. UPS will investigate the matter and guide you through the claim process.

What are the UPS customer service contact details?

You can contact UPS customer service through the following channels:


Mastering UPS tracking empowers you to manage your shipments effectively and gain peace of mind knowing your packages are on their way. By understanding the fundamentals of tracking numbers, utilizing the UPS website and app, and proactively addressing potential issues, you can streamline your shipping experience and ensure your packages arrive safely and on time. Remember to leverage UPS’s advanced features, like UPS My Choice, to personalize your shipping preferences and optimize your overall shipping experience.

We encourage you to share your own experiences with UPS tracking in the comments section below. Your feedback and insights can help others navigate the world of UPS tracking with confidence.