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Table of contents

  1. Interesting facts about UPS package tracking
  2. How to track your package with UPS
  3. The time of arrival
  4. Possible UPS status messages
  5. Problems with your UPS parcel

Interesting facts about UPS package tracking

Did you know that UPS is one of the oldest parcel service providers? The company was founded in 1907 by James E. Casey in Seattle, USA. At that time still known under the name "American Messenger Company", it was then renamed in 1919 in United Parcel Service.¹ Therefore also the short name UPS.

A UPS delivery vehicle and parcel delivery driver
A UPS delivery vehicle and parcel delivery driver | © Bildrechte: UPS

First in the middle of the 70s UPS expanded to Europe and in Neuss the first branch was opened in Germany. In the USA, on the other hand, around 80,000 of the so-called "Parcel Men" were already employed at that time. Today, the company is one of the largest in the world. More than 434,000 employees work in more than 220 delivery countries and delivered around 4.9 billion parcels and documents in 2016.² That's over 14 million parcels a day! Quite a lot, isn't it?

Why the UPS delivery truck usually turns right

Have you also heard the "rumor" that UPS delivery trucks are only allowed to turn right? Sure, there are strict guidelines that a package driver must adhere to, but only turning right? Is that true? Yes, it's true!

The Orion route software
The Orion route software calculates the most efficient route | © Bildrechte: UPS

According to UPS, a single parcel delivery driver makes about 120 delivery stops per day³. The rule of only being allowed to turn right has been normal in the USA for ten years now. Many collisions with others could be avoided in this way, fuel consumption was reduced and so were emissions of pollutants. It was therefore decided to introduce this rule in Germany and other countries as well. Only in extremely rare cases, and when there is simply no other way, is turning left allowed, of course. The specially developed route software (called Orion) is used to determine the right-turn routes. So the next time you're driving behind a UPS delivery truck, pay attention!

What delivery services does UPS offer?

UPS offers several services when it comes to the scheduled delivery of your packages. The fastest delivery method is UPS Express Plus, where your package will only travel for 1-2 days max and will definitely reach you by 9am. In addition, the package is treated with a higher priority, which provides additional security.

There are a total of eight different services, from the above-mentioned Express Plus to UPS Standard, the shipping method with which most UPS packages are sent. Here, the delivery takes place on a certain day within five working days throughout Europe.⁴ Regardless of the shipping method, it is always helpful and incredibly convenient to have his shipment with the tracking in view, as you can see there when the shipment has passed through various checkpoints!

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How to track your package with UPS

As already described above, the duration of shipping depends on the selected service. With an Express Plus shipment, the package is usually only 1-2 days on the road, with a standard shipment, shipping can take up to 5 business days. So that you always know where your package is, you can track it either with us or with the UPS shipment history.

The UPS tracking number


You may have noticed that UPS tracking IDs usually start with 1Z. This number is also called reference number or tracking number. The tracking number is called a reference number whenever you, as the shipper, are sending a package. If you as a recipient are expecting a package, you will receive a tracking number. It is generated in different formats and is usually between seven and 20 characters long.⁵ Most ID's tracked through parcello have a length of 18 characters. The tracking number is structured / coded as follows for UPS:

1Z[sender's customer number][service code][sequence number][check digit]⁶

The time of arrival

If you now expect a package and enter your UPS tracking ID in the search window, you will be shown in the tracking where your package was last and on which day it will be delivered. UPS drivers usually deliver between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. and standard shipments are not further limited from the official side. But a more precise delivery date with time would be much more practical, right? This is where the arrival forecast from parcello™ comes into play, because the Crowd's many delivery times allow us at parcello™ to calculate the estimated time of delivery.

The UPS tracking with parcello™
The UPS tracking with parcello™

With the UPS My Choice® service it is possible to freely decide when and where your package should arrive. Even if it is already on the way! One receives expected delivery and status notifications, can change and postpone his delivery address or even the entire delivery or have his package stored at a UPS Access Point®. However, for this service, you have to create an account on the official site of the delivery company.

When you're not at home


If you are not at home while receiving your package, the UPS driver will leave you an "InfoNotice" (name for the notification card). After three delivery attempts, your package will be held at the nearest UPS location for 5 days, and from there it will be returned to the sender if you do not pick it up within this period.

UPS Package Centers and Shipping Depots

As described at the very beginning, UPS's headquarters in Germany are located in Neuss. Throughout Germany there are several HUB's (so-called main transshipment bases) such as at Cologne/Bonn Airport. The depots are divided into different routing areas, based on their postal codes. From there they are picked up, cleared into the delivery vehicles to then be delivered.

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Possible UPS status messages

During your package tracking with UPS, you will encounter many different status messages that tell you what happened last with your shipment. It is not always immediately obvious what exactly the different messages mean, so we have compiled a list of the most common status messages for you. Please note that the list is not completely complete and is only based on one part of the packages that have been tracked via parcello. Errors excepted.

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Problems with your UPS parcel

If you ever have problems with your shipment from UPS, UPS customer support is your first choice. Please note that the hotline number is chargeable. The call from the German landline costs about 20 cents and from mobile phones max. 60 cents per call.

We have put together further information for you on customer support in our parcello™ Blog.

What you can do if UPS tracking is not working


If the tracking should not work once, but you want to know where your package is and on what day it is expected to arrive at you, we recommend that you first wait a few minutes. Often the servers are only offline for a short time and after a few minutes you can try again. If the UPS website still does not work after a longer time, you can try the US website. It can happen that only the German servers have a problem or are down.

What to do if your UPS package disappeared


On rare occasions, a package may go missing on its long journey. If you think your package might have been lost, be sure to file a tracking request. At UPS, the first way is to contact support. Under the following link you can write an email to UPS. Keep all important data ready, so that you can write them in the mail. Furthermore, you could try to contact shipper, so that he can also make inquiries.

What you can do if the shipping status hangs


Unfortunately, it can happen every now and then that the shipping status hangs and does not show you any current information. But do not worry! Especially for international shipments, where your package has to travel a very long way, it can happen from time to time that the shipping status is updated late. Just be patient and check back with UPS Tracking or parcello™ later in the day. If you track a package through our app, then we will automatically inform you about the status change via push messages.

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Individual references:

  1. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Parcel_Service 
  2. https://www.ups.com/de/de/about/facts/worldwide.page
  3. https://www.geo.de/wissen/17414-rtkl-rechts-statt-links-darum-biegen-ups-fahrer-nicht-links-ab
  4. https://www.ups.com/de/de/shipping/international/services/standard.page?
  5. https://www.ups.com/at/de/help-center/sri/tracking-number.page
  6. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sendungsverfolgung

Other sources:

Related links:

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