Why Would UPS Not Deliver a Package?

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In the world of e-commerce, the anticipation of receiving a package can be exciting. However, this excitement can quickly turn into confusion and frustration when a package doesn’t arrive as expected. If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where the United Parcel Service (UPS) did not deliver your package, you’re not alone. There are several reasons why this may happen. In this article, we’ll delve into the most common reasons and provide practical solutions for each scenario.


UPS may not deliver a package due to several reasons such as incorrect or incomplete address, bad weather conditions, delivery exceptions, missed delivery attempts, package theft, technical issues with the tracking system, labor strikes, or customs clearance for international shipments. If you encounter any delivery issues, it’s recommended to contact UPS customer service for assistance.

Incorrect or Incomplete Address

One of the most common reasons why UPS might not deliver a package is an incorrect or incomplete address. This could be a simple typo, a misspelled street name, or a missing apartment number. If UPS cannot identify the correct address, the package may be returned to the sender or held at a UPS facility.

To avoid this, double-check the address before finalizing your order. If you realize that you’ve made a mistake after the package has been shipped, contact UPS customer service immediately. They may be able to correct the address and reroute the package for you.

Bad Weather Conditions

Mother Nature can sometimes throw a wrench in UPS’s delivery plans. Severe weather conditions like heavy snow, thunderstorms, or floods can disrupt transportation routes, delay flights, and make road conditions unsafe for drivers. In these cases, UPS prioritizes the safety of its employees and may delay deliveries until conditions improve.

UPS actively monitors weather forecasts and adjusts routes and schedules accordingly to minimize delays. However, in the event of a severe weather delay, the best course of action is to keep an eye on your tracking information for updates.

Delivery Exception

A delivery exception occurs when a package encounters an unexpected event that changes the scheduled delivery day. This could include address unknown, damage to the shipment, or signature not received. These exceptions can cause delays in delivery or even result in the package being returned to the sender.

If a delivery exception occurs, UPS will usually leave a UPS InfoNotice at your door with information about the situation and instructions for the next steps. You can also track your package online using the tracking number for more detailed information.

Missed Delivery Attempts

UPS often requires a signature upon delivery, especially for high-value items. If the recipient is not available to sign for the package, UPS may attempt to deliver the package again on the next business day. After multiple unsuccessful delivery attempts, UPS may hold the package at a local facility for pick-up.

To avoid missed deliveries, consider using UPS My Choice. This free service allows you to receive delivery alerts, sign for packages remotely, and even reschedule deliveries for a time that works best for you.

Package Theft

Unfortunately, package theft is a growing problem across the country. If your tracking information shows that the package was delivered but you can’t find it, it’s possible that it was stolen. In such cases, contact the sender and UPS to report the theft. They can initiate a trace investigation to locate your package.

Technical Issues with the Tracking System

In some cases, the tracking system may show that the package has been delivered, even though it hasn’t. This could be due to a scanning error or other technical issues. If your tracking information shows that your package was delivered but you didn’t receive it, contact UPS customer service for assistance.

Labor Strikes

Though rare, labor strikes can impact UPS’s ability to deliver packages. In the event of a strike, UPS will implement contingency plans to ensure that packages are delivered as quickly as possible.

Customs Clearance for International Shipments

For international shipments, packages must pass through customs before they can be delivered. This process can cause delays, especially if there’s an issue with the package’s documentation. To avoid customs delays, make sure to provide accurate and detailed information about the contents of your package.


In conclusion, while UPS strives to deliver packages efficiently and on time, there are several factors that can lead to delivery issues. By understanding these factors, you can take steps to ensure smooth delivery of your packages. If you experience a problem with your delivery, don’t hesitate to contact UPS customer service for assistance. They are there to help you resolve any issues and ensure that your package reaches its destination safely.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I contact UPS customer service?

You can reach out to UPS customer service by calling their toll-free number 1-800-742-5877 (1-800-PICK-UPS®). For international shipping, you can call 1-800-782-7892. You can also get in touch with them via their website.

What is a UPS InfoNotice and what information does it contain?

A UPS InfoNotice is a notice that UPS leaves at your door if they attempted a delivery but were unable to complete it. This could be due to the recipient not being available, the package requiring a signature, or other delivery exceptions. The InfoNotice will contain information about the attempted delivery and instructions for the next steps, such as when they will attempt another delivery or where you can pick up your package.

What is UPS My Choice and how can it help me avoid missed deliveries?

UPS My Choice is a free service that gives you more control over your deliveries. With UPS My Choice, you can receive delivery alerts, sign for packages remotely, and even reschedule deliveries for a time that works best for you. You can sign up for UPS My Choice on the UPS website.

What should I do if my package is stolen?

If you suspect your package has been stolen, the first step is to contact the sender and UPS to report the theft. They can initiate a trace investigation to locate your package. In some cases, the sender may also be able to send a replacement or refund your purchase. Additionally, you should file a report with your local police department to help deter future package thefts in your area.

How long will UPS hold my package at a local facility?

UPS typically holds packages at a local facility for five business days before returning them to the sender. If you know you won’t be able to pick up the package within this time, contact UPS to discuss alternative delivery options.

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