Why Does UPS Not Update Tracking?

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UPS (United Parcel Service) is a renowned global logistics company that handles millions of packages every day. The company’s tracking system allows customers to monitor the progress of their packages in real-time. However, sometimes, customers may notice that their UPS tracking information is not updating. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of why this happens and what you can do in such situations.


UPS tracking might not update due to several reasons such as a delay in package movement, an incorrect tracking number, a system glitch, a worker forgetting to scan the parcel, package misrouting, or a technical issue with the tracking system. However, these issues are usually temporary and don’t necessarily indicate a problem with your shipment. If your tracking information isn’t updating, it’s recommended to wait for 24 hours before contacting UPS for further assistance.

The UPS Tracking System: An Overview

The UPS tracking system is a sophisticated mechanism that assigns a unique tracking number to each package. This tracking number enables customers to monitor the progress of their shipments. When a package is shipped, it is assigned a unique tracking number, usually starting with ‘1Z’. Customers can use this tracking number to track their packages on the UPS official website or mobile app or via third-party platforms.

The UPS tracking system provides real-time visibility, allowing customers to follow the journey of their packages from the source to the final destination. It offers comprehensive delivery information, including the package’s progress from pickup to delivery.

Why UPS Tracking Might Not Be Updating

There could be several reasons why your UPS tracking information isn’t updating:

  1. Delay in Package Movement: Your package might be delayed due to traffic congestion, severe weather conditions, or an unexpected increase in the volume of packages.
  2. Incorrect Tracking Number: If the tracking number entered is incorrect, you won’t be able to get any updates. Always ensure that the tracking number matches the one provided by the shipper.
  3. System Glitch: Sometimes, the UPS tracking system may experience a glitch that causes delays or missing information.
  4. Worker Forgets to Scan the Parcel: If the worker forgets to scan the barcode on the package label, this can cause a “not updating” issue.
  5. Package Misrouting: If your package has been accidentally misrouted, UPS will be in the process of resolving it, and during this time, the tracking information may not be updated.
  6. Technical Issue with the Tracking System: Occasionally, there might be a technical issue with the tracking system, causing the tracking information not to update.

It’s important to keep in mind that tracking updates may not always be in real-time, and they are rarely late or incorrect. If you experience delays in tracking updates, it is best to contact the shipping company directly for more information.

Dealing with Tracking Update Issues

If your UPS tracking is not updating, it is recommended to wait for 24 hours as updates can sometimes be delayed. If the status still doesn’t change after 24 hours, you can contact UPS using their tracking phone number or online service. They will be able to provide more information and resolve any concerns you might have.


While it can be frustrating when your UPS tracking is not updating, it’s essential to remember that delays are usually temporary and don’t necessarily mean that there is a problem with your shipment. By understanding the potential reasons for these delays and knowing how to address them, you can ensure a smooth and worry-free shipping experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find my UPS tracking number?

Your UPS tracking number can be found on your shipping receipt, email confirmation, or on the package itself. It typically starts with ‘1Z’.

How often does UPS update their tracking information?

UPS generally updates their tracking information every time a package is scanned, which usually happens at each key point in the delivery process (pickup, arrival at a sorting facility, departure from a facility, etc). However, the frequency may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the shipment.

What does the UPS status “In Transit” mean?

“In Transit” is a UPS tracking status that means your package is on its way to its final destination. It’s a general status that covers the period from when the package leaves the sender’s location until it arrives at the recipient’s location.

Can I track a UPS package without a tracking number?

Yes, if you’ve lost your tracking number, you can still track your UPS package by reference number if you have it. The reference number can be found on your shipping receipt or email confirmation. Alternatively, you can contact UPS customer service for assistance.

What does it mean when my UPS tracking status is “Exception”?

An “Exception” status on your UPS tracking means that an unexpected event is preventing the delivery of your package. This could be due to reasons like severe weather, customs delay, or an incorrect address. In such cases, UPS usually provides additional details about the exception and, if possible, an estimated delivery date.

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