If you’re waiting for a package, your best friend is your tracking number. It’s the number you can type into the FedEx website, text, or email to get up-to-the-minute information concerning the whereabouts of your package.
Given how popular online shopping has become, you probably know how tracking numbers work. However, you may still wonder if these numbers expire. I’ll answer that question and many more in this guide, so keep reading!
Do FedEx Tracking Numbers Expire In [currentyear]?
FedEx tracking information remains available for 90 days after delivery from FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Economy Ground, and many other services as of [currentyear]. Freight shipping information is available for two years after delivery. FedEx reuses expired tracking numbers; however, it may be months or years before recycling them. You should direct tracking number questions to FedEx Customer Service.
If you want to learn more about FedEx tracking numbers and their expiration date, along with much more helpful information, keep reading!
What Is A FedEx Tracking Number?
Each package sent through FedEx’s network is assigned a tracking number and barcode, which is the number unique to the package and is not shared with any other items.
Therefore, when the item arrives or leaves a FedEx facility, the barcode gets scanned, and the item’s location is updated in the FedEx system.
Then, when a customer enters their tracking number (online, by text, over the phone, or by email), they can access the item’s location information.
Moreover, FedEx typically uses 12-digit tracking numbers; however, 15-digit tracking numbers also exist.
How Long Are FedEx Tracking Numbers Active?
Tracking information remains available for 90 days after delivery through the following services:
- FedEx Express
- FedEx Express Freight
- FedEx Ground
- FedEx Ground Economy
- FedEx Custom Critical
In addition, shipment information for FedEx Freight is available for two years following delivery.
What Happens After A FedEx Tracking Number Expires?
90 days after delivery, a FedEx tracking number is considered “expired.” After that point, shipping information is no longer available to the customer.
Technically speaking, FedEx could reuse the tracking number at that point, but it appears as though FedEx waits months or even years before reusing tracking numbers.
Still, the more likely scenario is that once a tracking number expires, it’s no longer used because 12 and 15-digit numbers offer many combinations that reusing a specific string of numbers isn’t necessary.
Will FedEx Deliver A Package With An Expired Tracking Number?
Once a tracking number is more than 90 days old, it is considered inactive and can no longer be used for shipping.
So, if you have an expired tracking number but need to send a package, you must create a new shipping label and tracking number.
Do FedEx Shipping Labels Expire?
FedEx shipping labels expire, but their expiration dates vary.
Usually, labels you receive via email can be printed and used for up to two years. That said, once a label is printed, you must use it within two weeks.
If you don’t, it expires, and you’ll need to discard the old label and print a new shipping label with a new tracking number.
Don’t worry about canceling the original label, as it will expire on its own, and you won’t be charged for it. Still, keep in mind that you may have to wait a few days before seeing the refund.
Do Prepaid FedEx Tracking Numbers Expire?
You may receive a tracking number from an eCommerce company you’ve purchased something from.
Indeed, many companies include a prepaid shipping label (complete with a tracking number) in customer orders to facilitate returns.
That said, if you’ve received this kind of tracking number, it does not expire.
Similarly, if a company creates an email return label, customers will be able to access the information online for up to two years before it expires.
FedEx’s 12 to 15-digit tracking numbers expire after 90 days. At that point, no one in the general public knows what happens to the expired numbers.
However, tracking numbers may be reused months or years in the future.
If you have a shipping label with an expired tracking number, you need to purchase a new label complete with a new tracking number.
Fortunately, you won’t be charged for the unused shipping label.