Tracking numbers are one of the great conveniences offered by modern shipping companies like UPS, but it can be hard to wait for tracking updates.
So, does UPS update tracking, how frequently is it updated, and how accurate is it? If you’d like to find out, keep reading to see what I discovered!
Does UPS Update Tracking In 2023?
UPS updates tracking for packages every time it arrives or departs from a location in 2023. Tracking information is not a real-time tool, but it accurately tells you whether the package is in transit, on its way to be delivered, or at the final facility before delivery. While packages can be in transit on weekends, tracking isn’t updated on Sundays.
If you want to learn more about how your UPS tracking feature is updated and what to expect when using your tracking feature, be sure to read the rest of the article for more facts!
How Often Does UPS Update Tracking?
UPS’ tracking system is updated every time a package is scanned, and most packages are scanned every time they depart a facility, arrive at a new facility, and are loaded or unloaded onto trucks or planes.
As far as how many updates a day this can translate to, it depends on how much distance your package is traveling and on what shipping service is being used.
If you’re using a shipping service like UPS Ground, which is transported by truck, then you will typically get fewer updates than you would with other services.
If you’re using a shipping service like Next Day Air Early, you will also get fewer tracking notifications, as your package will be on a direct path to you and will be traveling through as few places as possible.
On average, most UPS customers receive approximately 6 tracking updates, starting from the time the package is accepted to when it’s delivered to your door.
Around busier times of the year, such as Black Friday and Christmas, you may receive even fewer tracking updates.
This is largely due to the high volume of packages and employees rushing to meet deadlines and skipping scans.
For the average package, however, you can expect to receive a tracking notification every day to every two days.
Is UPS Tracking Accurate and Updated in Real Time?
Because UPS tracking only updates once a package is scanned, it’s extremely accurate in terms of whether or not the package is where tracking says it is.
For example, as packages come off of a truck and are loaded into boxes at a facility in Austin, Texas, they are each individually scanned by a UPS worker.
That scan is specifically coded to the facility in Austin, Texas, and updates both the consumer’s individual tracking number as well as the facility’s inventory list.
If you’re curious about UPS’ tracking accuracy in terms of real-time movement, then the answer is certainly less accurate.
While UPS tracking can be very specific about the facility your package is in and if it’s in transit between facilities, UPS tracking is not a real-time GPS tool.
This is for many reasons- each individual box would need a GPS device to be tracked on its specific journey, which is wasteful, pricey, and also unsafe for UPS drivers to be tracked 24/7.
Therefore, while you can rest assured that your package location is accurate, you will not get a play-by-play every time it moves.
Is UPS Bad at Updating Tracking?
UPS is pretty good with updating its tracking tool, especially compared to other shipping services. This is largely due to the technique UPS employees use when scanning packages.
Every time a package is taken off or loaded onto a truck or plane, and arrives or departs from a new facility, the package is scanned.
Every time a package is scanned, that package’s individual tracking number is updated with the information related to that scan, which correlates to the action being performed.
For example, an employee loading a truck full of packages scans each package he touches, and his particular scanner is encoded with information that translates into an “in transit” notification on your tracking tool.
UPS also uses state-of-the-art technology to make sure these updates get to you as fast as possible.
Other companies’ scanning technology can take up to 24 hours to update your tracking tool, whereas UPS technology typically takes around 10 minutes to update.
Unfortunately, packages do make it past employees without getting scanned, especially during the busy season around Christmas when most employees are handling thousands of packages per day.
If your tracking doesn’t update in 48 hours, feel free to reach out to UPS for help by visiting the contact page on the company website here.
How Long Does It Take UPS to Update Its Tracking After Drop Off?
Once your package is delivered, it can sometimes take up to 30 minutes for you to get a delivery notification.
This is mostly due to the time it takes for UPS’ scanning system to transfer the information over to the UPS tracking tool, as most packages are scanned by the driver either on the way off of the truck or as they’re placed at your door.
Sometimes, however, you won’t get a delivery notification at all.
This is typically due to busy drivers forgetting to scan a package as they deliver it, which happens most often around the busy season near the holidays.
Does UPS Update Tracking on Weekends?
UPS does update your tracking number on weekends. However, tracking info usually isn’t updated on Sundays.
Packages are transported 24/7, including on weekends, but UPS packages’ tracking numbers are updated via individual scans from workers when they’re loaded on and off trucks and into new facilities.
Therefore, even if your package is on a truck steadily making its way towards you, when that trucker stops to drop it off at a new facility on a Sunday, there isn’t usually enough staff to scan it in order for tracking to update.
Instead, when your package is loaded onto a new truck on Monday, the worker helping to distribute packages into the trucks will scan them, which then updates your package as being in transit.
To know more, you can also see our posts on whether or not UPS sends text messages, if UPS delivers at night, and if UPS ships to PO boxes.
UPS does update its tracking, typically around once a day, depending on the distance your package is traveling and the shipping service being used.
UPS tracking is updated every time a package is scanned when departing or entering a new facility or being loaded onto a truck.