FedEx Master Tracking Number (What Is It, How It Works + More)

If you have packages delivered through FedEx regularly, you’ve probably become accustomed to checking the status of your packages using a tracking number.

However, what you may not have seen is a Master Tracking number- but what is it? Well, we’ll dive deeper into what Master Tracking numbers are in this article, so be sure to read on!

What Is a FedEx Master Tracking Number in [currentyear]?

Multi-piece shipments are assigned a Master Tracking number as soon as the first box is expedited from FedEx. Subsequent packages in the shipment will be assigned the same tracking number, but their location and delivery status can be viewed separately. Packages with a shared Master Tracking number must have the same delivery address in [currentyear].

It can be tricky understanding Master Tracking numbers, especially if you’ve never encountered them before. Therefore, keep reading this article to learn more useful facts!

What Is a FedEx Tracking Number?

Before discussing Master Tracking numbers, it’s helpful to understand what a tracking number is and how it’s used.

Whenever a package enters the FedEx network, it is assigned a unique tracking number and barcode.

Each time the package arrives or departs from a FedEx facility, the barcode gets scanned, and the item’s location is updated.

Customers can see this updated location information by entering their tracking number online.

Usually, FedEx tracking numbers are made up of 12 digits written in the following format (e.g., 9999 9999 9999). In some cases, FedEx uses 15-digit tracking numbers.

What Is a FedEx Master Tracking Number?

Now that you have a better idea of what a tracking number is, you can understand what a Master Tracking number is and how it’s used.

Whenever an order is sent through FedEx, whether it’s in one box or 5, the entire shipment will be assigned a Master Tracking number.

If a shipment is one box, that box has the Master Tracking number. If an order contains multiple boxes, there will be one Master Tracking number assigned to the entire shipment.

This Master Tracking Number will display all packages associated with the shipment.

How Do FedEx Master Tracking Numbers Work?

How Do FedEx Master Tracking Numbers Work?

When you place an order through an online retailer, the company will determine how many boxes are needed for the shipment.

This could be based on the availability of specific products (i.e., the company may choose to split the order into two shipments to get some items to the customer earlier than others).

Split shipments could also occur if a shipment is particularly large and cannot be contained in a single box.

Whatever the reason, the first package expedited through FedEx will receive the Master Tracking number.

Subsequent boxes will have the same tracking number, but the customer will be able to see the different locations of the boxes in the shipment.

Packages with a shared Master Tracking number must all meet the following criteria:

  • Use the same service (e.g., Home Delivery, Priority, etc.)
  • Have the same destination and billing address
  • Have the same delivery instructions (e.g., signature options, Saturday delivery, or collect on delivery)
  • Meet all the size, weight, and acceptance guidelines for the selected service, although individual packages may have different weights, dimensions, and declared value

What Is the Point of Master Tracking Numbers?

From a customer standpoint, Master Tracking numbers simplify FedEx’s tracking and delivery process.

Thanks to the Master Tracking number system, customers can keep tabs on all of the pieces in their shipment without getting buried in a sea of numbers.

In addition, businesses may be granted better rates for multi-piece shipments.

Further, Master Tracking Numbers are helpful for businesses because they provide added visibility into FedEx shipment tracking.

Can Master Tracking Numbers Have Different Tracking Updates?

Although you will only receive one Master Tracking Number when you’re expecting a multi-piece shipment, you will be able to see the status and location of the individual packages in your order.

As a result, one package may show that it’s In Transit, while another may read as Departed FedEx Location.

This is entirely normal and just means that your packages are moving through the FedEx system at different rhythms. 

Do Packages With the Same Master Tracking Number Arrive at Different Times?

Packages with the same Master Tracking number may or may not arrive at the same time.

Some FedEx customers report receiving all of their packages on the same day, while others receive all of their packages within a couple of days of each other.

In rarer cases, it may take up to a week for all of the packages in a multi-piece shipment to arrive.

Packages get separated for a variety of reasons. In some cases, items may get sent out at different times.

In others, packages may get separated when loaded into delivery trucks.

While it can be annoying collecting pieces of your order one by one, have confidence that everything will arrive in a timely manner.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on FedEx tracking not updating, do FedEx tracking numbers expire, and does FedEx update tracking.


If you’ve ever seen a Master Tracking number when checking on your FedEx package’s location, this means that your order was split into multiple packages and that they’re being sent separately.

While all of these boxes share the same tracking number, you’ll still be able to see their individual tracking updates and locations.

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Cara Suppa

Cara Suppa has been freelance writing for over a decade and holds a BA in English and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Outside of work, she is an avid cook, gardener, and discount shopper.

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