How Long Does UPS Hold Packages? (All You Need to Know)

Packages get held for a variety of reasons, whether out of necessity or because someone has asked for them to be held.

So, exactly how long does UPS hold packages, and what happens if they don’t get picked up? If you’d like to find out, keep reading to see what I discovered on this subject!

How Long Does UPS Hold Packages In [currentyear]?

UPS will hold a package for up to 7 days in [currentyear]. Packages are held by request of the recipient, to obtain a signature, to protect high-value packages, etc. If you don’t pick your package up, it will be returned to the sender. To request a hold, make a free UPS My Choice account, or call the nearest Customer Center.

If you want to request a hold for your next UPS package, or are having trouble with a package that’s currently on hold, be sure to keep reading for more insight on how this program works!

Can UPS Hold a Package for Pick Up?

UPS can absolutely hold your package for pick up!

This is one of many services UPS offers to help make shipping and receiving packages safe and convenient for its customers.

Having a package held for pick up is also possible to do at nearly all UPS locations, including UPS Access Points, the UPS Store, and UPS Customer Centers.

UPS will hold a package for a wide variety of reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • The recipient notifying UPS that they are on vacation or out of town
  • The recipient submitting a request for their package to be held via their UPS My Choice account, or by calling their local Customer Center
  • The recipient not being available to sign for a signature service, resulting in more than one missed delivery attempt
  • The sender or recipient of the package requesting a hold because of a package’s value
  • The sender addressed the package to a UPS center rather than a street address
  • The package’s label is unreadable, or the address is incorrect/missing information

If you’re interested in using UPS’ hold for pickup services for any reason, not just those listed above, be sure to check out the next section for some helpful tips and tricks, as well as detailed instructions!

How Do I Tell UPS to Hold My Package for Pick Up?

If you want your next UPS package to be held for pickup, you have two main options: you can either call UPS, or use a UPS My Choice account.

If you wish to call UPS to request a package hold, you’ll need to call the customer service line, 1-800-PICK-UPS, or 1-800-742-5877.

Once you’ve called the number, you can say “hold a package for pick up,” and the automated system will request a little more information from you.

Be sure to have your package’s tracking number handy, as that is the only way your package can be identified and held!

You can find your tracking number by doing the following:

  • Look for the confirmation email you received from UPS
  • Look for the email from the person who’s sending the package after it was shipped
  • Look at the bottom of your receipt.

Once you’ve answered all of the automated system’s questions regarding tracking and hold info, your package will be held at the UPS location you’ve requested, or until the delivery date you’ve specified.

If you’d prefer to handle this process online, your best bet is to use your UPS My Choice account.

You can sign up for this account for free by visiting the UPS My Choice page here, or you can use the same page to log in to an existing account.

Once you’ve created or logged in to your UPS My Choice account, you can see all of the current packages associated with the address you signed up under.

When you’ve found the package(s) you’d like to have held, click “Delivery Options,” and follow the prompts.

Using the delivery options page on UPS My Choice allows you to choose from a variety of ways your package can be held, including:

  • Having your package held until a specified date, and then delivered to the listed address
  • Having the package be delivered to a different address, (i.e a UPS Access Point, The UPS Store, or UPS Customer Center) until it can be picked up
  • Having the package delivered to your neighbor or another address, in some cases

In most cases, the fastest option for a held package is to have it held at a UPS facility, provided you’re able to pick it up in a timely manner.

To find a UPS location that offers package holding services near you, you can check out the locations page of the UPS website here.

You can browse UPS Access Points, UPS Customer Centers, and UPS Store locations to find one that works for you.

How Long Does UPS Hold Packages?

How Long Does UPS Hold Packages?

While having the ability to have a package held for pick up is an incredibly convenient service, it is a time-sensitive service.

UPS will typically only hold packages at UPS locations for 5 business days, not to exceed 7 days including weekends.

Some locations have hold times that vary, although at minimum most packages will be held for 5 days.

This means that having your UPS package held at a UPS location is a great choice if you’re having the package held:

  • For security reasons or to avoid theft
  • To avoid package damage due to forecasted poor weather
  • To avoid missed delivery attempts, or to sign for the package due to missed delivery attempts

Having your package held at a UPS location is probably not a great choice if you’re out of town or on vacation, due to the service’s time-sensitive nature.

Instead, consider having your package held for delivery until a specified date.

You can also have the package delivered to a trusted person if you’re out of town, and can’t pick up the package from a UPS facility.

If your package is being held at a UPS facility, due to a delivery exception or for any reason outside of your own request, be sure you pick your package up in a timely manner!

What Happens If You Don’t Pick up Your Package From UPS?

Most of the time, packages that are held at UPS locations such as Customer Centers, UPS Access Points, or the UPS Store are held, due to the request of the recipient.

Sometimes, however, packages are held due to issues with the package or at the facility, or by request of the sender.

If this is the case, you’ll see a notification under the tracking information for your package, which can be accessed by typing the tracking number of your package into this page of the UPS website.

The notification will either tell you outright that the package is being held, or it will tell you that a delivery exception has occured, and give instructions to find out more.

Packages that are requested to be held are almost always picked up in a timely manner.

However, packages that are held for other reasons can sometimes exceed UPS’ standard 5 business day hold time.

So, what happens if a package exceeds the designated hold time for a UPS facility?

Typically, packages that have not been claimed within 5 business days of being held are returned to the sender.

If you find out your package is being held, and you are unable to pick it up in the stated time frame, you can try calling the UPS location where your package is being held.

In some cases, UPS may be able to hold on to the package for a little longer until you or a designated person can pick up the package, but this isn’t always the case.

All in all, if you want to avoid having your package returned to sender, then you should keep a close eye on incoming packages, and be sure to pick up any held packages as soon as possible.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on UPS shipping restrictions, why is UPS so slow, and what does “in-transit” mean at UPS.


UPS does hold packages at a variety of locations, including UPS Access Points, the UPS Store, and UPS Customer Centers. Packages are typically held at UPS locations for 5 business days before being returned to sender.

You can request your package be held by calling the UPS Customer Service line at 1-800-PICK-UPS, or by making or signing in to your UPS My Choice account.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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