What Does “In Transit” Mean At UPS?

One of the best parts of modern shipping services like UPS is the ability to track your package and receive updates about its progress towards its final destination.

One of the many updates you can receive from UPS is “in transit,” but what does “in transit” mean? I was curious about the same thing, so I researched the topic in-depth! Here’s everything I found out!

What Does “In Transit” Mean At UPS In [currentyear]?

UPS’s “in transit” tracking update means that your package is on the move, typically between UPS facilities as of [currentyear]. The “in transit” notification happens when your parcel departs one UPS facility on its way to another and isn’t the same as “out for delivery,” which means that your package is heading to its final destination.

There’s so much more to understand about the UPS “in transit” tracking notification and what you can expect when you see it, so keep reading to learn more!

Is “In Transit” The Same As “Out For Delivery” At UPS?

No, the “in transit” UPS tracking notification isn’t the same as the “out for delivery” notification.

Instead, “in transit” means that your package is on the move, typically between UPS facilities. So, while it’s progressing towards its final destination, it’s not yet in the area to be delivered.

Further, this notification occurs when a UPS employee scans a package loaded onto a truck or plane to leave a facility and go to another closer to the package’s final destination, otherwise known as a departure scan.

Also, if you’d like to read more about the different types of UPS scans and what they mean for your package, you can check out this page on the UPS website.

Moreover, “in transit” can mean that your package is moving via ground or air services, but either way, your parcel is definitely on the move.

On the other hand, the “out for delivery” notification means that your package has left your local UPS warehouse, and its next stop will be its final destination.

On occasion, you’ll see the “out for delivery” notification change to an “in transit” notification. But, if this happens, don’t sweat it!

With that, this usually just means that the UPS courier who has your package won’t make it to your address by the end of the day and will have to return to the facility before delivering your package.

Moreover, this just means that your package will be first in line to deliver the following day.

Still, if you’re concerned, you can always reach out to UPS via phone or online messaging by visiting the support page on the UPS website.

How Late And On What Days Does UPS Deliver?

UPS typically delivers packages Monday through Friday, although it offers special services that allow for pickups and deliveries for commercial and residential packages on Saturday and residential pickups and deliveries on Sundays.

As far as specific delivery windows, most UPS trucks are on the road from 9 am to 9 pm.

Moreover, unless you live next to a UPS facility, you can typically expect packages to be delivered from around 10 am to 8 pm.

Can You Track Your UPS Package In Real-Time?

Can You Track Your UPS Package In Real-Time?

In 2016, UPS rolled out a new tracking feature called Follow My Delivery, which allows packages to be tracked in real-time once they’re marked as “out for delivery.”

While this feature doesn’t show you the driver’s route, it allows you to track your package’s movement on a map in real-time to see how close it is to your address.

Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available for everyone.

With that, Follow My Delivery is only available for customers using UPS Air or UPS Worldwide Express and have a UPS My Choice account, which you can make for free by visiting this page.

How Long Is A Package In Transit With UPS?

Typically, your UPS tracking feature shouldn’t display the notification “in transit” for more than 24 hours at a time.

With that, this is because it usually takes 24 hours or less for the package to travel from one UPS facility to another.

However, packages traveling internationally can sometimes show this notification longer due to longer travel times.

Moreover, how far your package is traveling and what UPS shipping service you’re utilizing will determine how many facilities it will travel through, and by extension, how many times you’ll see the “in transit” notification.

But, if your tracking feature displays an “in transit” notification for longer than four days, it’s best to reach out to the UPS customer service team to ensure your package hasn’t been lost or misplaced.

Further, you can reach out to the customer service team by calling 1-800-742-5877 for domestic packages, 1-800-782-7892 for international packages, or using the online messaging tool here.

What Comes After “In Transit” At UPS?

The “in transit” tracking notification means that your package is traveling from one UPS facility to another.

The logical next step for your package, then, would be for it to arrive at the new UPS facility, resulting in either an arrival scan or a destination scan.

For example, an arrival scan occurs when your package arrives at a new UPS facility. After this happens, you’ll see a notification on your tracking tool that says “arrived at UPS facility.”

With that, this just means UPS is processing your package at the new facility before being sent out.

Next, a destination scan occurs when your package arrives at the UPS facility responsible for final delivery.

Further, this means that your package has made its last stop before it arrives at the final address, so this type of notification occurs shortly before an “out for delivery” notification.

To learn more, you can also see our posts on what does “destination scan” mean, what does “exception” mean, and what does “out for delivery” mean at UPS.


The “in transit” UPS tracking notification means that your package is currently moving between UPS facilities.

That said, it’s not the same as an “out for delivery” notification, which means that your package has left its final UPS facility and is now on the way to the delivery address.

Usually, UPS delivers packages between 9 am and 9 pm Monday through Friday and allows customers using UPS Air and UPS International Express with a My Choice account to track their packages in real-time.

Typically, packages are in transit for 24 hours blocks, although some can be longer if they’re traveling internationally or cross-country.

Finally, reach out to UPS customer service if your package is in transit for more than four days.

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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 QuerySprout.com.

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