All about UPS Tracking number and its format

UPS Tracking number and its format
By Tapas Pal Updated

Online shipping companies assign a unique code for every item packed. This unique code is known as the Tracking number. You can use this UPS Tracking number to track your packages either online or through phones. This tracking no. updates you every destination your package passes through. So if your packaging is taking longer than usual, just copy that unique tracking number and paste it in the Tracking Section of the carrier (FedEx, USPS, etc.) to know where the package actually is.

UPS, United Parcel Service, is the world’s largest company which delivers packages and is also a supplier of Supply Chain Management solutions. It is so much reliable as it delivers 15 million packages per day to about 7.9 million customers. It is spread in more than 220 countries and other territories around the world. Amazing isn’t it?


A little bit History

James Casey founded the American Messenger Company in 1907 along with Claude Ryan in Washington. They took a debt of 100$ to start this company. Back then, the packages used to be delivered either by foot or through bicycles. The company primarily focused on delivering packages to retail stores only. It was in 1919 when the company expanded outside Seattle to Oakland for the first time. The American Messenger Company adopted a new name as well and started establishing itself with the name “United Parcel Service”. This was how UPS established itself worldwide.


UPS’s sole job is the on-time delivery of documents and packages worldwide. It has, however, extended its services to transport less than a truckload and other supply chain services have also begun under its administration. It has an environmental record as well. This means despite having 104,900 vehicles in operation it uses alternative-fuel cars and vehicles for delivery purpose.

ups tracking number format

UPS Tracking numbers are present in a special format. This is collectively known as UPS Tracking No. format. This no. appears in the following formats:

  • 1Z9999999999999999
  • 999999999999
  • T9999999999
  • 999999999

UPS is also efficient in tracking numbers containing 7 to 20 characters. These tracking numbers include:

1: Delivery Order/Sub-PRO Number: These numbers are assigned to Less-Than-Truckload and Truckload child shipment numbers which are trackable.

2: House Air Waybill: This number is used for air freight movement and its time-to-time tracking.

3: UPS InfoNotice: This contains a 12 digit reference number which is provided on first delivery attempt but exists in selected countries only.

4: UPS Service Notice: This consists of a notice which is given on first delivery attempt in certain specific countries only.

5: PRO Number: This no. is used for tracking surface freight movement of packages.

6: House Bill of Lading: It is used for tracking Ocean freight movement. You can track it through UPS tracking services.

How does a UPS Tracking number look like?

It usually consists of 18 alphanumeric characters. It starts with ‘1Z’ as shown above. For example: 1Z 999 AA1 01 2345 6784.

How to track a package without UPS tracking number?

There are situations when you may not have any tracking number and thus couldn’t track it. There is a solution to this as well.

You can simply visit the courier’s website, sign up there for an account and activate notifications for your package via email or in the account itself. UPS and other big courier companies have this facility and this can work for you. If this doesn’t activate by itself, request the company to notify each time as the package crosses every major station and also one day prior to when actual delivery is scheduled.

Through UPS MyChoice Program you can even get the live updates on your phone. You can then track your package on the delivery vehicle in real time on a map. This makes tracking ultra-easy.


If you can’t follow the methods provided above, just call UPS or even for better can visit them at and they’ll help you with everything you want.

How to track a lost UPS Tracking number without a receipt?

Just in case you lost your UPS tracking number and now you don’t even have the receipt, there is nothing to panic about. You can easily retrieve it using the methods given below:

Contact UPS

You can either call UPS to help you in this case or can even go to live-chat or emailing the support staff. Before that, you must keep some details ready like sender’s and receipt’s name, the date the item was shipped on, where it was shipped from and the destination point for the package.

What if the UPS Tracking Number Not Working

Sometimes ordering on weekends may show the UPS tracking number to be invalid. In these cases, you can’t just track the damn thing. This is because while weekends the courier companies get high and the network gets busy. As the weekend crosses the system automatically starts taking things into its database which was otherwise on a hold. The tracking no. starts working just after that. So if it shows you that your tracking no. is invalid, don’t get panic. Just wait for a couple of days and try again. If it doesn’t work after that, simply call the customer care or contact them through e-mails.  They definitely have a solution to everything. So keep a positive outlook on them.

Note: There are websites which look bogus to the real sites on the Internet. So carefully place orders otherwise the same problem could persist.

Phone number for UPS Tracking

ups tracking phone number in case you have a more severe problem than any of the ones already discussed, you can simply call UPS  at 1-800-742-5877 (1-800 is for PICK-UPS). If you have International shipping, you can get in touch with them at 1-800-782-7892. Apart from this, UPS provides an entire contact guide at its main website. It contains their mail-IDs also. So you can email them also.

Final Words:

So this was all about how UPS works and what it actually is. So, if you have a tracking no. and are eagerly waiting for the package, just double your excitement and track the damn thing through UPS. I hope you guys liked this article. Stay tuned.


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