Responsible for shipping millions of packages and parcels each and every day, UPS is one of the most respected shipping companies in the United States (and maybe even the world).
Ranking right up there with FedEx as far as customer satisfaction is concerned, it’s hard not to get at least a little bit excited when you see that brown and gold vehicle pull into your driveway.
You know your package is finally here!
At the same time, figuring out when exactly your package is going to arrive can be a bit of a headache when using the UPS tracking system.
Not because it is overly complex to take advantage of or because the tracking tools are difficult to master. But because there are so many different status updates you might be given when you punch in your tracking data.
For example, it’s not at all uncommon to input your tracking information to see where your package is and get “Order Processed: Ready for UPS” as your status update when you were prepared something else entirely.
That’s why we have put together this quick guide, though.
Below we breakdown some of the most common UPS status update you are likely to come across, shining a light on what they mean and how they can inform you when it comes to better understanding where your package is in relation to its ultimate destination.
Shall we get started?
Better Understanding the UPS Tracking Platform
UPS takes advantage of the same kind of shipping infrastructure that companies like FedEx and the USPS take advantage of, “spoke and wheel” systems to move your package efficiently around the country until it lands at its ultimate destination.
Each step of the way your tracking information is scanned and updated, giving you a more complete picture of where your package is, where it has been, and when it is most likely to actually make it to its final destination.
Different kinds of tracking updates scan are made depending on where your package is throughout the UPS shipping infrastructure, though.
For example, the Arrival scan basically means that your package has arrived at a UPS facility – but that might mean it’s arrived at the first UPS facility on its journey or the last one.
This is why it’s so important to patent into the rest of the context of the scan updates that your tracking information will include. It’s the only way to really get a feel for what your package is doing and how close it is to completing its journey.
What Does “Order Processed: Ready for UPS” Mean?
When you get the “Order Processed: Ready for UPS” status update after punching in your tracking information it means a couple of different things.
For starters, it means that the individual (which may even be yourself) sending the package via UPS has begun the electronic transmission of tracking information for that package with UPS systems.
This happens after all of the shipping information about that package has been uploaded, including information like it’s origination address, its ultimate destination, the type of UPS delivery service to be used, and a couple of other details, too.
On top of that, it means that the billing information for the shipment has been completed and the package is ready to rock and roll.
The package is ready to begin its journey to its ultimate destination, and only needs to be received by UPS – either dropped off at a UPS location or picked up by a UPS driver on their route.
To really simplify things, basically think of this alert and status update as the first leg of the journey. When you see this you know UPS is preparing to move your package through their internal network!
Other Tracking Status Updates from UPS You’ll Want to Know About
Of course, there are other tracking status updates you might receive from the folks at UPS that are important to understand as well.
Like we highlighted a moment ago, the information provided from each status update builds on the context provided by each previous status update.
While each individual status update does provide a glimpse or a snapshot of where your package is in the UPS system, only when you look at the entirety of these messages will you know exactly what’s happening with your package – and how quickly it’s going to find its way to its ultimate destination.
Let’s dig right in.
Arrival scan messages (usually) follow the “Order Processed: Ready for UPS” message, though not necessarily.
This kind of message simply means that a UPS facility has received the package and scanned it into their internal system.
Sometimes this happens at the originating facility (the first facility that accept your package and begins its journey), but sometimes it happens at a number of different steps along the way – depending on how far your package has to travel.
At the end of the day, this update basically means that your package has arrived at the next stop. You’ll almost always see a Departure status update when your package leaves that facility (but we talk about that a little more in just a minute).
Clearance Completed status orders are somewhat rare, especially if UPS customers aren’t having any packages sent to them from international destinations.
That’s because this specific status update has to do with clearing US Customs.
The second that your UPS package has gone through the necessary US Customs procedures to be cleared for entry into the United States (giving it the green light to move forward through the UPS system) you’ll see this status notification pop-up.
Don’t be surprised if things “hang around” in US Customs limbo before they find their way into the country and on to their ultimate destination. With so many packages flowing around the country (as well as into the country) right now US Customs is a little overloaded and you might want to expect a day or two delay as the norm for a little while.
Clearance in Progress
Clearance and Progress is the first status update you’ll find when you’re package hits the US Customs system.
This status update basically just let you know that the Customs folks are going through your package, confirming that it is safe and able to be moved through the country, and should expect a Clearance Completed message to follow within the next 24 to 48 hours.
If your package hasn’t moved from the Clearance in Progress status update in 72 hours or so, though, it may not be a bad idea to contact UPS directly and see if they can figure out what’s going on and what the longer delay is.
They may or may not be able to give you the information you are looking for, but they’ll generally be able to help direct you to the US Customs office you need to contact for more details.
This is the scan that all of us love to see, the scanned and status update that essentially means that our UPS package has safely and securely found its way to its final destination and is officially delivered.
In the United States (as well as in Canada) UPS deliveries that are dropped off at residential areas do not require a signature to be delivered – so long as the packages can be left somewhat out of sight, in a safe place, and out of implement weather.
UPS drivers like to try and drop packages off on the front porch, inside of a breezeway, by a side door, on a back porch, or near a garage area whenever possible.
You also have the opportunity to request that your driver your deliveries in a specific area as well (or even with a neighbor or a package acceptance office). In those circumstances you can expect a UPS Info Notice to be left behind so that you know your package is in safe hands.
Departure scan updates go hand-in-hand with the Arrival scan updates we mentioned earlier, and are basically the second part of that two-part process.
Arrival scan let you know that your package has arrived at the next UPS facility, and Departure scan updates (no surprise here) let you know that your package has moved through that facility and is on its next leg of the journey.
If your UPS package is moving across the country (or even just across a couple of states) you may not see new Arrival or Departure status updates for a couple of days.
Some of this as to do with the logistics of your UPS package, some of it has to do with the speed of delivery that you have selected, and some of it just has to do with how packages are scanned as they move through the UPS infrastructure.
Destination Scan status updates are (generally) the second to last update you’ll get before your UPS package is physically delivered.
This specific status simply means that your package has arrived at a local UPS facility (maybe a UPS distribution warehouse, maybe a UPS store, maybe a UPS affiliate, etc.) and is ready to be loaded on a UPS truck and sent out to its ultimate destination.
This scan is always made by the folks that are going to be responsible for actually delivering your package, too.
Dropped off at a UPS Access Point Location
A status update like this usually means that a UPS package is getting ready to be moved into the UPS shipping infrastructure after it’s been dropped off at a partner UPS Access Point location.
You probably won’t see another update on your tracking information until it actually begins moving through the UPS infrastructure itself.
Dropped off at The UPS Store
This alert is similar to the one we highlighted above, with the main difference being that a package dropped off at a UPS Store updates differently than a package dropped off at a UPS Access Point.
This kind of status update is one that no one wants to see when their packages being shipped by UPS.
If you see this alert, it means that something has happened (something unforeseen) that is going to delay the delivery date beyond what it was originally going to be.
You’ll get more information about the updated delivery date as soon as it becomes available. That usually happens when your package is scanned again inside of the UPS system.
In Transit scans basically tell you that your packages are moving from one UPS location to the next. This is the kind of message that usually follows the Departure scan (and are followed up by an Arrival scan).
Those that get a little peace of mind knowing that their packages are actively moving through the UPS logistical infrastructure are going to be happy to see these kinds of notifications!
Sometimes the USPS is tasked with the “last mile” of delivery for UPS (and FedEx) packages, particularly in more rural areas and communities.
This message let you know that UPS has officially handed over your package and responsibility for it being delivered to the folks at the USPS. Tracking information and delivery notifications from that point on will be handled by the United States Postal Service.
Never Wonder What’s in Your Mailbox Again with US Global Mail
As you can see, there are a lot of different messages and status updates that UPS will send you when you are checking your tracking information – enough to make your head spin!
If you would like to simplify things significantly, getting alerted as soon as your packages arrive at your mailbox (with a digital photo or scan of that package), then you’ll want to consider moving forward with a service like the one provided through US Global Mail.
The ultimate virtual mailbox service, you not only get full package acceptance from all of the major shipping companies with a US Global Mail account (something you don’t get with a standard PO Box) but you also get so much more!
A secure, safe, and private street address that is “permanent” no matter where you move, the ability to forward your mail to any address on the planet at up to 80% off of traditional shipping costs, and even check depositing capabilities – all of which aren’t available from UPS, FedEx, or the USPS.
For more information about everything US Global Mail has to offer, or to get started with your own account, contact them directly!