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How to Track a Package Without a UPS Tracking Number

Package with a tracking number

In today’s world of stuffed inboxes and wall-to-wall notifications, it can be hard to find important information quickly.

So what to do if you’ve lost your UPS tracking number or don’t remember receiving a tracking number in the first place? How do you find out when your package will arrive?

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to track your UPS package without a tracking number. Let’s start with a few basics.

What Is the Format of a UPS Tracking Number?

UPS tracking numbers typically start with 1Z and contain 18 characters, though different formats exist. For example, the tracking number used in a UPS InfoNotice® is 12 digits long.

Do I Always Receive a UPS Tracking Number?

UPS assigns a tracking number to every package in its network. If you’re the shipper, you will receive a UPS tracking number when the shipment is confirmed.

If you’re the receiver of the package, there are different ways of obtaining a UPS tracking number. In many instances, the shipper will supply you with the tracking number. This allows you to track your own shipment and helps companies cut down on customer service inquiries about packages.

(Look for a tracking number in the order confirmation that the seller provides you. In some cases, UPS may directly send you a tracking number at the time you place the order.)

Of course, having the UPS tracking number is not the only way of tracking a shipment, as we will explain.

How Do I Track with a UPS Tracking Number?

Simply go to UPS.com/track and enter your tracking number for package status and estimated delivery information. You can add up to 25 tracking numbers at a time.

If you would like to see additional detail about your package or view previous shipments, log into your UPS.com profile. When logged into UPS.com, you will also have the chance to activate email notifications for your delivery.

If you don’t have a UPS.com log-in, signing up for one is easy.

I Lost (or Can’t Find) my UPS Tracking Number

No fear—here are three ways to track a UPS package without a tracking number:

1. Tracking by Reference Number

The first way for a shipper to track a package with no tracking number is to track by reference number. It works like this:

When creating a shipment, the shipper has an opportunity to assign a reference number to the package. This could be the purchase order number or a simple description of the goods. The reference number can be up to 35 characters long and is intended to help more easily identify the shipment.

  • Go to UPS.com/track.
  • Click on “Track by Reference Number.”
  • Complete the shipment information on the field that pops up.

If you’re expecting a package but don’t have a tracking or a reference number, contact the shipper for this information. Or follow this next simple step.

2. Tracking Through UPS My Choice®

Using UPS.com tracking is great for those one-off packages. But perhaps the most convenient way for customers to track their inbound shipments is through UPS My Choice® or UPS My Choice® for Business tools.

With UPS My Choice, enjoy visibility into packages winging their way to your home address. Using this free service, you won’t need a tracking number to locate the whereabouts of the shipment you’re expecting. Simply sign in and away you go.

In addition:

  • If you’re not available to receive an incoming shipment, use the UPS My Choice service to leave driver instructions or redirect the package to a convenient pick-up location in the UPS Access Point® network.
  • Upgrade to UPS My Choice® for Home premium membership (fee applies). This will give you access to additional features, such as the ability to change the delivery address for a package.
  • For additional visibility within UPS My Choice for Home, select ‘UPS Follow My Delivery’ and track the status of your package on a live map.

For commercial shippers, make sure you sign up for UPS My Choice for Business. This complimentary service offers a raft of similar features to UPS My Choice for Home. What’s more, it gives you control over not only your inbound but your outbound shipments too.

Encourage your customers to sign up for UPS My Choice service. This will cut down on the typical “Where is my order?” inquiries. Not only will this improve customer experience, it will save you time.

3. Tracking with a UPS InfoNotice

Easily track the whereabouts of a package using your UPS InfoNotice. You will receive a UPS InfoNotice if your UPS driver is unable to deliver a shipment to your address.

  • The UPS InfoNotice informs you when a redelivery attempt will be made.
  • In some instances, your package will be automatically redirected to a UPS Access Point location. The UPS InfoNotice will let you know if this is the case.

To check on the location of your package, enter the 12-digit number (found in the UPS InfoNotice) into the tracking tool at UPS.com/track. Request another delivery date if you’re unavailable on the day designated for redelivery.

If your package has been redirected to a UPS Access Point location, make sure it is ready to pick up before leaving to collect it. Remember to check out the ID requirements for pick-up too.

Make Tracking Easy

The more visibility you have into your shipment, the greater your ability to plan for when the package arrives. Make tracking easy on yourself and go to UPS.com/track or sign up for UPS My Choice or My Choice for Business service.

Are you ready to start using UPS My Choice?

Sign Up Now

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