What To Do If UPS Tracking Isn’t Working?(Tips)

One of the greatest conveniences of the modern world is the ability to transport packages faster than ever. Unfortunately, sometimes those packages go missing and there’s no tracking number to keep tabs on the item that went missing.

The first thing you should do is wait 24 hours to see if the issue fixes itself. After that, you can contact your local UPS store and request an update on your package.

There are several reasons your tracking may not be working, and most of them aren’t something you need to worry about. The rest of this article will go into detail on why your tracking details aren’t working or aren’t updating, as well as what to do about it.

Why Is UPS Tracking Number Not Working?

There are several reasons your tracking number may not be working. The first and most common is that it isn’t in the system.

The item is only scanned once it reaches the UPS depot, then the number will go into the system and tracking information will be updated in real time.

Of course, there’s also the possibility of human error as well.

Someone may forget to scan your individual package, causing it to not be put into the system, rendering the tracking system useless.

Lastly, if the bar code is damaged or unscannable, then there is no way for UPS to update you on the delivery status of your package.

Why Does UPS Say the Tracking Number is Invalid?

The most common reason that the “Tracking” feature on the UPS website will list a tracking number as invalid is because it isn’t in the system.

Again, the number (and therefore your package) only enters the system and is updated after it’s been scanned at the shipping depot.

UPS will often issue a tracking number as soon as the seller/shipper has purchased a shipping label.

At this point, a tracking number and label are created but aren’t in the system yet.

If your tracking number is listed as invalid, that might e the reason why.

The best thing to do in this situation is to wait a day or two and check again.

If your number is still showing up as invalid, then there’s an underlying issue, but if the tracking is displaying normally, then your package has been scanned and is on the way.

What Is a Valid UPS Tracking Number?

A valid UPS tracking number is one that’s been scanned. Of course, before it’s been scanned, a number isn’t in the UPS database and can’t be updated properly.

The tracking feature on the UPS website updates in real time, so if your package has been scanned, you should be able to track it properly.

Valid UPS tracking numbers, therefore, are tracking numbers that have been scanned into the system and can be tracked properly.

Needless to say, it should also be typed in correctly without any missing numbers.

What to Do If UPS Tracking Not Working?

Thankfully, when it comes to your tracking number not working, the easiest and most likely way to resolve the issue is to just let UPS do their thing.

After about 12 hours, UPS will email you, updating you on the status of the package.

In most cases, rest assured, the package is still on its way, and all you have to do is wait for the delivery date.

If your package still hasn’t arrived, then you should contact UPS and let them know about the missing package, after which you may need to wait over a week for them to locate and re-ship your package.

Most often, with improper tracking, it’s likely that the package was just missed when scanning but is still on its way.

As a general rule, wait a day before contacting your local UPS store to see if the issue resolves itself.

After the delivery date has passed, if your tracking number still isn’t updating, it is likely that your package has gone missing or been delayed, and you should get in touch with UPS to locate your package.

Can You Call UPS to See Where the Package Is?

Of course, there’s no reason that you can’t be proactive when it comes to locating and ensuring your package is on its way, especially if the package is valuable or delicate.

UPS customer service is on standby to help you.

If you call them and give them your tracking number, a representative will likely be able to help you locate your package.

If you’ve already gone past the delivery date and still don’t have a tracking number, it’s probably a good idea to check in with your local UPS to find out where your package is being held.

Most often, it’s held at a local depot, and you should be able to request a redelivery attempt or go to the store and pick it up yourself.


We all want to be in control of the package that we have handed over for a delivery.

It can be incredibly frustrating to not be able to see where your package is because of the invalid or not working tracking number.

The good news is that this issue usually resolves itself in a day or two. UPS might be having some temporary issues with the tracking updates, or your package simply didn’t get scanned yet.

Patience is a virtue here. But if it’s been a few days since you can’t seem to be able to use the tracking, it’s best to call UPS for assistance.