When Does UPS Deliver?

When can you expect your package from the UPS? Does the UPS deliver on the weekends? That & more questions are answered here.

It’s always exciting to know that you have something being shipped to you, and part of that is not knowing exactly when that package is going to arrive. Sure, modern tracking information has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few decades. And the information provided by the major shipping companies (like UPS) continues to get more accurate and consistent every day. But real time tracking for UPS packages does not (yet) exist – and that means most of us aren’t ever going to know exactly when UPS is going to drop off our shipment!


Truth be told, though, there is a service you could sign up for that alerts you the moment that your UPS package arrives at your address (with a host of other benefits, too). But we’ll get more into that in just a minute. Right now, let’s dig a little bit deeper into better understanding when does UPS deliver packages so that you can ballpark things moving forward – helping you better plan your day around the time you can best expect deliveries to arrive. Let’s get right into it!


ups driving on a street


When Does UPS Deliver Packages?


As a general rule of thumb, UPS likes to deliver packages between the hours of 9 AM and 9 PM (local time) every weekday, Monday through Friday. Some UPS locations have drivers that get out on the road a little bit earlier than that, some as early as 8 AM (local) or so. The overwhelming majority of UPS delivery drivers, however, are going to be rolling out of their UPS warehouse at about 8:59 AM.


Unless you live right next to the UPS warehouse facility, though, your package probably isn’t going to arrive on your doorstep until a little bit after 9 AM – and sometimes significantly later in the day than that. We cover the different factors that influence when you’re UPS packages actually going to arrive during the day in just a second, but it’s not hard to imagine that those closest to the UPS facilities are either going to get their packages bright and early in the morning or as close to 9 PM at night as can be. That’s because drivers are going to do big loops with their packages, covering specific areas of their local region that have been divvied up amongst the different drivers and delivery people for UPS. Most people aren’t going to see their UPS driver (or their UPS delivery) until between 10 AM and say 5 PM or 6 PM – and maybe a little later than that. The good news is, though, that because there’s very little turnover in this kind of job that once you get the feel for when UPS delivers your packages during the day it’s going to be right around that same time every day from here on out.


ups truck delivering mail


What Influences Delivery Times from UPS?


UPS delivery drivers like to create efficient loops that allow them to deliver packages going away from the UPS warehouse before hitting and apex of the loop and then working their way back to the UPS facilities, delivering to addresses on the other side of the road. Those that live close to a UPS facility are probably going to see their packages either much earlier in the morning or significantly later in the day (like we highlighted just a moment ago). That’s because those addresses are at the extreme ends of the “horseshoe” loop that UPS drivers use to get packages out systematically there. Other factors can be at play when trying to figure out when does UPS deliver, though. One of those factors, for example, is how many packages are expected to go out in a local area on any given day. For example, those living in more rural communities probably don’t have all that many people having packages sent via UPS on a day-to-day basis.


With fewer packages to deliver it’s likely that UPS is going to be able to get to most people earlier on the day, even if those drivers have to cover more ground. They are able to cover that ground more efficiently, dropping off packages to fewer addresses but still making sure everyone gets their delivery by lunchtime (give or take). In more urban communities, however, the odds are packages are going to be piled skyhigh in the back of a UPS truck and even though addresses are more tightly confined and closer together that means more stop and go traffic, getting into and out of the vehicle, and other general time-consuming tasks. This is why you can live relatively close to a UPS facility in urban centers and still get your packages much later in the day than someone that lives in the suburbs or a more rural area.


Another factor that plays a role in figuring out when does UPS deliver has to do with the overall efficiency of that specific UPS location. Some UPS locations have really spent a lot of time investing in logistical tools and training to make sure that their packages are going out in the most efficient loops possible. Others are still sort of “playing it by ear”, using delivery loops that have been built by employees over time all on their own – loops that may or may not be the most efficient or the fastest, but loops that these employees are most comfortable with and used to.


Finally, you have to factor in how your UPS package was actually sent as well. UPS Ground shipments, for example, aren’t going to be expedited at all. Overnight and expedited second day shipping services, on the other hand, are going to really move through the UPS infrastructure. These kinds of packages are priced at a premium to guarantee speedy delivery, and that usually means that UPS will go out of their way to make sure that your package arrives as early as possible.


weekend calendar


Are Weekend Delivery Times Different from Weekday?


Weekend delivery times are definitely different than weekday delivery times, in that UPS only really has Saturday delivery in most areas (with maybe a handful of urban communities having Sunday delivery right now, too). As far as Saturday delivery hours are concerned, most of the time you’ll only see UPS trucks out from between 9 AM in the morning and say 7 PM at night (local time).


Sometimes, though – especially during the holiday season when there are a lot more packages bouncing around the country than most other times during the year – you’ll see UPS drivers out way earlier than 9 AM on the weekend and significantly later than 7 PM at night. On top of that, it’s not at all uncommon to see UPS starting to make Sunday deliveries with shipments from UPS Ground (for example). That’s not standard behavior in any way whatsoever. It’s also important to remember that you’re likely going to have a UPS delivery person that’s not your “regular” driver for your address at least one day a week.


UPS operates similar to the post office in this way, with drivers following their own specific route 5 days of the week with another driver taking it over one day as a “floater”. This 5/1 schedule allows there to be regular drivers for at least five days during the week and another driver that rotates between those loops to cover for them on the sixth day. One neighborhood in your community might have the same delivery driver from UPS (and the same delivery time because of their loop) Monday through Thursday as well as Saturday, with a different driver showing up on Friday. Another neighborhood in your community (maybe yours) at the same driver Tuesday through Saturday, but a different driver every Monday – and a different delivery schedule on Monday, too, compared to the rest of the week.


That’s something to think about, anyway!


Can Delivery Times Be Changed and Managed After a Package is Sent Through UPS?


UPS (somewhat recently) implemented a program called Package Intercept that allows individuals to change or modify the terms of their UPS delivery, provided that the package hasn’t already been scheduled for delivery that specific day.


Members of the UPS My Choice program have a bunch of different options of mobile as part of the Package Intercept protocol, including:


  • Redirecting that package to another address completely
  • Rescheduling delivery dates for that specific package and
  • Having a UPS package dropped off at a UPS Access Point or customer center for local pickup


Folks that are not members of the UPS My Choice program will also have the opportunity to redirect and manage certain shipment times and delivery schedules, but they will have to contact UPS directly to see what might be possible at that point in time. If your package is already scheduled to be delivered that day, however, you’ll have a real uphill battle changing the delivery schedule in time.


When Does UPS Deliver? 1


Shipping Speeds for Common UPS Shipping Options


Those wondering when does UPS deliver different kinds of packages sent via different methods are going to really appreciate the inside information highlighted below. In this quick section we breakdown some of the most common UPS shipping options available as well as their traditional delivery window. At the very least, this information will give you a better idea of when your packages sent via UPS are likely to arrive at your doorstep!


  • UPS Ground – Guaranteed within 1 to 5 business days
  • UPS Standard – 1 to 5 business days


  • UPS Worldwide Saver – Overnight to four business days
  • UPS Worldwide Express – Overnight to three business days
  • UPS Worldwide Express Expedited – 3 to 5 business days


  • UPS Next Day Air – The next business day by 10:30 AM (local time)
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver – The next business day by 3 PM (local time)
  • UPS Next Day Air AM – The next business day by 8 AM (local time)


  • UPS 2nd Day Air – Two business days, by the end of day
  • UPS 2nd Day Air AM – Two business days, by the end of the next morning (noontime)
  • UPS 3-Day Select – Three business days, by the end of day


What Should I Do If My UPS Delivery Was Missed?


If your UPS delivery was missed, or if your UPS delivery was unable to be successfully completed for one reason or another, it’s important that you contact UPS directly – either online, over the phone, or by visiting a local UPS office/retail outlet/UPS Store – and see what you should do next. Most of the time, a UPS delivery is going to be missed simply because something out of the control of the individuals at UPS slowed things down somewhere along the line. Inclement weather (like the horrific snowstorms that can hammer the northern part of America) is usually the biggest culprit here, delaying every mode of transportation that UPS uses to get packages from one location to the next.


Sometimes, however, a UPS delivery was missed because a package required a signature upon delivery and there wasn’t anyone around to sign for it. In other circumstances, a UPS delivery wasn’t missed at all but instead a package was dropped off in a different location than usual (the side door as opposed to the front door, for example) – or a package was stolen after it was delivered. In every one of those situations, though, you need to engage UPS Customer Service to figure out exactly how to best move forward.


virtual mailbox on desktop


US Global Mail’s Virtual Mailbox Makes It Effortless to Receive Packages and Mail


Of course, if you really want to take the guesswork out of wondering when does UPS deliver, you might want to sign up for a virtual mailbox account with US Global Mail. As a client with this virtual mailbox service, you’ll first be provided with a permanent physical address that you can have all of your mail and all of your packages (from UPS, FedEx, DHL, and USPS – just to name a few) sent to instead of your traditional address. This permanent physical address provides you with an extra layer of privacy and security, but it also guarantees that you don’t have to change your mailing address every time you move, either. Once a package or envelope arrives at your virtual mailbox, US Global Mail makes a digital scan and immediately sends out a notification including that image.


You’ll see in real time exactly when your package was delivered and what it is, something that the USPS and other traditional mailbox services aren’t able to offer right now. This service alone will change the way that you handle your mailbox from here on out – and that’s just barely beginning to touch the surface of what a virtual mailbox from US Global Mail has to offer. To learn more about the benefits this service provides (and has been provided to thousands of people for more than 20 years), or to sign up for an account, reach out to US Global Mail today!

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