United Parcel Services (best known as UPS) was first created over 100 years ago – all the way back in August 1907 – and has established itself as one of the most popular shipping and delivery services, not just in the United States but around the world as well. Especially popular with online merchants and e-commerce operations, UPS is a shipping partner of choice for millions and millions of business owners across the country – sending 24 million packages every day all over the world.
With all those packages zooming around at once it’s a miracle that UPS is able to deliver anything as quickly, as efficiently, and as consistently as they are able to. But somehow they pull it off! At the same time, everyone wants to know when their packages are going to arrive – not just the day it’s going to show up, but (at the very least) a ballpark time of the day that it will arrive, too. Most shipping companies just don’t have the ability to drill down to that kind of granular level when it comes to giving you a delivery estimate. UPS, on the other hand, has found a way to make that possible. We dig a little deeper into that below!
Better Understanding the UPS Delivery Process
UPS takes advantage of a similar infrastructure that FedEx uses (as well as a similar structure that the USPS now uses, too), the essential “hub and spoke” network model that makes deliveries a lot more efficient. Your package starts off in the UPS process by getting dropped off at a local UPS store or facility for being picked up by a UPS driver. From there, that package is brought to a larger UPS center where it ends up getting sifted and sorted into either UPS Ground or UPS Air categories. After that, your package is bundled up with a bunch of other packages from that central hub to be distributed via either ground or air delivery systems.
Ground shipping packages bounce from one network to the next whereas most air shipments via UPS are going to find themselves at a national hub (usually a major international airport, like the World Hub in Louisville, Kentucky). After arriving at that next network hub the packages rerouted continuously along the most efficient path to its ultimate destination, eventually landing at another local UPS facility, loaded onto a UPS vehicle, and then delivered to your doorstep. All of that happens inside out between one and seven business days (and sometimes a whole lot faster than that)!
What Time Does UPS Deliver During the Week?
UPS Ground deliveries are (generally) going to be dropped off at your doorstep between the hours of 9 AM and 9 PM (local time) Monday through Friday every single week. Sometimes packages are going to arrive a little bit later than 9 PM local time, especially during the busy time of the year around the holidays. That’s when UPS is really overloaded with packages and parcels, their commitment to making sure that they get everything to their customers in as timely a fashion as possible never waivers. It’s very rare for UPS to deliver packages any earlier than 9 AM, however. UPS drivers regularly show up at their local UPS office well before 9 AM – but they spend a lot of time working with the infrastructure crew at those facilities to sort, load, and organize their vehicles for the most efficient delivery during that day, too.
Every now and again you might be able to get a package from UPS earlier than 9 AM. But that’s going to be very, very rare indeed. On top of that, the odds are pretty good that your package is going to arrive somewhere between 11 AM and 4 PM if you don’t live right on top of a UPS facility. The people at the extreme ends of the delivery window (9 AM and 9 PM) other folks that live closest to these facilities, allowing for deliveries at the beginning and the end of a UPS driver loop to stay really efficient.
What About During the Weekend?
Weekend delivery is in fact available from UPS, though only in selected and eligible locations. More than 100+ major metropolitan areas across the United States are eligible for weekend delivery, and business owners can almost always also take advantage of either Saturday and Sunday delivery through UPS as well. Interestingly enough, UPS is the only national integrated carrier providing full Saturday package car pickup for every single one of their shipping services – as well as the only integrated carrier providing full Saturday commercial delivery, too.
Residential customers that are eligible for weekend delivery may or may not have the opportunity to schedule delivery or the weekends specifically, though. Commercial customers, on the other hand, can regularly schedule these kinds of deliveries on the weekend. That’s especially useful for businesses that are traditionally open to the general public Monday through Friday, allowing for a restocking or a resupply to occur on Saturday or Sunday when the businesses otherwise closed down.
Can I Track My Actual Package Being Delivered to Me?
Beginning in 2016 UPS instituted a brand-new service called “Follow My Delivery” for all of their UPS Air and UPS Worldwide Express delivery services that allow customers to track their package physically as it moved from one location to the next, all the way to their doorstep.
By 2021, though, the Follow My Delivery service was extended out to almost all UPS packages and shipping services – including UPS Ground, UPS Next Day Air, UPS Worldwide Express Plus and more. UPS customers need to sign up for a free UPS My Choice account to take advantage of this advanced tracking system, but it also unlocks a whole host of shipping and delivery features that simply aren’t available with any other approach. For example, after signing up for this free account you’ll have the opportunity to watch as your package moves across a map (with GPS coordinates updating you about its physical location at all times). You will also be able to reroute your package to a neighbor’s home, your workplace, or a UPS Access Point if you don’t feel like your be home to accept your package when it is scheduled to arrive.
Just having the ability to watch as your package gets closer and closer to your doorstep is a really cool feature that no other shipping company makes available (at least not yet, anyway). The second that you activate this feature on your account your real to leverage it by inputting the tracking information you’ve been provided for your package into the My Choice system from UPS.
You’ll be provided with a map that shows your driver’s schedule, you’ll get an email as soon as the UPS driver begins their route, and you’ll be able to watch as that driver moves throughout their delivery process – right up until the moment they get to your front door and drop off the package that you’ve been waiting for!
Just know that this map and the real time tracking tools are going to disappear for that specific package the moment that a successful delivery has been completed or the driver ends their deliveries for that day. If your package wasn’t delivered (even though it was on the truck to be delivered) you can track it as it moves along the next day’s route, too. It’s a pretty cool little feature that gives you a lot more control over your schedule, knowing (pretty much) when your package is going to arrive with a lot higher level of detail than a 9 AM to 9 PM window of time.
What Does “On Vehicle for Delivery” Mean?
It’s important to understand that tracking information that updates with “On Vehicle for Delivery” messages may or may not mean that your packages actually is going to be delivered that day. 99.99% of the time that’s exactly what’s going to happen, and it’s a good indicator of whether or not your package is going to arrive within the next 9 AM to 9 PM window of time. At the same time, however, there are a whole host of different reasons that “On Vehicle for Delivery” messages may not necessarily mean that your package is coming that day. For example, sometimes the wrong scan has been made on the barcode for your package. Even though it is still somewhere in the depths of the UPS infrastructure it might get coded as out for delivery instead of moving on to the next facility, giving you incorrect information along the way. This kind of mistake is very rare, but it does happen.
Of course, anything can happen to a UPS vehicle when it goes out for its deliveries that day, too. Flat tires, vehicle trouble, inclement weather, accidents, and a whole host of other delays completely and totally out of everyone’s control can prevent your package from actually being delivered the day that you get this notification. On top of all that, it’s also possible for a UPS package to simply “fall between the cracks” and get overlooked during the delivery process. Most of the time these packages are discovered as soon as a driver arrives back at their UPS location at the end of the day and the packages are scheduled for priority delivery the next morning. Sometimes however it can take a day or two for this error to be remedied. All things considered, most of the time this notification in your tracking information is going to indicate that your package is on its way to you right now. Sometimes, however, life gets in the way and you may end up waiting another day or two until your package gets dropped off.
What’s the Latest that UPS Will Bring My Package?
The absolute latest you can expect UPS to bring your package to your doorstep is 10 PM local time in most circumstances. Some drivers are willing to go above and beyond to make sure that all of the packages that have been scheduled for delivery that day end up getting to their ultimate destination, regardless of whether or not that means they are staying out a little bit beyond that traditional 9 PM cut off time.
Other drivers, however, are going to stick to that 9 PM cut off time like glue, moving today’s deliveries to tomorrow – though they usually make those “late” deliveries a priority for early morning drop off. At the end of the day, though, if you haven’t gotten any package from UPS by 10 PM local time the chances are pretty good it isn’t going to come that day. You’ll also likely have to wait until the more to contact the local UPS office or information and clarification about why those packages didn’t arrive, too.
US Global Mail Let’s You Know EXACTLY When Your Package Arrives
UPS My Choice and the Follow My Delivery tools are really cutting edge and innovative ways to track your package through the UPS infrastructure as it finds its way into your home, but what if you want to track every package – and every envelope – that you are having delivered to your mailing address?
Well, those proprietary UPS services aren’t going to help much in that department. But that’s where US Global Mail comes into play. Allowing you to easily track all of your packages, all of your parcels, and all of your letters as they arrive at your US Global Mail virtual mailbox, you’ll get digital notifications and digital scans of everything as it arrives – letting you know when it shows up in your mailbox as well as what you have sitting there specifically.
This means you’ll never again have to wonder about where your packages are for what kind of mail you can expect to find in your mailbox every day. You’ll know exactly what has shown up with crystal clarity. Combine that with mail forwarding to any address around the planet at 80% off of retail costs, secure check depositing features, a real physical address as opposed to a PO Box number, and a whole host of other benefits you won’t get from the USPS (or anyone else) you’ll want to check out all that US Global Mail has to offer today. Visit their website or contact them right now!