UPS tracking is a great way to see exactly where your package is at, but the messages aren’t always clear.
One of the most common messages you’ll see while tracking your UPS shipment is ‘Departed UPS Facility.’ In fact, this message can appear several times while the packaging is in transit!
But what does this message actually mean, and should you be concerned if your tracking number is stuck on it for several days?
In this article, I’ll be answering all of these questions and more!
What Does It Mean When UPS Tracking Says ‘Departed UPS Facility?’
When UPS tracking shows a message stating ‘Departed UPS facility’, this simply means that your shipment is en route to another UPS location.
UPS does not ship packages straight to your local area. Instead, they make various stops at UPS sorting hubs and processing centers, so packages are optimally routed to where they need to go.
Some of the major UPS hub locations include:
- Louisville, Kentucky, USA
- Dallas, Texas, USA
- Rockford, Illinois, USA
- Miami, Florida, USA
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
- Ontario, California, USA
- Hamilton, Ontario
- Shanghai, China
- Hong Kong, China
- Shenzhen, China
- Zhengzhou, China
- Bonn, Germany
- Cologne, Germany
Depending on the distance between one UPS facility and the next, tracking may not update for hours or even several days until it arrives at the next UPS location.
So, how do you know when something is out of the ordinary?
There are usually a few telltale signs, which I’ll cover a little later on. For now, just remember that your package is on its way to another UPS location – and that the estimated delivery date is the most accurate way to know when your package is likely to arrive.
Why Is My UPS Package Going Farther Away?
In some cases, you may check your tracking to see that your package has actually gone farther away from your city!
Why does this happen, and will it cause delays?
Thankfully, this is entirely normal.
Packages don’t go straight from the shipper’s city, to your city.
Instead, they make various stops at UPS sorting centers so the packages can be sorted, processed, and routed in optimal ways.
This ensures less waste, and actually helps UPS deliver packages far more quickly, even if the package technically ends up traveling farther.
Even if the package is already nearby, it may travel farther away if it’s currently in a UPS facility that only handles sorting, and not deliveries.
If you want to see an interesting video on how UPS sorting centers work, check this video out – it’s footage from inside their sorting center in Louisville, Kentucky!
When Will Tracking Update Again?
UPS will update your shipment progress again, as soon as your package arrives at the next UPS facility.
According to UPS’ help center, this can take anywhere from several hours to several days, depending on the distance that the package is traveling.
In fact, the only time UPS won’t show a package as departing a specific location is if it’s finally reached your local area, and is about to be delivered.
In these instances, rather than updating to say ‘Departed UPS facility’, it will instead update to say ‘Arrived at UPS facility’ and then, ‘Out for delivery.’
Note however that towards the beginning and the end of the package’s journey, updates may appear more frequently – and just because your package has arrived at a nearby location, doesn’t mean it won’t depart it and transfer to another facility once again.
What Should I Do If UPS Tracking Is Stuck?
If your tracking appears stuck for several hours or days, is this anything to be concerned about?
Unless your package has yet to be delivered beyond the expected delivery date, this is actually completely normal.
Your expected delivery date is always going to be the most accurate prediction on when the package should arrive. While the additional tracking information is nice to have, it unfortunately does not paint a full picture.
According to UPS’ company profile page for investors, they delivered over 25.1 million packages per day in 2021.
This means they have an incredible amount of data that can help them predict when packages are likely to arrive, even in unusual situations, or to remote locations.
UPS has far more data relating to your package’s status than they share pubicly on the tracking page. They also are incentivized to make sure their delivery estimates are accurate.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to trust the estimated delivery date they provide to you – even if it doesn’t appear that your package is moving.
Of course, if the estimated delivery date has already passed, it may be a good idea to contact UPS customer service at 1-800-742-5877.
When tracking shows that your package has departed a UPS facility, this simply means its en route to the next stop in its journey.
Because UPS has so many different facilities, it’s possible this message will appear several times while the package is in transit, until it finally shows ‘out for delivery.’
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and that it’s answered your questions.
If you have any other questions about receiving packages from UPS, please ask them using the comment form below and I’ll be happy to help.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister