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Pickup Scan UPS – What Does It Mean?

You’re expecting a delivery from UPS and have received a “Pickup Scan“ tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Where is your package being scanned and is there anything you need to do?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: Pickup Scan UPS

A “Pickup Scan” tracking alert from UPS means that the package has been picked up from the sender and has been physically scanned into the delivery network. This scan is carried out by the UPS driver that collected the shipment from the sender.

Pickup Scan UPS – Guide

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An Errant Knight, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The pickup scan is self-explanatory. It is only triggered at the beginning of the shipment journey, at the point, the UPS driver collects the package from the sender.

Note: It is no longer policy for UPS drivers to undertake this scan after picking up the package from a sender.

This means that the first physical scan that takes place is the “Arrival Scan” which occurs once an entire consignment of packages is unloaded from the truck at the nearest UPS facility.

The above being said pickup scans do still take place if the driver chooses to do so.

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To quickly explain the chronology of the process. 

Although shipping details enter the UPS database at the point the sender makes an order, the package is clearly still with the sender at this point.

Until UPS physically collects the package from the sender (or the sender drops it off), the tracking alert you will see will be “Order Processed: Ready For Ups”. 

However, if the driver scans the package the tracking will update to state: “Pickup Scan”. 

When the driver doesn’t make that scan, you’ll see an “Arrival Scan” update once the package reaches the UPS facility at the end of the driver’s delivery round.

What Happens After a Pickup Scan UPS Alert?

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Immediately after a pickup scan your shipment will be in transit inside the UPS vehicle.

At the end of the driver’s delivery/pickup round, the package will end up inside a local (Origin) UPS facility. Even where a pickup scan has been completed, you will still receive an “Arrival Scan” at this point.

Inside the facility, the shipment will be sorted for dispatch to the location of the recipient.

Depending on the distance between the sender and recipient, the package will be processed through one or more UPS facilities before it reaches the area containing the destination address.

Tracking Stuck on “Pickup Scan” UPS

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Okay, the bottom line is you are probably Google searching this update because your UPS shipment is stuck on Pickup Scan.

You’re frustrated and you want to know why this is happening.

Firstly, exactly how long has the tracking been stuck?

When you consider that the package will be on the driver’s vehicle until it reaches the nearest facility, and then will likely join a pile of other packages waiting to be sorted, it is not unusual for the Pickup Scan to be your latest update for up to 48hrs.

Add any complications to that process, (vehicle breakdown or bad weather, high seasonal volumes, or technical and staffing issues), and it is possible your tracking could be stuck for even longer.

I recommend that you exercise patience in line with the service speed that has been ordered.

Clearly, a premium UPS delivery service option needs to be moving quickly. A 24hrs service cannot be stuck on “Pickup Scan” all day if you’re expecting the following business day.

In this case, you should contact UPS within the day.

However, a package with a delivery window of 5 to 8 days, means you need to wait longer.

In fact, I recommend that you wait at least 3 days before contacting UPS if your tracking is stuck on “Pickup Scan”.

I Didn’t Receive a Pickup Scan

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Finally, if you have reached this article because you haven’t received a pickup scan and you are wondering why I hope I have answered the question. 🙂

Essentially, it not being standard policy for UPS drivers to make a pickup scan, it means you will not always receive one.

As far as the delivery network goes, more often than not, the first physical scans take place inside the UPS origin facility.

Once you see “Arrival Scan” this indicates that this is where your shipment is.

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