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UPS On the Way Meaning – Tracking Guide

You’ve recently received a UPS “On the Way” tracking update. What does this mean exactly?

Is your package close to delivery when you see this alert and what should you do if the tracking remains stuck?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: UPS On the Way

The UPS “On the Way” tracking update means that the package is moving through the UPS delivery infrastructure according to plan and that it should arrive within the scheduled delivery window. 

UPS “On the Way” – Guide

ups on the way

First and foremost, the UPS “On the Way” status alert should not be confused with “Out For Delivery”.

Whereas the latter means that the package is on a UPS truck with delivery to take place that business day, the “On the Way” update can be triggered at any point of the transit journey.

In other words, it is possible to receive the UPS On the Way update at the early stages of the shipment journey.

Depending on the level of tracking provided by the service option, you might not see another update for a number of days.

As already mentioned, “On the Way” simply means that the package is moving through the UPS delivery infrastructure, but it doesn’t mean that arrival at the destination address is imminent.

How Long Until Delivery After the UPS “On the Way” Alert?

delivery man

As the previous section alludes to, it is actually difficult to determine how close to delivery your package is after you receive the “On the Way” update.

If the delivery option purchased for the shipment includes comprehensive tracking updates, you will receive more detailed alerts throughout transit indicating at what stage the shipment is at.

On the hand, a delivery option that doesn’t include comprehensive scanning could mean you will not be able to follow the shipment progress until you receive an “Out for Delivery” alert, indicating that you will have your package that business day.

A better gauge of when your package will arrive is to pay attention to the scheduled delivery window, (i.e within what date the shipment should arrive) and prepare for its arrival then.

Remember, “On the Way” means that the package is moving according to plan, which means that the original delivery schedule is being followed.

Tracking Stuck on UPS “On the Way”

ups on the way

Again, this scenario depends on the level of tracking the UPS service option provides. If you are expecting comprehensive updates and the tracking is stuck for several business days, you have grounds for calling UPS for an update.

If the shipping option does not provide regular updates (such as that depicted in the screenshot above), you will need to wait until the proposed delivery schedule has passed before making inquiries

What Happens After the UPS “On the Way” Alert?

steps in a direction

The fact that UPS “On the Way” signifies that the package is moving according to plan, unless any issues occur, the follow-up alerts will reflect the same outcome.

For example, if customs clearance is required on an international shipment you will receive updates about the process, (Clearance in Progress).

A domestic shipment with detailed tracking will alert you of steps such as “Processing at UPS Facility” and/or “Warehouse Scan”.

In other words, you should receive updates describing the steps of the shipment journey.

Conversely, if issues or delays arise the updates you receive will reflect this.

Final Words

delivery van

Overall, the UPS “On the Way” tracking update is a standard alert that means the package is moving according to the proposed delivery schedule.

As long as you are aware of the expected delivery window, and no delays or complications arise, you will receive your package on time.

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