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“Warehouse Scan UPS” – What Does it Mean?

You’re expecting a package from UPS and you have received a “Warehouse Scan” update.

What exactly does this mean? Is your package close? What do you do if your item seems to be stuck on this alert?

Let’s find out…

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“Warehouse Scan” UPS – Meaning

A “Warehouse Scan” alert from UPS means slightly different things depending on where your shipment is.

For an international package arrival, a “Warehouse Scan” from UPS takes place one step before the package is sent through custom clearance.

For a package working its way through UPS delivery infrastructure in the destination country, the “Warehouse Scan” can take place at any of the UPS facilities during transit. This could be an origin, local or intermediate facility. 

How long before I receive my package after a “Warehouse Scan” UPS?

Due to the fact that a warehouse scan takes place during multiple points of a UPS package journey, determining how far away your package is can be difficult.

However, the tracking details will provide you with clues.

International Arrival

warehouse scan ups international arrival

The screenshot above shows a package arriving in the U.S from Germany. As you can see the item has entered the USA in Louisville, KY, (the “Import Scan”)

The point at which the Warehouse Scan was made was inside the UPS import facility location. The next step after the scan was customs clearance.

How long a package takes to be cleared depends on a number of factors.

Where everything is in order,  it can take just a few hours after the “warehouse scan” for the package to clear customs and begin the next leg of its journey.

In other situations where paperwork and details might be missing or duty is owed the delay can be significant.

As the tracking chain shows in the image above, UPS states that “release of the package to UPS can take up to 10 days”.

Essentially, your UPS package arrival date is at the mercy of US customs clearance once a warehouse scan has been made on an international package.

Domestic Packages

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A warehouse scan on a package that is making its way within the destination country will have fewer issues to contend with.

Essentially, evaluating how long it will be before UPS delivers is dependent on which facility warehouse the package has been scanned at.

The UPS tracking information will provide details of the location of the warehouse scan. If the facility is regional and close to where you live, you can deduce that the package is merely a day or two away.

A warehouse scan taking place at a facility close to the shipper (known as an origin facility), will take longer.

In this scenario, the package is at the beginning of its journey. Depending on the UPS service speed used it could be 5 to 7 days away from the final delivery.

What happens when a UPS package is stuck on Warehouse Scan?


If your UPS package has been stuck on “Warehouse Scan” for a frustrating amount of time, a problem may well have occurred.

International Package

For an international package, it is more likely to be a customs issue. The range of issues that can take place during the clearance process is beyond the scope of this article.

However, your best course of action is to contact the shipper.

They will be better placed to make inquiries with UPS (they made the original order after all) and should be able to help get it moving again.

You can also contact UPS yourself to see if a duty or tax payment issue is causing the delay.

Domestic Package

A UPS package stuck on a Warehouse Scan update at a normal UPS facility may have encountered a different set of issues.

Unfortunately, the scant details that accompany this update shed little light.

Anything from the package being lost in the warehouse, to a damaged label to a missed scan when the item is actually in transit will cause you to see this update for too long.

Again, contacting the shipper should be the first step. They should take up the issue with UPS and find out why the package doesn’t seem to be moving.

Final Words

warehouse scan ups

Essentially, a Warehouse Scan update from UPS means the package is in one of the company’s warehouse facilities.

If this is at an import location, the next step is customs clearance.

A package already in the destination country will pass through various UPS facilities on its way to the recipient. You may see a warehouse scan at none, one or more of those locations. 

In most instances, it means that the package is awaiting the next leg of its journey and will be making its way closer to you soon.

6 thoughts on ““Warehouse Scan UPS” – What Does it Mean?”

    • Good evening, please why my parcel is still not moving since (28-9-2023) it’s showing warehouse scan in (IT BOLOGNA) please help speed up my stuff is urgent.

  1. Good morning, why my parcel is still not moving since (11/16/2023) it’s showing warehouse scan in (Louisville, KY, United States) please help speed up my stuff is urgent this is my tracking number 1ZL093KT0403588229

    • Hi there, you need to contact UPS customer services. It seems as if your package has gone into a tracking loop, (it is automatically being triggered repeatedly within the same location). It is likely there has been a problem in the warehouse, maybe even an issue with custom clearance.


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