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What is the SF Express Tracking Number Format

You’re expecting a delivery from SF Express and wondering what the SF Express Tracking Number Format is.

Essentially, your order will provide these details, however, as a reference point, this article will look at the standard tracking number format and what you should do if it isn’t working.

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Summary: SF Express Tracking Number Format

The SF Express tracking number consists of 12 digits. This will be shown on the order Waybill beneath the shipment barcode. It will be printed in the following format: 456 231 298 192. No letters form part of the tracking number.

SF Express Tracking Number Format – Guide

It is possible to be unsure of what your tracking number is when you first make an SF Express shipment order. It is not made clear.

However, on the waybill, you will see a number beneath the barcode at the top of the page.

This is your tracking number.

As you can see from the example Waybill below, the format is a 12-digit number (no letters) and is written in groups of 3 for clarity.

Example SF Express Waybill
Example SF Express Waybill

To use the SF Express tracking number you need to enter the digits on the main page of the SF Express website and click “Track Now“.

Both registered and non-registered shipments can be tracked using this number, however, there is a limit to the amount of information you will receive.

For example, registered parcels can be tracked all the way from the origin location to the destination address.

Unregistered parcels send via SF Express, can only be tracked while the package is within China.

Once it leaves for overseas transit, the tracking number will no longer work on the SF Express tracking page.

SF Express Tracking Number Not Working

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If from the very first moment you use it, your SF Express tracking number isn’t working, there are a couple of steps you should take.

  • Check that you have copied the number from the Waybill receipt correctly
  • If cutting and pasting from online order details, ensure that this has been done correctly
  • Double-check that you are on the correct SF Express website
  • If you have received the number from the sender, confirm with them that the tracking they sent is correct.

If after all of this, the number doesn’t work, the sender could have sent you a fake number, or there is a problem with the shipment details created by SF Express.

Either way, you will need to contact the sender and/or SF Express to retrieve the correct details for your shipment.

SF Express Tracking Number Stops Working During Shipment

Shipment Departed from Airport of Origin Country

It is a different scenario if the SF Express number was working during the shipment process and has now stopped updating or working.

This will generally be due to the fact the shipment is unregistered and the parcel has now left China.

As mentioned above, SF Express’s unregistered shipments stop tracking once they leave Chinese shores.

What to do Once the SF Express Tracking Number Stops Updating

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If you find yourself in a situation where the tracking number is no longer updating, you can try using the number with a universal tracking app.

Once the package begins overseas transit it is handed over to a line haul operator.

If the number that you have is associated with a new tracking number (created by the line haul operator), a universal tracking app such as 17Track or Parcelsapp will be able to find this information.


Furthermore, it could be that the parcel has arrived in the destination country.

At this point, it will be handed over to a third-party carrier or the local postal service.

Again, a universal app will scan the databases of these services to see if the tracking number is working elsewhere.

When a match is found, more recent updates will be available to you.

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