Tracking a package and seeing the status “UPS: The delivery date will be provided as soon as possible” can be frustrating. You likely ordered an item and are anxiously awaiting its arrival, only to see this ambiguous message from UPS. So what exactly does this status mean?

What The UPS Status Means

UPS Airplane
UPS Airplane

The “UPS: The delivery date will be provided as soon as possible” status means that UPS does not yet have an estimated delivery date for your package. There are a few common reasons why this may occur:

The Package Was Just Shipped

If the package was only recently shipped, UPS may not have all of the information needed to calculate an expected delivery date. They need details like the origin, destination, size, weight, and type of package to generate an estimated date. If some data is missing, the delivery date cannot be determined yet.

There Is A Delay

Sometimes delays happen in transit that prevent UPS from providing an accurate delivery estimate. Severe weather, unexpected volume surges, or other factors can cause disruptions. UPS will need to assess the potential impact before projecting a new delivery date.

The Address Is Incomplete

An incomplete or inaccurate shipping address is another common reason for the “delivery date will be provided” status. If aspects like the street, city, zip code, or country are incorrect or missing, UPS cannot route the package properly. Once the address is corrected, a delivery date can be determined.

A Previous Exception Occurred

If the package had an exception like a missed pickup or incorrect address earlier in transit, it can reset the process and remove the initial delivery date. Exceptions must be resolved and the package routed back on track before a new date can be assigned.

When To Expect An Updated Delivery Date

So when will UPS provide an actual delivery date? Here is a general timeline:

  • Within 24 hours – If the package was just shipped or had a minor exception, you’ll likely see an updated delivery date within a day.
  • 1-3 business days – For issues like incorrect addresses or larger exceptions, it usually takes 1-3 business days to recover and get a delivery date.
  • 3-5 business days – Significant disruptions like natural disasters may require 3-5 business days before operations are back to normal. Allow this timeframe to see a new date.
  • 5+ business days – If no delivery date shows after 5+ business days, the issue likely requires special handling. Contact UPS to determine the cause of the extended delay.

The number of business days is key – UPS does not operate on weekends and holidays. Be sure to count weekdays only when estimating. Also, shipments to more remote areas naturally take longer to transit and process.

Will My Package Arrive Earlier Than The New Delivery Date?


Once you receive an updated delivery date, you may wonder – could my package arrive sooner? There are a few possibilities:

  • Earlier date due to transit time – If the package moves faster than UPS estimated, it may arrive sooner than the latest delivery date.
  • Scheduled delivery date – Some UPS services like Next Day Air can guarantee delivery by a specific date. As long as no exceptions occur, the package will arrive on that date.
  • Extensive delays – However, if significant delays occur, the package may arrive later than the estimated date. UPS will only provide delivery dates it can reasonably meet.
  • Weekend/holiday deliveries – UPS does not typically deliver on weekends and holidays. Even if the package arrives early in the area, it will not be delivered until the next business day.

So while early delivery is possible, the latest UPS delivery date is the safest bet for expecting your package. Routing issues or other disruptions often push packages past estimates. Plan around the UPS-provided date to avoid disappointment.

What If The Status Does Not Update?

If you go more than 5 business days without an updated delivery date, contact UPS. There may be an issue needing attention to get your package moving again.

You can connect with UPS in a few ways:

  • Tweet @UPSHelp and include your tracking number. A representative can look into the issue.
  • Message UPS on Facebook with your tracking number. This is another way to reach their team.
  • Call 1-800-742-5877 to speak with UPS customer service. Provide your tracking number and describe the problem.
  • Email UPS through their website. Select your tracking number and explain why you still have no delivery date.
  • Use the UPS chatbot on their website. Chatbots can answer common questions related to delayed packages.

Reaching out to UPS can help identify and resolve whatever is preventing your package from moving. Once the problem is fixed, you’ll get an updated delivery date.

Steps To Take While Waiting For An Updated Delivery Date

Waiting for an unknown delivery date can be annoying. Here are some proactive steps you can take in the meantime:

  • Confirm the shipping address – Double-check check the address you provided is complete and accurate. Update it with the shipper if errors are found.
  • Check for exceptions – Look online or call UPS to see if any exceptions like missed deliveries occurred. Understanding the issue can help resolve it faster.
  • Change delivery instructions – Consider providing special instructions like delivering to a neighbor or authorized pickup location. This provides flexibility if you won’t be available on the delivery date.
  • Adjust your schedule – Be prepared to accept the package whenever it ultimately arrives. Rearrange work or personal plans if needed.
  • Track the package – Continuously monitor the UPS tracking page for status updates. This gives you instant notification when a delivery date is assigned.
  • Practice patience – Shipping delays are frustrating, but getting angry will not expedite the process. Remain calm and diligent.

Staying proactive will help you get through the wait until your package delivery date is determined.

Why The Wait For An Updated Delivery Date Feels So Frustrating

When that “delivery date will be provided” message lingers for days, the frustration builds. Why does waiting for an updated shipping status feel so annoying? There are a few reasons.

You Feel Powerless

After you ship a package, it is out of your control. There is nothing you can personally do to expedite the transit. It creates a feeling of powerlessness not knowing when you will be reunited with your order.

It Creates Uncertainty

Planning around an unknown delivery date is difficult. You do not know whether to wait at home for the package or make other plans. The uncertainty makes it hard to schedule your life.

It Goes Against Expectations

When you place an order, you expect to get an estimated delivery date upfront. Seeing TBD rather than an actual date goes against expectations.

There Is a Lack Of Communication

Unless you proactively contact UPS, you are left in the dark about what is causing the delay. The lack of communication during shipping leaves you feeling frustrated.

You Need The Item

If you ordered a time-sensitive replacement item or an important package, not knowing the arrival date can have real consequences. The need for the contents makes the lack of information more stressful.

While the delay has valid reasons behind it, understanding why the wait feels aggravating can help you cope. The unpleasant feelings are a natural reaction to the situation.

Read also: Why is OnTrac so bad?

Tips For Dealing With Frustration Over Delayed Delivery Dates

Here are some tips to manage frustration while waiting for your package delivery date:

Track Proactively

Stay on top of monitoring the tracking status. Check it at least once per business day so you catch any updates immediately. Refreshing constantly will only worsen impatience, so pace yourself.

Communicate With The Shipper

If the wait is causing major issues, contact the shipper. They may be able to send a replacement item via a faster shipping method or help resolve transit delays.

Vent About It

Let yourself complain a little to friends or family. Acknowledge that the situation is unfavorable, but avoid taking it out on customer service reps.

Adjust Expectations

Accept that delays happen sometimes due to valid reasons. Reset your expectations so the actual delivery doesn’t feel “late.”

Focus On Other Things

Keep busy with work or hobbies to make the time pass quicker. Avoid obsessing over the tracking page.

Plan For An Alternatives

If waiting indefinitely for the package delivery poses a problem for you, make a Plan B. For example, order the same item elsewhere while waiting.

Ask For Compensation

If the shipper is directly at fault for the delay, request compensation like a shipping refund or credit. This can offset frustration.

With the right coping strategies, you can endure the annoyance of having no firm delivery date. Stay cool-headed and proactively track the package.

Example Scenario: Why A UPS Package Has No Delivery Date

To better understand this situation, let’s walk through a fictional example:

Jennifer ordered a replacement part for her oven, which stopped working earlier in the week. She needs the part ASAP so she can use her oven again. The retailer shipped the item via 2nd day UPS delivery on Monday.

On Wednesday morning, Jennifer checked the tracking status. Instead of an estimated delivery date, she saw the message “Delivery date will be updated soon.”

Jennifer was instantly annoyed. She needed that part by Friday to complete an important baking project. Not knowing the delivery date made it impossible to plan.

She called UPS and spoke to a customer service rep named George. George looked into the tracking details. He saw that the package had the wrong city listed. The zip code was for Springfield, Oregon rather than Springfield, Virginia where Jennifer lives.

He let Jennifer know that the package was currently delayed while being routed to the proper destination on the other side of the country. Once it arrived at the Virginia facility, a new delivery date would be assigned. He estimated this would occur within 2-3 business days.

Jennifer was frustrated by the error, but glad to have an explanation. She asked the retailer to ship her a new part just in case this one did not arrive in time. While annoyed by the delay, she took comfort in knowing why it occurred and when to expect an update.

This example shows how a simple address error can cause the delivery date to remain unclear. While waiting can be aggravating, understanding the reason helps ease some frustration. Staying proactive and seeking information from UPS minimizes stress until the transit status is resolved.

How Delays and Exceptions Impact UPS Delivery Date Estimates

Now that you know why the delivery date may be unclear, it helps to understand how delays and exceptions influence the projected arrival time. Here are a few examples:

Address corrections

When an address is wrong, UPS needs to reroute the package and send it through sorting again. This adds a minimum of 1 business day to arrival time. Further location mistakes can extend this.

A missed pickup

If UPS attempts a pickup but cannot retrieve the package, it is delayed until the next scheduled collection. This typically pushes delivery back by 1 day unless closer to the weekend.

Severe weather events

Major snowstorms, hurricanes, etc can halt operations at UPS facilities. Some volume may be rerouted but transit times for affected packages will be pushed back depending on severity.

Dimensional weight issues

If dimensions were entered incorrectly and actual weight is higher, UPS must adjust planned routes and shipping charges. New transit times will be based on the correct weight.

Volume surges

Extremely high package volumes around holidays can exceed UPS capacity. Some deliveries may be briefly delayed while UPS dispatches additional resources.

Security exceptions

If a package raises security concerns, UPS must hold and inspect it. Delivery is delayed until it clears rigorous screening. This depends on the investigation’s length.

Damaged packages

If a package is damaged, UPS rewrites and relabels it. But this causes a 1-2 day delivery delay in most cases. More severe damage leads to longer hold.

Machine jams

If a package gets stuck in sorting equipment, it stalls movement until dislodged. Engineers must reset the machinery and reroute flows. Delays range from a few hours to a full day.

Vehicle breakdown

If the truck scheduled to deliver your package breaks down, UPS must send a replacement. Your delivery will be pushed to the next open delivery window once a new vehicle is available.

Driver shortage

Limited driver availability can impact delivery dates around busy seasons. UPS may fall behind schedule without enough drivers to handle the package volume.

The next time you face an uncertain delivery date, check if any exceptions occurred. Understanding the reason for delays helps manage expectations.

Coping With Delayed Packages Around The Holidays

The holiday peak shipping season often attracts higher package volumes that strain UPS capabilities. This leads to more exceptions and confusing delivery dates. Here are tips for coping with shipping delays during the holidays:

Plan early

Order gifts and holiday items you need much earlier than usual. This builds in a buffer if the delivery is pushed back.

Choose faster shipping

When possible, upgrade to express shipping. Though more expensive, it decreases odds of weather or volume delays.

Ship to a UPS location

Redirect packages to The UPS Store or other UPS Access Points. Pickup is easier if bad weather prevents home delivery.

Under-promise arrival dates

If sending gifts, provide earlier delivery estimates to the family. The packages will still arrive “on time” if delayed.

Track obsessively

Check delivery statuses multiple times per day so you immediately catch any change. Refreshing obsessively reduces surprise frustrations.

Have backup gifts ready

Shop for extra gifts in case something you ordered does not arrive pre-holiday. Backup options reduce stress.

Avoid scheduling around the delivery

Unless a specific delivery date is confirmed, avoid making inflexible plans for when a gift or item will arrive.

Chat with UPS online

Ask questions and vent frustration through the UPS chatbot. It can ease annoyance and provide transit insights.

Adjust expectations

Accept that delays around the peak season are likely and out of your control. Let go of frustration over late deliveries.

With high demand comes more pressure on UPS and a greater chance of unexpected delays. Setting reasonable expectations and planning thoroughly reduces holiday disappointment.

How to Check UPS Tracking for Delivery Date Updates

Eagerly await your delivery date. Here are some tips for tracking your package and spotting status updates:

Use the UPS website

Head to ups.com and enter your tracking number in the tracking field. This is the most direct way to check.

Install the mobile app

The UPS Mobile app lets you monitor deliveries in real time with push notifications. Download it on iOS or Android.

Check email notifications

If you create a UPS My Choice account, delivery alerts will be emailed to you as the status changes.

Call customer service

Speak to a UPS rep by phone and provide your tracking number. They can check systems internally for any updates.

Set text alerts

Register your tracking number at ups.com to receive text notifications whenever the status changes or updates.

Follow UPS on Twitter

Tweet @UPSHelp with your tracking number. Their Twitter team can look into the status for you.

Chat with UPS online

Use the virtual chat assistant on the UPS site to get delivery information. The bot can access tracking details.

Ask the shipper

Contact the retailer or merchant who shipped your package. As the UPS account holder, they can also track its status closely.

Checking the delivery status daily helps ensure you never miss that coveted shipment progress update. Persistence pays off!

Changes to UPS Delivery Dates: What’s Normal and What Isn’t

As a package makes its journey through the UPS network, delivery date adjustments along the way are perfectly normal. However, certain changes merit closer attention:

Normal Updates

  • Date gets narrowed from a range (like Aug 1-3) to a specific day
  • Date shifts earlier due to faster transit time
  • Date shifts back a day or two due to minor exceptions like weather
  • Temporary one-day delay during peak surge times

Abnormal Changes

  • The date pushed back significantly (5+ days) with no explanation
  • Shipment shows returned to sender unexpectedly
  • Package status stuck on “label created” with no movement
  • The route shows major illogical changes like a departure from the destination hub
  • The date disappears completely with no reason given

Minor fluctuations are expected as UPS factors in real-time conditions. However major unexplained changes to the delivery date or route often signal an underlying issue that needs attention. Reach out to UPS or the shipper as soon as abnormalities arise.

Having awareness about what’s ordinary and what’s not prevents unnecessary concern. Most shifts in delivery timelines are within the realm of normal – especially during the busy holiday peak. But remain vigilant about extreme modifications as those require proactive follow-up.