What Does “Warehouse Scan” Mean on UPS Tracking? Full UPS Tracking Guide

When tracking a UPS package, especially an international shipment, you may see cryptic tracking updates like “warehouse scan.” What do these UPS scans actually mean? Getting familiar with common UPS scans can help you understand your package’s status and location during shipping. This article provides an in-depth look at UPS warehouse scans and other key tracking events for UPS import shipments.

A UPS warehouse scan indicates your package has arrived at a UPS sorting facility. This scan is very common for UPS import shipments, which often undergo thorough processing at UPS import hubs. While a warehouse scan is typically positive, packages can sometimes get delayed at UPS facilities.

Below we’ll explore key questions around UPS warehouse scans and import packages:

  • What does “warehouse scan” mean on UPS tracking?
  • Why do import packages go to UPS warehouses?
  • How long do imports spend at UPS facilities?
  • What if my package stays at the warehouse too long?
  • What other scans will I see on a UPS import shipment?
  • How can I get updates on a delayed UPS import package?

Gaining insight into these common issues with UPS import packages will help you stay informed on your shipments. Let’s dive in.

What Does “Warehouse Scan” Mean on UPS Tracking?

A UPS warehouse scan indicates that the package has arrived at a UPS logistics facility, regional hub, or import facility. The package is scanned upon entering the facility to record its arrival.

These facilities have large automated conveyor belt systems to sort packages. A warehouse scan means your package has been placed on a sorting system and inducted for processing.

UPS has over 1,000 facilities worldwide. In the domestic U.S., key UPS warehouses and hubs are located in cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Ontario, CA, Philadelphia, and Miami.

For international shipments, major UPS import hubs include Louisville, KY, Cologne, Germany, Shanghai, China, and Singapore. If you see a warehouse scan in one of these cities, it means your import package has arrived at a UPS international sorting hub.

So in summary, a “warehouse scan” means your package has been received at a UPS sorting center and scanned into the facility’s system. The package will undergo sorting and processing to route it on to the next destination.

Why Do Import Packages Go To UPS Warehouses?

UPS import shipments route through UPS warehouse facilities for a few key reasons:

  • Sorting: Import containers often carry hundreds of packages bound for many addresses. UPS warehouses allow efficient sorting by zip code and final delivery destination.
  • Customs clearance: International packages must clear customs before final delivery. UPS brokerage teams at the hubs handle this on the recipient’s behalf.
  • Security screening: UPS scans packages and may x-ray them to detect prohibited items like dangerous goods. Screening ensures compliance with customs and aviation security rules.
  • Consolidation: Import containers are unloaded at the warehouse and items are consolidated for transport to regional hubs near final delivery addresses.

While passing through UPS facilities takes time, it allows efficient customs clearance, security screening, sorting, and transportation of imports. Domestic packages may also pitstop at hubs for sorting, especially during heavy volume shipping periods.

How Long Do Imports Spend at UPS Facilities?

Most imports will spend 1-2 days at a UPS warehouse or import hub. However, packages can sometimes get delayed in UPS facilities, taking 4-6 days or longer before moving again.

Here are key factors that affect how long an import package stays at a UPS facility:

  • Volume of packages: During peak periods like holidays, warehouses can get backed up causing delays.
  • Customs delays: If there are issues verifying product details or paying duties, UPS must hold packages pending customs clearance.
  • Incorrect address: Packages with wrong or invalid addresses may be held until the recipient is verified.
  • Damage or hazards: Damaged or leaking packages require special handling and containment. Hazardous material shipments also undergo added screening.
  • Weather delays: Severe weather or natural disasters can force UPS hub closures, creating a backlog.

While most imports process within a day or two, the above factors can lengthen the time spent at UPS facilities.

What If My Package Stays at The Warehouse Too Long?

If your UPS import package appears stuck or delayed at a UPS warehouse, here are some steps you can take:

  • Contact the shipper: The merchant you purchased from can contact UPS to inquire about delays or clear any issues.
  • Verify your address: Make sure the shipper has your exact street address, apartment number, etc to prevent incorrect address delays.
  • Call UPS: As the recipient, you can call UPS at 1-800-742-5877 for tracking updates and to confirm they have your correct address.
  • Wait 7 days: If the package has not moved after 7 days at the UPS facility, you can request a trace investigation through UPS to locate the package.
  • Inquire about fees: Some packages get held until customs duties or fees are paid. Ask UPS if your package has any unpaid duties owing.

Though delays can be frustrating, UPS typically does not lose packages. With the steps above, you can get updates on your import package status.

What Other Scans Will I See on A UPS Import Shipment?

In addition to the warehouse scan, here are other common tracking events for UPS imports:

  • Origin Scan: The first scan when UPS picks up the package at the shipper’s location. This can be in another country for imports.
  • Arrival Scan: Indicates the package has arrived at a UPS facility after being transported from the origin.
  • Import Scan: Applied when the package undergoes customs clearance at a UPS import hub.
  • Departure Scan: Shows the package has left a UPS facility and is in transit towards the next hub or final destination.
  • Out for Delivery: The package has reached the final UPS depot responsible for delivery to the recipient address.
  • Delivery Scan: Confirms the package has been successfully delivered.

By learning these common UPS scans, you can more closely follow an import package’s journey from origin, through UPS hubs, to your door.

How to Get Updates on Delayed UPS Import Packages

If your UPS import package encounters delays, here are some tips on getting updates:

  • Track the package online using the UPS tracking number. New scans will appear when the package moves again.
  • Sign up for UPS My Choice delivery alerts. You’ll get emails or texts with package updates.
  • Call UPS at 1-800-742-5877 and provide the tracking number. The UPS automated system can provide the latest scan status.
  • Talk to the shipper and have them contact UPS about the delay on your behalf. As the shipper, they can open a trace investigation.
  • If there are no scans for 7 days, request a formal trace investigation through UPS yourself. This will search their system and facility to try locating your package.
  • Visit the depot or warehouse where your package is stuck and request an update in person with the tracking number.

Stay diligent in monitoring your imports and contacting UPS when delays arise. With persistence, you can get answers on your package status.

In summary, key things to remember about UPS warehouse scans and import packages:

  • A UPS warehouse scan indicates your package has arrived at a UPS sorting hub or import facility.
  • Import packages route through UPS warehouses for customs clearance, screening, sorting, and transport.
  • Packages typically spend 1-2 days at UPS facilities but delays can occur.
  • If your package is delayed, contact UPS and the shipper for help getting updates.
  • Beyond the warehouse scan, other common scans on UPS imports include origin, arrival, import, departure, out for delivery, and final delivery.

Knowing the meaning of UPS tracking scans will help you stay informed and proactively address any delays in your import shipments. With robust operations worldwide, UPS ultimately has strong capabilities to smoothly transport and deliver international packages.

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