UPS Package On the Way: The Ultimate Guide

Our readers have occasionally reached out to us in the quest to know what UPS means when their packages get stuck on “On the Way” tracking status for long. 

How many more hours or days will your package get stuck on that update before it starts moving again? For that response and more, we compiled this complete guide just for you. 

UPS “On the Way” Meaning

The “On the Way” UPS tracking status means that the package is in transit from the origin facility to the next facility for sorting before it gets loaded in the last-mile truck for final delivery. 

When the package is “On the Way,” different processes happen across different facilities and this means it can take several days for the tracking status to update to “out for delivery.”

When the package is “Out for Delivery,” UPS means that it’s ready to be loaded or has been loaded to the final truck that will take it to the recipient. 

UPS On The Way

Why is My Package Stuck “On the Way?”

The Package Missed a Scan

This mostly happens for smaller-sized packages that can miss being scanned on the conveyor units. 

We have seen it severally where UPS package tracking statuses shift from “On the Way” to “Delivered,” without going through the “Out for Delivery” update. 

In such scenarios, the packages always get delivered within the scheduled delivery dates. If you are lucky, you will find that your package missed several scans but still made it to your provided address within the scheduled time. 

This could be a bad thing to some extent as some recipients get anxious when their package statuses don’t change for a day or two. 

Even then, it’s deeply disheartening to rely on luck to guess that your package will make it to you. 

UPS certainly has to be more watchful here. The anxiety coming from a package that hasn’t been scanned might outdo any excitement knowing your package has reached you without any update on that. 

Related: What Does the UPS Estimated Delivery Delay Update Mean?

Inclement Weather

In our other blog post on “UPS says the delivery date will be provided as soon as possible,” we featured bad weather as one of the leading reasons for package delays. 

Since UPS updates the tracking status of any packages that they have picked and processed as “On the Way,” it’s possible for the weather to change when the packages have been loaded into a truck for sorting. 

In such a scenario and depending on the severity, UPS might opt to wait for the weather to be clearer before they proceed with transporting the packages around. 

Unfortunately, no one can really determine how long it will take when the weather is bad and that’s one of the leading reasons why your package might be stuck on the “On the Way” status for several days. 

It’s on the Weekend

The UPS tracking page rarely updates on the weekend and if your package is stuck there on a Friday up to Sunday evening, it’s understandable. 

You can expect the status to change on Monday, provided there is no public holiday. 

Of course, UPS services are open in limited places over the weekends, and if yours doesn’t make the threshold to move on a weekend, wait for an update on Monday or Tuesday. 

What Do I Do When My Package is Stuck “On the Way?”

Contact the Shipper

UPS, just like most of the courier companies we see around prioritizes it more when the shipper reaches out in the quest to know the package status as opposed to the recipient. 

If you see that there are no signs for the package to move and it’s past the delivery date, we recommend that you talk to the shipper first, who will in turn, start an Investigation Claim with UPS.

If yours was an online purchase, had made the payment using a Credit Card, and the shipper doesn’t seem to cooperate for you to receive your package within the scheduled delivery date, you might go the chargeback way, especially considering some vendors could be so difficult to work with. 

Sign Up for the UPS My Choice Account

Unlike several months ago when UPS used to provide detailed tracking info on their site, they nowadays provide just basic tracking info. 

Currently, you can use their free My Choice Account to get detailed information about the tracking status of your package. For this one, you will have to be logged in for you to use it. 

Contact UPS

If you prefer not to contact the shipper to ask about the status of your package and you find that the tracking info isn’t satisfactory, you can contact UPS.

We find calling them to be the easiest way. Insist on speaking to a Human Rep and ask to know the status of your package that seems to be stuck on the way. 

How Long Will My Package Be Stuck “On the Way?”

Depending on the reason for the delay, UPS packages that are stuck on “on the way” tracking status take anywhere between a business day to 7 days past the scheduled delivery date to get delivered.