What Does “Out for Delivery” Mean on UPS? | Explained

Last Updated on 28/08/2023 by UPS_ Admin

Understanding the UPS tracking system can ensure you know when to expect a delivery. “Out for Delivery” indicates that a package is on its last leg of the journey, usually set to be delivered that day. However, various factors like traffic or weather can delay the delivery. “In transit” means the package is moving through UPS’s system but isn’t necessarily being delivered that day. It’s essential to be aware of these distinctions and potential delivery windows to manage your expectations and ensure you’re available to receive your items.

Out for Delivery

What Does “Out For Delivery” Mean At UPS ?

“Out for Delivery” at UPS means that the package has left its final UPS facility and has been loaded onto a delivery truck. The package is now en route to its final destination, which could be a residential or commercial address. For residential addresses, UPS typically delivers packages between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., although delivery times can sometimes extend later. For commercial addresses, delivery will be completed by the close of business. Deliveries are generally scheduled from Monday through Saturday, with some exceptions for Sunday deliveries in certain cases.

If the package is “Out for Delivery” but has not been delivered by the end of the day, it’s important to wait until the end of the day before taking any action, as delivery times can vary.

How Long Does UPS Take Once A Package Is Out For Delivery?

All UPS Ground packages are guaranteed to be delivered within 1-5 business days. The exact delivery date is determined at the time of pick up based on the distance the package is traveling. Notably, 90% of UPS Ground packages are delivered in three days or less.

Typically, unless the sender has chosen a time-specific air delivery service, packages are delivered between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to residential addresses. However, there can be exceptions where deliveries happen later. For commercial addresses, packages are delivered by the close of business. UPS schedules deliveries from Monday through Saturday.

Once a package has been marked “out for delivery”, customers can typically expect it to arrive within a few hours. However, exceptions might arise, so it’s recommended to allow up to 48 hours after a package’s status changes to “out for delivery” to account for any potential delays.

Does “Out For Delivery” Mean I Get My Package From UPS Today?’

When a package is “out for delivery,” it’s en route from a nearby transit point, expected to arrive later that day. However, variables like traffic and weather can cause delays, changing its status to “in transit,” signaling a return to the UPS facility. Nonetheless, it should be delivered the next day. Delivery times, typically between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. for residences, vary based on service level and address type. Packages on next day air service usually arrive by 10:30 a.m. Business deliveries are prioritized over residential. The “Out For Delivery” status means likely same-day delivery, but exceptions occur.

Why does my UPS package status show ‘Out For Delivery’ but I haven’t received it yet?

When a UPS package is marked as “Out for Delivery” but hasn’t been delivered, there are several potential reasons:

  1. Misdirection: The package might have been directed to the wrong final destination address.
  2. High Volume of Deliveries: Especially during peak seasons like Amazon Prime Day, there might be an excessive number of orders. Drivers might not be able to deliver all packages by the end of the day.
  3. Delivery Times: UPS typically delivers packages between 9 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., but drivers can work up to 14 hours a day. This means that in some cases, deliveries could go up until 11:59 p.m.
  4. Driver Prioritization: Packages are prioritized in the following order:
    • Next day Early Business
    • Next day Business
    • Next day Early Residential
    • 2nd/3rd/ground Business
    • Everything else
  5. Phantom or Logic Scans: Sometimes, a “phantom” or logic scan might occur. This happens when other packages in the same delivery area are scanned, causing an auto-population of a scan in the system, even if your package wasn’t physically scanned.
  6. Loaders’ Challenge: Loaders deal with multiple trucks, each containing numerous parcels. They might accidentally miss scanning one, leading to discrepancies in tracking.
  7. Backlog: In some situations, due to unforeseen events, UPS might be working through a large backlog. The system might mark the package as “out for delivery” multiple times even if it’s not loaded onto the truck. This can give recipients false hope.
  8. Delivery Status Misunderstandings: Sometimes, the tracking system might show that the package is on its way (even allowing you to follow it on a map) when it hasn’t been loaded onto a truck.
  9. System Limitations: The system might provide an estimated delivery date based on the number of packages and capacity. However, in reality, there might be delays.
  10. Unforeseen Circumstances: Sometimes drivers face unexpected challenges on their routes, such as traffic accidents, bad weather, or vehicle problems, which can delay deliveries.

What to Do:

  • Wait: It’s advised to wait until the end of the day to see if the package arrives.
  • Contact UPS: If the package hasn’t arrived by day’s end, check your tracking information and contact UPS.
  • UPS My Choice: Use this service to change your delivery settings, such as requiring a signature or choosing direct delivery.
  • Ongoing Issues: If a package is consistently late, it’s uncertain whether it becomes a higher priority the next day. However, drivers aim to return to the center without any undelivered packages.
  • Alternate Arrangements: If a package is crucial, consider making other arrangements or ordering from a different service.

In summary, while the UPS tracking system is generally reliable, various factors can lead to discrepancies between the status updates and actual delivery. If your package is marked as “Out for Delivery” but doesn’t arrive, consider the reasons mentioned above and take appropriate action.

On What Days And During What Times Does UPS Deliver?

UPS typically delivers packages between Monday and Friday, during the hours of 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM local time. Here are the key points based on the research provided:

  1. Regular Delivery Hours: The majority of UPS Ground deliveries occur between 9 AM and 9 PM local time, Monday through Friday. However, during busy periods such as the holidays, deliveries might extend a bit past 9 PM.
  2. Specific Service Delivery Hours:
    • Next Day Air: Guaranteed by 10:30 AM.
    • Next Day Saver: By 3 PM for businesses and by 5 PM for residential deliveries.
    • 2nd Day AM: Functions similarly to Next Day Saver.
  3. Variability: Deliveries can vary based on the makeup of a driver’s route (business vs. residential). Commercial routes might have morning deliveries, followed by pickups in the late afternoon.
  4. Saturday Deliveries: UPS does deliver on Saturdays, but this is typically reserved for special air packages. These packages should be delivered by 12 PM.
  5. Driver Work Hours: While most drivers prefer an eight-hour day, they can sometimes work up to ten hours regularly and even twelve hours during particularly busy times.
  6. Sunday: UPS is generally closed on Sundays.
  7. Special Services: UPS SurePost, a collaboration between UPS and USPS, may allow for deliveries on weekends and holidays.
  8. Area Variability: Delivery times and frequencies can also vary based on whether the delivery area is metropolitan or rural, and whether the local center has a full roster of drivers.

In summary, UPS generally delivers from Monday to Friday between 9 AM and 9 PM. Saturday deliveries are reserved for special packages and are typically completed by 12 PM. Sundays are usually non-operational for UPS.

Does in transit mean out for delivery UPS?

“In transit” for UPS does not mean “out for delivery.” When a package is marked as “in transit,” it indicates that the package is currently moving through the UPS shipping infrastructure. This can mean it has just left the collection warehouse, is between two hubs, or is on its way to your address but not necessarily out for delivery that day. The status signifies that everything is progressing as it should, and the package is on its way to its final destination. The “out for delivery” status typically appears once the package has been sorted at the local post office or UPS facility and is en route to its final destination for that day’s delivery.


The UPS “Out for Delivery” status signifies that a package has left its final facility and is on its way to its destination, expected to be delivered the same day. However, variables like traffic, high delivery volumes, misdirection, system limitations, and unforeseen circumstances can cause delays. While UPS generally delivers between 9 AM to 9 PM from Monday to Friday, exceptions exist. It’s advised to wait until day’s end before taking any action and considering potential reasons for non-delivery. “In transit” indicates movement through the UPS system but doesn’t guarantee same-day delivery like the “Out for Delivery” status.

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