When using UPS (United Parcel Service) for shipping and receiving packages, customers often rely on tracking updates to monitor the progress and estimated delivery dates of their shipments. One common notification that may cause some confusion is “The delivery date will be provided as soon as possible.”

This notification can appear in various scenarios and understanding what it implies is crucial for both senders and receivers.

When you receive a tracking update from USPS (United States Postal Service) stating “The delivery date will be provided as soon as possible,” it typically means that your package is in the USPS system, but the service is currently unable to provide a specific delivery date.

This status can be attributed to several factors affecting the package’s transit. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what this update entails:

Uncertainty in Transit

  • Processing Backlogs: Your package might be caught in a backlog at one of the USPS sorting facilities. This can happen due to high package volumes, especially during peak seasons like holidays.
  • Transit Delays: The package could be in transit between postal facilities, and USPS may not have a current update on its exact location or the estimated time of arrival.
  • Incomplete Scanning: Sometimes, packages aren’t scanned properly at a checkpoint, which results in a lack of updated information about the package’s journey.

External Factors

  • Weather Conditions: Severe weather can disrupt transportation routes, leading to delays. In such cases, USPS may not be able to predict the delivery date accurately until the situation stabilizes.
  • Unforeseen Circumstances: Other unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters, road closures, or operational disruptions can impact the delivery timeline.

Reasons Behind the Notification – Why This Message?

Receiving this message can be due to a combination of internal processing factors within the USPS system and external influences. Understanding these can help in gauging the situation better:

Logistics and Routing Delays

One primary reason for this notification is logistics and routing delays. UPS’s extensive network handles a massive volume of packages daily, and sometimes, logistical challenges can delay the processing of shipments. These delays might be due to increased package volume during peak seasons, routing complexities, or unexpected transit delays.

Weather and Unforeseen Events

Adverse weather conditions or unforeseen events like natural disasters can disrupt transportation routes. When such events occur, UPS may temporarily be unable to provide a precise delivery date.

Internal Processing Factors

  • Volume of Shipments: USPS handles a colossal number of shipments daily. During periods of increased volume, like holiday seasons, it’s common for there to be delays in processing and delivery.
  • System Limitations: There might be limitations or delays within the USPS tracking system itself. Sometimes, the system takes time to update the tracking information, leading to generic messages like this one.

External Influences

  • Transportation Issues: Problems in the transportation network, such as flight delays or issues with USPS’s logistics partners, can lead to a delay in updating the expected delivery date.
  • Regulatory Delays: In certain cases, packages might undergo additional inspection or clearance, especially if they contain regulated items or are international shipments, which can delay their processing.

In essence, when USPS says “The delivery date will be provided as soon as possible,” it indicates that your package is within their system but there are uncertainties affecting its timely delivery. This message is generally a placeholder until more specific information becomes available. As a recipient, the best course of action is to periodically check for tracking updates.


If the status doesn’t change for an extended period, or if it’s a time-sensitive delivery, contacting USPS customer service for further clarification would be advisable.

Impact on Service Types

Standard Shipping

For standard shipping services, where delivery times are not guaranteed, this notification is more common. UPS aims to provide estimated dates based on typical transit times, but these can change due to the aforementioned factors.

Express and Guaranteed Services

For express or time-guaranteed services, such a notification can be more concerning. Customers expect a specific delivery time frame with these services. If you receive this message while using an express service, it’s advisable to contact UPS for more clarity.

Customer Response and Actions

Checking Updates Regularly

If you receive this message, the best course of action is to check your tracking information regularly. UPS updates its tracking information as new data becomes available, which can provide you with a clearer picture of when to expect your shipment.

Contacting UPS Customer Service

If the notification persists without a change in status, or if the delay is impacting your plans significantly, reaching out to UPS customer service is recommended. They can often provide more detailed information about the cause of the delay and any possible resolutions.

Preventative Measures and Tips

Shipping During Non-Peak Times

To avoid such uncertainties, consider shipping your packages during non-peak times when possible. This can reduce the likelihood of encountering logistical delays.

Using UPS My Choice

Enrolling in UPS My Choice can provide more control and flexibility. This service allows you to receive delivery alerts, reroute packages, and even reschedule deliveries, giving you more options in case of delays.

See Also: USPS Awaiting Item After Shipping Label Created – Meaning, Reasons & What To Do?

What is the delivery date for UPS on the way?

The term “on the way” in UPS tracking generally indicates that your package is in transit and is moving towards its final destination. The specific delivery date can vary depending on several factors, including the shipping service used, origin and destination locations, and current transit conditions.

UPS Ground packages are typically delivered anytime Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to residences, and business addresses during normal business hours​​.

How long does UPS take to deliver once out for delivery?

When a shipment status updates to “Out for Delivery,” it means that the package is on the final leg of its journey and will be delivered that day. Generally, UPS drivers can deliver as late as 9 p.m., and during the holiday season, deliveries may occur even later.

If the package is not delivered that day for some reason, UPS will try another delivery on the next business day​​.

How accurate is UPS delivery date?

UPS delivery dates are generally accurate. However, various factors such as the time of day the order is placed and the destination of the package can influence the accuracy of the delivery date. While UPS aims to deliver packages on time, there have been instances where delivery estimates have been inaccurate.

According to data from ShipMatrix Inc., UPS underestimated delivery times on 21 percent of packages in the first quarter of 2018​​.

Can I speed up my UPS delivery?

UPS offers options to change the delivery of a package, which can be accessed by logging in to UPS.com and enabling UPS My Choice®. While this service does not necessarily “speed up” the delivery process, it does allow for more control over the delivery, such as changing the delivery address or date, and instructing the driver on where to leave the package.

UPS My Choice offers two levels of membership: Basic (free) and Premium (paid), with the Premium option allowing for unlimited changes to deliveries at no additional cost


While the notification “The delivery date will be provided as soon as possible” can be a source of frustration, understanding its implications helps in managing your shipping and receiving expectations with UPS.

By staying informed and proactive, you can navigate these situations more effectively, ensuring a smoother experience with your UPS shipments.