UPS Tracking Hacks

by Erica Sadun

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Whether 'tis the holiday season or just the last-chance-before-the-fiscal-tax-year-ends season, it's time to shop--and to track your purchases after hitting the Submit button. You know that button. The one they warn you to hit just once? Soon the order confirmation letter appears in your in-box, followed (if you're lucky) by the shipment confirmation with your UPS tracking number.

It's time to track.

There's nothing more glorious (for low values of "glorious"--your mileage may vary) than watching your purchase as it travels from the manufacturer's warehouse into the shipping depot and then to the local depot and then onto the truck for delivery. Soon the bell will ring, you'll sign for the package, rip it to pieces and be playing with your new tax-deductible yet highly-technical toy.

Some vendors do things the right way. They include a direct URL that you can click to open a tracking page in your favorite browser.

Many vendors do things the wrong way. They give you the tracking number and you're on your own. Sure, you can pop over to UPS, enter your country name, click on Tracking, promise on your first born child to follow the rules, edicts and conditions of UPS before being allowed to enter the holy inner sanctum of package tracking--or, you can do things the easy way. Here are three:

Easy way #1: Make your own link.

Look at the following URL. Do you see where it says YOURTRACKINGNUMBERHERE? Simply substitute your tracking number for those words.

Easy way #2: Google.

Google rocks, but you already knew that. To track a shipment, pop over to Google, enter the tracking number and search. Google knows UPS tracking numbers. Click on the first link of the results--the one that says Track UPS Package.

Easy way #3: e-Mail.

It isn't my favorite way of tracking packages, but it's pretty convenient--particularly when you're on the road with a handheld and limited screen space. Send an e-mail to In the body of your message, put the tracking number or numbers--one per line. In a few minutes, a UPS daemon will respond with the current tracking information for your items.

Got other ways to track? Let me know!


2004-12-19 18:26:49
UPS RSS Tracking
Want another way to track your UPS shipments? You can track them with RSS. The details are available here:

The link for the RSS feed is in this format: where the XXXXXXX's are the UPS tracking number you want to track.

2004-12-20 07:43:12
It works great...
Thanks SuperJason. Very nice solution.
2005-01-20 07:53:45
Another implementation for tracking via RSS
I just wrote another implementation for tracking UPS packages via RSS, it can be found here:

2006-05-30 15:04:56
Thankyou for this information, I used the Google method, I didn't have spaces in the number lol and Google spaced it out and helped me find my package, thankyou alot!