What Time Does UPS Stop Delivering?

Get the inside track on the UPS delivery schedule, find out when UPS stops delivering, and learn about how to track your packages. 

Jim Sharkey
June 14, 2023
A happy customer receiving an order

At Mochila, we understand the critical role that a well-managed delivery plays for ecommerce and omni-channel brands.

From both my decade of experience working with leading brands at Mochila to the 8 years I spent in order fulfillment operations at Amazon, I know first hand how important it is for customers — and businesses — to receive their orders on time. In addition, retail stores — especially those with limited space — need to ensure deliveries won’t interfere with store operations.

Knowing how carriers like UPS operate is a fundamental part of successfully managing these complexities. It’s important to understand not only the time of day UPS stops delivering but also how the delivery schedule is impacted by holidays, weekends, and other exceptions.

What Is the UPS Delivery Schedule?

The UPS delivery schedule varies slightly throughout the week. Here are the basics. 


UPS typically operates on a five-day workweek delivery schedule of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday. This schedule can vary depending on your location, but generally, deliveries begin in the morning and continue until early evening. 


In 2017, UPS began offering Saturday delivery services for residential and commercial addresses, adopting a practice that was already standard for USPS and FedEx. Today, UPS delivers to most residential and commercial addresses on Saturdays for packages shipped via Ground and 3-Day Select services.

For deliveries to commercial locations on Saturday, an extra fee may apply. In addition, UPS will also deliver packages shipped via 2nd Day and Next Day services on Saturday for an additional fee to most addresses.

On Sundays, UPS can deliver packages to residential addresses, but only those packages shipped via UPS Surepost which uses USPS to make the final delivery (Sunday delivery is standard for USPS).

What Time Does UPS Stop Delivering?

On average, UPS continues deliveries until 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., although this can change depending on local demand, package volume, and UPS staffing levels. 

For more time-specific services, like Next Day, 2nd Day, and 3-Day Select, UPS will do everything in its power to deliver by the scheduled date, even if it means a later delivery.

Does UPS Stop Delivering on Time During the Holidays?

Holidays can introduce several complexities to UPS's delivery times. During peak holiday seasons, UPS often extends its delivery hours to cope with increased demand. 

Expecting holiday delays is realistic, but proactive measures like analyzing historical, real-time monitoring of transit times and deliveries, and being ready to use alternative carriers as needed can help ensure a seamless delivery experience for your customers. During the holidays, it’s especially critical to monitor delivery performance and make adjustments on the fly to create a great customer experience.

What Factors Affect Delivery Time?

Delivery time isn't just about when the delivery truck leaves the fulfillment center. Several factors are at play, all of which can influence how and when your packages reach their destination. 

As a brand, it's highly important to be aware of these variables so you can manage expectations and provide the best possible customer service:


The distance between the fulfillment center and the delivery destination is a significant factor in determining delivery time. A package traveling across the city is likely to arrive sooner than one that needs to cross the entire country. 

UPS has various facilities and hubs spread across the globe to minimize this distance, but the reality is that some locations will always be farther than others. 

As a brand, if you have a broad customer base, it's essential to account for these differences in delivery times.

Weather Conditions

Mother Nature can be unpredictable, and adverse weather conditions can delay delivery times. Heavy rain, snow, or storms can make roads impassable or slow down traffic significantly. 

A massive snowstorm hitting the Northeast can cause a ripple effect of delays that affect deliveries made in the Southwest. It's situations like these that underline the importance of having a contingency plan. 

Ensuring that your customers are kept informed of any weather-related delays can go a long way in maintaining their trust.

Volume of Packages

The number of packages that UPS has to deliver also plays a significant role in determining delivery times. 

During peak seasons or sales, the volume of packages tends to surge. This sudden increase can cause delays if the necessary resources aren't allocated to handle the influx. 

Communicating with your fulfillment partner and planning for such peaks can help you manage this effectively.


The labor force is the backbone of any delivery service, including UPS. 

The availability and efficiency of the labor force directly influence delivery times. If there are labor shortages or strikes, it can lead to delays. Even a one-day walkout can result in major interruptions in service. 

While it's something outside of your control as a brand, being aware of these potential issues can help you prepare and communicate effectively with your customers.

Time of the Year

The time of the year can have a significant impact on delivery times. Holidays, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas, usually see a surge in shipments, which can lead to delays. 

Also, severe winter weather can impact delivery times in certain parts of the country. It's important to anticipate these seasonal changes and plan accordingly. It's a balancing act — trying to fulfill increased holiday orders while also managing expectations around possible delays. 

At Mochila, we work closely with our clients during these periods to navigate these challenges and ensure a smooth delivery process.

Can I Request That My UPS Delivery Be Made at a Specific Time?

The simple answer is yes, but in general it’s not practical or cost effective.

UPS does offer specific time delivery with their "UPS Express Critical" service, designed for urgent, time-sensitive deliveries. However, this service has a significantly higher cost. 

We understand that for businesses, knowing when UPS will deliver can have a big impact on operations, as it allows businesses to schedule staff to receive the product quickly into inventory. While UPS does not offer scheduled delivery dates and times, for commercial deliveries UPS tends to have more predictable routes which leads to more predicated delivery times. Hence, it is possible to leverage historical transit time data and machine learning to develop more precise delivery estimates to commercial addresses. The right fulfillment partner can help you mitigate and plan for these uncertainties.

How To Track Your Package

Package tracking is an essential part of the delivery process. It keeps you informed about your shipment's status and allows you to anticipate and plan for its arrival. Here are a few ways to keep an eye on your shipments:

UPS Tracking

UPS offers detailed tracking services. Once your shipment is on its way, UPS provides a tracking number. You can enter this number on the UPS website's tracking page for real-time updates on your shipment's progress. It's an easy way to know exactly where your package is and when it's expected to arrive.

Other Tracking Methods

Storefronts like Shopify can automatically share tracking information with customers, and more sophisticated post-purchase software like Narvar and AfterShip can help manage branded real-time tracking updates to customers, including upselling opportunities. 

A competent fulfillment partner can also provide real-time tracking information and updates across multiple carriers to help you manage the delivery experience.


Navigating UPS delivery schedules and tracking your packages might seem complex, but it's more than manageable with the right knowledge and resources on your side. 

Knowing the factors that affect delivery time, how to request specific delivery times, and how to track your packages can greatly enhance your ability to plan and serve your customers better.

An experienced fulfillment service like Mochila can help you manage this complexity, improve the delivery experience, and lower shipping costs. We’ve spent years working with brands to provide fulfillment to customers, retail stores, and wholesale channels, and understand the complex issues of order fulfillment and package delivery.

If you’d like to have a conversation about delivery challenges your brand is facing and learn more about how you can improve your customer experience, please feel free to schedule a call with me.


How Late Does UPS Deliver? | The Cold Wire

UPS Holiday Schedule | UPS 

Impacts Of Weather On The Transportation Of Goods And Packages | Forbes

Global Presence | UPS

Labor Force Participation Rate: Purpose, Formula, and Trends | Investopedia

Home | UPS Express Critical

Tracking | UPS 



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