UPS Missed Delivery: Meaning, Consequences & Solutions

Many individuals and businesses rely on UPS to deliver products and packages to different destinations. While most deliveries are often successful, others may be regarded as missed delivery. 

A “missed” delivery by UPS’s standard refers to a scenario where the package recipient is unavailable to receive it. Fortunately, UPS will attempt such a delivery again. 

However, 3 missed UPS delivery attempts mean your package will be held temporarily at an Access Point before it is returned to the sender. 

This guide discusses how UPS handles a missed delivery, the holding period for a package, and best practices to avoid missing a delivery. 

How Does UPS Handle a Missed Delivery? 


When a delivery attempt is unsuccessful, the UPS driver will leave a “Sorry We Missed You” notice at the delivery address. 

This notifies the package recipient that delivery has been attempted, but he or she was not unavailable. Nevertheless, UPS will proceed to deliver the package the next business day. 

A third attempt will be made if this (second) attempt is unsuccessful. An unsuccessful third attempt means your package will be returned to a UPS Access Point or Customer Center. 

This package will be held for 5 business days, providing ample time to pick it up before it is returned to the sender. Once your package is returned to the sender, he or she will have to contact you to arrange a new delivery or issue a refund. 

Solutions to UPS Missed Deliveries

1. Use the UPS My Choice service 

UPS My Choice Service is an excellent option for individuals who frequently receive packages or move from one location to another. 

The service allows customers to get delivery alerts, change delivery options, and reroute package destinations (for delivery or pickup).

UPS My Choice makes it easy for customers to plan and make necessary changes to delivery details to ensure that packages are delivered successfully. 

2. Provide accurate address details

When entering your delivery address for a package, ensure it is correct and legible. This helps the delivery personnel or UPS driver to locate your address easily. 

Also, extra information, such as floor numbers, apartment numbers, and gate codes, can be helpful. 

3. Be available for delivery (track your item too)

You must be available or have someone represent you on the delivery date to avoid missed deliveries. 

Alternatively, you can reroute the package’s destination to another location or pickup station (UPS Access Point). 

Just choose whichever option works best for your availability or schedule. Actively tracking your package can also help you with this. 

4. Contact UPS customer service 

If you missed a delivery, please get in touch with UPS customer service to make arrangements for re-delivery. You can also request an update on the status of your package via the UPS tracking system. 


Does UPS charge for failed delivery?

Return surcharge may apply to failed or undeliverable returns. 

Does UPS charge for redelivery?

After missing a first delivery, UPS will not charge you for the second and third delivery attempts. 

How many digits is a UPS tracking number?

UPS tracking number contains 18 digits. It often looks like 1Z54F65C146293648.

Does UPS call before delivery?

It depends. However, most UPS drivers will call you before their arrival, especially if the package requires a signature, is expensive, or is perishable. 


A missed delivery can be worrisome to both a package’s sender and receiver. Nevertheless, a reputable carrier like UPS has several measures to ensure it is not a common incident. 

As the sender or recipient of a package, it is your responsibility to provide the correct address information, actively track your package, and be available during delivery. 

You can also use special services such as UPS My Choice and UPS Access Points. The former provides delivery notifications and gives you significant power over deliveries. Access Points, on the other hand, work best for pick-up (delivery) options. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. You should also learn what UPS Return to Sender means and how it works.

Thanks for reading.