What Do FedEx Tracking Numbers Start With [Format For Each Shipping Option] & How To Locate Them

To track a shipment, you need its tracking number. These numbers are unique to the shipping company and may vary based on shipping options. Planning to ship via FedEx? Let me do a brief justice to what their tracking numbers start with here. 

FedEx mostly operates a 12-digit tracking number system. However, there can be variations. Some tracking numbers may feature 10, 15, to 22 characters. 

In addition, once you know what to expect from each FedEx shipping service, tracking becomes significantly easier, and you can easily detect fake tracking numbers. 

Moving forward, you will learn what FedEx tracking numbers start and the expected number of characters per shipping service. You will also discover the various ways to find the tracking number for a package. 

FedEx Shipping Options and What Their Tracking Numbers Start With


FedEx offers various shipping services depending on the shipper’s need and the delivery timeline. Here is a breakdown of each service and what their tracking number starts with and should look like: 

FedEx Express 

This time-definite shipping service for packages should be delivered within 1-3 business days, depending on the destination. 

The two primary services under FedEx Express are: 

  1. FedEx Priority Overnight: This guarantees next-day delivery by 10:30 am for most U.S. destinations. Its tracking number mostly starts with “9” and can be 12-15 digits long. 
  2. FedEx Standard Overnight: Offers same-day delivery, especially in the afternoon for most U.S. destinations. Packages under this option generally feature tracking numbers that start with “3” and are also 12-15 digits long. 

FedEx Ground 

FedEx Ground is the most in-demand shipping option at FedEx. This is thanks to its affordability and ability to ship packages weighing up to 150 lbs. 

FedEx Ground delivers within 1-5 business days and features a 12-digit tracking number, which may combine numbers and letters. 

FedEx Freight 

This is the appropriate shipping option for heavy and heavy or oversized items, with multiple service levels such as LTL or FTL available. Less than truckload (LTL) service combines multiple shipments to fit into a container and save cost.

On the other hand, full truckload (FTL) service offers interrupted service for large shipments. The tracking number for FedEx Freight typically starts with “Z” and can be 12-15 digits long. 

Finding Your FedEx Tracking Number 

Now that you know what FedEx tracking numbers start with for different shipping options, where can you find these numbers? 

Shipment confirmation email 

If you provided your email address when placing an order that will be processed via FedEx, you will likely receive a confirmation email once the package is shipped. 

A section of this email contains the tracking number for your package. Alternatively, FedEx may include a link redirecting you to their online tracking

You must copy and paste your tracking number into the portal’s search bar. 

Printed label 

Packages often come with printed labels. For FedEx packages, tracking numbers are mostly found on the upper right of this label. Printed labels can help you compare the tracking number on a package to the one in the email. 

If the numbers match, you are sure it is your package. However, if it does not, you should report such a package before opening it. 

Door tag

If, for some reason, you missed the package delivery and there is a door tag — this tag should contain its tracking number. From there, you can search for the package to know its status and if delivery will be reattempted. 

Why is Your FedEx Tracking Number Not Working?

Your FedEx tracking number will not provide any significant update if it is yet to be scanned or if you entered the wrong tracking ID. To resolve this issue, you may need to contact the shipper or FedEx customer support after waiting for 24 hours.


Do all FedEx packages come with a tracking number?

Most FedEx packages feature a tracking number. If, for some reason, your package does not have one, you can use the reference number associated with the shipment or FedEx Delivery Manager. 

Why is your FedEx tracking number invalid?

This may be due to a typo, or the shipper for your package has changed. Other factors that may be responsible include a technical glitch or in-house (FedEx) errors. 

Can a tracking number be fake?

Yes, you can easily identify one by pasting it on the FedEx tracking portal. Fake tracking numbers will likely appear invalid or provide a result for past orders.  

In a Nutshell 

Understanding what FedEx tracking numbers start with or look like is crucial to identifying fake or phony ones. It will also help you know the shipping option responsible for the delivery of your package. 

In addition, knowing more than one way to find FedEx tracking numbers can save you valuable time, especially if you need access to such information quickly. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. If you did, please see how to identify and report a fake tracking number

Thanks for reading.