What Time Does UPS Start Delivering? What You Need to Know

As you might guess, many different factors affect delivery times

  • Written by Alex Dolce
  • Published on July 26, 2023
  • Time to read 9 minutes


UPS is everywhere; you may see their trucks driving through your neighborhood or pass them on the roads. Wherever someone is in the U.S., UPS can deliver to them. So, when do these trucks and drivers start their deliveries?

As a merchant, understanding the question: “What time does UPS start delivering?” is crucial for your business. It can help you manage your customer expectations and optimize your operations. Today, we will look at the factors influencing UPS delivery times, provide insights on UPS services, and give practical tips to ensure a smooth delivery experience.

Let’s get started!

What Affects Delivery Times?

As you might guess, many different factors affect delivery times. It’s important to know what those factors are. Though you might be able to guess what they are, let’s go over them. 

The first factor is location. As you probably know, the distance between where the product is delivered and where it’s supposed to go plays a role in delivery times. Depending on the zones they have to cross, your packages could be delivered anywhere from 1 to 5 days with UPS Ground.  

The second factor is service types. For example, ground or air are services you use with UPS. Depending on which you use, they have varying delivery timeframes. 

Next, the volume of packages is a factor. High package volumes, especially during peak seasons, can impact delivery times. It’s like if you have a lot of orders coming through for your product – it can take longer to produce them or get them ready.

Finally, seasonal variations like Holidays and other peak periods may lead to extended delivery windows. Obviously, Holidays with many package deliveries, like Christmas, can cause delays. You’ve probably experienced this before.

All of these factors affect the delivery process in one way or another. Whether delivery locations are far away from a destination or there are a lot of packages UPS has to deliver. Whatever the factor, knowing how it will affect your delivery times and how quickly customers can receive their products with UPS delivery is essential.

A graphic illustration portrays several factors that impact UPS delivery times, such as location, service types, volume, and peak seasons.

To summarize, here are the factors that can affect delivery times:

  • Location
  • Service Types (e.g., ground, air)
  • Volume of Packages
  • Seasonal Variations

In addition to these factors, there are other things to know regarding UPS delivery times. Let’s take a look at what they are:

Regional Variations:

Just like with location, delivery times can vary across regions. These are due to factors such as:

  • Distance: Longer distances may result in slightly longer delivery times.
  • Transportation Infrastructure: Local infrastructure, such as that which causes bad traffic, affects transit times and efficiency.
  • Operational Considerations: UPS adjusts operations based on regional needs, which can impact delivery schedules. 

Early Morning Deliveries:

UPS also often starts deliveries early in the morning, offering several benefits:

  • Business Efficiency: Early deliveries allow businesses to receive packages promptly, aiding operations.
  • Customer Convenience: Customers can receive packages earlier in the day, enhancing their experience.

Now that we’ve gone over the initial details of delivery times and factors that affect them let’s dive into the answer: “What time does UPS start delivering?”. 

General Delivery Timeframes

Let’s start simple. To begin, the time range of UPS Ground Delivery is usually from around 9 AM – 9 PM local time, Monday through Friday.

A graphic illustration shows a UPS delivery truck and UPS delivery plane, with information regarding their usual delivery timeframes.

However, UPS provides estimated delivery windows based on service levels. These service levels include:

  • Next-Day Delivery: Packages shipped with UPS Next Day Air often arrive by the next business day.
  • 2- and 3-Day Delivery: UPS 2nd Day Air and 3 Day Select typically deliver within two or three business days.
  • Ground Delivery: UPS Ground offers estimated delivery times based on the distance between locations.

Of course, delivery time expectations can depend on service levels as well. For example, Next Day Air or Next Day Air Early arrive before certain times – Air Early is before 10:30 AM, and Air is before 3 PM. 

Additionally, it may be helpful to look at how the different zip codes affect the delivery time. You can do this through the U.S. Ground Maps Search on the UPS site. 

Now that you know about delivery timeframes with UPS, let’s look at some more tips and things to consider when delivering. 

How to Manage UPS Deliveries:

For accurate and up-to-date information about UPS delivery times in your area, it’s recommended to contact UPS customer service or visit their official website. They can provide the most reliable information based on your specific requirements.

However, here are some tips to ensure a smooth delivery experience:

  • Schedule Deliveries: Coordinate deliveries when someone is available to receive the packages.
  • Use UPS My Choice®: Merchants and customers can customize delivery preferences through this service.
  • Tracking and Notifications: UPS provides tracking tools and notifications to keep customers informed about their package’s status and estimated delivery time.

Holiday and Peak Season Considerations:

During peak seasons, UPS takes measures to handle increased volumes and maintain delivery schedules. Merchants should be aware of any specific announcements or guidelines issued by UPS during these periods.

UPS Pickup and Delivery Service is closed on the following U.S. holidays:

  • New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
  • Easter 
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

A Final Note:

Understanding UPS delivery times is crucial for merchants to effectively manage their shipping operations and provide a seamless customer experience. Merchants can optimize their processes by considering factors influencing delivery times, leveraging tracking tools, communicating with customers, and ensuring timely deliveries. Stay informed and stay ahead with UPS!

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