UPS Says Check Back Tomorrow: Meaning?

Here’s what it means when UPS says “Check back tomorrow for an updated delivery date”:

In short, the message means that you will not be receiving your package on time.

UPS uses this message to indicate that the original shipping plan has been disrupted, and the company cannot provide a new delivery date until the problem is resolved.

There is no telling how long this might take without more information.

So if you want to learn all about what you can do when your UPS package is delayed, then this article is for you.

Let’s jump right into it!

UPS Says Check Back Tomorrow: Meaning? (All the Info)

What Does the “Check back tomorrow for an updated delivery date” Message Mean?

Let’s get right into it.

The message says, “Check back tomorrow for an updated delivery date.”

What does that mean?

Well, a lot of it is easy enough to understand.

There is not currently a delivery date, and you should check back tomorrow to see the new delivery date. 

It’s not a cryptic message or a trick.

Essentially, UPS is saying that the original expected delivery date has changed, and they don’t have a new one set yet.

In almost every case, if you see this message, it’s because something unexpected happened and messed with the shipping logistics.

It could come from a product delay (like Amazon couldn’t get the package you ordered to UPS for delivery) or any number of events that can mess with shipping.

I’ll be covering a lot of these in detail later.

Why Does the Message Appear Multiple Days in a Row?

But, sometimes you check back in tomorrow and you see the same message.

What’s up with that?

What can you do about it?

If you’re seeing it multiple days in a row, it simply means that the source of the shipping delay hasn’t been resolved.

Let’s look at an example. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August of 2005.

It was a major disaster.

To skip a long history lesson, among all of the many things that went wrong for the city, a lot of roads were flooded.

If you were in one of the non-flooded areas of New Orleans, there was still a strong chance you couldn’t get a package because the streets leading to you were underwater.

This is an extreme example, but in that situation, UPS wouldn’t be able to give you a new delivery date right away.

They would be stuck waiting for some sign of resolution before they could update the shipping plan and inform you of the changes.

This is the general concept of why you’ll see this message multiple days in a row.

Some disruptions are complicated, and they might also be outside of UPS’s control.

So, the company will update you when they have new information.

Why Can’t UPS Match the Original Date? (4 Reasons)

The message itself is pretty simple, but what kinds of things create these unexpected problems?

You’ve definitely seen this message when you weren’t in the middle of a hurricane, so what’s happening?

There are a lot of different things that can cause unexpected shipping disruptions.

Changes in order volumes, weather (even outside of hurricanes), international disputes, and even more localized events can all play their part.

Let’s go over some of the leading reasons for this message together.

With that knowledge, we’ll be better equipped to think about solutions to the problem.

#1 Volume

One of the leading reasons you will see a message to check back tomorrow for your delivery date is volume.

This message pops up every Christmas season.

UPS gets a huge influx of volume, and at some point, the number of packages being shipped exceeds the UPS capacity to handle it all.

So, delays ensue.

But, volume spikes can happen outside of the Christmas season.

Natural disasters can create sudden spikes in demand within a region (like Florida during hurricane season), and that can lead to changing delivery dates within an affected region.

If at any point volume exceeds capacity, you’re going to see this message.

#2 Weather

Weather is probably the most common issue.

It’s very common for UPS packages to travel on trucks and airplanes.

In fact, that’s the bulk of the UPS fleet.

Yet, both of these types of vehicles can be delayed by weather.

Hot weather, cold weather, and extreme weather can all introduce delays.

And, if your package originated in another country, then weather issues can get a lot more complicated.

A simple hot day can prevent airplanes from taking off until things cool down.

That could introduce a shipping delay.

More powerful weather events can certainly create delays.

Hurricanes shut down highways, sometimes for days at a time.

UPS can’t control the weather, and if weather introduces delays to shipping, you’ll probably see this message until things clear up enough to get shipping back on track.

#3 International Circumstances

“International circumstances” is a pretty vague term.

I want to avoid getting political, but the fact is that geopolitics can mess with shipping times, especially considering how globalized manufacturing and shipping have become.

So, if you order something from another country and a trade dispute breaks out, it might delay your package.

And, these kinds of disputes happen all the time and might not even involve your own country.

A trade dispute between the US and Mexico could disrupt shipping from Mexico to Canada.

It’s just geography.

So, to keep it simple, we’ll put all of this in the same bag.

When countries disagree about things, or when a country along the route has extenuating circumstances that disrupt shipping, your delivery date might suffer.

#4 Logistical Disruption

Technically, everything I have discussed up to this point could be classified as logistical disruption.

But, each of those scenarios is fairly common.

There is any number of other, less common logistical disruptions that can still delay your package and leave you with this message.

Labor disputes anywhere along the delivery chain could get in the way.

Forest fires can close multiple highways that disrupt shipping, especially if you live in the affected region.

It could even be that the truck with your item was involved in a collision on the road. 

None of it is ideal, but the world is a complicated, often messy place, and sometimes things will happen that delay packages.

The good news is that you’re not entirely without options, so I’ll go over some of them next.

What Can You Do About the Delayed UPS Package? (4 Things)

Ok. You have an idea of the most likely reasons your package is delayed.

Let’s get to the real burning question.

What can you do about it?

#1 Wait

It’s not the most fun answer, but usually waiting is your best option.

UPS is in the business of completing deliveries, and they don’t typically want to fail.

It’s bad for the business model.

So, if your package is not attached to any urgent need, you can check back each day until you get a delivery date.

You can wait out whatever caused the delay, and you’ll be just fine.

However, if simply waiting for an indeterminate number of days isn’t ok, then you’ll want to explore some of the other options below.

#2 Call

Here’s the thing about calling UPS.

It’s a lot like calling any other massive company.

It can take some effort to talk to a human being.

But if you get to that point, the person on the other end of the call can usually give you a lot more information than you’re seeing in your automatic tracking updates.

Side note: live chat is often a viable alternative to calling.

In a lot of cases, they can explain the nature of the delay.

That doesn’t make the package arrive any faster, but it can help you anticipate just how long things are going to take.

An air delay for a single day of hot weather will probably be resolved a lot faster than a natural disaster that broke every road between you and the nearest UPS hub.

More information can help you make informed decisions. 

#3 Seek Alternatives

If you’re in a situation where you can’t get the package before you really, really need it, then you have to seek alternatives.

This is very specific to your own scenario.

If UPS is delayed in delivering the rivets you need for a construction problem, that’s very different than if you were waiting for a family heirloom to arrive before you pack up and move.

Your options depend on the item and the situation.

That said, there are often alternative options.

If you need to reroute the package, you can work with UPS customer service to achieve that.

If you just need items, you can try to source them locally and push UPS for a refund to help offset the cost.

That’s usually your best bet when a package can’t arrive before you genuinely need it.

Find another source, and get a refund.

#4 Refund Guarantee

And that brings us to the UPS guarantee.

It has changed in recent years, but UPS does guarantee online delivery for a number of shipping services.

It will depend on the package, the service selected, and the regions involved in shipping.

If something has to pass through an active war zone, UPS isn’t going to guarantee shipping times.

But for most types of disruption, as long as your order falls under the purview of the UPS guarantee, you can get a refund.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t require you to cancel the shipment.

You can get a refund on the shipping charges and still get your package.

The point here is that you can use the refund guarantee to help solve your problem.

If you’re going to give up on your package and try to find replacement items, a refund on shipping costs can help fund that plan.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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