Tracking Number Formats By Carrier

Tracking numbers have a number of forms, depending on their purpose. There are also some distinctions among the types of tracking numbers which you should know as a consumer. It is possible to lookup any postal or package delivery tracking number, both domestically and internationally, by accessing the respective carrier’s website. In this way, you can track down the location of your shipment across the globe.

Let’s take a look at how tracking numbers are parsed, and what information can be inferred from them. Although you can find a tracking number by the carrier, here’s a quick reference guide to the different ways in which carriers structure their tracking numbers.

What is Tracking Number?

A tracking number is a unique series of numbers assigned to your package by the shipping carrier. The purpose of this number is to allow you to track your package as it makes its way to your doorstep.

Carriers’ Tracking Number Formats

U.S. Postal Service:

With USPS, the tracking number is usually formatted as follows: “ZIP Code #NNNNNNNNN”

This number is made up of the ZIP code of the sorting facility where your package was last processed, followed by nine numeric digits. The first two digits of this number tell you what region your package was processed in, the third digit tells you where within that processing center it is now located, and the last six digits tell you what order number your package has been assigned.


With UPS, tracking numbers are typically formatted as follows: “123 9999 0000 0001”

This number comprises three parts: the last two digits of the year in which the package was shipped, the next three digits each represent one of the order’s tracking numbers, and the last four digits give you information about where your package is in its current sorting stage.


With DHL, tracking numbers are typically formatted as follows: “HD093042080US”

This number is made up of six digits after the “HD” prefix, each of which is assigned to a different stage in the order’s journey. The first two digits tell you what processing center your package was sent to. The next digit lets you know that the order has been given a number in its sorting queue, and the fifth digit tells you where your package is in its regional center. The last digit tells you the order’s position in line.


With FedEx, the standard formatting of a tracking number is as follows: “123 456 789 001 001”

This number comprises three main parts: the last two digits of the year in which your package was shipped, followed by five numerical digits that will each correspond to a different order number, and the last four digits will give you information on where your package is currently located.

What Does Tracking Number Do?

Once you have received a tracking number, you can use it to check the location of your package through the carrier’s website. Some carriers will allow you to track your package as far as the destination country, where it will be transferred to a local carrier for delivery. In this way, you have the most up-to-date information about the status of your package.

The tracking number provides you with more than just location information, however. It also shows you the date and time on which your package was scanned, and what step in the process it is currently on. You may even be able to sign up for text message alerts that will let you know when your package has been sent, processed, or transferred.

As with anything else that is a part of your package’s journey, your tracking number will also tell you about any delays that may have occurred.

International Tracking Number:

International tracking numbers are generally formatted in the same way as US domestic tracking numbers. However, they may not be trackable beyond the destination country. In this way, international shipments are much less certain, and you should be prepared to wait a bit longer for your package.

Outside of the US, there are several different regional carriers that will handle your package. Your tracking number may be sent to a local carrier when it reaches the destination country, so you may need to check with more than one carrier in order to get information about your package’s location.”

Tracking number formats by carrier Australia:

Australia Post – 1300 22 55 88 DHL Australia – 13 11 73 FedEx Australia – 13 33 31

Austria: DPD Austria – 84679Czech Republic:

Geis – 18028 TPG – 0800 155 145 PC Express – 180211000 GLS CZ – 1800100010 GLS Labe – 1802555555

Germany: DHL Express Germany – 499900 DHL Pack station – 499923 FedEx Germany – 0091200004916 GLS Schenker Deutschland GmbH – 01137000

GLS Germany – 42400 GLS Schenker Poland Sp. z o.o. – 801071800

Tracking number formats by carrier canada:

Canada Post – 1 800 267 6113 DHL Express Canada – 13338419 FedEx Canada – 0001373754246

DPD Canada – 14000405 DHL Express Canada – 108020 FedEx Smartpost – 140116

FedEx Express Authorized Shipping Outlet (ESO) – 14000418

Tracking number formats by carrier USA:

Airborne Express – AGS 000 0001 FedEx Express Authorized Shipping Outlet (ESO) – 0790 1100 DHL Global Mail – 0689 0360 United Parcel Service – 01001030 UPS Air Cargo – 1234 507001

Postal Service (USPS) – AE 000 1111

UPS Ground – 00000 000 0000153 USPS Priority Mail – 183 0000001 USPS Express Mail – 1541158400000 UPS Ground – 0001543100001 UPS 2nd Day Air – 0002111200121.

What Tracking Number Don’t Do?

While a tracking number is very useful for keeping up with your package, it does have some limitations. In particular, it won’t tell you the contents of your package. This information is usually relatively easy to find on a packing list or invoice, but if it isn’t, you may need to sign up for text message alerts.

Although it varies by carrier, tracking numbers are usually valid for a limited period of time. If you are having trouble locating your package after the tracking number has expired, look for a new one on the carrier’s website.

What can I do if I lost my tracking number?

If you lost your tracking number, you can find it on your order invoice. Usually, the retailer/vendor will send an email confirmation after dispatching that contains your tracking number. Contact the company that sent you the package, or print out a new copy of your receipt or invoice. The number should be available there