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#1
Old 12-31-2016, 08:53 AM
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How many possible UPS tracking numbers?

I have heard of great confusion being caused by UPS reusing old tracking numbers. A 16 character string that can include letters should provide a vast amount before having to use the same one twice. Of course, some of the digits could be checksums, or location/service based. How many possible tracking numbers are there really?
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:58 AM
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with UPS, only the last 8 characters are the actual package identifier. the first six characters after "1Z" are the shipper's account code.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracking_number

Quote:
A UPS tracking number, for domestic packages within the United States, will usually start with "1Z" followed by a 6 character shipper number (numbers and letters), a 2 digit service level indicator (e.g., 03 for GROUND, SEE UPS SERVICE CODES below), and finally 8 digits identifying the package, for a total of 18 characters
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Old 12-31-2016, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
with UPS, only the last 8 characters are the actual package identifier. the first six characters after "1Z" are the shipper's account code.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracking_number
But would that mean that at least for each shipper account, there are 108 = 100 million different numbers available? For each service level (as indicated on the Wiki article), that is, i.e. 100 million for next day, another 100 million for second day, another 100 million for regular ground delivery, etc.?
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Old 12-31-2016, 09:50 AM
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According to their own website, they can reuse numbers after 6 months, if need be. Unless I'm misinterpreting the information on that page, which I will concede is certainly a possibility.
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Old 12-31-2016, 09:54 AM
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According to this article citing 2015 stats, Amazon on behalf of sellers shipped 2 billion packages in 2015 and over 200 million Amazon Prime packages that holiday season.

Not all UPS, possibly not all domestic US, etc. But it seems Amazon can use up an 8 digit block in not too much time. Even giving Amazon a few extra shipping codes isn't going to help in the long term.
#6
Old 12-31-2016, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnitte View Post
But would that mean that at least for each shipper account, there are 108 = 100 million different numbers available? For each service level (as indicated on the Wiki article), that is, i.e. 100 million for next day, another 100 million for second day, another 100 million for regular ground delivery, etc.?
Possibly (00000000-99999999) but that assumes none of them are "special" like check digits.
#7
Old 12-31-2016, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
Possibly (00000000-99999999) but that assumes none of them are "special" like check digits.
I had assumed there was one but the Wikipedia article doesn't mention it. OTOH, the system the USPS (and other postal services) uses does mention a check digit.
#8
Old 12-31-2016, 09:45 PM
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I do a lot of shipping for the company I work for, and for our account the numbers are assigned sequentially. Digits 11-17 started with 0000001 and are now somewhere up around 0016800. The final digit does appear to be a check sum.
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