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Carrier tracking number formats

Tracking Number  is a unique ID number or code  assigned to package or parcel when it was shipped. The tracking number is typically printed on the shipping label as a bar code that can be scanned by anyone with a bar code reader or smartphone. Tracking Number allows you to track the progress of the Package between the source and destination location.

Tracking Number Formats

Tracking numbers consist of letters and numbers between 8 and 40 characters long.

USPS Tracking®:  9999 1999 9999 9999 9999 99
Amazon Logistics®:  TBA999999999999
China Post®:  LO999999999CN
SF-Express®: SF9999999999999

Some carriers explicitly includes specific combination of characters, usually consonant with company name, in tracking number. It is significantly simplifying the process of carrier identification.     

SF-Express®:  SF9999999999999 (SF + 13 digits)
Vova Logistics®: VO9999999999VA (VO + 10 digits + VA)

International Tracking Number Formats 

The UPU (Universal Postal Union) defined S10 standard for international mailings. 

S10 Tracking Number Format  consist of a two letter (service indicator code), an eight digit serial number (in the range 00000000 to 99999999), a single check-digit, and a two-letter ISO country code (the latter identifying the issuing postal administration's country).

With increased liberalization and the possibility of multiple postal services operating in the same country, the use of country codes to designate the postal service is a problem. To solve this, each country has a designated postal service that controls all S10 identifiers from that country, any competing postal services will have to cooperate with the designated owner. The organization assigned by the UPU member country shall manage the issue and use of S10 identifiers, among all the operators under the authority of that UPU member country, in such a way as to ensure that no S10 identifier is reused within a period of 12 calendar months. A period of 24 calendar months, or longer, is recommended.

China Post®:   LO999999999CN
Taiwan Post®: UB975582318TW

Service Indicator Code:

Code FormatInterpretation
AV- AZdomestic, bilateral, multilateral use only, identifying RFID-tracked e-commerce items
BA-BZfor domestic, bilateral, multilateral use only
CA-CZ Parcel post; the use of CZ requires bilateral agreement. It is not required to use CV for insured parcels but if the service indicator CV is used, then it is recommended that it be used only on insured parcels.
DA-DZfor domestic, bilateral, multilateral use only
 EA-EZEMS; the use of EX–EZ requires bilateral agreement 
 GAfor domestic, bilateral, multilateral use only 
 GDfor domestic, bilateral, multilateral use only
HA-HZe-commerce parcels; the use of HX–HY requires multilateral agreement; the use of HZ requires bilateral agreement
JA-JZreserved; cannot be assigned as valid service indicator values
KA-KZreserved; cannot be assigned as valid service indicator values
LA-LZLetter post trackable, several subtypes; the use of LZ requires bilateral agreement
MA-MZLetter post: M bags
NA-NZfor domestic, bilateral, multilateral use only
PA-PZfor domestic, bilateral, multilateral use only
QA-QMLetter post: IBRS (International Business Reply Service)
RA-RZLetter post: registered, but not insured delivery. The use of RZ requires bilateral agreement.
SA-SZreserved; cannot be assigned as valid service indicator values
TA-TZreserved; cannot be assigned as valid service indicator values
UA-UZLetter post: items other than LA–LZ (Express), MA–MZ (M bags), QA–QM (IBRS), RA–RZ (registered), VA–VZ (insured), subject to customs control, i.e. bearing a CN 22 or CN 23
VA-VZLetter post insured; the use of VZ requires bilateral agreement
WA-WZreserved; cannot be assigned as valid service indicator values
ZA-ZZfor domestic, bilateral, multilateral use only

Tracking Number starting with 1Z

1Z is a standard developed in the 90s for tracking carrier shipments. The sequence includes information for the account number, service type, and invoice number, as well a zero-fill flag and a final checksum to validate the entire sequence.

#1 UPS Tracking Number

UPS uses tracking number format starting with 1Z for domestic shipments. 
Format: 1Z + 6AN + 10D
Example: 1Z40V2W90313820762

#2 USPS Tracking Number
USPS uses absolutely the same tracking number format for codes starting with 1Z
Format: 1Z + 6AN + 10D
Example: 1Z40V2W90313820762

Tracking Number starting with 1LS

Format: 1LS + 12D
Example: 1LS729800645322



*AN - Alphanumeric characters
*D   - Digits