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Q: How to identify shipping carrier tracking numbers? (for jbf777-ga) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: How to identify shipping carrier tracking numbers? (for jbf777-ga)
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: mr_zorg-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 23 May 2003 15:48 PDT
Expires: 22 Jun 2003 15:48 PDT
Question ID: 207899
REPOSTED FOR jbf777-ga:  Original question was not locked and I closed
it after having seen it locked and unlocked twice.  Figured it wasn't
possible and was going to move on.  jbf777-ga informs me he's
completed an answer for this question, and I would still like the info
so I'm reposting the question for him to answer.

Given a list of unknown shipping carrier tracking numbers, how do I 
conclusively identify which carrier a given tracking number is for?  I
need to know for at least the 4 major carriers: UPS, FedEx, USPS & 
Airborne.  Any others you may have info on are welcome. 
General answers like "12 digits is probably FedEx" don't help me.  I 
need to know for sure -- ideally there would be some sort of 
check-digit or something definate. 
Here's what I've been able to glean so far: 
* UPS Tracking Numbers appear in the following formats: 
  1Z 999 999 99 9999 999 9 
  9999 9999 999 
  T999 9999 999 
* Airborne tracking numbers may be up to 11 digits. 
* FedEx Express are generally 12 digits. 
* FedEx Ground are 15 digits.
Subject: Re: How to identify shipping carrier tracking numbers? (for jbf777-ga)
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 23 May 2003 21:00 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello mr_zorg –

Thanks for reposting the question!

Firstly, please note: this answer is not finished until you’re
satisfied with it.  If you require additional
information/clarification, please ask before rating this answer. 
Thank you for your understanding.

It's been a very interesting search process to uncover this
information!  For each company, I’ve listed either direct check digit
information or a link on the web to a document containing check digit
information.  I've included contact information for specific
individuals at these companies, so that you may contact them directly
if you’d like.

As you probably know, a check-digit is officially only going to tell
you that the tracking number is valid in and of itself, not whether or
not it is company X’s.  However, since it seems these companies might
employ different check-digit schemes, you should be able to run all of
them on every tracking number you have, and the one that returns true
will correspond to the said company’s check-digit scheme.   I’ve
included the UPS modified mod 10 check-digit information for their
tracking numbers starting with 1Z; however, I think you can pretty
much bank 100% on a “1Z...” tracking number being a UPS one.


For example, using tracking number: 012345678983

Take the first 11 digits of tracking number.  Starting with the 11th
position, take the digits 1, 3, and 7, and assign them to each digit

Multiply each assigned number to its corresponding tracking number

0 1 14 9 4 35 18 7 56 27 8

Add the products together [= 179 in this instance]

Divide the sum by 11.  You get 16 remainder 3.If the remainder is 10,
then the check digit is 0.  If there is no remainder, the check digit
is 0.  The remainder is the check digit and should equal the 12th
digit of the tracking number.


See this PDF file on the web:

under Check Digit Calculation Algorithms section

[Web API dept. - 800-810-9073 [option 1]]
[Bruce Clark                            ]
[CASE NUMBER: 11016731                  ]

The 1Z tracking numbers utilize a modified MOD 10 calculation.

1. Exclude 1Z data identifier from calculation.
2. Convert all alpha characters to their numeric equivalents using
chart below.
3. From left, add all odd positions.
4. From left, add all even positions and multiply by two.
5. Add results of steps 3 and 4.
6. Subtract result from next highest multiple of 10.
7. The remainder is your check digit [the last digit].     

Note: If the remainder is 10, the check digit is 0.Alpha to numeric
cross reference chart



For all other tracking numbers, the standard MOD 10 algorithm applies
for the 11th check-digit.

[Business Development Dept.                      ]
[404-828-6627 x Getty Gidash                     ] 
[Mark Lewis is a name that Getty may refer you to]

Airborne Express utilizes the standard MOD 7 method for their tracking
numbers.  The check digit is the last digit of the tracking number.

[208-914-2901 x Val in Boise Call Center]

Please see the following publications for check digit information. 
Note: “PIC” is their term for “tracking number.”  In addition to the
specific sections/page numbers below, I would advise searching for
“check digit” in these documents.

Publication 91 – Delivery and Signature Confirmation numbers
Acrobat page 85 [literally page 79]

Publication 97 – Express Mail Manifesting Technical Guide
Acrobat page 57 [literally page

Publication 109 – Special Services Technical GuideSection 7.6.3
[Charles in Delivery Confirmation: 877-264-9693]
[He only has information on the Delivery       ]
[and signature confirmation schemes            ]

Additional link:
Mod information

Search Strategy:
Contacted each company and located appropriate individuals

Request for Answer Clarification by mr_zorg-ga on 24 May 2003 00:16 PDT
Looks good, I'm inclined to call this solved.  If you don't mind,
however, I'd like to digest this some more when I return to work on
Tuesday (since Monday's a holiday) and try it on some real data.  I'll
give my rating at the close of business PST.  Thanks!

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 24 May 2003 11:02 PDT
Sounds good... remember, please ask for any clarification or
additional information you may need *before* rating the answer.


mr_zorg-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Looks good, I tried it on some real world data and the check digits
match up.  I think this will do beautifully.  Thanks!

Subject: Re: How to identify shipping carrier tracking numbers? (for jbf777-ga)
From: jbf777-ga on 27 May 2003 12:57 PDT
Thanks for the rating + kind words!

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