Does FedEx recycle their tracking numbers over time?

Descartes

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
13,968
2
0
One facet of an e-commerce architecture I built is to send shipping confirmation emails. I was a bit perplexed when I located duplicate tracking numbers in the system. This is only for FedEx, and not UPS (as far as I can tell). Does FedEx "recycle" their tracking numbers after a certain time? Since there are 1,000,000,000,000,000 possible tracking numbers, I guess it is possible that they would permute each possible number and require them to be recycled. Does anyone know how often they do this?

Thanks!
 

chiwawa626

Lifer
Aug 15, 2000
12,013
0
0
Nope but whoooweee thats a lot of packages, im guessing they deliver a million a day, so im guessing they prolly do recycle them, but just not sure howlong...It must be months because ive accidently checked old numbers and had the same old thing come up or sometimes just says its invalid. I think after a while they take it out of circulation, then wait then put it back in as a new one...
 

Freejack2

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2000
7,751
8
81
I suspect seeing as they ship worldwide they do more than a million packages a day. 10 million maybe? 50 million even?

Add in the fact that part of the number is probably a location code and I can see them having to recycle numbers at some point in time.
 

Murpheeee

Diamond Member
Apr 30, 2000
3,326
0
76
Well I once tracked a package sent to me and got tracking info from 1997.

I assumed it was a recycled number
 

ViRGE

Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus
Oct 9, 1999
31,516
167
106
On the subject of recycled numbers, what do you do if you have one? I have a package from Newegg I want to track, but my number is someone else's recycled number. The tracking screen asks for the shipping date, but when I put in the date Newegg gave me(9-03-02), it's not pulling anything up. Newegg had the number up since this morning; do I need to wait a bit longer, or is something amiss?
 

Thegonagle

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2000
9,773
0
71
I'd guess that the NewEgg system has read in the tracking number from your shipping label, and your package is currently sitting in shipping awaiting the pickup from Fed Ex. So, while New Egg knows your tracking number and has relayed it to you, Fed Ex won't have a record of your package until it has actually been picked up and read into their system.
 

AkumaX

Lifer
Apr 20, 2000
12,642
3
81
Originally posted by: FoBoT
i hope so

save the rainforest!!!

save the rainforest? recycling #'s wouldnt cut down on paper, would it? ;) they could always add a few extra digits, that'll give them even more combinations :p
 

Zim Hosein

Super Moderator | Elite Member
Super Moderator
Nov 27, 1999
64,874
380
126
Originally posted by: AkumaX
Originally posted by: FoBoT
i hope so

save the rainforest!!!

save the rainforest? recycling #'s wouldnt cut down on paper, would it? ;) they could always add a few extra digits, that'll give them even more combinations :p

True, but that would require an overhaul of their computer systems.