Recently updated on March 16th, 2024 at 04:00 pm

Despite the coming of email, we still receive some traditional mail. Usually, letters or documents from the government, job offers, University acceptance letters, or business documents. Sometimes, a loved one might go back to the 90s and send us a written letter.

While some of the Mail and parcels you receive from USPS are something you can patiently wait for to be delivered, others are vital that we need to track them and see when they’ll be delivered. For example, if you’re waiting to receive a University acceptance or job offer letter, you’ll be too curious to be left without a clue of when they’ll be delivered. But what if you can track down the Mail as it journeys to your location? Fine, right? That’s why the postal service brought the USPs tracking system.

Gone are the days when you’ll spend the whole week waiting for that precious package or Mail to be delivered. The USPS Tracking system allows you to easily follow up as your package journeys to you or the receiver.

Well, you shouldn’t expect less from USPS as they’re always known to offer the very best to their customers—no wonder it handles over 2.4 billion deliveries around the world.

Whether you’re an individual that frequently sends Mail, an avid shopper that always has packages on the way, or a business owner that receives/sends Mail and packages to clients and business associates, the USPS tracking system will surely be of help to you.

Today’s piece dissects all you need to know about the USPS tracking system and how it works.

We’ll answer all your questions here and even more! So dive in. Let’s start!

What is USPS Tracking?

The USPS Tracking Service is a tool that allows you to track the journey of your Mail or package. It is available for most domestic products that have reached a certain size and are sent to domestic locations, including items sent to Fleet Post Offices (FPOs), Army Post Offices (APOs), Diplomatic Post Offices (DPO) locations, and all zip codes within the U.S. territories and Freely the Associate States.

Once you input the tracking number of your Mail on the USPS tracking software, you’ll see the latest status of your Mail and other relevant tracking information, like the date and time of delivery. If available, you’ll be shown the delivery location of your Mail (reception desk, P.O. box, etc.).

While the USPS tracking system updates itself continuously to give you the most current information about your Mail or package, it doesn’t guarantee delivery of your item.

USPS doesn’t charge an additional cost for the Tracking of mailpiece or packages that automatically comes with the USPS tracking. Generally, you pay for the postage of your item, and a tracking number comes with it, except if you’re shipping USPS Marketing Mail. You’ll be charged an additional fee if you want to add USPS Tracking to such parcels.

The main thing you need to track your Mail or package is to get a Tracking Number. Once you have that, tracking down your Mail and packages is effortless.

But what if you’re shipping products internationally? Will you be able to track them? A USPS International Tracking Service exists for most international products, but certain restrictions exist.

What of our everyday First Class Mail? We are sorry that USPS doesn’t provide free end-to-end Tracking for First Class Mail. You can buy an Extra Service to get tracking information for your parcel.

Read More About Informed Delivery by USPS [Ultimate Guide]

What is USPS Tracking Plus?

USPS Tracking Plus is a paid service of the USPS Tracking System. It allows customers to extend access to specific tracking histories for up to a decade on domestic shipping and about 7 years for international shipping as of 2022.

The service also allows customers to access these tracking statements even after their Plus Access has ended.

Available Retention Timelines for USPS Tracking Plus® History
Packages without a Signature Packages with a Signature Fee
6 months See Notice 123
1 year
3 years 3 years
5 years 5 years
7 years 7 years
10 years* 10 years*
*Available for Domestic Products Only

 

The USPS domestic shipping classes that are eligible for this service include,

  • Priority Mail
  • Priority Mail Express
  • First Class Packages
  • USPS Marketing Mail parcels
  • USPS Marketing Mail Non-profit Parcels
  • Adult Signature
  • Library Mail
  • Media Mail
  • Parcel Select
  • Parcel Select Lightweight

 

The International Shipping Classes that are eligible for this service include:

  • Priority Mail International
  • Priority Mail Express International
  • First Class Package International. 

It’s worth noting that only some of these shipping classes allow extended tracking history for ten years. For some, it’s seven or six years, while for some, it’s as little as a few months or a year. 

Also, USPS Tracking Plus doesn’t have fixed pricing; you’ll be charged based on how long you want to keep your tracking records; the pricing starts from $0.99 up to $6.75. This service doesn’t come with a refund, so once you’ve purchased it, there’s no going back.

Furthermore, there are other services you can request as a Tracking Plus Customer, such as a signed letter and Statement of Tracking. These services can be used forever as a tracking record even after your Tracking Plus expiration. 

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How long does it take for tracking information to show up on USPS tracking system?

When eagerly waiting for a package to arrive, it’s natural to keep checking the tracking information online. According to factual data, USPS typically updates your status within 24-48 hours after the postal service scans your package or letter. However, the updating process might take between 24 hours to 5 days, depending on what’s happening behind the scenes.

Customers are advised to allow up to 24 hours for the carrier to log their shipment’s tracking number. It can take a couple of days in some cases for the tracking information to update, especially with slower USPS delivery services.

So, if your tracking information is unavailable immediately, do not worry; it may take time for the system to show an update.

 

How USPS tracking packages and mails work

If you’re wondering how the United States Postal Service (USPS) tracking packages and mails work, it’s actually quite straightforward. As a mail carrier service, USPS provides free tracking with all its services. This means that every package and envelope sent through USPS comes with a tracking number that can be used to monitor its entire journey, from the moment it was sent until it reached its destination.

The best way to track a package without a tracking number is to set up a USPS Informed Delivery Account. This feature allows you to receive email alerts that automatically track all incoming packages. Alternatively, you can call USPS customer service at 1-800-222-1811 to locate your mail or file a Missing Mail request if necessary.

With the USPS tracking system, you can track the status of your shipments as they move through the postal system. Your tracking is updated when a postal employee scans the package, arrives at a new facility, or is loaded onto transportation vehicles. The Intelligent Mail Devices (IMDs) scanned tracking barcodes are used to collect this information, providing an efficient means of monitoring the delivery process.

USPS helps track almost all domestic mail commodities sent to domestic locations, including letters, parcels, and more. Once items are sent out for delivery, the United States Postal Service (USPS) ensures that they are sent to the right destination promptly and efficiently. If you’re a business owner, Stamps.com makes it easy to share USPS tracking numbers with your customers once you’ve printed a shipping label.

In conclusion, USPS tracking mail and packages is a reliable system that uses advanced technology to ensure customers can track their shipments easily. Whether you’re sending or receiving mail, USPS tracking helps you to stay informed at every step of the way.

 

How Long Does USPS Keeps Tracking Info?

The duration of which USPS keeps the tracking info of your mail piece depends on its class and service. Below is a breakdown:

Mail Class and Service  Tracking Record Duration
Adult Signature Restricted or Adult Signature Required  2 years
Registered Mail Service 2 years
Numbered International Mail service  2 years
Priority Mail Express Service 2 years
Certified Mail Service 2 years
Signature Confirmation Service 1 year 
USPS Tracking Service  

 

How Does USPS Tracking Work?

The USPS Tracking System for Mail and packages follow a simple hierarchy. First, the label of your item is scanned severally through the USPS Mailstream

Tracking of your package starts once the sender or shipping partner informs USPS that there’s Mail or package on its way. 

The tracking info will keep updating as USPS accepts the item from one Transit to another and will end when the recipient delivers or picks up the parcel.

If you have the item’s tracking number, you can access the journey of your Mail or package throughout these processes.

Track Your Package Every Step of the Way with Live USPS Tracking Info

  1. Easy Access to Live USPS Tracking
    With USPS Live Tracking, it’s easier to track the status of your packages, consignments, and parcels in real time from anywhere in the world! Just enter your tracking number and receive instant email and SMS notifications.
  2. No More Guesswork
    You don’t have to wait for your package to arrive or wonder if it’s still in transit. With live tracking info, you can see exactly where your package is and when it will arrive at your doorstep.
  3. Tracking Made Simple
    Tracking your USPS package is a simple process that can be done in just a few steps. You can use the USPS website or a third-party tracking site like Ship24 to track your package.
  4. Available on All Devices
    With USPS Live Tracking, you can track your packages on any device, including your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Additionally, it is available as a free app in the App Store and Google Play Store.
  5. Real-Time Tracking
    USPS Live Tracking provides real-time updates on your package’s location. You can see every step of its journey as it moves from one location to another.

  6. Track All Packages
    Most mail sent through USPS can be tracked, but not all have a tracking number. However, USPS Live Tracking allows you to track all your packages, even those that don’t have a tracking number.

  7. Multiple Ways to Track Your Package
    You have several options to track your USPS package, including using your shipment reference number in your shipment confirmation email or online store order page.
  8. Never Lose Sight of Your Package
    With USPS Live Tracking, you’ll always have your package. You’ll know where it is every step of the way, from the time it leaves the sender until it arrives at your doorstep.

  9. 24/7 Customer Support Available
    If you have any questions or concerns about your package, USPS Live Tracking provides free support 24/7. Just visit the USPS website or contact their customer support team for assistance.

  10. Practical and Reliable
    USPS Live Tracking is a practical and reliable way to keep track of your packages. You can sit back and relax while your package is in transit, knowing you can track its every move.

 

How to Track USPS Package

Using the USPS Track and Confirm tool, USPS has made it easy for users to keep track of their domestic and international packages. 

Once you input your tracking number into the tracking website, you can review the status of your shipment. Depending on your item’s class, state, origin, and destination, you can take certain actions. You can check the tracking history of your shipment and see the features and services that are associated with it.

Other ways to track your USPS shipments are:

  • Contact USPS Customer Service at 1-800-222-1811.
  • By sending a text message to 28777 with your tracking number as the content of the message.
  • By using the USPS mobile app, which is available on both Playstore and Appstore.

Keeping your tracking number secure is important as there’s no way to recover it; not even a USPS agent can help you.

But we have a tip: you can easily track your packages without a tracking number when you sign up for informed delivery. A knowledgeable delivery account lets you preview your emails and digitally manage and track package deliveries. What more? You’ll enjoy all these services free of charge.

Also, if you’re the Mail receiver and don’t have a tracking number, you can ask the sender to provide it to monitor the parcel’s journey to your doorstep.

Track Sys

 

Track Your USPS International Package

If you’re waiting on a package from overseas, and it’s been shipped via USPS, you’ll probably want to monitor its progress. Luckily, tracking your USPS international package is easy.

Head to the USPS website and click the “Tracking” option. From there, enter the tracking number you received from the package’s sender (typically a 13-digit alphanumeric code). Once you’ve entered the number, hit “Track” and you should be taken to a page that displays the package’s current status. If the package is still in transit, you can check back periodically for updates on its location and expected delivery date.

With USPS international package tracking, you can stay informed about the whereabouts of your parcel every step of the way.

  1. Always Keep Your Tracking Number Handy:
    The first step to tracking your USPS international package is to ensure you have your tracking number. You can find this on your USPS shipping receipt or in your USPS account if you have used it to buy postage and shipping.
  2. Check Your Emails:
    As soon as your online retailer ships your package, you will receive a shipping confirmation email with your tracking number. This email will also contain a link that takes you directly to the USPS website’s tracking page.
  3. Use the Circuit Package:
    If you want to track your USPS package that contains a tracking number, then you can use the Circuit Package. This tool helps to keep track of your package’s journey and provides real-time updates.
  4. Use the Track & Confirm Tool:
    Suppose you expect an international package through Global Express Guaranteed and Priority Mail Express International. In that case, the Track & Confirm tool will help you keep a tab on the delivery status.
  5. Contact USPS Customer Service:
    If you are having trouble finding your tracking number or have any queries regarding your package, then the USPS customer service representatives are always there to help you. Call them at 1-800-222-1811, and they will guide you in locating your mail.
  6. Use Parcel Monitor:
    You can also use Parcel Monitor’s real-time USPS global parcel tracking tool to track your USPS packages. This tool allows you to track multiple parcels at once and provides quick and accurate updates.
  7. Don’t Rely on Name or Address:
    Unfortunately, USPS cannot look up tracking with a name or address. However, if you have lost your receipt, you can visit the same post office where you sent the package and provide them with your name and address to get your tracking number.

Tracking your USPS international package has never been easier with these simple tips. Keep your tracking number handy and use the available tools to stay updated with the package’s journey. Don’t hesitate to contact USPS customer service if you need any assistance. Happy tracking!

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Where will I find my USPS international tracking number?

  1. Look for the USPS receipt: The international tracking number for a USPS package can be found on the receipt you gave at the time of shipping.
  2. Check the shipping label: Another way to locate your USPS international tracking number is by looking at the bottom of your shipping label. It is a long sequence of digits that follows the Label Number.
  3. Use the Circuit Package: If you have a tracking number for your USPS package, you can easily monitor its journey using it.
  4. Use the USPS website: The Track & Confirm tool available on the USPS website provides delivery status information for Global Express Guaranteed and Priority Mail Express International packages.
  5. Ask the seller: If you are the recipient of the USPS package, you can ask the seller for the international tracking number.

Remember, having a USPS international tracking number is the key to monitoring your package’s journey. So keep it handy and stay informed about your package’s whereabouts with ease!

 

What kind of shipping options do I have for international delivery? 

If you’re looking to ship internationally, multiple options are available. The USPS offers two main choices: Priority Mail International and Priority Mail Express International. Priority Mail International boasts a faster delivery time of approximately 6 -10 business days. DHL, FedEx, and UPS are the other major players in the shipping game. 

Additionally, you can use Easyship to connect with shipping providers and save money. When using USPS, you can use their Click-N-Ship® service to print postage and address labels online and get help with customs forms. Pack your items securely with the correct materials and choose the shipping provider that best fits your needs. 

Remember to research national shipping regulations for your destination country using a helpful tool. The experts at The UPS Store® can also help simplify your international shipping process. With the correct information, shipping internationally can be more accessible than ever.

Here are some of the best options:

  1. Priority Mail International: This service offers faster delivery than First-Class Mail International, with a delivery time of approximately 6-10 business days.
  2. Priority Mail Express International: If you need even faster delivery, this option is for you. It offers guaranteed delivery within 3-5 business days.
  3. DHL, FedEx, DV Schenker, and UPS are the most popular shipping services for sending items overseas. Connect with Easyship to save up to 20% instantly.
  4. Click-N-Ship®: Use this service to print postage and address labels online and get help with customs forms. It’s convenient and easy to use.
  5. FedEx, UPS, and USPS are the three principal options when shipping internationally from the US. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to research which is suitable for you.
  6. The UPS Store®: Certified experts at your local UPS Store can simplify overseas shipping and make it hassle-free. They can help you with packing, shipping, and customs documents.
  7. FedEx International Shipping: This service makes international shipping more accessible than ever. You can find harmonized codes, duties, and taxes and learn about customs documents to ensure your shipment gets delivered successfully.
USPS International Mail Class International Tracking Capabilities Example Number
Global Express Guaranteed® Tracking to all destinations 82 ‍000 000 00
Priority Mail Express International™ USPS Tracking for most destinations EC 000 ‍000 000 US
Priority Mail International® USPS Tracking for most destinations

Not available for Flat Rate Envelopes or Flat Rate Small Boxes

CP 000 ‍000 000 US
First‑Class Package International Service USPS Tracking for most destinations* LZ 000 ‍000 000 US
First‑Class International Letters Not Available Not Available

 

Every country has different shipping regulations, so be aware of national rules for your shipment destination. Use our handy tool to stay informed. With so many options available, you will find the perfect shipping option.

 

What is the difference between First-Class Package Service and Priority Mail?

First-Class Package Service is a lower-cost option for shipping packages that weigh up to 13 ounces. Priority Mail is a more expensive option for shipping packages that weigh up to 70 pounds. Priority Mail offers faster delivery times and includes insurance for up to $50.

 

What is the difference between First-Class Mail and Priority Mail Express?

First-Class Mail is the most basic option for shipping letters and packages. It is the cheapest option but has the slowest delivery times. Priority Mail Express is the fastest option for shipping letters and packages. It is more expensive than First-Class Mail but offers guaranteed overnight delivery.

 

What is a USPS Tracking Number?

A USPS tracking number is assigned to parcels and packages when shipped. Tracking numbers help you know the location and when to expect deliveries.

Each USPS tracking number is unique and assigned to an individual mail or package. They’re mostly printed on the shipping label or as a barcode.

This barcode is continuously scanned from the USPS warehouse to your delivery location. The tracking information is updated every time the tracking number is scanned.

 

How many Digits are in a USPS Tracking Number

USPS tracking numbers generally comprise 22 digits in a specific format.

This format starts with two alphabetic characters, followed by nine numbers, and terminates with two additional alphabetic characters, for example, 9400 1234, 5678 999,9 8765 00.

The initial letter corresponds to the mail service, such as Priority Mail or First-Class Mail.

It is essential to identify that different USPS services may use varied tracking formats, yet the standard USPS Tracking® number usually contains this 22-digit composition.

However, there are other formats of tracking numbers; for example, some start with ‘C.P.’ or ‘E.P.’ to indicate that the shipment is international.

 

What does USPS tracking numbers start with?

Every tracking number’s first four or five digits indicate the service code. These numbers hint at the mail service you use to ship that particular item.

There are over a hundred service codes that denote all the USPS mail services. Below are some:

Service  Sample number
USPS Tracking® 9400 1000 0000 0000 0000 00
Priority Mail® 9205 5000 0000 0000 0000 00
Certified Mail® 9407 3000 0000 0000 0000 00
Collect On Delivery Hold For Pickup 9303 3000 0000 0000 0000 00
Global Express Guaranteed® 82 000 000 00
Priority Mail Express International® EC 000 000 000 US
Priority Mail Express® 9270 1000 0000 0000 0000 00, EA 000 000 000 US
Priority Mail International® CP 000 000 000 US
Registered Mail™ 9208 8000 0000 0000 0000 00
Signature Confirmation™ 9202 1000 0000 0000 0000 00

 

How to Find USPS Tracking Number

Typically, your tracking number is displayed on the receipt you were given when you handed over your package or parcel to USPS. You will also receive a USPS confirmation mail that includes your tracking number. 

You can also find your tracking number on your sales receipt if you bought insurance at the local post office. Or on the online label record if you pay for the postage online. 

The tracking number is also on the barcode of your shipment, though it takes a lot of work to have this. If you shop from an online retailer, they will likely include a tracking number when sending your order confirmation. 

You can also check the bottom peel-off of your USPS Tracking Label for the tracking number. 

Please write your tracking number so you’ll have another copy in case you lost it. 

Read More About Mailman Tracker | Where Is My Mail? [Ways to Find Out]

Where is the Tracking Number on a USPS Receipt?

The tracking number is found at the bottom of your USPS sales receipt. 

When you visit any local post office to mail a package or Mail, you’ll be given a receipt for your purchase. Once you check the bottom of the receipt, you’ll see the tracking number.

  1. Look at your sales receipt.
    The tracking number is usually printed on the top right corner of your USPS sales receipt. Make sure to keep this receipt safe until you receive your package.
  2. Check your self-service kiosk eReceipt
    If you purchased your USPS services from a self-service kiosk, you should be able to find your tracking number on your receipt.
  3. You can find your tracking number on your mailing receipt.
    If you shipped your package at the post office, you would be given a mailing receipt, which includes the tracking number. Look for the number on this receipt.
  4. Check your online label record.
    The tracking number could be found in your online label record if you purchased postage online.
  5. Look for the tracking number on the shipping label
    Sometimes the tracking number is printed on the shipping label attached to your package. Check this carefully.
  6. Search for the tracking number underneath the peel-off portion of the tracking label.
    If you missed the delivery and received an orange slip, the tracking number might sometimes be printed on the back of this slip.
  7. Use Informed Delivery
    If you subscribe to Informed Delivery, you can see the tracking numbers of all packages in your mailbox.
  8. Find the tracking number on Stamps.com.
    Look for this number on your Stamps.com account if you buy postage online.
  9. File a Missing Mail request.
    If you have lost your tracking number and need to track your package, submit a Missing Mail request with USPS. They will help you locate your package.
  10. You can search for the tracking number on your shipment confirmation email or online store order page.
    If you have purchased from an online store, look for the shipment confirmation email or the order page to find your tracking number.

In conclusion, you can find your USPS tracking number in many places, including your sales receipt, mailing receipt, self-service kiosk eReceipt, online label record, shipping label, and even on Informed Delivery. If you lose your tracking number, submit a Missing Mail request, and USPS will help you locate your package.

 

How to get A USPS Tracking Number?

You may have yet to receive a tracking number, but you want one for your item. USPS didn’t give you a tracking number because the item you ship or the mail service you use doesn’t have a tracking number. Such items include:

  • First-Class Mail letters.
  • Flats.
  • Periodicals & Postcards.
  • Some USPS Marketing Mail parcels.

If your shipment isn’t one of these, here are some tips: If you’re the sender, check the bottom of your USPS sales receipts, the confirmation email sent to you by USPS, or the service you used to purchase your postage online.

If you’re the recipient, ask your sender to provide the tracking number and use your informed delivery account to check.

When you ship an item and track it, consider adding an extra service to your First-Class Mail letter or flat to make it eligible for USPS Tracking Mail as a Priority Mail letter.

What does “information available soon” mean on USPS Tracking?

If the status of your shipment keeps saying ‘information available soon,’ it’s probably due to one of these reasons: the current location of your shipment isn’t known or hasn’t changed recently. Or your shipment has yet to be scanned, so there’s no tracking information. Your shipment has arrived for delivery but still needs to be sent out. Check back soon, and don’t fret; USPS will update your tracking information as soon as an update is available.

 

USPS Tracking Statuses

When you start tracking your Mail or package on USPS, your tracking statuses will change considerably as your shipment progresses to the delivery location. Down below is a list of some common USPS tracking statuses and their meaning:

1. USPS Pre-Shipment:

This status indicates that the Pre-shipment info of your parcel is sent to USPS. This indicates the postal service has received the electronic transmission of your shipping information from the shipper. Generally, pre-shipment either shows that USPS hasn’t received your package but is aware of it, or a label has been created for your package, but it’s yet to be scanned.

2. USPS In-Transit

The tracking status in Transit is classified into several classes viz:

    • Arrival at a unit: this shows your package has reached the post office in charge of its delivery on the expected date. Also, USPS has fixed a time for its delivery.
    • Departed USPS Facility: this shows the item has been shipped from the shipment. USPS will inform you about the zip code of the package, city, and state.
    • Processed at USPS Destination Facility: USPS is ready to ship the package to the destination hub. Like in the departed facility state, you’ll be shown the package’s zip code, city, and state.
    • Arriving Late: this indicates that USPS won’t be able to deliver your package on the expected date.
    • Outbound of U.S. Customs: this shows the customs are done with the package, and it is all set to be shipped internationally.

3. USPS Out of Delivery

Out of Delivery status shows that USPS has sent your shipment for delivery. Hence, you will be able to receive your package on the expected delivery date.

4. USPS Delivered

If your tracking status shows “Delivered,” your package has been delivered without issues. Here are some sub-Statuses under USPS Delivered:

    • Picked Up: The receiver has picked up the package from their local post office.
    • Delivered to an Agent: This suggests it has been done by an agent residing in the same building or institution, like a hospital, condominium, or university. In this case, the agent’s address is the same as the address of the receiver.

5. USPS Accepted at Destination

If your tracking status reads ‘Accepted at Destination,’ it shows that your package has safely arrived at a local USPS post office or facility. Here are some possible options under USPS Accepted:

    • Origin Accepted: USPS has accepted the package at the sorting hub. USPS selects this hub to the zip code of your package. 
    • USPS in Possession of Item: This shows that USPS tracking has received your package.
    • Accepted at USPS Facility: USPS has accepted your package at the USPS processing hub. USPS then designates this hub to your package’s zip code.

6. USPS Available for Pick up:

If your tracking status shows ‘Available for Pickup,’ it indicates that the receiver can collect the package from the local post office or USPS facility until it is delivered.

7. Delivery Attempt:

This indicates that there was an attempt to deliver your package, but it has yet to be successful. Here are some possible statuses under Delivery attempt:

    • Held at Post Office: the package is kept at the USPS Post office on request from the receiver. 
    • Receptacle Blocked: This shows that some inescapable situations like bad weather, or so has blocked the road to the delivery location.
    • No Secure Location Available: your tracking status will show this when USPS has yet to find a secured location to deliver your package. 
    • No authorized recipient available: shows the package receivers aren’t known. It mostly happens in cases of Mail that require signature confirmations. 
    • No access: this indicates that USPS staffs aren’t able to access the destination of the delivery. 

8. USPS Alert

Below are some possible statuses under USPS Alert.

    • Awaiting delivery scan: the receiver has yet to confirm acceptance of the package after 14 hours of sending it out for delivery.
    • Refused: the receiver rejected the package during delivery.
    • Unable to deliver problem with address: USPS couldn’t deliver the package because the address needed to be corrected.
    • Forwarded: the receiver has forwarded the package to a new address.
    • Sent to recovery mail: USPS couldn’t deliver, forward, or return the package. As such, it has been sent to the Mail recovery center.

9. USPS Return to Sender

Below are some possible statuses under USPS return to sender;

    • No such number: some address or zip code needs to be added. 
    • Insufficient address: USPS needs more information about the delivery address.
    • Moved, left no address: The Mail receiver has moved recently and still needs to update their mailing address.
    • Unspecified: USPS is sending the package back to the sender. Although the reason isn’t specified, it mainly occurs when the receiver isn’t found or is no more.

 

Which USPS Services Offer Tracking?

All USPS services offer to track. However, some offer free Tracking while others include it at a price – meaning you’d have to pay an additional fee. 

But if you’re shipping with USPS internationally, not all packages can be tracked after they’ve left the United States, as each nation has unique scanning capabilities and regulations. This is applicable even if you have a tracking number. 

The table below shows the services that include tracking:

Service Name Type of Service Shipping Time USPS Tracking
Priority Mail Express Domestic Overnight Included
Priority Mail Domestic 1-3 Days Included
First-Class Mail Domestic 2-3 Days Included (Packages Only)
USPS Retail Ground Domestic 2-8 Days Included
Media Mail Domestic 2-8 Days Included
Priority Mail Express International International 3-5 Days Included
Priority Mail International International 6-10 Days Included
First-Class Mail International International Varies Available
First-Class Package International International Varies Available

 

How To Track a USPS Package Without Tracking Number?

You need a tracking number to track your Mail or package. We keep stressing you keep your tracking number securely because there’s no way to get it if you lose it. Even a USPS agent can help you recover it.

If the package you’re expecting doesn’t arrive, you could file a Missing Mail Search Request. To do that, you’ll have to provide the sender’s address, the recipient, the date the Mail was sent out, and the description of the Mail or package. 

If you’re the mail receiver and don’t have a tracking number, ask the sender to provide it so you can track the package. 

However, there’s a simple way to track your package without a tracking number. USPS Informed Delivery is a service that allows you to preview your Mail, manage deliveries and track your shipments digitally. This service is free! 

Here’s a breakdown of how to set up an informed delivery account:

  • Sign up for Informed Delivery‘s Free section on the USPS website.
  • You can enter your residential address to determine if it’s eligible for Informed Delivery.
  • If Informed Delivery is available in your location, log in to your USPS account and click on Informed Delivery on the top right of your profile page.
  • Enroll in the informed delivery box under “Account Management.”
  • Read the terms and conditions, click on the agree-on boxes, and certify your address.
  • Select “Enroll in Informed Delivery” to continue.
  • You will then verify your identity either online or physically. If it’s online, an OTP will be sent to your number; if it’s physical, USPS will send an invite code to your residential address.

Once your Informed Delivery account is ready, you can check the delivery state of Mail and packages, including their expected day of arrival. All incoming Mail and package will be displayed on the secured online dashboard.

Also, the grayscale image of the address side of each letter-sized Mail will be uploaded for you to view. If you aren’t available to receive the package on the expected day of arrival, you can leave delivery instructions.

You could schedule redelivery via your informed delivery account if you missed a delivery.

The service can also send text or email notifications about the delivery status of your packages.

How Much Does USPS Tracking Cost?

USPS doesn’t charge additional costs for tracking items automatically. Can I track my package if I don’t have a tracking number? Once you pay for your package’s postage, Tracking is included except if you’re shipping first-class mail, Priority Mail, or USPS Marketing Mail.

For the mailing service that does not automatically include USPS tracking, you can buy it at a meager price. For First Class, Priority, Mail, and Priority Mail Express, you’ll be charged only $1.05 per package if you’re paying at the Post Office Counter or $0.23 online.

This Tracking must be added when shipping the package meaning you cannot buy Tracking for shipped packages. Also, you can’t add Tracking to an already-sent package.

 

Can I track my package if I don’t have a tracking number?

If you don’t have a tracking number, you may be able to track your package by entering the sender’s name and address. However, this is only sometimes possible, and you may not be able to get as much information about your package as you would if you had a tracking number.

Read More About U.S. Postal Service Holidays in 2022: Is the Post Office Open?

When Does USPS Update Tracking?

When does USPS update its Tracking? USPS updates its tracking information within 24 to 48 hours.

In theory, USPS updates tracking information whenever your package is scanned at every major stage of its journey. Generally, packages are scanned when they’re accepted at the post office, when entering and leaving distribution centers, and when they are sent out for delivery. So, you expect your tracking information to update in all these locations.

However, in some circumstances, your tracking info will only update if the package is scanned.

For example, during peak seasons, USPS staffs have millions of deliveries. As such, they’re very engaged and might need help to scan all the packages.

 

Why is USPS Tracking not Updated?

At times we become so desperate to receive a package that we spend the whole week refreshing our tracking page. The most annoying thing at those moments is USPS needing to update the tracking info. You might ask yourself, why is USPS not updating its tracking info, and what can you do about it? That’s what this section will discuss.

In some cases, you might need to enter the correct tracking number. USPS provides a unique number for each shipment, so ensure you enter the exact tracking number you were given.

Here are some reasons why your USPS tracking info isn’t updating:

Unexpected Weather Conditions

Mother nature is unpredictable. In most cases, weather like floods, tornadoes, storms, heavy rainfall, earthquakes, or hurricanes is why USPS tracking info is not updated. Such harsh weather conditions slow down the processing of Mail, thus stopping your Mail from leaving the USPS facility. Therefore, your shipment will be stuck in that destination longer than expected, causing the tracking updates to be the same for some days.

For example, if you send out a package from Jacksonville to California City, there are multiple locations to stop. Therefore, there is a high chance your mail pieces will encounter several weather conditions, from scorching sun to heavy rainfall. Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising if your mailpiece got stuck in a location for several days and wasn’t delivered on the expected date. Therefore, you should know the climate changes in the location you’re sending a package to prevent yourself from worrying about tracking info not changing.

Another way harsh weather conditions can affect your delivery process is when the barcodes of your package get damaged. If such happens, USPS staff won’t be able to scan your package again, thus leading to your tracking info not updating.

Mail Not Updated or Scanned?

Another possible reason your USPS tracking isn’t updating is that the staff missed your package while scanning. The carrier might need to update your item information every step of the way. Thus, your tracking info will only get updated when your courier updates It. Though this hardly happens, you can expect it to be why your tracking update is staying the same.

USPS does an excellent job of scanning almost all the mail items that enter their facility. They use batch scanning to update the details of mail pieces in groups.

Also, some USPS employees do not scan your Mail and packages at the time of their arrival at the postal outlet. Instead, they’ll do so when the items leave, causing delays in updating tracking info.

Packaged Delayed or Not Moving

Many USPS customers ask how often tracking status updates. As discussed earlier. USPS updates tracking status between 24 to 48 hours.

In some cases, the update time might be less or more, depending on the time of the year. Almost everyone sends holiday greetings or gifts to their loved ones during the holiday season. Also, businesses and companies send season sale coupons, holiday greetings, and discount offers to persuade customers to make purchases. During those times, USPS faces a high increase in incoming Mail and packages, especially from Thanksgiving to New Year.

Generally, USPS increases its number of staff during these seasons to meet up with the high demands. Still, some mail items will take longer to process. Therefore, if your USPS tracking info isn’t updating, there’s a high chance your shipment has yet to start moving.

Other than logjam, other reasons why your Mail may be delayed include:

    • Vehicle malfunction
    • Unescapable issues from the driver
    • Flat tires and the likes

USPS tried its best to fix such issues as quickly as possible, but it may affect the mailing process for hours or days. This leads to your tracking status needing to be updated more frequently.

Package Lost in Transit

Despite trying its best, there are some cases where USPS won’t be able to deliver Mail to its destination. Some packages got lost in Transit or were misplaced, especially those shipped with an incorrect address.

Mail and packages with wrong addresses get lost often because USPS staff need to know exactly where their destination is. They confuse workers and lead to problems like delays or mail loss. Though USPS might try to send the package back to the sender, you might not be so lucky at times as the package can get lost.

Thus, incorrect Mail might be why your USPS tracking isn’t updating – so always check the address twice before we mail it.

Wrong addresses aren’t the only cause of lost Mail; other uncontrollable reasons might lead to that. For example, postal equipment might fall off the conveyor belt or get destroyed. In such cases, your tracking info will stop updating.

Package Already Delivered

If your USPS tracking has been stuck for several days without changing, the package or mailpiece might have been delivered already.

Generally, the USPS mailman needs to update the tracking information to ‘Delivered’ after dropping off the item in your mailbox. As humans, they sometimes need to update the delivery status.

This isn’t a big problem, as USPS staff will update the status in no time. Mostly, the status will change to out for delivery in a few hours. If not, consider contacting the recipient if they’re received the package.

In some cases, the mail carrier might be unable to scan your package because of the damaged barcode. As said earlier, a package’s barcode can get damaged due to harsh weather conditions.

Furthermore, USPS states that some packages are only scanned after delivery. Thus, your tracking info might not update throughout the journey but will automatically change to ‘delivered’ once the recipient gets the package. This happens mainly in the case of First Class Mail – the making service that doesn’t offer package tracking except if you’ll pay for it or couple it with Registered Mail or Certified Mail.

 

What do the different status updates mean?

The different status updates on USPS tracking mean the following:

  • Shipped:
    Your package has been shipped and is on its way to the destination.
  • Arrived at Shipping Partner Facility:
    Your package has arrived at a USPS shipping partner facility. This could be a post office, a distribution center, or another facility USPS uses to process and deliver packages.
  • Out for Delivery:
    Your package has been processed and is coming to your delivery address. You should expect to receive your package on the same day or the next day.
  • Delivered:
    Your package has been delivered to your delivery address. You should check your mailbox or front porch for your package.
  • Undeliverable:
    Your package could not be delivered to your address. There could be a number of reasons for this, such as an incorrect address or a problem with the delivery address. You should contact USPS to find out more information about your package.
  • Returned to Sender:
    Your package was returned to the sender because it could not be delivered to your address. You should contact the sender to find out more information about your package.
  • Lost:
    Your package has been lost in transit. You should contact USPS to file a claim for a lost package.

 

Everything You Need to Know About USPS Certified Mail Tracking

1. What is USPS Certified Mail?

USPS Certified Mail is a special service offered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that provides the sender with proof that a shipment was mailed and delivered.

2. What does Certified Mail Tracking mean?

Certified Mail Tracking is a way for the sender to track the shipment and ensure that it is delivered to the intended recipient. When you purchase certified mail postage, USPS gives you a tracking number printed on your receipt, which you can use to follow along with your letter’s journey.

3. Why is Certified Mail Tracking important?

Certified Mail Tracking is important because it gives the sender peace of mind that the intended recipient has received the shipment. It also provides proof of delivery in case there is any dispute or legal issue.

4. How does Certified Mail Tracking work?

All USPS Certified Mail comes with tracking numbers, which can be located on the receipt or the USPS website. The sender can track the shipment via Bulk Electronic File Transfer Service, phone, or the USPS website. The recipient must sign for the mail to complete the delivery.

5. Is Tracking included with all Certified Mail?

Tracking is included with every single piece of Certified Mail and is a requirement for the service. This ensures the sender can track the shipment and receive proof of delivery.

6. How can you update the tracking information?

If you have doubts about the trackability of a certified letter, you can always get the latest tracking by clicking “Update & Create Report.” This will provide the most up-to-date information on the shipment’s location.

7. What else should you know about Certified Mail Tracking?

Make sure to keep the mailing receipt and tracking number in a safe place, as you may need them in the future. Certified Mail is an important service that provides peace of mind and proof of delivery for both the sender and recipient.

 

What can I do If my USPS Tracking Information isn’t Updating?

You can’t just sit back while the tracking info of your precious package isn’t updating. This section will discuss some simple and quick steps to follow when your package tracking information needs to be updated.

Be Patient and Wait a Few Days

Well, the first thing to do when the tracking status of your package isn’t updating is to be patient for a few days to see whether the package will be delivered. Often, there’s no need to panic when the tracking info doesn’t update for a day. As explained above, it might be because of petty reasons like delayed scanning. If your package isn’t scanned then, it might be done in the next few hours or a day. So, keep checking back after hours to see if it has been updated. 

You should calculate the day you mailed the package and add five days to the expected delivery date. Within that period, if your package isn’t lost, the tracking info will update or reach your destination. 

If nothing happens within that time, then you can contact USPS

Visit your Local Post Office

If you prefer to have a physical conversation with the Postal workers and inquire why your tracking info isn’t updating, consider going to your local USPS post office. Most people prefer face-to-face conversations as they feel their problems will be solved more quickly. We also agree it’s the best option, especially if your post office is just a stone’s throw away.

Remember to carry your mailing receipt to provide the USPS staff with your package details. They need this to help search for your package and locate its Transit.

If you’re too busy to visit the post office or aren’t the outdoor type, other options exist! However, be patient with USPS as they deal with hundreds of thousands of emails and packages daily, so we shouldn’t be surprised when minor drawbacks occur.

Contact the USPS Customer Service

Calling USPS is one of the fastest and most convenient ways to inquire about the well-being of your package. This option is also the best for those with other questions or who needs more details about their shipment.

Simply call 1800 275 8777 to contact the USPS customer service team. This way, you’ll be able to discuss your problems and give the staff your mailing details, and they’ll help fetch some information about your Mail. The customer service representative who talks to you might ask you to give them a few minutes or some hours to get back to you, depending on how busy they are and the information they have at their disposal.

USPS has provided two phone numbers you can call depending on your needs. Call 1800 222 1811 for delivery issues and 1800 344 7779 for technical support. By calling any of these lines or sending an email to USPS, you’ll be able to know why your tracking info needs to be updated.

Ensure You are Inputting the Correct Tracking Number

Inputting the right tracking number is the only way you’ll be able to see the updated delivery status of your package. Sometimes, you mistakenly input the wrong digit, so your tracking status is invalid or not updated.

Therefore, if your tracking info has been missing for some days, cross-check the tracking number to ensure you’re putting in the correct one.

You check your confirmation email or mail receipt for the correct tracking number. You can copy it directly from the email and paste it onto the USPS tracking website.

A tracking number is typically 20- 22 digits without any alphabet or symbol. Except in the case of Express mail, the tracking number is 13 digits and begins with the alphabet ‘U.S.’

If your mailman cannot deliver your Mail, they might drop an orange slip on your doorstep. This slip contains your tracking number, which you can use to check the destination of your package. Therefore, watch for such notices if your USPS tracking has been missing for days.

Read More About Does USPS Deliver on Sunday?

How many times will USPS attempt delivery?

Regarding delivery attempts, the United States Postal Service (USPS) generally makes one or two attempts to deliver a package based on the carrier’s knowledge. If the package cannot be delivered after these attempts, it will be held for 15 days before being returned to the sender. However, if a customer misses a delivery attempt, they can schedule redelivery by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS.

It’s important to note that USPS does not notify customers of package delivery attempts via email, so customers should be cautious of suspicious emails requesting personal information. Overall, USPS aims to provide efficient and reliable delivery services for all its customers.

 

Can you track your passport through USPS 

You can track your passport application through the United States Postal Service (USPS) if you have applied by mail or in person.

After submitting your application, you will be provided with a tracking number on your receipt, which allows you to monitor when your application has been delivered to the processing center.

To check the status of your passport application, you can use the USPS Online Passport Status System.

Initially, receiving an update after applying might take up to 2 weeks.

USPS Priority Mail Express offers an overnight delivery option for those requiring expedited service.

In contrast, USPS Priority Mail service provides both Delivery Confirmation and Signature Confirmation services to ensure the secure handling of your passport application.

 

How can I track a money order from USPS? 

You can use their online system to track a money order purchased from the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Begin by visiting the USPS website and navigating the money order tracking page.

You must have the money order’s serial number ready a valid number associated with your transaction.

Once you enter the serial number into the required field, you can start your search to find the current status of your money order.

Besides, customer service can be contacted for issues or inquiries. They are available to assist with any questions about your money order.

It’s essential to keep the receipt and any related documents secure until you have confirmed the money order has been received and cashed by the intended recipient.

 

Why Does My USPS Tracking Say Delivered but It Wasn’t?

We all know how exciting it can be to check your Mail and find that the long-awaited package or envelope has been delivered! But your joy is cut short when you check your mailbox, and it’s empty!

That’s where the question, Why Does My USPS Tracking Say Delivered but It Wasn’t?

Well, if your tracking status shows delivered, but the package has yet to hit your doorstep, then there are certain things you should do before heading to the post office to complain.

First, you’ll check all the possible places where you except your mailman to drop the package.

In some cases, the package can be delivered by someone on your mail route who isn’t your regular mail carrier, and they may need to know where your regular mailman usually keeps it.

There are many cases where the tracking status shows delivered, but people need help finding their package in their mailbox or beside the garage, only to find it left at another doorstep or somewhere they aren’t expecting.

Next, you’ll check the current status of your Mail or package. There are several ways to do this – visit the USPS website, input your tracking number directly on Google, or check your informed delivery account.

This way, you can confirm that your tracking info says the package has been delivered, not that it is out for delivery or it’s in Transit, but it has been dropped off for you.

If your tracking info shows delivered and checks thoroughly within the neighborhood but needs help finding it, then it’s time to contact the post office.

You can call the USPS Customer Care Center at 1-800-275-8777 from Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 8:30 PM, and on Saturday, 8 AM to 6 PM EST. However, a quicker way to get help is to contact your location’s closest local post office.

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Why The Tracking System (PostScan Mail) Is The Best Solution For The USPS Tracking System

Who doesn’t want more convenience? Not me or you. With PostScan Mail, you’ll be able to avoid all the hassle of tracking Mail and packages and want to get authentic and automatic tracking updates of all your shipments. 

A virtual mailbox offers you an actual street address or a P.O. box address which can be used as a personal or business mailing address.

Whenever you receive a new package or Mail, a picture of the envelope’s exterior will be sent to you. You choose how you want it handled—whether opened and scanned, forwarded to an address, shredded, or archived. All this will be done digitally using any internet-enabled device.

What more? PostScan Mail allows you to track the journey of your packages and schedule deliveries or pick-ups. So, there are no more worries about missing or undelivered packages. 

 

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