Shipment Acceptance at the Post Office


March 19, 2024

The United States Postal Service (USPS) aims to help customers better monitor and manage their deliveries. For this reason, USPS provides extensive tracking services for its customers. 

However, this system includes notification terms that can confuse customers. One example is the “Shipment received, Package acceptance pending.” USPS has more notifications that aren’t straightforward in its definition. 

What does shipment acceptance mean according to USPS? How does the Postal Service’s delivery process work? 

This article explains the meaning of “acceptance” as defined by USPS. It also explores the delivery process implemented by USPS as it processes packages shipped through its network.

Furthermore, this write-up explains the term “acceptance” according to the Post Office’s policies regarding the Postal Service’s procurement of products and services. 

If you need access to contact information for over 31,330 post offices in the country, visit Our website can help you get the retail hours of every post office in our database. 

What Does Acceptance Mean for USPS?

USPS has two definitions for “acceptance.” The first definition is the receipt and retention of any delivered product or rendered service by a supplier that follows inspection. 

The second definition of acceptance is when a mailpiece or package has been accepted and received at a local post office through its transport infrastructure. 

Suppose you’ve shipped via USPS. In that case, you’ll receive the acceptance message after getting the “Shipment received, Package acceptance pending” notification. 

Once you receive the acceptance message, you’ll know your package has begun its delivery journey through the postal system’s shipment process. 

What Happens After Shipment Acceptance at the Post Office?

Simply put, once USPS accepts a shipment, the package is physically with a USPS window clerk but hasn’t been sorted in a facility. 

You’ll receive a “Shipment received, Package acceptance pending” notification if you’re the shipper. 

How Long Does It Take for USPS to Accept the Package?

Once you’ve shipped your package, it may take one to four business days (24 to 96 hours) before you receive an acceptance notification. However, despite this estimated timeframe, it’s typical for a shipper to receive the acceptance notification within one day. 

Why Is My Package Stuck in Acceptance?

Package notifications happen once the package has been scanned in a USPS facility and the status has been updated. You may get the acceptance notification after 48 hours at most. However, after that, there may be delays in the next update. 

If, after 15 days, there’s no tracking update in the status, there’s a chance that your package was lost. In this case, you can contact USPS customer care to help you find out what happened to your package. 

At this point, you may have the notification stuck as “Shipment received, Package acceptance pending.” However, it may be a consolation that this notification means that your package has taken the first step of the delivery process.

What Are the Next Steps for Your Package Once It’s Been Accepted?

USPS updates its tracking information after each scan. Package scanning is crucial in the delivery process as it helps update the tracking system and ensures the shipper knows the current status of their shipment. 

Your package gets scanned at each sorting facility along the delivery route. It’s best to monitor your parcel via the tracking information you provide. 

At the last leg of the delivery, the carrier loads your package into a delivery truck, and a courier transports your USPS shipment to your address. At this stage, you’ll get a notification “Out for delivery,” meaning your package is heading your way. 

Better Understanding the USPS Tracking Process

The USPS tracking system is an essential monitoring tool that can help individual shippers and eCommerce businesses check the status of their packages

Once you’ve created a shipping label for specific mailing options that have tracking, you’ll get a tracking number. You can type this number into the search bar of the tracking system and start the monitoring process. 

You can access the USPS Tracking system by visiting its official USPS website, Likewise, if you need to find the nearest post office to your location, visit 

Most mail services, such as Priority Mail Express, have tracking services. One exception is First-Class Mail. 

Learning to use your tracking number is the first half of the tracking process. Afterward, you must understand the terms and each notification you’ll encounter in the USPS system. 

The following topics discuss the tracking process and the notifications you might encounter when tracking your packages. 

The Typical USPS Shipping Process

The entire USPS delivery process starts when you drop off your packages at your local post office. 

However, if you’re the recipient, you may get the notification “Pre-Shipment, Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item.” This notification means a shipping label has been made for your package, but your package hasn’t arrived at the post office. 

What Does “Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending” Mean?

If you were the shipper and you dropped off your package or had a carrier pick up your package at home, you might have this notification. 

This notification simply means that a USPS personnel, clerk, or courier has received your USPS package. However, the package hasn’t reached the USPS facility or distribution center. 

Packages are scanned at a USPS origin facility and sorted to different carrier routes depending on the ZIP code. 

Why Does USPS Says That “The Acceptance of Your Package Is Pending?”

The “Acceptance of your package is pending” notification means that your package reached the sorting center in a container or bag. The container has been scanned, but your parcel hasn’t gone through USPS scanners. 

How Long Will It Take for My Package to Be Delivered When USPS Says “The Acceptance of Your Package Is Pending”?

As mentioned above, the estimated time your package remains pending may take one to four business days. You may need to contact USPS customer service if this notification doesn’t update after the estimated time. 

Solution: What Can You Do About This?

The practical solution for any questions on pending deliveries or notifications is to call USPS customer service at the appropriate time. 

You can call customer service once the initial pending notification takes more than 15 days before the next update. You can contact USPS by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777)

Use Package Management Solution to Track Your Package

You can use the USPS package management solutions provided, like the tracking system. 

You need to input the tracking number into the system. You can get this tracking number from the shipping label of the specific mail option that has tracking. You can see this number under the barcode. 

Do’s and Don’ts

Here are some things you should know when shipping packages via USPS.

Purchase USPS shipping insuranceAvoid shipping extremely fragile packages
Include landmarks or other location markers along with your addressDon’t add your company address as the package’s destination
If you can’t avoid shipping fragile objects, ensure protective packagingAvoid mailing sensitive documents and precious items via courier services

Package Acceptance Pending for Several Days (or Longer)

Below are instructions you may need to follow when your tracking notification remains “Package acceptance pending” for several days. 

The Package Is En Route to a Sorting Center

One reason for the delay is that your package has yet to go through a sorting center. Sometimes, your package might get sorted straight into the shipping route before being scanned to expedite the process. 

Your Package Wasn’t Actually Delivered to the Post Office

Another possibility is that the sender hasn’t delivered your package to a post office. If this is the case, you need to talk with your shipper to determine the location of your package. 

What if USPS Tracking Isn’t Updating?

You can always talk to customer support if you’ve waited long enough and the tracker isn’t updating. You can call customer support to determine the location of your packages, especially if there has been no update for days. 

Other Tracking Notifications You May Receive From USPS

The following section explains the meanings of other tracking notifications to help you understand them. Note that you might receive some of these USPS notifications. 

USPS Currently Awaiting Package

This notification means that there’s already a shipping label made for a package. However, the actual packages haven’t arrived yet at the sorting facility for scanning. The customer will receive a new notification once the parcel reaches a USPS facility. 


This notification is similar to the previous one, indicating that your package hasn’t reached a USPS facility for scanning. Remember that the USPS Tracking system gets updated whenever packages get scanned through the various facilities in their shipping journey. 


Once postal workers scan your package at a USPS origin facility, you’ll receive the “Accepted” notification. Your package’s delivery journey officially starts at this point. 

In Transit

This notification means your package is already on the road. The shipping company’s carrier travels hundreds and even thousands of miles from one place to another just to deliver your packages. Whenever your package travels from point A to point B, it’s “In transit.” 

Departed From USPS Facility

This term signals that your package has left a USPS facility. It’s regular for packages to go through more than one facility in their shipping journey. 

In Transit to Next Facility

Similar to the “In transit” notification, this status also tells you that your package is traveling from one facility to another. You can use this information to know the estimated delivery date and time when your parcel may arrive. 

Out for Delivery

Once your package reaches the post office that’s nearest to you, the carrier takes your package to do the last-mile delivery. You’ll now receive an “Out for delivery” notification, indicating that your package is approaching its destination. 


When the package successfully reaches its destination, and the recipient receives it, the “Delivered” notification shows on your package tracking system. At this point, USPS has completed the delivery process.

Status Not Available

This status means your packages haven’t been scanned at a USPS facility. You may need to wait a few hours before your tracking notification updates. Alternatively, you can contact customer support if you want to inquire about the cause of this notification. 

USPS Acceptance Process According to Supplying Principles and Practices

The following is another definition of acceptance for USPS. In this context, acceptance means receiving any product or service by the Postal Service rendered by a supplier. 

This acceptance term focuses more on what USPS purchases or procures for itself and not the acceptance of a package for delivery.

Acceptance Based on Supplier Certification

The post office checks the products or services before they accept them. However, USPS accepts these items based on supplier certification for merchants, online businesses, or stores. 

Meanwhile, some conditions must be met before the Postal Service accepts a product from a supplier via certification: 

  • Defects will incur small losses only.
  • A supplier’s reputation (or past performance) for providing quality products or services suggests that the goods or services will be acceptable and any damage will be promptly repaired without contest. 
  • A supplier’s production process for providing quality products conforming to USPS requirements and the ISO (International Standards Organization) demonstrates that the goods will meet or exceed the standards set by the Postal Service.

Revocation of Acceptance in Whole or in Part

While USPS can accept a product for its quality, the carrier can also revoke it. However, certain conditions must be met for the Postal Service to revoke acceptance of a product or service. 

The following reasons can result in the revocation of acceptance of a product shipped via USPS:

  • When the supplier had an issue of nonconformance that wasn’t corrected despite reasonable assumptions
  • When the issue of nonconformance wasn’t discovered immediately because of specific factors like hidden defects or the supplier’s false assurances

Remember that the Postal Service can revoke or reject a package after the contracting officer discovers a defect. 

Transfer of Title and Risk of Loss

The product’s title passes to USPS when a package is formally accepted. This transfer happens when or where USPS takes physical custody or possession of the package unless there’s a specific provision concerning the title transfer.  

However, unless expressly provided in the contract, the risk of damage or loss remains with the supplier until:

  • The product’s delivery to a carrier’s origin if the transportation is free-on-board origin. 

Free-on-board or FOB origin means that USPS makes the arrangements for the pickup, transport, and delivery of packages to a required destination. 

The title passes to USPS if it’s FOB origin. On the supplier’s side, the risk is limited to damage or loss before the delivery to a USPS facility or if the package is improperly marked or packed.

  • The Postal Service’s acceptance or delivery at the specified destination in the contract, whichever is later.

Note that this policy doesn’t apply to rejected products. The party to take the risk of loss or damage for rejected items is the supplier until acceptance or correction. 

Surveillance or Audit of the Work in Progress

USPS uses a surveillance plan to identify whether the supplier meets the standards satisfactorily outlined by the Postal Service. 

Once noncompliance is determined, the supplier is immediately informed to resolve the issue. 

Delayed Acceptance

Some items may require special testing as a requirement before acceptance. The purchasing team may test the item on complex equipment like mail-handling systems, telecommunications equipment, building systems, and computers. 

However, USPS must include the requirements for delayed acceptance in the contract. 


When a supplier’s product or service doesn’t meet USPS’s standards, the company can reject it. 

Correction or Replacement

USPS provides suppliers ample opportunity to correct or replace products or services that don’t conform to company standards. Corrections and replacements are possible if: 

  • The Postal Service won’t have to spend anything for corrections or replacements.
  • The Postal Service can charge the supplier the cost of reinspection and retesting because of the rejection.

When correction and replacement is not possible, USPS may allow the supplier to provide a substitute product or service only if:

  • The performance of the substitute is desirable.
  • The substitute is the better choice to reduce the cost suffered by the Postal Service due to the nonconforming product or service.

If the substitute’s performance is accepted, the contracting officer must modify the contract. 

Nonconforming Supplies or Services

If the product or services provided by a supplier doesn’t conform with the standards imposed by USPS, the company can:

  • Get replacement supplies or services from other sources at the supplier’s expense.
  • Accept the supplies or services at a lower price.

USPS doesn’t allow repeated deliveries of products or services that don’t conform to USPS standards. The purchasing team should take the necessary steps to reject deliveries from suppliers that don’t adhere to the company’s standards. 

Acceptance With Limitations

USPS accepts products or services that partially meet the requirements but can still be worked on (although with limitations). It means that the product or service is accepted but with specific conditions. 

Suppose the nonconforming product or service can harm the company. In that case, the purchasing team must reject these items. 

If you need the contact information of the post office near you, visit You can access over 31,330 USPS retail offices throughout the country. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What does UPS Mail Innovation’s “Shipment accepted at Post Office” mean?

It means that UPS (United Parcel Service) has delivered your parcel to a local post office for final delivery. UPS services collaborate with USPS in providing last-mile deliveries to areas, especially those with which the Postal Service has more access than the UPS network.

  1. What time of day does USPS deliver packages?

USPS delivers packages within the company’s business hours (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM). However, there are cases where deliveries can arrive way into the night.

  1. Can I track my parcel as it’s moving on the truck?

You can’t track your packages as it’s moving on the truck. The tracking system only updates your package when scanned at a USPS facility along the delivery route. You may know that the packages arrived at a facility, left a facility, or are in transit. 

  1. How long does it take USPS to accept a package?

According to estimates, the time for USPS to accept a package ranges from one to four days. 

  1. What does it mean when tracking status is pending?

Whenever there’s a “pending” in your notification, there’s a delay in processing your package. It isn’t an immediate cause for concern as delays usually happen, especially during peak times. 

For instance, the “Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending,” means that the postal worker has received your package but has not scanned it at a USPS facility. 

  1. Why is my package stuck in pre-shipment?

There are a few reasons why your package remains stuck at pre-shipment. Here are some reasons:

  • The supplier is still packing your order.
  • Your item is out of stock.
  • The seller hasn’t dropped off your package at the post office.
  • The USPS facility is busy at that moment.
  • There’s a problem with the shipping label, particularly issues with the barcode.
  • USPS encountered software issues at that moment.
  • Your package is missing or lost.
  1. My package was never delivered. What do I do?

You can contact USPS to inform them that you haven’t received your parcel on the estimated delivery date. If, after seven days, the package is still unaccounted for, you can request USPS to conduct a mail search. During this time, you can plan to file a claim or request a refund if the problem lies with USPS.


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  2. Mail & Shipping Services
  3. USPS Tracking® – The Basics
  4. Find Missing Mail