United States Postal Service and EMS Tracking

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March 22, 2024

USPS (United States Postal Service) joined the EMS (Express Mail Service) Cooperative in 1999.

The Universal Postal Union (UPU), a specialized U.N. (United Nations) agency coordinating postal operations among member states, created EMS to facilitate international express mail services. 

Suppose you send a mail or package to a foreign country via a USPS Express Mail service. In that case, you might wonder how to track your international shipment. 

Can you track your USPS item through EMS? If yes, how? Also, what are the meanings of each EMS and USPS tracking message?

FindPostOffice.org is a one-stop shop for everything related to post offices in the U.S. 

This article explains how USPS and EMS tracking works, including features of USPS and EMS parcel delivery methods.

Learn more about tracking options and procedures for international express mail services.

What Is the Express Mail Service?

In the U.S., the EMS service is Priority Mail Express International (PMEI), a mailing option USPS offers. 

USPS is the United State’s primary postal service provider, supporting businesses, customers, and communities globally.

PMEI delivers EMS seven days a week, serving 350 million customers across the U.S.

Customers can purchase EMS at 32,000 retail stores and post offices countrywide.

How Does EMS Work?

EMS is a global delivery service offering one of the most efficient delivery options for domestic and international shipments.

Its core product is a cutting-edge delivery system where customers can pay extra to ensure the quickest delivery possible.

What Are the Main Features of EMS Parcel Delivery?

EMS offers these primary features:

  • Package acceptance at any post office or pick up from a customer’s address
  • An end-to-end tracking service 
  • Priority processing from initial parcel receipt to final destination delivery
  • Required signature upon receipt of item
  • Delivery to the addressee’s location

Note: Tracking features are subject to whether the original courier handles your order. Package tracking may switch between couriers if the handler changes while the package is en route. 

How Long Does EMS Shipping Take?

Express Mail Service is a well-known international postal service that handles pick-up and distribution of express mail to an addressee’s doorstep. The typical delivery time of EMS items starts at four business days.

Does EMS Deliver Through USPS?

As mentioned, EMS and USPS Priority Mail Express International may mean the same thing.

The latter term is how users call the service in the U.S. In contrast, EMS is the title most widely used term abroad.

USPS offers PMEI (part of the EMS offering) and Global Express Guaranteed (not provided by EMS).

How Has EMS Been Developing as a Service?

In 2019, EMS Cooperative participants delivered EMS export growth of over 20% for the Doha business cycle and the first two years of the Istanbul business cycle. 

EMS export volume trended 30% higher in that cycle compared to the first two years of the previous one.

The EMS global network provides multiple access points and delivers to every citizen and business with more than 200 operators worldwide.

How Do I Ship With EMS?

Say you ship an item abroad via EMS. A local courier usually handles the package’s domestic journey.

For example, you can drop off your parcel at a nearby FedEx (Federal Express) store. 

Once you’ve handed over your shipment at the FedEx counter, FedEx will deliver it to a freight forwarding depot. Afterward, the package will be sorted and shipped to its destination country.

The destination area’s local postal service does the final delivery.

EMS Tracking

You can track your EMS item by providing your 13-digit tracking number (for example, EZ987454321XX) assigned to each EMS item. 

You can get this code from the sender if you do not yet know your EMS item number.

Note: The UPU and EMS do not offer tracking notifications via phone.

How Do I Track My EMS Package From the USA?

Updating customers regarding the status of their orders increases customer satisfaction and brand loyalty in the long run.  

Sending parcels via EMS can conveniently follow shipment progress through EMS tracking. 

Use the EMS tracking page to get more details regarding your parcel using only the tracking number. 

How Do I Track a Post With an EMS Number?

Alternatively, you can use the EMS tracking tool on their website. Here’s how to monitor your EMS package:

  • Visit the EMS website, and enter your tracking number with the “Track your EMS item” on the homepage.
  • After inputting the number, click the “Track” button to view your package information. 

What Is a Standard EMS Tracking Number?

An EMS tracking number may appear in the following formats:

  • EX123465789US (for packages originating from the United States)
  • EB793711183CN (for parcels coming from China)
  • EN2685338355JP (for shipments sent from Japan)

Where Is My EMS Tracking Number?

Your EMS tracking number is usually printed on your receipt when you send a parcel via EMS. 

Some call this tracking number “receipt number” or “EMS number.” It comprises a unique sequence of 13 alphanumeric characters. 

If you want to monitor your EMS shipment, keep your receipt safe.

EMS may also send a confirmation email to your email address. This message contains your EMS tracking number. 

Remember to check your spam folder or inbox for these crucial details.

Where Can I Get EMS International Tracking?

Again, EMS is a global mail service that allows you to track your parcels in real-time. 

With an EMS tracking number, you can follow your package from when it leaves the sender until it arrives at the recipient’s location. 

Can I Track an EMS Package Without a Tracking Number?

No. You cannot track an EMS package without a tracking number. If you still need the tracking number or have yet to get one, contact the seller for help.

What Is USPS Tracking?

USPS Tracking system offers end-to-end item tracking and is available for most domestic mail items that are large enough and addressed to domestic facilities, including these military sites:

  • Army or Air Force Post Offices (APOs) 
  • Diplomatic Post Offices (DPO)
  • Fleet Post Offices (FPOs)

Tracking features are also available for shipments to ZIP Codes in U.S. possessions and territories or Freely Associated States. 

How Do I Track a USPS Package?

The type of delivery and tracking information available depends on the mailing option or add-on services you purchased at the time of order. Whether you are the recipient or shipper, you can track your item:

  • Online: Use USPS Tracking on the carrier’s website (USPS.com).
  • By smartphone: Install the USPS Mobile tracking tool for iPhone and Android. 
  • By text: Send a text to 2USPS (28777) and state your tracking number as the message’s content. Standard data and message rates may apply. 

What Does My Tracking Number Look Like?

You can obtain a USPS tracking number if you access any of the following shipping methods. Below are examples of what these numbers might look like:

  • Collect On Delivery Hold For Pickup: 9203 4000 0000 0134 0000 00 
  • Priority Mail International: CP 000 011 003 US
  • Certified Mail: 9407 3000 0191 0020 0000 00
  • USPS Tracking: 9400 2000 0000 0000 0000 02
  • Priority Mail Express International: EC 000 000 191 US
  • Registered Mail: 9208 7000 0000 0000 0000 01
  • Global Express Guaranteed: 82 000 000 00
  • Priority Mail: 9205 5000 0000 0236 0000 05
  • Signature Confirmation: 9202 4000 0000 0700 0000 00
  • Priority Mail Express: 9270 3000 0000 0800 0000 0000 00 EA 000 000 000 US

Where Do I Find My Tracking Number?

Here are four places that may contain your shipment’s tracking number:

  • The sales receipt if you bought insurance for your parcel
  • The peel-off part of the USPS Tracking shipping label
  • The confirmation email if your order was sent via the USPS website or an online store
  • The post office shipping receipt

Can I Track a USPS Letter?

 You can only track a USPS letter by purchasing special services.

Ordinary letters are generally mailed using the First-Class Mail service, a nontrackable USPS service. 

It might help to upgrade to other options, such as Priority, Express, Certified, or Registered Mail service. 

You may have to pay extra but will receive a delivery confirmation.

What Is USPS Informed Delivery?

USPS Informed Delivery lets you check your shipments and preview soon-to-arrive packages.

You can see your package’s photo when you enter your USPS account and access the Informed Delivery dashboard. 

Informed Delivery also enables recipients to sign electronically upon parcel receipt.

How Can I Leave Delivery Instructions?

After checking to ensure eligibility on USPS.com (see above), follow these steps and online prompts:

  1. Click “Delivery Instructions” next to your delivery tracking number.
  2. The system will ask you to log in to your USPS.com account. You can create one if you don’t have a USPS profile.
  3. Follow the prompts to see if your address is eligible and specify delivery instructions. 

USPS Mail and Shipping Services: Which USPS Services Have Tracking?

The following USPS services include tracking:

Which USPS Service Is the Fastest?

USPS’ fastest domestic shipping option is Priority Mail Express. This service generally delivers seven days a week, all year round. With a money-back guarantee, next-day delivery applies to most U.S. and P.O. box addresses.

USPS Tracking Statuses

Here are two USPS tracking notifications you might receive:

  • “Delivered”: The package arrived at its destination with a recorded time, date, and location.

Suppose your package indicates a “Delivered” status, but cannot locate it. In that case, your carrier may have left it in a secure location.

  • “Out for Delivery”: The parcel is ready at your local post office, and a carrier will deliver it the day you receive the notification

Not all packages arrive via the same carrier that handles your everyday mail and may come at a different schedule or later in the day.

Why Is USPS Tracking Not Updating?

Say the tracking details aren’t updating. Ensure the tracking code you provided is accurate.

You may not see your shipment’s tracking information due to an invalid tracking number on the USPS Tracking page.

Here are other possible causes for your tracking info stopped updating:

  • Delayed courier: The carrier may face delay-related concerns, resulting in scanning delays. 

This lag may result in your parcel’s tracking information staying the same.

  • The barcode is damaged or unreadable: A broken barcode can be inaccessible to the scanner.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What should I do when USPS loses my package?

You can do the following for late or lost mailpieces or missing items for seven days or more:

  • Visit USPS.com for the details (read Find Missing Mail)
  • File a claim for insured goods within the specified timeframe
  • Contact your local post office to get help with missing mail
  • File a request to retrieve your lost mail at MissingMail.USPS.com

2. Is USPS Priority Mail Express International the same as USPS EMS?

As shown above, EMS can be called Priority Mail Express International in the United States.

3. Is EMS Express Mail real?

Yes. As shown above, EMS is a legitimate service operated by the United Nations, specifically the Universal Postal Union.

4. Can EMS be trusted to send parcels internationally?

EMS has been processing and delivering for over 20 years. 

Thanks to the network’s members’ efforts, EMS’ volume grew by over 150% in 2019.

This improvement suggests that the EMS service is commercially and strategically crucial for postal service providers and their customers. 

5. How are EMS services rated?

EMS operators may receive silver, bronze, and gold awards depending on their annual performance. These EMS award winners may be featured in the EMS half of fame.

Many logistics and transportation companies offer EMS-like services, such as express delivery options with DHL (Dalsey, Hillblom, and Lynn).

However, despite private courier competition, EMS has remained popular.

6. How late does EMS deliver?

An international EMS shipment service is a relatively low-cost mailing option. Consequently, delivery times may take longer than a standard courier service. 

Delivery times may range from 14-21 business days, based on your shipping location and delivery distance. 

7. How long will EMS hold a package?

The answer to this question depends on the EMS operator’s policy.

For example, in the U.S., the EMS service is Priority Mail Express International, a USPS mailing option. 

USPS generally holds inbound EMS items for pickup by the recipient for five days. 

8. How do I sign an EMS package?

The answer to this question depends on the courier handling your EMS package. 

For example, USPS Priority Mail Express International offers delivery with a signature.

9. What do I do if I haven’t received my package from EMS?

Contact your local EMS customer service or call center if you have concerns regarding your package’s location.

They might answer your queries, find your tracking number, and help search for your EMS item. Use the search function or alphabet to locate nearby operators faster.

10. What happens if EMS loses my package?

Sometimes, a package may indicate a “Delivered” status when left in a safe place, with a neighbor, or received by another individual at your address. 

If you can’t locate your package, you may need to submit a claim with EMS for a misplaced or lost package.

11. What happens if I miss my EMS delivery?

Don’t worry. You can request tracking updates from the local courier handling your EMS delivery.

Individual EMS operators in each country handle the postal tracking information. Their customer support departments can address general EMS queries or help locate your EMS item.

12. What time will my EMS package arrive?

As shown above, the delivery period may vary depending on the parcel’s origin and destination. That said, EMS packages may take 14-21 business days to arrive.

13. Where is my EMS package?

The answer to this question depends on the status of your shipment. 

Fortunately, you can monitor your EMS package’s whereabouts using your EMS tracking number.

14. Why is my EMS package not moving?

There are several reasons why your EMS package isn’t moving, including:

  • Traffic jams or vehicle malfunctions
  • Issues at customs
  • Defective shipping labels
  • Unfavorable weather conditions along the route
  • Unclear delivery addresses
  • Busy delivery facilities

15. Why is my EMS package pending?

A pending package may mean that the parcel has left a facility, but there has been a temporary hold-up in delivery, most likely due to an unexpected event. 

References

  1. EMS United States of America: United States of America
    https://www.ems.post/en/global-network/ems-operators/ems-united-states-america
  2. About UPU
    https://www.upu.int/en/Universal-Postal-Union
  3. Who are we?
    https://www.ems.post/en
  4. Express Mail Service (EMS)
    https://www.upu.int/en/Postal-Solutions/Technical-Solutions/Products/Express-Mail-Service-(EMS)
  5. ServicesWorld
    https://expresspasts.lv/en/services/world/express-mail-service-ems/
  6. 20th Anniversary of the EMS Cooperative, March 2019
    https://www.upu.int/en/Speeches/2019/20th-Anniversary-of-the-EMS-Cooperative,-March-2019
  7. EMS tracking
    https://www.ems.post/en/global-network/tracking
  8. USPS Tracking® – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/USPS-Tracking-The-Basics
  9. USPS Tracking®
    https://m.usps.com/m/TrackConfirmAction_input
  10. Informed Delivery by USPS
    https://www.usps.com/manage/informed-delivery.htm
  11. USPS Delivery Instructions™ – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/USPS-Delivery-Instructions-The-Basics
  12. Mail & Shipping Services
    https://www.usps.com/ship/mail-shipping-services.htm
  13. Where is my package? Tracking Status Help
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Where-is-my-package
  14. Missing Mail
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Missing-Mail-The-Basics
  15. FAQ
    https://www.ems.post/en/global-network/faq

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