USPS Tracking Not Updating


December 9, 2022

USPS, or United States Postal Service, delivers to 160 million addresses in the U.S. alone. Despite having an enormous number of employees, the company still experiences some issues in its tracking.

What does it mean if your USPS tracking is not updating? What are the reasons why USPS tracking is not updating? Is there anything you can do if USPS tracking is not updating, and when should you consider that your USPS mail is lost?

This article discusses what it means if USPS tracking is not updated. It includes why the USPS tracking is not updating, what you can do when the USPS tracking is not updating, and when to consider if your USPS mail is lost. 

Do you need to locate your mail or package at a specific post office in your town or city? Check our website, We can help you find nearby post offices in your area.

USPS Tracking Not Updating: What Does That Mean?

In typical cases, bad weather is a reason why the tracking status of your item is not updating. Damage to the barcode scanner can also be a factor, and the postal office can also experience system errors. 

So it is best to contact USPS customer service to get an update on your package’s status. 

When the tracking status of your package is not progressing, it does not mean your item is not moving. Your parcel may be on its way to the given destination and will arrive around the estimated time.

USPS Shipment Tracking Is Not Updating While on Transit – What Went Wrong?

You can check the shipment of your package using a tracking number specifically assigned to your order. 

Do not worry if the status of your package is not updated, as issues can sometimes happen. Here are the factors for the delay of your shipment tracking.

Possible Reasons Behind USPS Tracking Not Updating

Once a postal employee scans your package, they will update the tracking process. 

For instance, once the parcel arrives at a facility or when the courier transfers a package to a truck for transport, the company will provide a progress update.

It can take about 24 hours for the system to apply the update to the ticket number.

However, there are instances where the tracking progress of your package transportation is not working. Let us look at some common reasons why your USPS tracking is not working.

The Package Is Not Shipped Yet

This status can happen when you search with an old tracking number or when you do not input a tracking number. 

You have to wait for your package to arrive because, without a tracking number, you are unlikely to track your item.

Harsh Weather Conditions

Bad weather conditions can also affect the tracking update for your package. Delivery is slower during harsh weather, and it can delay your package to reach from one destination to another. 

When shipping Priority Mail Express International, packages move to different facilities, and the weather can vary in different places. 

Barcodes, such as in large envelopes, are also at risk of getting damaged during transit in harsh weather. 

When barcodes are damaged, they can scan on the first attempt, but the subsequent scans will not work. 

Package Not Scanned or Updated

 To update your USPS mail tracking progress, a postal worker must scan the parcel. If your tracking is not updating, it may be because the update has not been reflected yet or the scan is not yet done.

Why has the postal office not scanned or updated your package yet? There are instances where the barcode is difficult to scan because it is too blurry or too light.

There are also cases where the barcode gets damaged during transportation. A damaged barcode is difficult or impossible to get scanned. 

There are times when the shipment volume is continuous, but the facility is understaffed. Scanning the packages are sometimes skipped at distribution facilities to prevent delays in the shipment.

Damaged or Unreadable Barcode

Damaged or trouble reading the barcode may not be a problem since the post office can manually enter the barcodes to be updated. 

However, updating the packages’ tracking progress in the office requires time compared to scanning the barcode, which can cause a bit of a delay.

Package Lost Somewhere

Once you fail to receive an update on the status of your package, USPS can consider it lost.

If you are worried about your tracking shipment not updating, and you suspect your package is lost, you can place a missing shipment search with USPS.

Carrier’s Failure to Arrive on Time

One of the reasons why USPS tracking is unavailable is because of time limitations. Once the shift of the delivery worker ends, parcels are either returned to the facility or left in the delivery truck. Your package’s delivery will continue once operations resume, usually the next day.

There are rare and unanticipated cases like a truck delivery failure because of a flat tire. Your package will likely arrive once the delivery truck gets fixed.

A damaged or unreadable barcode is also a possible factor in why your package’s tracking does not update you.

Update Delayed by the Carrier

There are two scenarios of why the carrier’s status is not updated. First is that the postal employee who is responsible for scanning your package has ended their shift. 

Unscanned items are returned to the distribution facility or left inside the truck to be delivered the next day.

There are also unforeseen cases, such as issues in the delivery truck or the driver getting sick. In this event, delays can happen with the delivery status updates.

Package Already Delivered Without a Delivery Status Update  

If the last update you got in the last few hours is “Out for Delivery,” it is best to look at your house’s surroundings. There is a chance that the postal employee left your item in a safe area. 

The status of your package can take hours to reflect on the USPS tracker. 

Unknown Reason

When you shipped a package through USPS and the tracking is not updating, an error in the system may have happened.

In such a case, wait for the system to operate again, or you can contact USPS to get more information on your package’s delivery status. 

What Can I Do if My USPS Tracking Number Is Not Updating?

When the status of your package has not progressed and you have waited at least five days, one option is to check the USPS website. 

If checking on the USPS free tracking page does not work, you can contact the postal service directly. can help you locate post offices near your location.

Check Your USPS Tracking Number

If you track your USPS package and it is not progressing, ensure that you are inputting the correct tracking number of your package. 

How can you check your reference number? Your package’s tracking number is on your USPS shipping or return receipt, at the bottom of your shipment label, and on the confirmation email from USPS. 

If you have an add-on or paid for extra services, like insurance, you will see the reference number on your proof of purchase. 

If you missed the delivery, the tracking number is on the back of the orange paper you received.

How Do I Make Sure That I Have the Right Tracking Number?

Tracking numbers provided by USPS usually are 20 to 22 numbers only, and it does not include any letters.

You can check the confirmation email that USPS sent or your shipping or return receipt to see your tracking number.

Contact USPS Customer Service

If you have an issue locating your package, you can contact USPS’s customer service to get help. When you inquire about a tracking update, call the USPS service hotline at 1-800-275-8777. 

You can also call USPS’ delivery tracking at 1-800-222-1811 and their technical support at 1-800-344-7779.

Go to the Post Office

If you need an accurate update immediately, you can visit your local post office personally to inquire about your mail delivery. is a user-friendly tool for checking post offices near your area. 

Raising your concern face to face is the fastest and best way to get an answer to your concern regarding your package delivery update. 

You can also call the local number if you are not ready to personally visit your local post office. You can get the post office’s phone number by searching online. 

Remember to call your local post office’s number and not the USPS hotline.

Wait a Few Days to Get Tracking Details

If you do not receive a status update, wait a couple of days for your package to arrive. 

If your package is time-critical and waiting is not the ideal option, you can call USPS’s customer service hotline to get an update or head to your local post office.

If the tracking is not updating when you are using the text tracking feature of USPS even after a few days, you can call their customer service. You may also visit the nearest post office to get a status update on your package.

Visit Your Local Post Office

Drop by your local post office if you have an inquiry about your USPS package tracking not updating. Visiting your local post office gives you the chance to get an immediate response and assistance.

Do not forget you bring the necessary details for your inquiry such as your package’s tracking number since postal employees cannot locate or search for your package without a tracking number.

When Will I Get a USPS Tracking Update?

USPS usually updates the status of your package in around 24 to 48 hours. It is crucial to prepare your package details when you attempt to track it. You should know how the USPS shipment-free tracking works, you can understand the USPS tracking updates extensively.

USPS provides a tracking number for your shipment on the shipping label. This number is updated when a postal employee scans an update. The purpose of tracking your USPS shipment is to inform you about the progress the shipment has made.

You cannot track your shipment in real-time. Once your package progress from the loading truck to a new facility, that is usually when you will get an update on the progress.

Priority Mail Express International shipments reach more facilities and are loaded onto more trucks, giving you more updates with each progress.

You will receive an update or two when the package’s destination is not too far from its destination.

How Long Does It Take USPS to Update Tracking?

Various factors can affect how long it will take before USPS updates your package tracking. The updates can range from 24 hours to 4-5 days. 

How Often Does USPS Update Tracking?

When your package reaches a new location, there will be an update. A postal employee will scan your package, but the tracker will not provide an update instantly.

Some factors can affect the tracking updates of your package, such as harsh weather, congestion due to the high volume of deliveries, or a lack of staff in the facilities.

If your package is being delivered internationally or a long distance, your package will reach more facilities and receive more tracking update notifications.

Usually, you can expect a tracking update or two if the shipping location of your package will not be traveling too far. 

How to Track the Package When USPS Tracking Not Working

Congestion in the facilities happens in certain situations, and during this time, you can experience problems in tracking your package. 

Delays can also happen because scanning the barcodes of mail items is overlooked, and couriers immediately deliver the package instead. 

Do not worry because you will receive an update on your tracking information once all shipments have arrived. 

You can also call the USPS hotline for tracking services. You can send a text message using the USPS Text Tracking number 28777, and provide your tracking number.

Where Is My Package?

You may call the USPS hotline for any questions related to your package. 

USPS personnel can answer your inquiries, such as missing packages, items not delivered, or where are your package and other package tracking updates and statuses.

Ways to Getting Tracking Information

You can get the tracking information of your item in numerous ways.

Check the shipment information of your package through the USPS website, including the reference number, postage cost, and other additional services.

You can also send a text message with your reference number to 28777 or 2USPS. Another option is to download an app on your smartphone to check the status of your Amazon, eBay, or other online purchases.

The mailer or receiver can also contact USPS at 1-800-877-8339 to track your package. 

An “Out for Delivery” status means you can expect to receive your item soon after receiving that notification.

Expected Delivery Window

USPS will notify you of the ExDW or Expected Delivery Window time. There is a two-hour slot in this window where you can expect the arrival of your package. Your item may be delivered earlier or later than the estimated time. 

If your package does not arrive within the window or the two-hour time slot, your parcel may arrive within the day.

For the updated status of your package, check USPS Tracking. 

How Precise Is USPS Tracking?

When your package moves on the delivery process, postal employees will scan your package. USPS tracking numbers will update you, such as if your package is loaded onto a truck or has arrived at a new facility.

USPS does not let you track your package in real-time. Still, the courier can precisely track your package because it tells if it arrived at a distribution facility.

Why Is My USPS Package Not Moving?

An increase in online shopping, such as during holidays, can cause delays in USPS shipping services. The bulk of shipment during the holiday rush may overwhelm the carrier’s delivery capacity. 

What Can I Do if My Mailpiece Has Not Been Delivered?

There is a delivery standard for every piece of mail-class domestic package. In the USPS tracking number, look up “Product Information” to find your parcel’s mail class.

Here, you can compare the progress and your mail class to what you see in the Mail Delivery Standards chart. You can see this progress in delayed packages and mail tracking.

Harsh weather and natural disaster can also delay your package. A notification or status of “Alert” will be displayed if such cases happen. 

When Is a USPS Mailpiece Considered Lost?

Contact the post office about your issue of USPS tracking not giving an update about the status of your package. If there is still no update about your mailpiece, USPS services will consider your mail lost. 

You can file a Missing Mail Search Request on the USPS free tracking website. You must accurately input the correct details of your mailpiece, such as the tracking number, recipient’s mailing address, mailing service, dimensions and weight, and package contents. 

You should use sturdy packaging, input accurate details, and ensure that your parcel does not exceed the maximum weight limit to prevent your regular mail from getting lost or damaged.  

What if the USPS Delivers Your Item to the Wrong Address?

You may contact the post office and ask for an update about your parcel’s delivery status or location.

State your tracking number when you contact the post office, so they will know if USPS dropped your item off at the wrong address.

You get an update from a postal worker to scan your parcel every time. This scanner uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology that can trace the location of your package’s last scan. 

If your parcel was not scanned or updated at the last process, you cannot do anything about it and hope that the wrong receiver reports the issue. 

That is why you must fill in the right and accurate mailing address to help postal workers deliver your item flawlessly.

Why Is My Item Marked Delivered But Has Not Reached the Destination Yet?

If your item is marked as delivered but has not reached its destination yet, then there may be some error made by USPS workers. 

Mistakenly updating the status of your delivery as “Delivered” rather than “Out for Delivery” can happen. 

If this error happens, wait for a couple of hours to give your carrier time to deliver your item before contacting the post office. 

You can also check your porch, outside your door, or areas where the postal employee can leave your item safely.

You can also check and ask if someone in your house has already received your package. USPS asks for signature confirmation of the package recipient

In case 24 hours have passed since the last update and you still have not received your item, you can contact USPS for a service request through email. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What happens when United States Postal Service tracking does not update for a week?

If a week goes by with the tracking status of your package not being updated, it is advisable to contact USPS officials.

USPS will provide information about the status of your package.

  1. I have received my packages, but still, USPS tracking is not updating. Why? 

The USPS delivery confirmation takes hours after a postal employee delivers your package. 

  1. Should I be worried if USPS tracking has not been updated in three days?

No, you do not have to worry about not getting an update in three days. Bad weather conditions, damaged barcodes, and a large volume of holiday deliveries can delay your item’s delivery confirmation.

  1. Should I be worried if USPS tracking has not been updated for three weeks?

No need to worry, you can get an update once postal employees scan your package. 

Scanning the package can sometimes be overlooked at some checkpoints. The holiday rush can cause facilities congestion, leading to package delays. Bad weather conditions also can cause delays.

  1. Have there been no USPS tracking updates after “arrival at the unit”?

If you see a notification saying “USPS delivery status not updated,” a delivery confirmation has not been made in your tracking information. 

If the tracking update is not progressing, ensure that you typed in the correct tracking number. 

Check the confirmation email from USPS to view your tracking number. You can also look at the peel-off part of the tracking label. Your tracking number is also at the post office shipping recipient. 

If you are inputting the correct tracking number and there is still an issue, the problem is with the carrier.

  1. Can you see where your United States Postal Service package is?

You can see your United States Postal Service package’s latest update using the USPS tracking system. 

The USPS tracking system helps you check on your package’s movement. 

  1. When will my letter carrier or mail arrive?

Generally, letter carriers and mail arrive around 7 AM to 8 PM.

You can install the USPS Informed Delivery app to get an update on when your mail will arrive. The app can send you notifications of incoming email status updates and track your package wherever you use your smartphone. 

The USPS Informed Delivery app is available on iOS, Android, and Windows. 

  1. How long does Priority Mail take?

Priority mail is also known as The United States Postal Service’s air service. Priority packages are estimated to arrive in around 1 to 3 business days. 

Your package can be delivered earlier or later than its expected time since it is only an estimation and not a guaranteed service. 

The transportation schedule can depend on how far the package’s destination is from the origin. 

  1. Will USPS First-Class Mail be delayed too?

When you choose USPS First-Class package service to deliver your item, it will provide an estimate of the mail delivery time but cannot guarantee a specific time. 

The estimated time means your package delivery is before or after the said date.

Delayed delivery does not give you eligibility to get any refund. The estimated delivery for USPS First-Class Mail letters service is 1 to 3 days. 

It is advisable to contact customer service only after five days if your package is not delivered yet.