USPS Tracking Record

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March 11, 2024

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has served about 164.9 million delivery points across the U.S. since 2022 and added 1.8 million new locations into the Postal Service’s network.

Although USPS strives to deliver mail items and packages to these delivery points, people usually feel at ease if they can monitor these parcels’ delivery status.

If you are one of these individuals, consider looking into USPS Tracking and its recordkeeping features.

How does the Postal Service’s tracking work? How do you use your parcel’s tracking number to check your item’s shipment history? What USPS services can use the tracking feature?

This article explores these issues and the benefits of keeping a record of your item’s tracking history. This article also discusses USPS tracking number formats, including how long the Postal Service records an item’s tracking history.

If you want to visit a USPS retail office to ship and track a mail piece, use FindPostOffice.org’s search tool to locate the nearest post office.

For How Long Does USPS Keep Record of Tracking and Delivery Confirmation?

How long USPS keeps a record of tracking and delivery confirmation depends on the USPS service used.

Standard access to USPS tracking information for non-signature mail items has a limit of 120 days.

Delivery confirmation services like Signature Confirmation have record storage of up to one year, while Adult Signature Required is up to two years.

What Is USPS Tracking?

The USPS Tracking service lets you track your mail or package’s journey and view your shipment’s tracking record. This service is available for most domestic USPS shipping products, provided they meet specific size and postage requirements.

About the U.S. Mail Service

The U.S. Postal Service is the country’s only delivery service that can reach all 160 million residences, businesses, and post office boxes (P.O. boxes) nationwide.

USPS operates without receiving tax dollars for its expenses and instead relies on selling postage, services, and products to fund its operations.

Tracking USPS Shipments

If you’re running a business, and shipping orders is part of your operation, being able to track and manage your deliveries is crucial. 

Fortunately, many USPS services have a tracking number you can use to track your item, and USPS Tracking is free in most cases. However, it can cost extra for some shipping options.

How Does USPS Tracking Work?

USPS uses an end-to-end tracking system, meaning you can locate your packages between the point of origin and destination in real-time.

With an end-to-end tracking system, the Postal Service can help track almost all mail, like letters and parcels, sent to domestic locations.

After you send items out for delivery, USPS allows you to track your letters or parcels on its website using the USPS tracking number assigned to the article.

How to Track U.S. Mail Service Packages

Suppose you buy an item from an online store like Amazon that ships through USPS. You can track your package through the following steps:

  • After purchasing from the online retailer, you will receive an order confirmation email notifying you of the order placement.
  • When you check this email, it should contain a USPS package tracking number or shipment identification (I.D.). Alternatively, you may receive another email containing a tracking number once your order ships out.
  • Use this tracking number to monitor your parcels’ real-time delivery progress using USPS Tracking or authorized third-party service.

How to Track USPS Shipments on the USPS Website

To track your shipment through the USPS website, follow these steps:

  • Open the USPS website in your internet browser.
  • Enter your tracking number into the tracking search on the homepage.
  • Click on the icon on the right side of the search bar to track your item.

How to Use USPS Tracking Other Than USPS.com Tracking

If you have difficulty using the USPS website’s tracking page, use the following options to track your parcel:

  • By text: Send a text message containing your tracking number to 28777 (2USPS). Applicable data and text rates can apply.
  • By smartphone: Download the USPS Mobile app for Android or iPhone.
  • By phone: Call the USPS phone number for tracking services at 1-800-222-1811.

Track U.S. Mail Service by Number

As mentioned, you can check your package’s delivery status by visiting USPS.com and entering your item’s tracking number in the search field.

When you hand over your parcel to a local USPS facility, the staff will give you a receipt with the tracking number. Keep this number safe until your item gets delivered.

What Is a USPS Tracking Number?

USPS assigns tracking numbers to parcels when shipping. These numbers help you determine your item’s location and when to expect delivery to arrive.

Each USPS tracking number is unique and specific to individual mailpieces or packages. You can find these numbers printed on the shipping label or as a barcode.

“What Does My Tracking Number Look Like?”

The tracking number should appear as a series of numbers under the barcode. The following sections discuss tracking numbers in detail.

What Are the USPS Tracking Numbers and Formats?

Different USPS services typically have varying number formats, which are as follows:

ServiceFormat
USPS Tracking9400 1000 0000 0000 0000 00
Priority Mail9205 5000 0000 0000 0000 00
Priority Mail ExpressEA 000 000 000 US9270 1000 0000 0000 0000 00
Certified Mail9407 3000 0000 0000 0000 00
Registered Mail9208 8000 0000 0000 0000 00
Global Express Guaranteed82 000 000 00
Priority Mail Express InternationalEC 000 000 000 US
Priority Mail InternationalCP 000 000 000 US
Collect on Delivery Hold for Pickup9303 3000 0000 0000 0000 00
Signature Confirmation9202 1000 0000 0000 0000 00

How Many Digits Are in a USPS Tracking Number?

Based on the abovementioned formats, each USPS Tracking number usually comprises 22 digits. However, other versions have between 10 and 22 digits, depending on the service, with some comprising numbers only or an alphanumeric combination.

What Do USPS Tracking Numbers Start With?

Each tracking number’s first four or five digits indicate its service code. These numbers specify the mail service you use for shipping your package.

For example, based on the previously discussed sample formats, USPS Tracking numbers can start with 94001, and Priority Mail can begin with 92055.

“Where Do I Find My Tracking Number?”

You can find your tracking number in several places, depending on how you shipped your item if you are the sender or how you ordered the product if you are the recipient. These places are listed in the following section.

You Can Find Your Tracking Number in the Following Places

To look for your tracking number, find it in the following locations:

  • Your shipping receipt from the post office
  • The sales receipt after buying insurance from the post office
  • The email confirmation after shipping from USPS.com
  • The shipping confirmation email you receive from an online retailer
  • Your USPS Tracking label’s bottom peel-off section

Which USPS Services Offer Tracking?

The following services include USPS Tracking:

  • Priority Mail
  • Priority Mail Express
  • USPS Ground Advantage
  • Media Mail
  • Global Express Guaranteed (GXG)
  • Priority Mail International
  • Priority Mail Express International
  • Airmail M-Bags

USPS Priority Mail Tracking

The USPS Priority Mail service has a tracking number that lets you easily monitor your shipment’s delivery. Look for this number on the shipping label and enter the number into the USPS website’s tracking search bar. Your shipment’s status should appear on the search results.

U.S. Mail Service Priority Domestic Tracking

Priority Mail is a fast, economical way to ship items below 70 pounds (lbs). Suppose you are sending packages or large envelopes too heavy to ship via USPS First-Class Mail. You can use Priority Mail as the next best option based on transit time and price.

U.S. Mail Service Priority Mail Domestic Tracking

Priority Mail includes USPS Tracking and delivers your packages in one to three business days. However, the tracking feature is unavailable for Prepaid Forever Priority Mail Flat Rate products.

U.S. Mail Service Priority Mail International Tracking

USPS Priority Mail International includes USPS Tracking, although some destinations may have limited tracking visibility. Furthermore, tracking is unavailable for flat-rate envelopes and small flat-rate boxes sent through this service.

U.S. Mail Service Priority International Delivery Times

Priority Mail International offers an economical, reliable service for shipping packages to more than 180 countries in 6 to 10 business days. As of October 2023, this service lets you ship flat-rate envelopes and boxes from $30.35 or by weight up to 70lbs from $42.10.

U.S. Mail Service Priority Mail Express International Tracking

This express international mail service includes USPS Tracking, delivers to about 180 countries, and offers a money-back guarantee to some destinations. However, tracking visibility may be limited in some countries.

How Long Does Priority Mail Take?

The different USPS Priority Mail services have the following delivery timelines:

  • Priority Mail Express: Guaranteed delivery arrives the next day or in two business days.
  • Priority Mail: Delivery arrives in one to three business days.
  • Priority Mail Express International: Guaranteed delivery reaches the destination in three to five business days.
  • Priority Mail International: Delivery arrives in 6 to 10 business days.

U.S. Mail Service Priority Mail International Standard and Express Service

One difference between Priority Mail Express International and Priority Mail International is that the former offers money-back guaranteed delivery in three to five business days to some locations.

Meanwhile, the latter provides an estimated delivery of 6 to 10 business days, starting from $30.35 as of October 2023. Still, delivery time can vary based on several factors, like the origin, destination, and customs delays.

U.S. Mail Service First-Class Tracking

USPS First-Class Mail does not have a tracking feature. However, you can include delivery confirmation if you add Certified Mail as an extra service.

USPS Certified Mail provides a mailing receipt confirming your item was sent and requires your addressee’s signature.

The following sections explore other features associated with tracking USPS First-Class Mail items.

U.S. Mail Service First-Class Mail International Tracking

Tracking for USPS First-Class Mail International is unavailable. However, this mail class is USPS’ most affordable international service for sending letters and large envelopes to more than 180 countries, starting at $1.50 as of October 2023.

How Long Does First-Class Mail Take?

USPS First-Class Mail usually takes about one to five business days to arrive at its destination.

Meanwhile, the delivery speed for First-Class Package International Service and First-Class Mail International varies by the destination.

“How Can I Track My First-Class Mail Letters With USPS Tracking?”

Although First-Class Mail letters have no USPS Tracking, you can still receive tracking information for an additional fee by doing the following:

  • Purchase an extra USPS Tracking service by phone or online.
  • Track your package’s status using the confirmation or tracking number in the receipt given to you upon handing over your parcel.
  • Enter the tracking number on the USPS website’s tracking page or authorized third-party website. You can also call USPS Customer Service for help with locating your shipment.

U.S. Ground Mail Tracking

The USPS Ground Advantage service is an affordable, reliable way to send packages within the U.S.

This service delivers your shipment in two to five business days and includes USPS Tracking in the shipping cost. 

Prices start at $4.75 at the post office, but you can get lower prices using the Click-N-Ship service or getting a Business Rate Card.

 Click-N-Ship service is an online application that allows you to create postage labels. 

Forward Mail With USPS Tracking

If you want to track forwarded mail to another address, consider using a mailing service that allows mail forwarding and has USPS Tracking.

Some USPS services like Priority Mail Express, Ground Advantage, and Priority Mail offer forwarding for free. As mentioned earlier, these services have tracking.

eCommerce Platforms and USPS Tracking

Suppose you run an eCommerce store using USPS services to ship products. You may benefit from providing USPS Tracking to your customers. Doing so may help lower buyer anxiety by letting customers check their packages’ status.

When your customers know where their packages are, they are less likely to request a refund or cancel their orders. Plus, USPS shipping is among the most cost-effective ways to ship packages less than 70lbs.

U.S. Mail Service Intelligent Mail Barcode or IMb Tracking and Tracing

The Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) consists of 65 bars and is used for sorting and tracking letters and flats. The IMb is versatile and allows you to request and embed many services using one barcode.

With this barcode, you can simultaneously participate in multiple USPS programs and expand your ability to track individual mailpieces.

USPS Tracking Plus

USPS Tracking Plus extends your access to your package’s tracking history on USPS.com. This service offers ways to lengthen tracking history access from an extra 6 months to 10 years for a small charge.

Benefits of USPS Tracking Plus

Purchasing USPS Tracking Plus gives you access to your online tracking history record for domestic products for up to 10 years and international products for seven years. 

Aside from receiving extended access, you can use USPS Tracking Plus for the following purposes:

  • Evidence of delivery for resolving claims and disputes
  • Evidence of mailing, delivery (or delivery attempt), or both for legal proceedings
  • Authentic data source that financial and legal authorities can accept

Where Is the Tracking Number on a USPS Receipt?

You can find your package’s tracking number at the bottom of your USPS sales receipt. 

When mailing a package from your local post office, you will usually receive a receipt for your purchase. You can also find the tracking number on a self-service kiosk eReceipt, online label record, or shipping label.

How to Get a USPS Tracking Number

Most USPS services, except First-Class Mail, automatically include a tracking feature.

If you are the mailer, look for the tracking number on your USPS sales receipt or confirmation email. If you are the recipient, ask the shipper to send you the number and use USPS Informed Delivery to check the status.

What Does “Information Available Soon” Mean on USPS Tracking?

If your shipment’s status says, “Information available soon,” the likely reasons are any of the following:

  • The package’s current location has not changed recently or is unknown.
  • Your shipment is pending scanning and showing no tracking information.

USPS Tracking Statuses and Their Meanings

When checking your item’s tracking information, you will encounter various status messages based on your package’s delivery progress. 

The following sections discuss the meaning of some of these statuses.

USPS Pre-shipment

USPS designates the “pre-shipment” status to items whose labels have been created but are yet to be scanned into the USPS network.

USPS in Transit

The “in transit” status is what you will see after USPS scans and transports your package within the Postal Service’s network.

USPS Out for Delivery

This status indicates that USPS has sent your package for delivery and intends to deliver the item on the specified date, time, or both.

USPS Delivered

If your parcel’s tracking status shows “Delivered,” the courier has delivered your package to your recipient. Some “Delivered” sub-statuses include the following:

  • Picked up: The receiver picked up the parcel from the local post office.
  • Delivered to an agent: An agent residing at the same address received the item.

USPS Accepted at Destination

A tracking status that reads “Accepted at destination” means your parcel safely arrived at a local USPS facility or post office.

USPS Available for Pickup

If you are the recipient, the “Available for pickup” status means you can pick up your package at the post office or specified USPS facility.

Delivery Attempt

This status appears when USPS attempts to deliver your package but has failed. Some reasons for this status are:

  • The package is held at the post office.
  • The receptacle is blocked.
  • Secure locations are unavailable.
  • The authorized recipient is unavailable.
  • The delivery destination is inaccessible.

USPS Alert

An “Alert” status shows up when USPS encounters an issue during delivery, such as the courier experiencing a problem with the destination address or the recipient refusing to receive the item.

USPS Return to Sender

If you are the recipient, you may see a “Return to sender” message if USPS returns your item to the sender. Situations where this event can happen include the following:

  • The address is insufficient.
  • The recipient moved and has no updated delivery address.

Other Tracking Statuses

Other uncommon tracking statuses you may see when checking your package’s tracking information include the following:

  • Damaged in transit: Your package was damaged during delivery.
  • Uncontrollable customs delay: Your internationally routed shipment is held at customs for some reason, such as unpaid taxes or duties.
  • Missed “In transit” pickup scans: Your internationally routed parcel sent through USPS is stuck “In transit” for an extended period before suddenly updating to “Delivered.”

How to Track USPS Packages Without a Tracking Number

Suppose you want to track your USPS package but have no tracking number. In this case, consider using USPS Informed Delivery, a service that lets you follow your shipments digitally, preview your mail, and manage your deliveries.

You can sign up for Informed Delivery for free at the USPS website and determine whether your residential address qualifies for this service.

How Much Does USPS Tracking Cost?

USPS Tracking is available and free for most mailing services. For USPS Marketing Mail parcels, the cost to add tracking is $0.28 as of July 2023.

How Long Does It Take for the U.S. Mail Service to Show Tracking Information?

USPS usually updates your item’s tracking status within 24 to 48 hours. If you want to check your item’s delivery information, you may need to wait for this time to see the latest progress.

U.S. Mail Service Delivery Tracking

While USPS handles delivery within the United States, local mail services in other countries generally handle shipments outside the U.S. For example, packages mailed through USPS and sent to the United Kingdom are delivered via Royal Mail.

If you want to track items sent internationally, remember that not all USPS items can be tracked. One such service without tracking is First-Class Mail International.

“Where Is My U.S. Mail Service Package?”

To determine your USPS package’s location, enter the item’s tracking number without spaces or dashes in the USPS website’s search bar under “Search or Track Packages.” Afterward, you can view your shipment’s status information and scan history.

“When Will My Mail or Letter Carrier Arrive?”

Your mail’s delivery speed depends on the USPS service you want to use. For instance, Priority Mail arrives in one to three business days, and Ground Advantage delivers in two to five business days.

However, some speeds are not guaranteed, and delivery time depends on the destination, origin, and drop-off time.

“What Can I Do if My Mailpiece Hasn’t Been Delivered?”

Because delivery times vary between mail classes, it is possible that your mailpiece is still in transit and not delayed or lost.

Check the standard delivery time of the mail class you used to send your package before contacting USPS regarding your package’s status.

How Do You Get Your Package With U.S. Mail Service Delivered?

Your package typically undergoes the following process when USPS delivers it to your recipient:

  • You bring your parcel to a local post office or mailbox.
  • A postal worker takes your package to a sorting facility.
  • Machines in the facility automatically sort mail based on shape, size, and address.
  • The courier ships domestic shipments via trucks and delivers your item to your recipient’s address.
  • Customs authorities process international shipments before the courier sends your mail to the destination country by plane.

U.S. Mail Service Delayed Mail and Packages

Sometimes, USPS packages encounter unusual circumstances, such as adverse weather, traffic jams, staffing changes, or carrier route rescheduling, leading to delivery delays.

USPS provides a few options, discussed below, to help you determine where your parcel is and whether or not it is delayed.

What to Do When Your USPS Package Is Delayed

When your package experiences unusual circumstances leading to delay, you should first check the delivery standards and waiting time of the mail class you used to ship your item.

You can also visit the USPS website to track your mail delivery status online.

After doing the abovementioned tasks and you still don’t have your package, contact USPS Customer Service to inquire about the item’s status.

My Package Shipped by U.S. Mail Service Shows No Tracking Information

Although some USPS services have tracking, it is normal for parcels to have little or no tracking information. However, you can use delivery confirmation to check your package delivery status.

With delivery confirmation, the courier scans your package when the shipment arrives at your local post office and again during delivery.

“How Do I Track a U.S. Mail Service Return Receipt?”

A Return Receipt provides proof of delivery indicating the delivery date and the person to whom the item was delivered. You can track this receipt by mail when you access www.USPS.com or call 800-222-1811.

How Many Times Will USPS Attempt Delivery?

For ordinary mailpieces, USPS will attempt redelivery up to two times. If USPS cannot deliver the package on the second attempt, the courier will leave P.S. Form 3849 (redelivery notice) showing where the parcel is held.

“Can I Pick Up My Mail Before It Gets Delivered?”

You can pick up your package early by requesting the post office to hold it. Updating the delivery instructions and having it held at your local post office is possible if your parcel has a tracking number, is handled by USPS before delivery, and is not out for delivery.

From there, you can pick up the package as soon as it arrives, so you don’t have to wait until the end of the day (or the following day) for delivery.

What Is USPS Tracking’s Expected Delivery Window?

Despite the Postal Service’s best efforts to deliver your item early, most services do not have a guaranteed time of delivery. 

Still, you may want an estimated period to wait for your package’s arrival, especially if you have a busy schedule. In this case, check your item’s expected delivery window.

U.S. Mail Service Expected Delivery Window

The expected delivery window is a two-hour slot when you can expect your package’s arrival. Although delivery within that period is not guaranteed, you may still receive your package by the day’s end if the item does not arrive within this window.

When Does USPS Update Tracking?

As mentioned, USPS updates your package’s tracking information within 24 to 48 hours. In other words, you may need to wait one or two days before seeing updated information on your shipment’s delivery progress.

How the U.S. Mail Service Premium Tracking Works

USPS Tracking Plus, the Postal Service’s premium tracking service, extends your access to your item’s tracking history.

Suppose you need evidence of delivery to help resolve shipping-related claims, disputes, and other legal and financial issues. Tracking Plus lets you access your online tracking history for up to 10 years.

How to Get a Free Tracking Number With USPS

Generally, you do not need to pay additional fees to use tracking for most USPS postal services, such as Priority Mail, Ground Advantage, Parcel Select, and package services like Media Mail.

On the other hand, other services, such as Marketing Mail for parcels, require a small fee to add USPS Tracking, which costs $0.28 as of July 2023.

“Why Does My USPS Tracking Say “Delivered” Even if the Package Wasn’t?”

Suppose your item’s tracking status says “delivered,” but the package has yet to arrive at your address. You have several things to do before visiting the post office to complain.

First, check all the places where you expect the driver or postal worker to drop your package.

Sometimes, someone other than your regular mail carrier can deliver your package. That person handling your item may need to know where the regular carrier usually leaves it.

After checking thoroughly within the neighborhood and still not finding your package despite the “Delivered” status, you can contact the post office.

U.S. Mail Service Tracking Not Updating

Some circumstances can cause your package’s tracking information not to show the latest status. The following sections discuss why USPS Tracking does not update and what to do to resolve this issue.

“I’ve Received My Packages, but U.S. Mail Service Tracking Is Still Not Updating”

This situation often happens during the holidays when USPS experiences a rush of mail packages. During such events, USPS can skip scanning to address the increased demand.

USPS may forgo scanning to help move the packages quicker, causing your package’s tracking information not to appear.

Why Is USPS Tracking Not Updated?

The holidays and increased mailing demand are not the only reasons USPS Tracking does not update. Other causes for this situation are discussed in the sections below.

Unexpected Weather Conditions

Adverse weather conditions, such as floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, heavy rainfall, and hurricanes, can prevent your mail from leaving a USPS facility and USPS Tracking information from updating.

Mail Not Updated or Scanned

Barcode scanning helps update your package’s tracking information. When the barcode is not scanned for any reason, your tracking will likely not update until scanning is done.

Package Delayed or Not Moving

As discussed, USPS tracking status updates between 24 to 48 hours. However, the holidays can cause an increase in incoming mail and package volume. In this case, tracking may not update because your package has yet to move.

Other reasons for delayed or nonmoving shipments are driver issues or vehicle problems like flat tires.

Package Lost in Transit

Sometimes, USPS cannot deliver your mail to the destination because the package got misplaced or lost in transit, especially when shipped using an incorrect address. To help prevent this situation, double-check the address before sending your mail.

Package Already Delivered

Generally, the USPS postal worker delivering the package must update the tracking information to “Delivered” after dropping off the item at the recipient’s address.

However, the carrier may not scan the package for several reasons, such as a damaged barcode, even after the successful delivery. In this case, contact your recipient to confirm whether they received the package.

“What Can I Do if My USPS Tracking Information Is Not Updating?”

There are several ways to resolve the issue of USPS Tracking information not updating. Here are solutions that may help.

Be Patient and Wait a Few Days

If you are the shipper, calculate the day you mail your parcel and add five days to the expected delivery date. The tracking information should update if your package is not lost in that period and reaches the recipient.

Visit Your Local Post Office

If you prefer talking to a postal worker in person regarding your tracking information not updating, visit your local post office. Bring your mailing receipt and show it to a USPS staff so they can help search for your package.

Contact the USPS Customer Service

Suppose you want to ask questions about your mail or need more details regarding your shipment. In this case, call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or email customer service on USPS.com.

Ensure You Input the Correct Tracking Number

An incorrect or missing digit while inputting the tracking number in the search bar can cause the tracking status to be invalid or not updated.

Check your mail receipt or confirmation email to find the correct tracking number. If you receive the number by email, copy and paste this number onto the USPS Tracking page to help reduce mistakes.

What Is Priority Mail Express Service?

USPS Priority Mail Express offers next-day to two–day delivery with a money-back guarantee. Consider using this service if you want fast delivery to most U.S. addresses and post office boxes (P.O. boxes) and competitive prices throughout the year with limited exceptions.

Priority Mail Express also offers Flat Rate pricing that lets you send packages up to 70lbs to any U.S. state for the same price.

U.S. Mail Service Parcel Select Ground

As of September 2023, USPS discontinued Parcel Select Ground and merged this service with First-Class Package Service and Retail Ground into one service called USPS Ground Advantage. The following sections discuss other features of this comprehensive product.

U.S. Mail Service Parcel Select Ground Tracking

Functioning as USPS Ground Advantage, this service offers tracking and insurance of up to $100. Ground Advantage ships to all 50 U.S. states, military bases, possessions, territories, and Freely Associated States.

U.S. Mail Service Parcel Select Delivery Time

USPS Ground Advantage, a combination of three discontinued services, including Parcel Select Ground, has a delivery time of two to five business days for items up to 70lbs.

What Is USPS International Shipping Service?

USPS offers international delivery solutions that can fit your needs. You can choose an international shipping service based on the following:

  • Postage price and delivery speed
  • Features like tracking, insurance, and Flat Rate shipping
  • Extra services you can buy online or at a post office

How to Send an International Package via USPS

To send a package internationally, visit your local post office or log in to your USPS account if you have one and choose from the following services:

  • Global Express Guaranteed (GXG)
  • Priority Mail International
  • Priority Mail Express International
  • First-Class Mail International
  • First-Class Package International Service
  • Airmail M-Bags

U.S. Mail Service International Tracking

As previously mentioned, several USPS international services like GXG, Priority Mail International, Priority Mail Express International, and Airmail M-Bags include the tracking feature. However, some international destinations may have limited tracking visibility.

What Is U.S. Mail Service First-Class Package International?

First-Class Package International Service is an excellent way to ship packages up to 4lbs and worth up to $400 worldwide. This service offers delivery confirmation when shipping to select countries. As of October 2023, retail prices start at $15.75.

U.S. Mail Service Global Express Guaranteed

Global Express Guaranteed is USPS’ fastest international shipping option with the following features:

  • Ships up to 70lbs to about 180 countries
  • Delivers in one to three business days with a money-back guarantee
  • Provides international transportation and delivery through FedEx Express
  • Ships items starting from $71.10

U.S. Mail Service Business Solutions

USPS Business Solutions are the Postal Service’s top business services that can help with your daily business needs. These solutions include the following:

  • Marketing campaigns: This service helps with targeted advertising mail.
  • Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM): This solution helps you reach customers in your community.
  • Shipping best practices: This guide helps prepare your packages for shipping.
  • Order supplies: This service helps you find and order free USPS boxes, labels, and envelopes.
  • Package pickup: This feature lets you schedule parcel pickups from your business.
  • Package drop-off: This service helps you find your local post office for parcel drop-off.
  • Pricing calculator: This tool lets you input specifications for estimating mailing and shipping costs.
  • Shipping services: This option provides access to cost-effective business shipping services like Click-N-Ship.
  • Postal Explorer: This online library offers postal information for your business.

What’s the Difference Between Certified and Registered Mail?

USPS Certified Mail proves that your shipment was mailed, and the courier delivered your item.

Meanwhile, Registered Mail sends package updates to you each step of the delivery process. For this reason, Registered Mail provides higher security since more eyes monitor your parcel.

What Is the USPS Click-N-Ship Service?

Click-N-Ship is a convenient application for creating postage labels online. This service can print domestic shipping labels for Priority Mail Express, USPS Ground Advantage, and Priority Mail items.

What Is USPS Interception?

For an extra fee, USPS Package Intercept lets you stop delivery or redirect a shipment that is not yet delivered or out for delivery.

Many domestic mailpieces with a tracking or extra services barcode can qualify for Package Intercept. However, you can only request this service online.

What Is U.S. Mail Service Informed Delivery?

USPS Informed Delivery is a free service showing preview images of incoming mail and status updates of incoming and outbound packages. You can see these notifications in an email or via the dashboard from your computer, phone, or the USPS Mobile app.

Does USPS Charge Their Packages by Size or Weight?

USPS prices its postage based on the parcels’ weight and distance. For example, the following USPS services set their prices based on these factors:

  • Priority Mail Express: The weight and distance traveled determine the price.
  • First-Class Mail: The shipment’s weight and shape determine the price.
  • Priority Mail: The price depends on the item’s weight, size, and distance traveled.

U.S. Mail Service Package Lost or Stolen: What to Do

If your USPS item goes missing or gets stolen, check if the service you paid has insurance. For example, the USPS Priority Mail and Ground Advantage services come with insurance of up to $100, but you can purchase additional coverage of up to $5,000.

If you have an insured package, you can file a claim with USPS. The Postal Service will mail you a check upon approval of your claim.

Alternatively, you can log in to your USPS.com account or sign up for one and request a missing mail search. 

If you prefer to call by phone, contact the USPS Customer Care Center at 1-800-275-8777.

U.S. Mail Service Package Stopped or Not Moving for a Week or Month

When you check your package’s tracking information and see an “In transit” status, your item may not have been scanned for 18 hours. In this case, your parcel is possibly still onboard the plane, train, or vehicle.

Other reasons for this status or why your package’s tracking appears to have stopped moving include the following:

  • Your parcel was offloaded but not processed due to the facility’s overcapacity.
  • The barcode needed for scanning is damaged during transit.
  • The item is stuck in a facility due to pileup.
  • The vehicle transporting your package broke down.

U.S. Mail Service Delivery Hours

USPS typically has varying delivery times for each route. However, USPS strives to deliver letters and packages before 5:00 PM. If you are uncertain, call or visit your local post office and ask when it delivers packages in your area.

U.S. Mail Service Sunday and Saturday Delivery Hours

Sometimes, you may want to send or receive your package on a Saturday or Sunday. In this case, you may want to know the USPS services that deliver packages during weekends.

Does U.S. Mail Service Deliver on Saturdays?

 USPS Priority Mail offers Saturday delivery without any surcharge. However, if Saturday is a national holiday, delivery may be available for Priority Mail Express for an extra fee.

Does U.S. Mail Service Deliver on Sundays?

You can get Sunday and holiday deliveries with Priority Mail Express for an additional charge. Contact your local post office to know whether it delivers on Sundays.

What to Do When Your Parcel Gets Stuck in Customs

When your parcel gets held in customs, you can wait until the process is over or do any of the following steps:  

  • Contact the shipper to check if they completed all paperwork and documents needed for customs processing.
  • Contact USPS to request expedited customs processing, which may cost a fee.
  • Determine if you need to pay any outstanding taxes.

Inbound Out of Customs Meaning

If you are the sender, an “Inbound Out of Customs” status means U.S. Customs has released your package to USPS for delivery to your recipient. If the message is “Outbound,” your parcel has passed customs and is heading to another country.

What Do Customs Do?

When U.S. Customs processes international mail items, they go through one of five International Service Centers (ISCs) in the country. These ISCs distribute and dispatch mail from a specific service area to destination countries or gateway exchange offices.

Does the Customs Clearance Process Work?

When international mail items aboard specific commercial flights arrive at airports, ground handlers unload the receptacles containing packages and mail and take these pieces to an ISC.

After USPS verifies the reports on the mail items, such as when they were sent, scanned, and assigned to a specific flight, they are inspected to ensure they pose no danger to the people handling and receiving them.

Once the packages and mail items are deemed safe, they are approved for final delivery. Should they pose any risk, the approval process could take longer.

How to Successfully File an Insurance Claim via USPS

If your insured mail is damaged or lost in transit, you can successfully file a claim by presenting the following documents:

  • Evidence of insurance
  • Proof of value, such as a sales receipt or invoice
  • Proof of partial loss or damage of contents, such as packaging and damaged item

What Type of Mail Requires a Signature?

Some pieces of mail require a signature from the recipient at the time of delivery. These pieces include items sent through the following services:

  • Priority Mail Express (upon request)
  • Certified Mail
  • Registered Mail
  • Collect on Delivery (COD)
  • Return Receipt
  • Signature Confirmation
  • Adult Signature
  • Insured mail (over $500)

What Is the USPS Delivery Instructions Service?

If you are the recipient, USPS Delivery Instructions allow you to specify and authorize how the courier should deliver your incoming shipments before the item arrives at your doorstep.

The courier can leave your item at the post office, a specific location at your address, or a different domestic address, depending on how you set up the instructions.

“How Can I Leave Delivery Instructions?”

If your shipment is eligible for Delivery Instructions, follow these steps:

  • Click “Delivery Instructions” next to your package’s tracking number.
  • Log in to your USPS.com account or sign up if you do not already have one.
  • Follow the prompts to check whether your address is eligible and to specify the delivery instructions.

No “Delivery Instructions” Link

Suppose you check your item’s tracking number online, and the Delivery Instructions link does not appear as an option. In this case, your item is likely not eligible for this service.

Examples of ineligible items are as follows:

  • Shipments insured for $500 or more
  • International mail items
  • Mailpieces out for delivery or already delivered
  • Mail items to send to a military address
  • Shipments with Collect on Delivery (COD) service

USPS Working Hours and Locations

Post office working hours can vary depending on the location. Contact your local post office to determine the time they open and close.

For example, the London Terrace Post Office in New York has the following operating hours:

  • Mondays to Fridays: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Saturdays: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Meanwhile, the James Farley Post Office operates during the following hours:

  • Mondays to Fridays: 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Saturdays: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Sundays: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM

USPS Shipment Tracking Management

You can manage your shipment tracking by setting up an Informed Delivery account. This service lets you do the following tasks:

  • Receive emails containing previews of your mail and packages arriving soon.
  • See grayscale images of the address side of your incoming letter-sized mail items.
  • Manage and track your packages in one convenient location.

How to Contact USPS

If you need assistance in resolving issues with your delivery, email USPS by visiting the Postal Service website’s Customer Service page. 

You can also call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) and speak to a customer service representative.

USPS Customer Care Service Contacts

Aside from the USPS Customer Care hotline at 1-800-275-8777, other numbers you can contact are as follows:

  • Domestic and international tracking: 1-800-222-1811
  • Technical support: 1-800-344-7779
  • Postal Store orders and stamps: 1-844-737-7826
  • Free shipping supplies: 1-800-610-8734

How to Talk to a Real Person in USPS Customer Service

If you want to reach an actual person, dial the USPS Customer Service phone number at 1-800-275-8777.

You can talk to a representative during these hours:

  • Mondays to Fridays: 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM Eastern time (ET)
  • Saturdays: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM ET

FAQs About USPS Tracking

  1. Do I have to pay extra costs for the USPS Delivery Instructions service?

You do not need to pay extra for basic options, such as the following:

  • Package delivery at a specific location, such as the front door or backyard
  • Delivery at a post office nearest you based on your ZIP code

However, the following Delivery Instructions options will cost a fee:

  • Redirecting package delivery to a different domestic address and ZIP code outside the previous route
  • Holding or picking up at a post office not near you based on your ZIP code
  • Upgrading your delivery service to Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail
  • Purchasing other value-added services
  1. Will my USPS Delivery Instructions request have any email notifications?

You can receive one or more email notifications based on the following situations when setting up USPS Delivery Instructions:

  • A confirmation email if you successfully submitted a request
  • An email with a success message if the courier delivers your package
  • A confirmation email if you request a delivery instruction requiring extra payment and the postage is higher than the estimated postage at the time of the request
  • A new USPS tracking number if the item must be repackaged
  • An email informing of the nondelivery if the product cannot be delivered
  1. What do I do if my USPS package is missing?

If your USPS mail or package is lost, do the following steps to locate your item:

  • Check your parcel’s current status using USPS Tracking.
  • Fill out the help request form.
  • Submit your missing mail search request.
  1. How do I add USPS Tracking to my parcels to be shipped out?

You can add USPS Tracking to your shipment by visiting the post office or logging into your USPS.com account and adding a label containing a tracking number to your package. Use this number to track your order.

  1. How can I set up automatic notifications for my USPS packages?

To receive automated email notifications when tracking your USPS package, enter the tracking number on the USPS website. Afterward, choose the option to receive text and email updates.

You can include several options when setting up your notifications, such as delivery day updates, expected delivery updates, package delivery updates, or all update notifications.

  1. How do I check my USPS Tracking history?

To check your package’s status, visit the USPS website’s tracking page and enter your item’s tracking number in the search bar. As mentioned, you can access your item’s tracking history record for up to 120 days.

  1. How far back can I see Informed Delivery?

Your Informed Delivery dashboard can display package information for up to 15 days and mail images up to seven days after delivery.

  1. Does USPS have live tracking?

While you can use USPS Tracking to check your delivery’s status, third-party websites like ParcelMonitor also offer live tracking updates for your package.

  1. How do I access tracking information?

As mentioned earlier, you can access your USPS shipment’s tracking information through the following ways:

  • Visit the Postal Service website’s USPS Tracking page.
  • Send a text to 2USPS (28777) using your tracking number as the message’s content.
  • Download the USPS Mobile app for Android or iPhone.
  • Call the USPS Tracking hotline at 1-800-222-1811.
  1. How do I track parcels with USPS text tracking?

Suppose you are on the road and have difficulty accessing the USPS website. You can monitor your package by texting a message containing your tracking number to 28777.

References

  1. SIZE AND SCOPE
    https://facts.usps.com/size-and-scope/
  2. About the United States Postal Service
    https://about.usps.com/who/profile/
  3. USPS Tracking® – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/USPS-Tracking-The-Basics
  4. Contact Us
    https://www.usps.com/help/contact-us.htm
  5. USPS Tracking®
    https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction_input
  6. Mail & Shipping Services
    https://www.usps.com/ship/mail-shipping-services.htm
  7. International Mail & Shipping Services
    https://www.usps.com/international/mail-shipping-services.htm
  8. Priority Mail
    https://www.usps.com/ship/priority-mail.htm
  9. Priority Mail International
    https://www.usps.com/international/priority-mail-international.htm
  10. Certified Mail® – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Certified-Mail-The-Basics
  11. USPS Ground Advantage
    https://www.usps.com/ship/ground-advantage.htm
  12. Standard Forward Mail & Change of Address
    https://www.usps.com/manage/forward.htm
  13. USPS Tracking Plus® – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/USPS-Tracking-Plus-The-Basics
  14. Domestic Return Receipt
    https://about.usps.com/publications/pub370/pub370_v10_revision_012016_tech_005.htm
  15. Redelivery – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Redelivery-The-Basics
  16. Price List
    https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm
  17. Priority Mail Express
    https://www.usps.com/ship/priority-mail-express.htm
  18. How to Do Business with USPS®
    https://www.usps.com/c360/images/business/SMB_Onboarding_DIGITAL.pdf
  19. Click-N-Ship® – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Click-N-Ship-The-Basics
  20. USPS Package Intercept
    https://www.usps.com/manage/package-intercept.htm
  21. Claims for Loss or Damage
    https://about.usps.com/publications/pub370/pub370_v10_revision_012016_tech_013.htm
  22. Sending and Receiving Mail
    https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm100/sending-receiving.htm
  23. USPS Delivery Instructions™ – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/USPS-Delivery-Instructions-The-Basics
  24. Find USPS Locations
    https://tools.usps.com/find-location.htm
  25. Informed Delivery by USPS
    https://www.usps.com/manage/informed-delivery.htm
  26. Find Missing Mail
    https://www.usps.com/help/missing-mail.htm
  27. Informed Delivery® Dashboard
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Informed-Delivery-Dashboard