If you're shipping from the US and you're looking for affordable domestic and international solutions, a postal solution like USPS is a viable option for many small businesses. Many consider this solution because of the USPS tracking options.
However, when it comes to package tracking for USPS, domestic tracking statuses may come off as "cryptic" to some.
Additionally, some may wonder about the frequency and quality of USPS tracking, especially if you're shipping internationally. For example, if you're shipping from the US to China, it can be useful to access tracking information.
In this post, we'll explain where you can track your USPS packages, what you can expect from the services that offer tracking, delivery statuses you may come across, and what they mean but also what to do if you lost your USPS tracking number.
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How to Track a USPS Package
With USPS, keeping track of orders or packages is simple. The easiest way to monitor shipments with domestic or international tracking on USPS' Track & Confirm tool. All you need to do is enter your tracking number to see the status and location of your shipment. You can do this easily on the USPS website or on try tracking on your mobile phone.
There are also the following options:
- By phone at 1-800-222-1811
- By sending a text message to 28777 with your USPS tracking number as the content of the message
- By the USPS Mobile App, available on iPhone and Android devices
Additionally, if you're an Easyship merchant, you can see automatic tracking updates in your Easyship dashboard. Your customers can also track their USPS package by visiting your branded Tracking Page or by visiting trackmyshipment.co.
Which USPS services offer tracking?
All USPS services offer tracking; some services have it included in the price, while others have tracking available - meaning you'd have to pay an extra cost if you want it included.
However, do keep in mind that if you are shipping with USPS internationally, not all of your packages may be eligible for tracking once they leave the US, as each country has different scanning capabilities and agreements. This is applicable even if you have your tracking number handy.
The following table shows which services have tracking included and which have tracking available.
|Service Name||Type of Service||Shipping Time||USPS Tracking|
|Priority Mail Express||Domestic||Overnight||Included|
|Priority Mail||Domestic||1-3 Days||Included|
|First-Class Mail||Domestic||2-3 Days||Included (Packages Only)|
|USPS Retail Ground||Domestic||2-8 Days||Included|
|Media Mail||Domestic||2-8 Days||Included|
|Priority Mail Express International||International||3-5 Days||Included|
|Priority Mail International||International||6-10 Days||Included|
|First-Class Mail International||International||Varies||Available|
|First-Class Package International||International||Varies||Available|
USPS tracking statuses and their meanings
You can use your USPS tracking number to check on your shipment's progress at any time. Don't forget that including the receiver's phone number can be useful for helping USPS track packages. When you log in to the USPS Track & Confirm tracking website, here are some possible statuses you may come across:
"Pre-Shipment Info Sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item": USPS has received the electronic transmission of the manifest shipment information from the sender. Bascially, USPS hasn't actually received the shipment, but is aware the shipper will hand it over to them.
Once the shipment is received by the post office, the USPS tracking status will be updated and an expected delivery date will be made available.
2. USPS In Transit to Next Facility
"Arrival at Unit": The item has arrived at the local Post Office and is scheduled for delivery. Usually, if the item arrives before 9:30 am, it will be delivered that day; if it's received after 9:30 am, it will be delivered on the next business day.
- "Arrived at USPS Facility or Departed USPS Facility": The item was sorted in the processing facility indicated by the city, state and ZIP Code.
- "Customs Clearance": Your parcel has cleared US Customs and will be given to USPS for final delivery
- "Received by U.S. Postal Service from U.S. Customs": USPS has received your parcel from US Customs
- "In Transit to Next Facility": Your package is moving within the USPS network and is on track to be delivered by the expected delivery date.
3. Out for Delivery
"Out for Delivery": Your package has left the delivery office with a carrier, and delivery is intended on that day. Check your USPS tracking page for an estimated delivery time.
- "Delivered": Your parcel has been delivered and a delivery scan recorded the time and date of delivery.
- "Delivery Attempted - No Access to Delivery Location": This USPS track alert for packages means delivery was attempted but not completed because the employee could not access the delivery location (for example, a gated community where an access code is required).
What Happens When USPS Tracking isn't Updating?
If you can't see updated tracking information for your USPS package on the website, then you may need to try other avenues. Try sending a text to 28777 (2USPS) with your tracking number as the content of the message; the company should give you an USPS track update for your parcel. You could also contact USPS customer service by phone (1-800-275-8777) or email through the website. Don't forget that you'll need your USPS tracking number.
How To Track A Package Without USPS Tracking Number?
If you've lost your tracking number, finding out exactly where you package is could be a little more problematic. You'll need to contact USPS customer service by phone or email using the information provided above. You may be asked to provide the following information:
- Mail class of shipment
- Where the shipment was to be delivered (i.e. residence, business address, military outpost)
- Whether it was registered, required a signature, or insured
- What was inside the shipment
- The shipment value
- If you suspect mail theft, you'll also have to provide why you believe this and any information, photos, or videos available.
We hope this post gives you a better understanding of what you can expect from USPS tracking! Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions.
USPS Tracking FAQ
Where Can I Find USPS Tracking Number On Receipt?
When you purchase a USPS delivery service you will be given a receipt. The tracking number will be located at the bottom of the sales receipt and will a string of numbers and letters based on the service that you purchases.
Can I Track USPS Truck?
No, you cannot track the USPS truck or stop it to retrieve your package. However, you can receive a status update on your package through USPS tracking. If you have your tracking number you can look up the stats on the USPS website or call customer service.
Does USPS Insurance Include Tracking?
Yes, when you purchase USPS insurance it will include tracking. Insurance covers up to $5,000 for merchandise that is lost, damaged or stolen. To track the package, you'll need to enter the tracking number on the USPS website, text or call for an update.
Can I track a USPS Package With My Name?
No, you cannot track a USPS package with just your name or address. If the package was sent by an eCommerce merchant, you can contact them directly to retrieve the tracking number to look up. You can also sign up for Informed Delivery by USPS which allows you to preview all the packages and letters being sent to your address on a daily basis.