USPS Tracking: A Complete Guide to Tracking Your Packages

USPS Tracking
Back To Blog Posts

USPS Tracking: Track International Packages & Mail

When it comes to shipping and receiving packages, tracking is a crucial feature that offers peace of mind and ensures timely delivery. The United States Postal Service (USPS) provides robust tracking services that help you monitor your packages from the moment they are shipped until they reach their destination. In this blog, we’ll delve into the details of USPS tracking, how it works, its benefits, and tips for using it effectively.

What is USPS Tracking?

USPS Tracking is a service offered by the United States Postal Service that allows customers to track their mail and packages in real-time. Every USPS package is assigned a unique tracking number, which can be used to check the status of the shipment at any point during its journey. The tracking system provides updates at various stages, such as when the package is accepted, in transit, out for delivery, and delivered. This service ensures that both senders and recipients are informed about the package’s whereabouts and expected delivery time, enhancing the overall shipping experience.

How to Use USPS Tracking

Obtaining Your Tracking Number

After you ship a package with USPS, you will receive a receipt that includes a unique tracking number. This number is crucial for monitoring your package’s journey from the moment it leaves your hands until it reaches its destination. Make sure to keep this receipt in a safe place. You might also consider taking a photo of the tracking number for easy reference. This tracking number will be your key to accessing real-time updates about your package.

How Does USPS Tracking Work?

The Process

USPS Tracking works through a series of scans that take place at various points along a package's route. Here’s a step-by-step look at the process:

  1. Acceptance Scan: When a package is first received by USPS, it is scanned at the origin facility.

  2. In Transit: As the package moves through the USPS network, it is scanned at different facilities.

  3. Out for Delivery: Once the package arrives at the destination facility, it is scanned before being dispatched for delivery.

  4. Delivery: The final scan occurs when the package is delivered to the recipient’s address.

Key Milestones

  • Pre-Shipment: The sender has created a label, but USPS has not yet received the package.

  • Accepted: USPS has received the package.

  • In Transit: The package is moving through the USPS network.

  • Out for Delivery: The package is on its way to the recipient's address.

  • Delivered: The package has been delivered to the recipient.

4. How to Track Your USPS Package

Online Tracking

The most common way to track a USPS package is through the USPS website. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit the USPS Tracking page.

  2. Enter your tracking number in the search box.

  3. Click “Track” to view the status of your package.

Mobile App

USPS offers a mobile app that allows you to track packages on the go. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Simply download the app, enter your tracking number, and receive real-time updates.

Phone and Email

For those who prefer phone or email, USPS provides these options as well:

  • Phone: Call USPS Customer Service at 1-800-275-8777 and provide your tracking number.

  • Email: Sign up for email updates on the USPS Tracking page by entering your tracking number and selecting “Email Updates.”

5. Understanding USPS Tracking Statuses

Common Status Messages

Understanding the various status messages can help you interpret where your package is and when it might arrive. Here are some common statuses:

  • Pre-Shipment: Label created, not yet in the system.

  • Accepted: Package received by USPS.

  • In Transit: Moving through the network.

  • Departed: Left a USPS facility.

  • Arrived: Arrived at a USPS facility.

  • Out for Delivery: Out for final delivery.

  • Delivered: Successfully delivered.

  • Delivery Attempted: Attempted delivery, often followed by instructions.

What They Mean

  • Pre-Shipment: The package has been prepared for shipping, but USPS has not yet scanned it.

  • Accepted: USPS has scanned and received the package.

  • In Transit: The package is en route to the destination.

  • Out for Delivery: The package is with the delivery driver and should arrive that day.

  • Delivered: The package has been delivered to the specified address.

  • Delivery Attempted: Delivery was attempted, but was unsuccessful. This could be due to various reasons such as no one being home or an incorrect address.

Troubleshooting USPS Tracking Issues

Delays

Sometimes, packages can be delayed due to various reasons, including weather conditions, high shipping volumes, or logistical issues. If your package is delayed:

  1. Check the tracking status for any updates.

  2. Allow a few extra days for delivery.

  3. Contact USPS Customer Service if the delay extends beyond a reasonable period.

Lost Packages

If a package appears to be lost:

  1. Confirm the tracking number is correct.

  2. Check with neighbors or household members.

  3. Contact your local post office for assistance.

  4. File a missing mail search request through the USPS website.

Misdirected Packages

Occasionally, packages can be misdirected. If your package is sent to the wrong address:

  1. Check the tracking status for updates.

  2. Contact USPS Customer Service to report the issue.

  3. If necessary, file a claim for lost or misdirected packages.

USPS Tracking for International Shipments

Global Tracking

USPS offers tracking for international shipments through its Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail Express International, and Priority Mail International services. Tracking for international packages can be accessed through the same methods as domestic packages.

Challenges and Tips

Tracking international packages can be challenging due to varying customs processes and shipping regulations in different countries. Here are some tips:

  1. Be Patient: International shipments can take longer due to customs clearance.

  2. Check Customs Status: Use the tracking number to check if the package is held at customs.

  3. Contact USPS or Local Carrier: If issues arise, contact USPS or the local carrier handling the delivery.

8. Advanced USPS Tracking Features

Informed Delivery

Informed Delivery is a free service from USPS that allows you to digitally preview your mail and manage packages scheduled to arrive. You can sign up for this service on the USPS website. Benefits include:

  • Daily email notifications with images of your incoming mail.

  • Ability to track and manage incoming packages.

Tracking History

USPS provides a tracking history for your packages, allowing you to see every scan event from start to finish. This can be accessed via the tracking results page on the USPS website.

USPS Tracking Number Formats

What Does My Tracking Number Look Like?

USPS tracking numbers come in different formats depending on the service used. Here are some examples:

  • USPS Tracking Number: 9400 1000 0000 0000 0000 00

  • Priority Mail Tracking Number: 9205 5000 0000 0000 0000 00

  • Certified Mail Tracking Number: 9407 3000 0000 0000 0000 00

  • Collect On Delivery Hold For Pickup Tracking Number: 9303 3000 0000 0000 0000 00

  • Global Express Guaranteed Tracking Number: 82 000 000 00

  • Priority Mail Express International Tracking Number: EC 000 000 000 US

  • Priority Mail Express Tracking Number: 9270 1000 0000 0000 0000 00 or EA 000 000 000 US

  • Priority Mail International Tracking Number: CP 000 000 000 US

These tracking numbers are usually 20-22 digits long, except for some international and express services that use a combination of letters and numbers.

10. USPS Services Overview

Mail & Shipping Services

USPS provides a variety of mail and shipping options for domestic delivery:

  • First-Class Mail

  • Marketing Mail

  • Periodicals

  • Media Mail

  • Package Services

  • Priority Mail

  • USPS Retail Ground

International Shipping Services

USPS also offers specialized services for international shipping:

  • Global Express Guaranteed

  • Priority Mail Express International

  • Priority Mail International

  • First-Class Package International Service

  • Airmail M-Bags

These services provide fast and reliable delivery to destinations worldwide.

Business Shipping Services

For businesses, USPS offers several services to manage mailing and shipping needs efficiently:

  • Premium Forwarding Service

  • Every Door Direct Mail

  • PO Box and Street Addressing

  • Click-N-Ship

Tracking Services

USPS tracking provides real-time updates on the status of packages, including when a package is shipped, delivered, and if there are any exceptions or delays during transit.

Insurance & Extra Services

For added security and protection, USPS offers additional services:

  • Certified Mail

  • Collect on Delivery (COD)

  • Insured Mail

  • Registered Mail

  • Signature Confirmation

  • Adult Signature Required

  • Return Receipt

  • Restricted Delivery

11. USPS Customer Services

Official Website

Visit the official USPS website at www.usps.com for a wide range of services and information.

Contact USPS Customer Services (U.S. Only)

  • Email: webtools@usps.gov

  • Phone: 1-800-ASK-USPS® (1-800-275-8777)

  • Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 8 AM – 8:30 PM ET, Saturday 8 AM – 6 PM ET

Contact USPS Technical Support

  • Phone: 1-800-344-7779

  • Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 8 AM – 8:30 PM ET, Saturday 8 AM – 6 PM ET

Contact Domestic & International USPS Tracking

  • Phone: 1-800-222-1811

  • Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 8 AM – 8:30 PM ET, Saturday 8 AM – 6 PM ET

USPS Tracking FAQ

Common Questions and Answers

Q: What should I do if my package says "Delivered" but I haven't received it?

A: Check with neighbors, household members, and any common areas where packages might be left. If the package is still missing, contact your local post office.

Q: How long does USPS keep tracking information?

A: Tracking information is typically available for up to 120 days from the date of delivery.

Q: Can I track a package without a tracking number?

A: Unfortunately, a tracking number is required to track a package. If you have lost your tracking number, contact the sender or check any email confirmations you might have received.

Q: What does "In Transit, Arriving Late" mean?

A: This status indicates that your package is still moving through the USPS network but will not arrive by the originally estimated delivery date.

Conclusion

USPS Tracking is an invaluable tool for anyone sending or receiving packages. By understanding how it works, how to use it, and what to do when issues arise, you can ensure a smooth and reliable delivery experience. Whether you are tracking a domestic shipment or an international package, the USPS tracking system provides transparency and peace of mind every step of the way.

With this guide, you are now equipped with all the knowledge you need to make the most out of USPS Tracking.


FAQs for USPS Tracking

1. What is USPS Tracking?

USPS Tracking is a service that allows customers to monitor the status of their mail and packages in real-time. Each package is assigned a unique tracking number that can be used to get updates on its journey from origin to destination.

2. How do I obtain a USPS tracking number?

You will receive a tracking number when you ship a package through USPS. This number is printed on your receipt and can also be found on the shipping label.

3. Where can I track my USPS package?

You can track your package on the USPS website by entering your tracking number into the tracking tool. You can also use the USPS mobile app for tracking on the go.

4. How often is the USPS tracking information updated?

Tracking information is updated whenever a package is scanned at a USPS facility. This can include updates at various stages such as acceptance, transit, and delivery.

5. What should I do if my USPS tracking number is not found?

If your tracking number is not found, it might be due to a delay in the system updating. Wait a few hours and try again. Ensure you have entered the correct tracking number. If the issue persists, contact USPS customer service.

6. What does it mean if my USPS package is stuck in transit?

A package stuck in transit might be due to logistical delays. Check for updates regularly. If the package remains stuck for several days, contact USPS customer service for assistance.

7. What should I do if my package is marked as delivered but I haven't received it?

If your package is marked as delivered but you haven’t received it, check with your neighbors or your local post office. You can also file a claim with USPS for further investigation.

8. Can I receive notifications about my USPS package’s status?

Yes, you can sign up for email or text notifications through the USPS tracking tool. This service will send you real-time updates about your package’s status.

9. What should I do if my USPS tracking information is incorrect?

If your tracking information appears incorrect, verify that you have the correct tracking number. Contact USPS customer service if discrepancies continue to get accurate updates or resolve any errors.

10. How do I contact USPS customer service for tracking issues?

You can contact USPS customer service by calling their toll-free number, visiting a local post office, or using the contact form on the USPS website. Having your tracking number handy will help expedite the process.

USPS Tracking USPS
Back To Blog Posts