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USPS Tracking Information FAQ

Updated on October 16, 2011

USPS Tracking FAQ

USPS (also called the United States Post Office) offers tracking on packages. This tracking is not called tracking, but rather "delivery confirmation" and although tracking is generally a benefit of purchasing delivery confirmation, it is not guaranteed. However, to compete with Fedex and UPS, in recent years tracking has become better!

This page attempts to answer frequently asked questions about USPS tracking.

I ship out hundreds of packages a year, so this is based on my personal experience. It's not the official explanations - for that, visit the USPS Official FAQ website.

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How do I track my package?

Click here to track your package.

Quick Poll Question

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Possible Reasons for this Error Message: - "There is no record of this item."

USPS Tracking There is no Record of this Item.
USPS Tracking There is no Record of this Item.

"There is no record of this item" could mean.....

  1. The package was sent by Fedex Smartpost, a service that uses Fedex to transport the package to the local USPS branch and then delivery is done by USPS. To check to see if this is the reason, enter the USPS tracking number on the Fedex tracking website. If Fedex Smartpost was used, you will see detailed tracking on the Fedex website, but no tracking will be available on the USPS website until the post office receives it from Fedex.
  2. USPS is slow in updating the tracking information. Check back later. Typically tracking information is updated by the end of each day.
  3. It's possible that the package has not been mailed yet. Sometimes businesses will provide the tracking number but not mail the item until the following day.

What does "electronically notified" mean? - Possible reasons for the following error message....

The U.S. Postal Service was electronically notified by the shipper on October 15, 2011 to expect your package for mailing. This does not indicate receipt by the USPS or the actual mailing date. Delivery status information will be provided if / when available. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later.

  1. The shipper printed the postage label on the computer, but has not mailed the package yet.
  2. The shipper printed the postage label and has already mailed the package, but it has not been scanned by the post office yet. This may mean that it has not yet been processed through the first sorting facility. Not all postal facilities scan all mail, so it's possible your package is already well on its way.
  3. If the package was sent by Fedex Smartpost, this message could mean that Fedex will be transferring the package to USPS shortly.

What should I do if USPS tracking shows delivery, but I did not receive the package? - Some Suggestions....

  1. Look around your front door and back door for the package. Sometimes a postal worker may leave a package in a place you don't expect.
  2. Ask household members and neighbors if they've seen your package. It's possible your package was delivered to the wrong house.
  3. Contact your local post office as soon as possible and see if the carrier remembers your package.
  4. If you think your package may have been stolen, report mail fraud here.
  5. If the package is something you bought online, contact the company that you bought from. They may send a replacement.... but no guarantee.

USPS Attempted Delivery Notice
USPS Attempted Delivery Notice

What should I do if USPS says they attempted delivery and left a notice, but I did not receive a notice?

If you go to your local post office the next business day, you should be able to pick it up. Just bring your driver's license or ID.

Alternatively, you can call your post office and try to have the item delivered the next business day. However, this is not done automatically.

Cute Cat in a Box
Cute Cat in a Box

The tracking information says "Your item was accepted...."

What does accepted mean and how long will it take to get here?

Accepted means that the package was brought to the post office.

Approximate delivery times for USPS domestic mail:

First Class Mail 2-3 Business days

Priority Mail 2-4 Business days

Parcel Post 5-14 Business Days

Media Mail 5-14 Business Days

The shorter the distance that the item has to travel, the sooner you will likely receive it.

Delivery times may be longer around the holidays. Mail is usually the slowest the week before Christmas.

Can I buy Delivery Confirmation (Tracking) for International packages?

The post office does not sell delivery confirmation for packages going to other countries.

However, tracking is available on the following kinds of packages:

Priority Mail International Medium Flat Rate Box

Priority Mail International Large Flat Rate Box

Priority Mail International Packages (except as noted below)

Express Mail International

It's NOT available on:

Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Box

Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope

First Class Mail International

On the packages that have tracking, the tracking barcode is on the customs label, so you don't have to purchase a separate service.

Whether the tracking is available will also depend on the country it's going to. Not all countries have tracking, or tracking that can be seen online. Countries that do have tracking include Canada, Australia, Japan, and many European countries.

You can track international packages on the USPS website, and sometimes on the destination country's postal website. Try this website for help in finding the correct website to track your international package.

Any questions or comments? - I'll help if I can.

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    • l-may profile image
      Author

      l-may 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Accepted means that the barcode on the package has been scanned by a postal employee. The length of time for delivery depends on the shipment method, day of the week, how fast the post office is currently processing packages, etc.

      From the info you gave me, I would say you should see the package in 1-2 business days. The fact that it's been accepted means that the package isn't just sitting in the company's warehouse, so that's good news.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi, I brought a package from ASOS they shipped to my state NC, but it's not here yet. I looked on the tracking information and it says Accepted by USPS, but It's in Greensboro, NC which is about 2 hours, and 15 minutes from where I live. Could you give me any idea on what they mean by accepted by USPS, and how long I may have to wait?

    • l-may profile image
      Author

      l-may 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, it does. For information on restrictions, see this page: http://pe.usps.com/text/Imm/ab_002.htm

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I bought something on eBay and the seller used USPS First class mail. But I live in Albania, Europe and I want to be sure if USPS ships to Albania?

    • l-may profile image
      Author

      l-may 4 years ago

      @anonymous: They may accept and deliver it but they may not scan it, which means you'll have no tracking information. They may type in the number by hand, but since this takes extra work, I would not count on it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have to ship a package out today. I printed the shipping lable but the tracking BARCODE came out blury. The tracking number below the barcode printed out fine. Will the Post office accept and deliver my package or do you think I will run into problems?

    • l-may profile image
      Author

      l-may 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Just wait and see... Sometimes the post office doesn't scan it upon acceptance so you won't see any tracking info until it gets scanned at a sorting facility.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My package has a tracking number but shows it has not been accepted. What do I do.

    • l-may profile image
      Author

      l-may 5 years ago

      @anonymous: It's possible that even though you gave Amazon the correct address, Amazon (or the third party seller) put the wrong address on it. It's also possible that the shipping label on the package was partially damaged in transit. Or maybe a delivery person is making a mistake. Try contacting Amazon and your local post office about the situation. If it is not delivered to you, it should be returned to the seller and then they might be able to refund you or re-ship it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My package is coming through Amazon. I have ordered through them beofre. I always use the same address. Tracking this package, it first said that attempted delivery was made. Now it says incorrect address. I re-checked the address I used and it is completely correct. What's going on?