USPS Tracking Information FAQ
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.
How do I track my package?
Click here to track your package.
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Possible Reasons for this Error Message: - "There is no record of this item."
"There is no record of this item" could mean.....
- 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.
- USPS is slow in updating the tracking information. Check back later. Typically tracking information is updated by the end of each day.
- 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.
- The shipper printed the postage label on the computer, but has not mailed the package yet.
- 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.
- 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....
- 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.
- Ask household members and neighbors if they've seen your package. It's possible your package was delivered to the wrong house.
- Contact your local post office as soon as possible and see if the carrier remembers your package.
- If you think your package may have been stolen, report mail fraud here.
- If the package is something you bought online, contact the company that you bought from. They may send a replacement.... but no guarantee.
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.
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.