Tuesday, 11 October 2016

How Track A USPS Package

Learning to track a USPS package will help you to ensure that the items that you send actually get to their destinations on time. Today, the United States Postal Service offers a wide variety of services that will allow you to follow packages every step of the way. Tracking is now a fairly straightforward process, but you do need to familiarize yourself with the various options before you make your next shipment.

Method 1. Tracking Packings

(i) Set up a trackable form of shipment via the USPS. Not all letters or packages can be automatically tracked through the postal system, so make sure that the method you are using does allow for tracking. Some tracking requires a wait of 45 days for lost mail.
  • Domestic first class and media mail shipments do not automatically include tracking. You must request tracking be added, for which there is an additional charge.
  • Most other forms of shipping (that are more expensive than first class), such as Priority Mail, do include tracking.
  • Not all forms of tracking are equal. As a general rule, the more expensive the form of shipping, the more detailed the tracking information will be.
(ii) Hold on to your receipt. The receipt should include a tracking number (titled a "Label number" on some receipts) at the bottom of the form.
  • The number of digits and the precise format of the tracking number may differ depending on the form of shipment you selected. For a list of the differing formats, see here.
(iii) Go to the the USPS website. The USPS website--USPS.com--has links on nearly every page that will take you to the pages for tracking packages. The general search box on the site's homepage will also track packages if you enter the information here.

(iv) Type the tracking number into a search box and then press the enter key.

(v) Understand the USPS status descriptions. The USPS uses a particular terminology to describe the status of each package, and while most are straightforward enough others are less comprehensible.
  • You will see "Arrived at USPS Origin Facility" indicating the moment the package was first entered in the USPS sorting system. This is not necessarily the same as the first Post Office that the package was in, but the first place in which it was prepared for transshipment to the next point.
  • "Arrived at Post Office" will be seen when the package has arrived in the vicinity of its final delivery but still remains within a USPS facility.
  • The description "Out for Delivery" is perhaps the most straightforward. The package is currently with a postal service agent for delivery.
  • "Unable to Deliver" will appear if the package required a signature or further instructions in order to facilitate delivery. At this point, the package will usually be returned to the local postal facility for later delivery.
Method 2. Adding Advance Tracking and Confirmation

(i) Request signature confirmation with your shipment. This will require a signature (though not necessarily that of the listed recipient) upon delivery of the package. If you require Recipient Only signature it may wait at the Post office until the recipient can sign if not at delivery site. Proof of ID will be necessary.
  • In addition, you can request that a copy of the signatory's name be sent to you following successful delivery.
  • There will be an additional charge of roughly $3.
  • Signature confirmation is not available for delivery to PO boxes and may not be available for shipment to military bases or diplomatic posts (including all that are considered APO (Army Post Office), FPO (Fleet Post Office), or DPO(Diplomatic Post Office))
(ii) Add a return receipt to the shipment. If you ask for a return receipt, you will receive either an emailed or mailed confirmation of delivery from the USPS.
  • Along with the name of the signatory, you will also receive information on the final delivery address or pickup site. If the receiver had requested that the shipment be sent to an alternative site, for example, you would be informed precisely when and where the final deliver was made.
  • The cost is an additional $2.70 for the mailed receipt or $1.35 for an emailed receipt.
(iii) Hold on to your receipt. The receipt should include a tracking number (titled a "Label number" on some receipts) at the bottom of the form. Though these packages do not require that you actively track them (after all, you will be informed upon delivery), that option is still available.

(iv) Go to the the USPS website. The USPS website--uspstrackingfun.com--has links on nearly every page that will take you to the pages for tracking packages. The general search box on the site's homepage will also track packages if you enter the information here.


(v) Type the tracking number into a search box and then press the enter key. Read the results to find out the current status of the shipment.


(vi) Receive confirmation of delivery (if applicable). Whether via mail or email, you will be able to receive confirmation of delivery without actively tracking the package yourself, as long as you requested this service.

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