United States Postal Service is America's de-facto postal organisation, being one of the very few to be authorised by the Constitution and having a staggering 31330 post offices across the country, making it the most geographically encompassing and the busiest postal agency in the world, with billions of pieces of mail delivered annually.
Packages are currently delivered seven days a week, including holidays but excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Formed in 1972, as per the Postal Service Act, the Post Office Department has been turned from a cabinet-level entity into an agency that's independent but nonetheless supported by the U.S. two centuries later, in 1971. The Postal Reorganization Act, singed by president Richard Nixon, rebranded POD into United States Postal Service, as well as addressed the issues the postal workers union were having with their salary and working conditions.
Nowadays, all mail going through USPS is sorted through 250 Processing and Distribution Centres, with some sorting mail intended specifically for the regions they're in. The process is done through an automatic system, though manual sorting and inspection may be required in case the system is unable to identify the label. All domestic mail is then delivered by USPS's large fleet of vans, either to post offices or to a different sorting centre.
It has two military branches, co-operated with the United States Department of Defence: Army Post Office and Fleet Post Office.
While they hold a monopoly on delivering letters across the U.S., their nationwide package delivery has to compete with privately-owned alternatives, primarily Fedex and UPS: United Parcel Service, both of which have larger international presence.
Domestic USPS packages will have detailed, point-by-point tracking present only when they're shipped with Priority Mail Express. For everything else, the tracking status will be shown when a package went out for delivery.
USPS also delivers letters and packages internationally, though due to the increased costs of international surface mail delivery (i.e. by sea), that service in particular has been discontinued. Therefore, any USPS freight passing through the ocean will be classified as Airmail. Global USPS tracking is available for Priority Mail International, Priority Mail Express International and Global Express Guaranteed delivery types, with the latter being the fastest option.
USPS package tracking
ETracking allows you to track all of your parcels in one place, with minimum effort: just paste the tracking number into either our webpage or phone app, we'll do the rest for you. With eTracking, there's no need to use a dedicated USPS tracking app for every different store anymore!
One click or tap is enough to follow your parcel for free, no logging in required. You will be provided with detailed USPS tracking history from across the world, all within a simple, clean and intuitive user interface. Real time USPS tracking is also possible, meaning that as soon as the package reaches a checkpoint, the history will be updated as soon as possible.
To further simplify the tracking process, if you have to follow multiple packages at once, all the time, consider getting our phone app, available on both iOS and Android. Simple USPS shipping lookup is only a couple of taps away from you!
How does USPS update the tracking
At each and every stage of delivery, the USPS tracking status receives an update. Since every parcel comes with a unique tracking number, it's very likely that your package specifically will have its' route history updated.
Bear in mind that due to the load most postal services have to go through, the update may take up to 24 or, in edge cases, 48 hours to happen. Even though eTracking keeps you up to date with the package in real time, updates themselves may not be instantaneous.
What to do if USPS tracking is not updated
Sometimes, USPS location tracking may not update after a long time, even though it's not in a multi-day transit. In cases like this, you may want to wait 24 hours more for the courier to update the tracking history. If that doesn't happen either, consider calling USPS 's customer service.
What to do if the parcel is not delivered
Much more often than not, USPS should deliver the package on the estimated date, but due to various circumstances, it's never guaranteed.
In case your package doesn't arrive on time, you can:
- wait for 24 or 48 hours past the estimated delivery date;
- report the missing package to the courier so that they could look for the package and send it to you.
If both of those methods fail, you very likely should apply for damage compensation.
To claim compensation for damage, check USPS 's info pages for how to do that or, if you won't be able to find the right bit of info, call customer support so they could provide you with each step. Generally, you'd need to check whether or not your package is eligible for such a compensation, then figure out what's the timeframe of filing such a claim, then collect all the documentation and evidence required to prove that you have indeed paid money for the package and that it did not arrive, or it arrived in a severely beat-up state.
In order to prevent packages from not getting delivered, consider investing into a better shipping insurance. This should not only provide better guarantee of the parcel reaching your doors, but also better and more detailed USPS delivery tracking.
Track USPS by tracking number
Every package is provided with a unique ID - an identifier used to easily keep track of a parcel by both the recepient and postal services. eTracking makes USPS tracking number lookup possible and easy - as long as the tracking number is there.
After your order is confirmed, the store you bought the item from should provide you with a tracking ID, either through the order confirmation letter, or through the orders page. If you're still not sure where to find it, consult the store's help pages. Remember that there may be certain items that require you to pay extra for detailed tracking, or even as much as the tracking number itself, so it might not be present at all.
If you do find the tracking ID, copy it, then paste it into the corresponding field in eTracking, then hit Enter to receive detailed tracking info on this number.
USPS tracking number format
USPS tracking number structure depends on what service is used for one particular package, and whether it's going to stay in the U.S. or not.
USPS international tracking number
Global USPS tracking number slightly differs depending on the delivery type, which could be either Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail International or Priority Mail Express International. The tracking numbers for all of those are formatted as follows:
- Global Express Guaranteed: 82, followed by nine more digits.
- Priority Mail International: CP, followed by nine digits and capped off with US.
- Priority Mail Express International: EC, followed by nine digits and capped off with US.
USPS internal tracking number
The USPS shipping tracking number uses several different formats, each for a different delivery type. Below are all the possible formats used by USPS:
- Regular USPS tracking: 94001, followed by 17 more digits.
- Priority Mail: 92055, followed by 17 more digits.
- Certified Mail: 94073, followed by 17 more digits.
- Collect on Delivery Hold For Pickup: 93033, followed by 17 more digits.
- Priority Mail Express: 92701, followed by 17 more digits; or EA, followed by nine digits and capped off with US.
- Registered Mail: 92088, followed by 17 more digits.
- Signature Confirmation: 92021, followed by 17 more digits.