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USPS Tracking Not Updating in Transit

By 23 May 2024May 24th, 2024No Comments
usps in-transit

USPS Tracking Not Updating in Transit: 4 Steps to Take to Solve USPS Tracking Issues

Individuals, professionals, and businesses often feel overwhelmed by USPS tracking statuses. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is popular for being the largest postal carrier in the US. It delivers around 143 billion letters, packages, and parcels every year.

Despite the massive infrastructure of the postal service, small cracks could often lead to slower deliveries or a lack of accurate tracking info.

USPS Tracking Not Updating in Transit

Users may even experience things like why is USPS tracking not working or tracking numbers not updating USPS. What are the main reasons behind this problem? What can you do about it?

USPS provides tracking services to keep an eye on your mail and packages. They give you a unique ID for a package or envelope, a “tracking number”. This number is necessary to visualize the package’s mailing journey through online tools. Businesses consider tracking numbers invaluable tools for checking the status of their packages.

This blog is the perfect place to understand what to do when you face the “USPS not updating tracking” problem. We will explain why the USPS tracking system sometimes does not work.

What is the “USPS Tracking Not Updating” Issue?

The absence of tracking updates itself can create fear among many individuals. You might also have a delusion about losing or misplacing your package somewhere.

A freeze of tracking information means the system didn’t receive any update from the latest scanning point. USPS has a vast delivery network across the country with multiple scanners and touchpoints.

A single package can go through different post offices, distribution centers, sorting centers, and ultimately an intended recipient. Each scanner in this journey updates the tracking system, keeping the users informed about its mailing journey.

However, human errors while processing, technical glitches, or even high-volume mail may disrupt tracking updates. The tracking information could be stuck in time.

Many users complain about USPS not updating tracking data. Lack of information leads to anxiety about delays and the actual status of their mail.

How Big is the US Postal Service?

Why is the United States Postal Service different from other postal & package companies? It has been the US Federal Government’s part since 1792. This long history makes it the owner of one of the largest postal road networks.

USPS is the only postal service that reaches almost every address in the country. They cover more than 160 million residences, businesses, and PO Boxes. The carrier also boasts over 34,000 retail locations.

In fact, other postal companies like FedEx and UPS outsource deliveries to USPS in some rural areas to benefit from their vast network and infrastructure. The Federal Government also backs the postal service to give you the assurance of reliability.

What is USPS Package Tracking?

The United States Postal Service enables you to track mail and packages from one location to another during shipment. They can gather information regarding package status, its date and time, delivery date, and other updates during transit.

Users rely on USPS to monitor their packages to ensure they reach their destination on time and safely. This tracking facility is available for various mail and packages, including First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, Priority Express Mail, and even international shipments.

To take advantage of USPS tracking, customers can visit the official USPS website or use their mobile app and enter the tracking number to receive up-to-date information. However, some users may face problems like tracking number not updating USPS.

Features of USPS Tracking

USPS enables customers to avoid fear and anxiety over the status of their shipments. These are some key features of USPS tracking that customers enjoy.

Real-Time Tracking

Customers can get real-time updates on the status and location of their shipments. They gain complete information on when their package was ready for pick up, its journey through various USPS locations, and when it left the last facility for final delivery.

This transparent visibility of the delivery process helps businesses win their customers' trust and loyalty.

Notifications through Emails and SMS

Customers can receive tracking updates through email or text messages to keep track of shipments. Furthermore, they can customize these notifications to get updates on specific milestones in the shipment process.

Delivery Confirmation Update

It is essential to inform customers about delivery confirmations instead of leaving them in oblivion. USPS tracking confirmation emails and notifications with the delivery date and name of the recipient. It gives peace of mind to their customers expecting these shipment deliveries.

Signature Confirmation

Tracking by USPS allows customers to determine whether their packages require the recipient's signature for delivery.

. Thus, this tracking not only adds the recipient's name but also keeps their signature in the system.

The Shipment History

The American postal system goes through a long chain of complex processes. USPS tracking allows you to track a package throughout its entire journey. It is possible to determine the location of the mail item throughout its journey.

Tracking with Multiple Options

The USPS tracking facility is available for various mail and package types. Customers can track their First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, Express Mail, and even international shipments. Thus, they have a wide range of options to suit their needs.

The Precision of USPS Tracking

People often have huge concerns about the precision of USPS tracking. Above all, USPS is famous for updating the tracking numbers whenever a package reaches one of its facilities or trucks.

Thus, location tracking is quite precise as it tells when a package enters or leaves a facility or truck. However, customers can't track every package's real-time movement.

USPS Tracking for International Packages

It is also effective for tracking international shipments. However, there could be a few shortcomings that might make the tracking get stuck.

Firstly, the parcel might be going through a customs clearance process to start its journey for delivery in another country.

Secondly, the parcel might get stuck if the sender didn't put the correct address. The package is either returned to the sender or stuck in the mailing ecosystem. Moreover, the COVID-19 global pandemic also reduced the number of international flights. Thus, international mailing speed is witnessing a significant drop.

Private shipment and courier services like FedEx and DHL have their transport fleet with trucks and planes for international shipment. International mail doesn't have direct routes like regular mail, so it might take significantly longer to deliver international mail.

The tracking might be sufficient for sending a local post to a recipient. However, it won't track the mail during transit to another overseas location.

What if the USPS Tracking Number Doesn't Work?

The USPS tracking number should work on the USPS server at any cost. However, if a tracking number is not working, there could be an error at the USPS end. Their servers could be down, or USPS might have problems updating its tracking information. In some cases, USPSI may need help discovering your package from the start.

How Long Does it Take to Update USPS Tracking?

Updating the USPS tracking information might take between 24 hours to 5 days, depending on what's happening behind the scenes. In this regard, users must remain patient while USPS tracking stops updating.

If it still needs to satisfy the users, then they can contact the team of USPS to learn more about USPS tracking problems. Additionally, they can keep checking the tracking system by following these steps;

To check the status of the tracking system, users can go to USPS – Track & Confirm, find their mail piece using specific criteria, and provide additional details according to the label. Then click “Track” to check whether the USPS tracking number is working.

If they feel that the USPS tracking updates need fixing, they can reach the customer support team to explain their problem. The support team might ask several questions to verify their identities. They will provide users with the right solution or suggest waiting a few hours.

How to Track Your Package When USPS Tracking is Not Working?

Many people need help with tracking numbers not working or updating problems while using USPS tracking. These problems usually take place during special occasions like festivals or sales.

They receive a large number of packages to process. To increase the pace of the delivery process, they avoid scanning the barcode and directly delivering the package.

USPS often skips package scanning during the peak season to save time. Thus, you don't need to worry about the updates on the tracking information. However, you can still implement the following method;

  • You can wait until they update the tracking information.
  • Send a text message using the USPS Text Tracking features with your tracking number to 2USPS (28777).
  • Call USPS customer support to learn about the current package tracking status.

There's no need to have anxiety or fear if you cannot track your package. You will get your package soon, right at your doorstep.

What Do USPS Tracking Updates Mean?

USPS Tracking Status UpdatesAre you wondering about the USPS tracking updates? Here's a breakdown of what they signify:

Your item has arrived at a location within the USPS network.

This update appears when your package gets scanned upon arrival during its journey. It means your mailer has departed from any point within the USPS network.

  • “In transit” indicates your mailer is on the move within the USPS network, heading towards its final destination. Sometimes, it might stay “in transit” for days, especially for long-distance shipments. In such cases, your package is likely on a USPS freight vehicle, whether by land or air. The next update will be after it reaches the next facility or destination.
  • “Out for delivery” signifies that your envelope or parcel has reached your local post office and is on its way to your doorstep. You can expect delivery within 24-48 hours.
  • If you see “Delivered to an agent for final delivery,” the update means USPS has handed over your mailpiece to an independent “agent” who will ensure its final delivery. This agent could be a building manager, workplace receptionist, or an independent mail courier contracted by USPS.
  • “Notice left” is USPS's way of telling you they have left a notice at your address after attempting delivery. It typically happens when your item requires a signature, like with Signature Confirmation or Certified Mail.
  • “No access” indicates that USPS tried to deliver your item but couldn't access your property or mailbox. They'll likely make another delivery attempt, or you can visit your local post office to collect the package yourself.

Does the Package Crossing International Borders Affect Tracking?

Your mailpiece embarks on a journey after crossing international borders. It is essential to know that when you send a package internationally via USPS, tracking updates for in-transit items may not be guaranteed once it departs the United States.

However, here is the good news: your tracking number remains helpful for monitoring your item’s whereabouts, even in the recipient country. So, if you've sent a parcel to, let’s say, the United Kingdom, your USPS tracking number can still help you track it within the UK postal system, Royal Mail.

For those who frequently send international packages, check the destination country’s online in-transit tracking system before losing hope or filing complaints. This approach has proven highly successful for many senders.

If you are unsure about the postal service in the destination country, enter “[the destination country] + track a package” into your preferred search engine. Unfortunately, not every country may offer an online parcel tracking system.

Also, the options are limited when speaking of troubleshooting USPS in-transit tracking updates. If USPS is slow with your tracking information, waiting for an update is often the only practical advice.

While some sources suggest contacting the sender, it might not yield results. The exception is when you have yet to receive a USPS tracking update. The package may be en route to the US Post Office in the first place.

Reasons Behind USPS Tracking Not Updated

If USPS tracking is not updated, make sure you have entered the exact same tracking number. USPS has a tracking number for each shipment, so you must use the correct number. If the problem persists, there may be a problem on the carrier’s end.

There can also be more than one reason you aren’t getting your tracking updates on time. Most of these reasons are minor, and you should be able to start getting notifications again soon. However, it is still better to understand how long it takes for USPS to update tracking to help you prepare to handle such scenarios.

Unforeseen Weather Conditions

Harsh or extreme weather, including flash floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc., can be a prominent reason for USPS tracking updates being delayed. Such unforeseen weather conditions can slow down the mailing process and stop your mailpieces from moving ahead of the USPS infrastructure.

Thus, your items may be kept for a longer time at a postal facility than expected, leading to the tracking updates staying the same for a couple of days.
For example, if you mail something from Miami to Alaska, there are multiple stops on the way. In this case, your mailpieces have to battle several weather conditions, from sunny days to excessively cold temperatures. Thus, it is not unlikely that your mail may take longer than usual to reach the destination, getting stuck at some points for several days.

Therefore, it is advisable to know the climatic situation of the place you are shipping—to prevent yourselves from worrying about USPS tracking not updating.
Another way inclement weather conditions hinder the delivery process is through damaged barcodes. If your package barcode is damaged and the USPS worker cannot scan it further, there are higher chances of your first-class tracking USPS not updating on time.

Mail Not Updated or Scanned

The USPS workers may miss out on scanning a package, which could be why tracking USPS not updating. It is also possible that the carrier may not change your item information every step of the way. Thus, the tracking details may get updated only at a few stops. This happens rarely; you can still expect it to be a common reason for your USPS tracking updates being delayed.

The USPS does an excellent job of scanning every mailpiece at every facility. Yet, there are still a few items left behind. Using batch scanning, the USPS updates the details of different groups or pallets of mailpieces together.

Furthermore, postal employees do not always scan your items upon their arrival at a postal outlet. They might do it at the time of departure, causing delays in updating the delivery statuses.

If you send out items via Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express and your USPS tracking is not updating, try to check back again after a few hours. You can sign up for a USPS account and get regular email and text notifications.

Package Delayed or Not Moving

We often get the query- how often does USPS update tracking?

The short answer is 24 hours, but we will cover more on it shortly.

Though the update time is as less as 24 hours, it is not what happens throughout the year. During the holiday season, almost every individual and business sends holiday greetings.

Companies may also send season sale coupons, discount offers, etc., to persuade their prospects and drive sales. Therefore, the USPS faces a significant rise in demand during the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.

Naturally, the USPS works faster throughout October, November, and December to meet the growing demand. Still, it is impossible to process every item as soon as they reach the Post Office. Hence, if your USPS tracking not updating, there is a chance your item hasn’t started moving yet.

Apart from a logjam, there are many more reasons for an item to be delayed, like:

  • Truck malfunction
  • Driver’s illness
  • Flat tires or other similar setbacks, etc.

The USPS remedies such issues as soon as possible, but it may impact the delivery process for at least a few hours. Therefore, your mailpieces may start moving later than usual, leading to your first-class tracking not updating.

Mail or Package Lost In Transit

Unfortunately, USPS cannot deliver every mailpiece to its destination. Some items get lost in transit or are misplaced, especially when you ship items with an incorrect address. Mail with inaccurate or invalid addresses gets lost more often as they don’t have a proper destination.

They can confuse postal workers and lead to several problems like delays and mail returns. However, you may not get lucky sometimes, and your items may get lost because of incorrect address information.

Therefore, lost mail items can be another reason for USPS tracking not updating. You can avoid it by double-checking your mailing addresses with
an address verification API like PostGrid, ensuring deliverability. It can help you standardize and validate your database beforehand to speed up the delivery process and prevent your items from being lost because of inaccuracy.

Remember, your packages may also get lost owing to some uncontrollable reasons. They might fall off the USPS’s conveyor belts or get destroyed by the postal equipment. If such things happen, your mailing status may not be shown on the website and lead to first-class tracking not updating.

Mailpiece Already Delivered

If your USPS tracking has not been updated for a long time, the reason could be that the item has already been delivered. Typically, your carrier needs to update the item status as ‘Delivered' right after handing it over to the resident or dropping it off at their mailbox. But, it is common for postal workers to forget to update your delivery status.

The USPS tracking not updating but delivered is not a big problem as the status would get updated eventually. You can wait for the website to show ‘Out for Delivery’ in a couple of hours. Or, you can contact the recipient personally and inquire if they got your package.

Apart from forgetting to update your status, it is also possible that the carrier was unable to scan your item because of a damaged barcode. Hence, keep checking your tracking status a few times before taking further steps.

Moreover, the USPS also states that some items are scanned only after delivery. Therefore, you may not get any updates throughout the journey and directly receive a delivery notification once they are delivered.

It happens, especially in the case of First-Class Mail—a mailing service that does not offer to track envelopes. If you want to track First-Class Mail items, you need to pair them with Certified Mail or Registered Mail.

When Does the USPS Provide Senders With the In-Transit Tracking Details?

We must understand how USPS shipment tracking operates to grasp the frequency of USPS tracking updates. USPS furnishes a unique tracking number for every shipment located on the USPS shipping label. This number receives updates with each scan, keeping you informed of your package's journey.

Your query might be, “When will I receive a USPS tracking update?” The USPS typically updates your status within 24 to 48 hours. Therefore, when tracking your mailers in transit, ensure your tracking information is readily available.

While other carriers offer real-time tracking for in-transit items, USPS tracking differs. It updates when your mailpiece reaches a new facility or boards a truck. 

The more distant your package travels, the more stops it makes, leading to frequent updates. Conversely, if your item originates from nearby, it might only see one or two updates before arriving at your doorstep.

USPS offers “end-to-end tracking,” ensuring that mail items undergo scanning at various points within their network, from entry into a USPS facility to final delivery.

It states that most domestic mail products directed towards national destinations and of sufficient size qualify for tracking, but some international mailers may have “destination limitations.” Tracking in transit is unavailable for letters, flat mail, or parcels that fit into letterboxes.

You can utilize your USPS tracking number via the online tracking tool on the USPS website To monitor your package's progress. Get this unique code from your USPS sales receipt, customs form receipt, or the Informed Delivery tool (for enrolled customers).

Most USPS items in transit, though not all, are equipped with tracking numbers. These tracking numbers enable customers to monitor their packages' whereabouts throughout the shipping journey.

Why Is My Item Marked Delivered But Has Not Reached the Destination Yet?

It can be frustrating to see your USPS status not updating or showing as delivered when the item has not reached you yet. But, please note that it may happen a few times as a mistake by the USPS workers. They may update the status as ‘Delivered’ instead of ‘Out for Delivery.’ In that case, wait for a few hours for your carrier to show up and hand over the item to you before you call the Post Office.

However, if your tracking status says ‘Delivered,’ looking around your house to check if someone received it is not a bad idea. The carrier could have dropped your item in the mailbox or placed it on:

  • The porch
  • Garage
  • Exterior doors
  • Other places where the postal worker can place your item safely, etc.

Also, check your mailbox twice as some mailpieces are kept separately from regular mail. If you cannot find the item anywhere and it has been 24 hours since the USPS tracking did not update, you can email a service request to the USPS.

How Often Does USPS Update Tracking?

All mail items are updated every time they leave a postal outlet. Hence, you can expect the carrier to scan your items when they:

  • Reach the Post Office
  • Arrive at every postal facility spread across various cities (depending on the mailing distance)
  • Reach your local Post Office
  • Are out for delivery
  • Reach the destination

If you are mailing over a long distance, your item will have more stops. Thus, you may get more notifications or updates than usual. On the contrary, if you mail items locally, you may get an update directly after the delivery.

As said earlier, First-Class Mail items do not get scanned if you don’t purchase an add-on service. Hence, while mailing First-Class Mail items, you cannot expect to receive any tracking details.

After scanning, the USPS system may take up to 24 hours to update the details. If your USPS tracking not updating for more than this time frame, the reasons we discussed in this blog could be the culprit.

What to Do If USPS Tracking Not Updating?

Here, we have mentioned some quick and simple steps that you can undertake to inquire about your mail item if your USPS tracking has not been updated.

Contact the Post Office Customer Service

The easiest and fastest way to inquire about your USPS tracking not updating after drop-off is to call the Post Office directly. This option is also viable for those mailers who have several additional queries or need to offer extra details about their package.

The USPS asks mailers to call the number—1800 275 8777 to get in touch with their customer support team. It enables you to discuss your situation in-depth, give your tracking number, and let them provide you with some information regarding your mail. The USPS representative on call may ask you to wait for a couple of minutes or even tell you that they will update you in 24-48 hours. It depends on the available tracking information they have at their disposal.

There are two more phone numbers where you can call—1800 344 7779 for technical support and 1800 222 1811 for delivery tracking. Calling on any of these numbers or emailing at the email address provided on the USPS website can help you understand why your USPS tracking not updating in 2024.

Wait a Few Days

Often, there is no need to worry about the USPS tracking not updating today. As discussed above, the reasons can be minor, like delayed scanning. Thus, if your status isn't updated at the moment, it might be done after a few hours. You can check back later to see if there have been any changes.

It is advisable to wait for at least five working days before contacting the USPS regarding the USPS tracking not updating in transit arriving late. Your mailpiece may likely show up in a few days, or the tracking information may get updated at the very least.

Visit Your Local Post Office

If you want to have a face-to-face conversation with a postal worker and ask them why your USPS tracking not updating, going to the Post Office is your best bet. Some people may prefer this option as they might feel that they might get more speedy answers this way. Furthermore, it is a good option if you have a Post Office not far away from your residence or office.

But, remember to carry your mailing receipt to help the person behind the counter provide you with your package details. Without a tracking number, they cannot search for your item on their system and tell you where it is.

If you don’t have the time to visit the Post Office, you can stick with the above two options. Either way, try to be patient as the USPS deals with a large volume of items each day, and a few drawbacks should be negligible.

Ensure That You Are Entering the Correct Tracking Number

Having the correct tracking number is crucial to knowing your delivery status. Often, we enter an incorrect tracking number mistakenly, which is why your status shows as invalid or not updated. Therefore, if your USPS tracking not updating for a week, cross-check your tracking number and see if you have been entering the correct one on the USPS website.

Always refer to your confirmation email and USPS mailing receipt to check your tracking number. It should be a 20-22 digit long number without any alphabet or symbol. The tracking number for an Express Mail item begins with two alphabets and ends with ‘US.’ Also, remember that Express Mail tracking numbers are only 13 characters long.

If the carrier cannot deliver your item, they might leave an orange slip on your doorstep. This slip also contains the tracking number, which you can enter on the USPS website to learn your item’s delivery information. Look out for such notices if your USPS tracking not updating for several days.

Luckily, PostGrid’s direct mail API helps you track all your sent mail in one go and offers a consolidated view of your delivery statuses. Hence, there is no scope for any manual mistake, and you can access accurate information at any time you need.

When Is a USPS Mailpiece Considered Lost?

After you contact the Post Office about your USPS tracking not being updated, you should wait for seven more days. If there aren’t any updates regarding your mailpiece till then, the USPS considers the mailpiece to be lost.

You can then file a Missing Mail Search Request on the USPS website. While doing so, take care to submit all crucial details about your item, like:

  • Recipient’s mailing address
  • Tracking number
  • Mailing service
  • Contents of the package
  • Dimensions and weight, etc.

To prevent your mail from getting lost or damaged, use sturdy packaging and verify your mailing information carefully. PostGrid’s direct mail services can help you do all these things by only clicking a few buttons on your device. Hence, you don’t have to deal with USPS tracking not updating or any such problems by yourselves.

What If the USPS Delivers Your Item to the Wrong Address?

Unless you don’t contact the Post Office with your tracking number, it is hard to know if the USPS delivered your item to the wrong place. If the USPS tracking is not updating and the mailpiece didn’t reach you, you can call the Post Office and inquire about it.

Since postal scanners use GPS technology, a USPS supervisor can trace the location of your item’s last scan. However, if your mailpiece wasn’t scanned recently, there is nothing more you can do about it. Thus, you can only hope that the recipient calls the Post Office and reports the item. Hence, we cannot emphasize further how crucial it is to write the correct mailing address to help postal workers complete the delivery accurately.

What is USPS Tracking Plus?

USPS also provides a paid service to use their Tracking System. It enables customers to extend their view options to specific tracking histories for up to a decade on domestic USPS shipping and around seven years for international shipments.

This service is ideal for businesses that manage bulk shipments throughout the year.

USPS Tracking Statuses and Their Meanings

The tracking statuses will change as the shipment progresses to the delivery location. You can use your mail tracking number to start tracking mail or packages on USPS. However, it is vital to learn about the common USPS tracking statuses and their meaning;

USPS Pre-Shipment

It shows the pre-shipment information of your package is going to USPS. The postal service only has the electronic transmission of your shipping details from the shipper.

USPS is aware of your mail or package but hasn’t received it yet. The postal workers will be scanning the label once they receive the package.

USPS In-Transit

This status is the most critical stage in the mailing process and is classified into different classes;

  • Arrival at the unit: Users know that their package has reached the post office and is ready for delivery on the expected data. USPS provides a fixed timeframe for its delivery.
  • Departed USPS Facility: It indicates the item has left the shipment facility for delivery. USPS provides information about the zip code of the package, city, and state.
  • Processed at USPS Destination Facility: USPS is ready to deliver the package to the destination hub. It will also provide you with relevant package information.
  • Arriving Late: This code means USPS won’t be able to reach your recipient on the expected date.
  • Outbound of U.S. Customs: It means customs are complete with the package, and it is ready for international shipment.

USPS Out for Delivery

This code means that your shipment is sent for delivery. It is highly likely that you will receive the package on the expected date.

USPS Delivered

A “Delivered” status means that USPS was able to deliver the package without any issues. These are some sub-Statuses under USPS Delivered:

  • Picked Up: The recipient has picked up the package from their local post office.
  • Delivered to an Agent: It suggests that an agent residing in the same building or institution has got the package. For example, a college, condominium, or hospital. The agent’s address remains the same as the receiver’s address.

USPS Accepted at Destination

This code shows that your package has reached a local USPS post office or facility. You should also refer to these additional options under USPS Accepted.

  • Origin Accepted: It means that your package is present at the sorting hub. USPS determines this hub according to the zip code of your package.
  • USPS in Possession of the Item: It indicates USPS postal workers have your package.
  • Accepted at USPS Facility: The package is present at the USPS processing hub. USPS designates the hub according to the shipment’s zip code.

USPS Available for Pickup

The code allows a receiver to collect the package from the local post office or USPS facility before its delivery.

Delivery Attempt

It shows that there was a delivery attempt by USPS to deliver your package, yet it was unsuccessful. Here are some common statuses under Delivery attempt;

  • Held at the Post Office. A USPS Post office is keeping the package upon the request of the receiver.
  • Receptacle Blocked. It indicates that some unforeseen circumstances like poor weather or protests had blocked the road towards the delivery location.
  • No Secure Location Available. You will get this tracking status when USPS can’t find a secure location to deliver your shipment.
  • No Authorized Recipient Available. It indicates the package receivers aren’t authorized. It is a common status for mail services that need signature confirmations.
  • No Access. The USPS postal workers weren’t able to access the delivery location.

USPS Alert

These are some possible statuses under USPS alert;

  • Awaiting Delivery Scan. The receiver must confirm acceptance of the package after 14 hours of receiving it.
  • Refused. It indicates that the receiver refused to accept the package.
  • Unable to Deliver Problems with Address. USPS wasn’t able to make a successful delivery because the address was incorrect, invalid, or incomplete.
  • Forwarded. The recipient has forwarded the package to a new address.
  • Sent to Recovery Mail. USPS wasn’t able to deliver, forward, or return the shipment. It is present at the Mail Recovery Center.

USPS Return to Sender

These are some possible statuses under the USPS return to sender alert;

  • No Such Number. It is necessary to add a correct address or Zip code to the shipment information.
  • Insufficient Address. It indicates that USPS requires additional delivery address information.
  • Moved, Left No Address. The mail recipient has moved to a new location and needs to update their mailing address.
  • Unspecified. It shows USPS is sending the shipment back to the sender. A particular reason isn’t specified for this action.

What is the Future of USPS Tracking with Technological Advancements?

So many modern technologies are bringing innovation to the USPS tracking system. We can expect even greater betterments with;

  • Real-Time GPS Tracking: Postal workers will fit a tiny GPS into each parcel to broadcast its precise location to users. It will provide real-time information and notify people of prior updates.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): The use of AI can predict delays, spot issues, and lower uncertainty about deliveries.
  • Blockchain Technology: A decentralized ledger could simplify package verification and record-keeping for the postal agency. Every moment in the system would have proper records, promoting higher confidence and lowering mistakes.
  • Advanced Robotics: Automated sorting facilities and done deliveries won’t be a thing of the distant future. Top companies are already running pilot testing projects. It would fastrack the processing and deliveries, especially in rural areas.

How Can PostGrid Help You Ship Items Efficiently and Precisely?

PostGrid’s automated direct mail management services can help you avoid problems like USPS tracking not updating right from the beginning. First, PostGrid assists you in drafting your mail items. It offers several pre-built templates for marketing and transactional items to suit your needs. Hence, you don’t need to hire a designer or negotiate editing rates to get your artwork ready according to your requirements.

Then, PostGrid helps you get your items printed and enveloped with Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMBs) and verified mailing addresses. Hence, there are fewer chances of your mail getting misplaced or the USPS tracking not being updated for a month because of inaccuracy issues.

Furthermore, PostGrid’s print and mail API also ships off your items with USPS in only two business days. You can log into your PostGrid account and access real-time mail updates through your dashboard. Along with the mailing statuses, you can also view your campaign analytics by navigating your dashboard.


Why are the USPS in-transit tracking updates unavailable post “Arrival At Unit”?

If you encounter the message “USPS delivery status not updated,” it signifies a lack of tracking information updates. Please double-check the accuracy of your input tracking number to resolve the non-updating status. 

You can locate your valid tracking number in your Post Office shipping recipient information, a confirmation email from USPS, or the peel-off portion of the tracking label. However, if the issue persists, it might be a carrier-related problem.

What is the “Arrival At Unit” update?

The “Arrival at unit” update indicates that your mail has reached the initial postal station from where the USPS will forward it to its next destination. Typically, it serves as the initial reference point. Receiving multiple “Arrival at Unit” messages implies your package is in transit to the next unit in line.

Is USPS First-Class Mail subject to delays?

It is crucial to note that USPS provides estimates rather than guarantees regarding shipping. 

These estimates indicate that your mailer might arrive before or after the specified date. 

Although USPS First Class Package typically has a 1-3 day estimate, it can arrive earlier or experience delays. It is advisable to wait for up to five days before reaching out to customer service.

Are you concerned about USPS in-transit tracking not updating for three weeks?

There is no need to worry. The USPS should scan every package with a tracking number from origin to destination or when in transit, but occasional misses occur at certain checkpoints. These lapses exist because of many factors, such as holiday rushes, adverse weather conditions, carrier delays, etc. So, if your package's status remains the same, rest assured because there is no cause for concern.


USPS tracking not updating is a minor issue and should be resolved within a few hours or days. There are several reasons for your tracking status not being updated—most of which are unpredictable and uncontrollable by the USPS.

Hence, sometimes, the best thing to do is sit back and relax for the status to update or for your item to arrive. Otherwise, you can always get on a call with a USPS supervisor and ask them to give you the details.

To help you, PostGrid assures that your mail items are headed to valid, accurate delivery addresses. It also assists you in presorting your mailpieces and shipping them speedily—helping you ditch the USPS tracking not updating problem. Click here now to learn more!

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