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How to Track a USPS Package

Jun 2020
Nikolay Pasholok
Product Owner, Calcurates

Tracking USPS Shipments

When shipping orders is a part of your business, the ability to track and manage deliveries is essential. USPS is the most popular and cheap shipping carrier in the US, and you will probably deal with it often.

The company has improved its service quality over the last several years. In particular, each mailpiece, except in several categories that we'll mention below, is now equipped with a USPS tracking number. Tracking gives you an interface to monitor your package every step of the way. In most cases, it's free, but USPS tracking does cost extra for some shipping options.

Answering the popular question of which countries have USPS tracking, we should say that the company provides tracking information for all international shipments regardless of the destination country.

USPS has not yet made it flawless. Because of the enormous volume of mailpieces, some items are scanned with errors or not scanned whatsoever. The share of such accidents is low but still marginally higher than that of FedEx and UPS.

How to Track USPS Shipments

When inquiring about how USPS tracking works, it's essential to specify the shipping service since not every option has tracking. When the option you've chosen is eligible, you will receive a tracking number.

You can find it in:
  • the post office shipping receipt;
  • the sales receipt, if you bought insurance at the post office;
  • the e-mail confirmation, if the order was shipped from USPS.com;
  • the shipping confirmation e-mail from the retailer;
  • the bottom peel-off portion of a USPS tracking label.
After you receive the number, you can use one of the following methods of acquiring tracking information for your shipment:

  • enter your tracking number in the search field on the official website, USPS.com;
  • text your tracking number to 28777 (2USPS);
  • use the official USPS mobile app for iOS or Android;
  • call customer service.

To track a USPS parcel by phone, dial 1-800-222-1811. The customer support representatives don't have access to any additional information about the shipment beyond what is available on USPS.com.

You can also turn on the automatic text and e-mail notifications with tracking updates on your USPS tracking website profile.

While there is no such option as USPS tracking by address, you may use the Informed Delivery service as an alternative way to receive the tracking information.

Contrary to popular search queries, there is no USPS tracking by phone number or USPS tracking by order number.

Which USPS Services Offer Tracking

Although you obtain a USPS tracking number for most packages sent through the United States Postal Service domestically, you can't get a USPS tracking number for small envelopes, First Class Mail, and Marketing Mail. However, with the latter sort of shipment, you can add the tracking option for a small fee. So it is not a question of whether USPS tracking works internationally but a question of which service offers it.

When shipping internationally, sometimes, you have to pay extra for tracking.

What USPS Tracking Numbers Look Like

Tracking numbers have a certain structure that allows for faster logging. USPS tracking number format implies 10 to 22 characters, where the first two to eight symbols are used to specify the shipping service, and the last two may show the country of origin for international shipments.

Addressing the popular query of "What do USPS tracking numbers start with?", it's worth noting that the company uses letters and digits for the first part of the number. Letters are used for Priority Mail and digits for the rest of the services.

USPS Tracking Statuses and Their Meanings

When you are retrieving USPS tracking details, you'll see them in the form of a status. There are different USPS tracking statuses, and each is used in a specific situation to avoid confusion.

Here's the list of USPS tracking statuses

How You Can Track a Package without the USPS Tracking Number

Without the tracking number, you won't be able to receive the order information; however, you may use Informed Delivery by USPS. This service allows you to preview parcels before arrival via gray-scale photographs of the items and their labels. It also allows you to manage packages and track all the shipments without the need to enter individual tracking numbers. To take advantage of this service, you will need to create a personal account, verify your identity and address, and choose the devices on which you want to receive notifications. The service is only available to eligible ZIP Codes, so look for other options if your address is not in the system yet.

If you accidentally lost the USPS tracking number, double-check the receipts and e-mail confirmations to retrieve it. If you can't find it anywhere, your only other chance is to check if your order was sent through Priority Mail Express. If it was, you can ask for the tracking information in the nearest postal office.

If the status of your order has not been updated for a long time, don't look for alternative ways of tracking your shipment: this is probably due to the tracking issues USPS occasionally has. Contact customer support, and they will try to solve the problem.

Track Your Orders with Flexible Shipping SAAS

Managing tracking numbers for multiple orders can be a hassle. Calcurates is a Magento shipping extension that saves you the trouble of doing everything manually by providing an automated solution. Calcurates retrieves all your tracking numbers automatically and forwards them to your customers, improving their purchase experience.

Try the free demo and see for yourself the advantages of tracking a shipment with an automated solution.
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