us postal service tracking

What is US Postal Service Tracking?

US Postal Service Tracking is offered by USPS, ensuring reliable mail and package delivery. It’s essential for tracking the locations and status of your mail, whether you’re sending documents, gifts, or packages for your online business.

U.S. Postal Service Tracking

The US Postal Service tracking number serves as a valuable instrument for monitoring the transit of your shipments.

The tracking number comprises a combination of alphanumeric characters provided either by the sender or the USPS Post Office at the time of dispatching a package.

Customers can easily use USPS Tracking to stay updated on their mail and packages’ journey. This guide will reveal all you need to know about U.S. Postal Service Tracking.

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How Does the US Postal Service Tracking Work?

The U.S. Postal Service tracking works by scanning the label of your traceable item several times as it travels through the postal system.

The tracking process begins when the person sending the mail or USPS shipping partner electronically informs USPS about an incoming package.

From there, it includes steps such as USPS accepting the package for transit and concludes when the item is successfully delivered to the recipient.

Throughout this journey, you can access the tracking information using your item’s unique USPS Tracking number.

This number allows you to monitor the item’s progress and status through various channels.

Types of US Postal Service Tracking

USPS provides many shipping options for customers, both locally and internationally.

1. USPS Tracking Domestic

Customers can choose from the following options below:

FeatureServiceDescriptionPriceDelivery Speed
            Fastest Delivery Speed                         Priority Mail ExpressSending an item urgently for next-day or 2-day delivery.  From $28.75Next-Day to 2-Day
Priority MailSending crucial items for 1-3 business day delivery.Flat Rate Envelope: From $9.65  
USPS Mailing Box (Flat Rate): From $10.20            
Your Own Box By Weight/Zone: From $9.35
1-3 business days      
Simple, Affordable, Reliable                                  USPS Ground AdvantageLow rates for packages with expected delivery in 2-5 business days  From $4.75    2–5 business days
Postcards & Envelopes                                          First-Class Mail  Mailing a flat envelope, either standard (under 3.5 oz) or large (under 13 oz), that’s easily bendable.From $0.51 (postcards)  
From $0.66 (letters)  
From $1.35 (large envelopes)     
1-5 Business Days     
Only at the Post Office                             Media MailSending just books (or qualified media) for the lowest cost.  From $3.92    2-8 Business Days

2. International USPS Tracking

Customers can choose from the following options outside of the United States

FeatureServiceDescriptionPriceDelivery Speed
Fastest Delivery Speed                         Global Express Guaranteed (GXC)Sending an item urgently that must arrive in a few days.  From $71.101-3 business days (1 business day to many destinations in Canada)
Priority Express Mail International    Sending items that need to be delivered in less than a week.      From $54.75From $54.75
Affordable Option                         Postcards & Envelopes                                               Priority Mail InternationalSending packages that weigh over 4 lbs.  From $30.35  6-10 business days
First Class Package International ServiceShipping a package or a sizable envelope weighing less than 4 lbs, with a value below $400.       From $0.51 (postcards)     From $15.75 (Mail)  Varies by destination            
Best for Documents or Printed Materials Only                                   First Class Mail International  Mailing a document envelope that weighs less than 15.994 oz.From $3.92    Varies by destination
Airmail M-BagsIf you’re an international student in the U.S. looking to ship many books back home. From $55.00Varies by destination

Format of the US Postal Service Tracking Number

U.S. Postal Service Tracking

A USPS tracking number is a special code made up of 20 to 22 numbers and letters and it is likened to a package’s fingerprint, making each one unique.

For USPS express services, the tracking number usually starts with two letters, has nine numbers in the middle, and ends with “US.”

You can also call it the US Mail Service Tracking Number or label. The tracking number format changes based on the shipping service you use.

Here are the different formats and some examples for each USPS shipping service.

Shipping ServiceFormatExample
USPS Tracking22 numbers9400 1111 8888 4444 2222 11
Priority Mail22 numbers9205 5000 3333 9999 1111 00
Certified Mail22 numbers9407 3000 2222 9999 0000 00
Collect On Delivery Hold For Pickup           22 numbers9303 3123 4242 8888 0000 22
Global Express Guaranteed11 numbers82 111 899 21
Priority Mail Express International2 letters +9 numbers + 2 letters EC 000 000 222 US
Priority Mail Express                       22 numbers or 2 letters +9 numbers + 2 letters9270 1000 0000 8889 111 00 or EA 222 000 000 US
Priority Mail International   2 letters +9 numbers + 2 lettersCP 000 000 000 US
Registered Mail                       22 numbers9208 8222 0000 1111 0000 22
Signature Confirmation  22 numbers9202 1000 2223 1111 2222 00

How Do I Add USPS Tracking to My Item?

To add tracking to your item, you have a couple of options:

1. Post Office

When you visit your local Post Office and pay for postage on an eligible shipping product, USPS tracking is automatically included.

They will provide you with a mailing receipt that has a tracking number.

This number is for accessing delivery details later. It ensures your item can be tracked.

2. Online

You can also manage tracking online. The requirement for tracking online is that you have to create a USPS account.

This account allows you to do different postal tasks like printing USPS Tracking labels, purchasing mailing and shipping services, and even buying stamps.

When you print a label online, it not only generates the label for your package but also provides a receipt with the tracking number.

Also, if you combine a USPS Tracking product with an Extra Service that is compatible, you may receive proof of delivery, which could include a recipient’s signature.

You can find more details about these Extra Services in the Domestic and International Extra Services sections.

This can be especially useful for confirming that your item was successfully delivered.

How Long Does USPS Hold Tracking Records?

The system keeps track of different types of mail and services, and it stores information about packages, like their history and delivery proof, for as long as the package data exists.

Mail Class and ServicesRecord Storage
USPS Tracking Service120 days
Signature Confirmation Service1 year
Priority Mail Express Service2 years
Certified Mail Service2 years
Registered Mail Service2 years
Numbered International Mail Services2 years
Adult Signature Required/ Adult Signature Restricted Delivery Mail Services2 years

What are the USPS Tracking Notifications?

When you input a USPS tracking number on their tracking website, all the updates you receive will come from the USPS delivery service.

It’s important to understand what USPS status updates mean.

To fully understand a USPS package event update better, we’ve provided some of the USPS tracking notifications below:

Notifications/StatusArrived at the Post Office
Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting ItemThe package’s shipping label is made, and it will be transferred to a USPS facility soon.
The package has left the third-party courier and is going to USPS for the final delivery.The package is at a local office and is ready to be delivered.
Arrived at USPS Regional FacilityThe package has reached a regional facility or a distribution center.
Departed USPS Regional FacilityThe package has left a regional facility or a distribution center.
Arrived at USPS FacilityThe package has reached one of USPS’ facilities.
Processed Through FacilityThe package has been processed or registered at a facility and is ready to be shipped overseas.
In Transit to Next FacilityThe package is on its way to another facility.
Arrived Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting ItemThe package has been picked up by a third-party courier and will soon be delivered to USPS for the final delivery.
Departed Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting ItemThe package has left the third-party courier and is on its way to USPS for the final delivery.
Out for DeliveryThe package is being delivered.
Out for Delivery, Expected Delivery byThe package is being delivered and will be delivered at the given time.
Delivered, In/At MailboxThe mail, postcard, or package is in your mailbox and has been delivered to you.

What Does USPS Tracking Number Not Updating Mean?

If you’re not seeing updates for your USPS tracking order or package, it could be because USPS hasn’t received the package yet, even though it has a tracking number.

Another possibility is that USPS has the package, but hasn’t scanned it yet. It is best to wait a few hours before checking again.

Take a moment to review carefully the tracking number you entered, too.

Sometimes, a missing or incorrectly typed letter or number can affect the tracking results for the package you’re trying to track.

Checking this can help ensure accurate updates.

Where Can USPS Tracking Number Be Found?

U.S. Postal Service Tracking

Here are five easy ways to locate your USPS tracking number:

  • Receipt: The USPS shipping receipt usually has the tracking number.
  • Confirmation email: If you made an online purchase, your confirmation email should contain the tracking information.
  • The package: If you’ve already received your package, look at the outside of the box or envelope for the tracking number.
  • Sender: Reach out to the sender to obtain the tracking number.
  • Phone: If you provided your phone number when shipping the package, USPS may have sent you a text message with your tracking number.

The US Postal Service Tracking is essential for anyone using USPS. It makes it easy to follow your mail and packages.

When tracking, make sure you understand the notifications, and if there are problems, be patient and recheck the tracking number.

To find your USPS tracking number, look at your receipt, email, or package label, or ask the sender. This helps you keep tabs on your USPS shipments.

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