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The USPS (United States Postal Service) is the official and the most wide-spread postal service of the USA. It is run by the federal government as an independent entity.
USPS manages a wide network of processing centers all over the country, through which every piece of mail handled by USPS goes. There are over 250 of such centers countrywide, and each of them handles sorting and distributing mail at their respective regions, which are about 200 mi (320 km) in radius. An automatical mail sorting and distributing system is widely employed there, which also assigns a special bar code for each item, helping to determine their destination, as they move from one center to another. This automation raises productivity by a great deal.
USPS tracking system allows you to get information about your package by a tracking number. It is available for the vast majority of their service classes and provides tracking of your item from the starting point to the ending point. Besides the current status of your package, it also shows various delivery information, such as transit locations of the item, dates of arrival to each location, etc. USPS tracking is free since the postal service charges customers only for items' shipment. However, this is not the case if you ship a package with USPS Marketing Mail. In this case, you have to pay a fee to be able to track your package.
Also, a special label is added to every item with its current status. Different classes of service provide different kinds of information about your parcel at those labels. Priority Mail Express gives you the most detailed report of your package moving, but other types of service may tell you only when your parcel was set for delivery. But you can track USPS by number and get full information at our website with any type of service. Another way of tracking USPS shipments is to send a text with your tracking number to 28777. It's less convenient, but if you don't have internet access for the moment and have an urgent need to check the status of your parcel, that's the way to go.
When a package gets shipped by USPS, the sender receives a 16-digit receipt number, which should be kept until the delivery gets done.
The previously mentioned label of an item gets scanned at each processing center it goes through. This information gets electronically sent to the central tracking system and becomes available to you by your tracking number.
The lightning-fast service class, which delivers items overnight to the next morning in the majority of the states. It's most commonly used for urgent delivery of documents, papers, etc.
Less quick, but still convenient service class. Delivery takes from 1 to 3 business days for domestic shipments, and from 6 to 10 business days for international shipments. It's an affordable service for quick shipments of different items worldwide. You may also purchase insurance for packages worth up to $5000 to protect them. This service class has a limitation of 70 lbs in weight for shipped items.
This is the fastest solution USPS offers for international shipping, which takes from 1 to 3 business days. This is made possible by a partnership with FedEx Express. This is also one of the most expensive service classes. The rates begin at $51.50, but you also receive $100 insurance for your package. You can get additional coverage if you want, of course.
There is a wide range of services that USPS offers to businesses. Most of them come at discounted prices, which depend on how much a company spends on shipments per year.
The delivery time of your package depends on the service class, with which your item was shipped. The more expensive the service is the faster the delivery goes, and vice versa. So, if you use a cheaper option, your delivery may take longer. If it still takes longer, than it should, feel free to contact customer service with your issue. Also, sometimes the deliveries may be postponed due to weather conditions or some natural disasters. In this case, your parcel will have an "Alert" status. There's nothing to be worried about, you will still get your parcel, just a little later.
There is also a thing called the expected delivery window. It is a 2-hour timeframe when your parcel may be delivered to you, but if not, you will be able to recover your package at the end of the day.
The rates depend on where the package is heading: is it a domestic delivery, or an international one, and how big your item is. Here are some rates for domestic shipments:
|Type of item||Rates|
|First Class Mail||First 1 oz: $0.49||Each additional oz: $0.21|
|Flat Parcel / Large Envelope||First 1 oz: $0.98||Each additional oz: $0.21|
|Package / Parcel||First 3 oz: $2.32||Each additional oz: $0.18|
If your item is meant for international shipment, then delivery outside the USA will be handled by local couriers, and their respective rates apply. The service classes used for international shipping are Priority Mail International, Express Mail International, Global Express Guaranteed. Those are to ship items to almost every possible destination in the world. Please note, that customs forms may be needed.
|Priority Mail Express International||EC 000 000 000 US|
|Priority Mail International||CP 000 000 000 US|
|Priority Mail Express||EA 000 000 000 US, 9270 1000 0000 0000 0000 00|
|Priority Mail||9205 5000 0000 0000 0000 00|
|USPS Tracking||9400 1000 0000 0000 0000 00|
|Certified Mail||9407 3000 0000 0000 0000 00|
|Collect On Delivery Hold For Pickup||9303 3000 0000 0000 0000 00|
|Registered Mail||9208 8000 0000 0000 0000 00|
|Signature Confirmation||9202 1000 0000 0000 0000 00|
|Global Express Guaranteed||82 000 000 00|
|In Transit||The carrier has picked up the package and scanned it. Now it is en route to the end customer. If you see this status for a long time, it may have been delayed. There are many different circumstances, which can affect the delivery time of your parcel: weather conditions, other natural disasters, bad road conditions, etc.|
|Out for Delivery||The parcel has departed from the carrier’s facility. Now it is en route to the end customer's destination address.|
|Delivered||The package has been successfully delivered to the end customer. You may see the exact date and time of the delivery in the tracking information.|
|Delivery Failure||The item could not be delivered. Various reasons for that may include not having access to the delivery point, or the facility, specified in the delivery address could not be found.|
|Return to Sender||The carrier attempted the delivery but failed to do so. Usually, the carrier makes multiple attempts to do so, and in order of failure processes a return of the item to sender. Some complications arise, when the subject is an international shipment, since sending it back may demand additional fees to be paid, so it may be more beneficial for the carrier just to get rid of the package.|
|Damaged in transit||The package has been damaged while being delivered. In this case, you may file a claim to get compensation.|
|Uncontrollable customs delay||If you see this status, your item is held up at customs. You probably have to pay some additional fees or taxes.|
The headquarters address is 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC, 20260-0004, United States.
If you want to find your local USPS post office, go to USPS locator service.