Does DHL Deliver Through USPS? (All You Need To Know)

Whenever you order items from another country, there’s a good chance that DHL will deliver it to the United States.

That being said, while DHL transports your item into the country, this company is usually not the one to set it on your doorstep. In fact, that part of the delivery is usually left up to USPS. To find out why, read the rest of this article!

Does DHL Deliver Through USPS In 2024?

Since 2003, DHL has contracted USPS to provide last-mile delivery in over 20,000 ZIP codes throughout the United States. DHL has two shipping ventures with USPS, SmartMail Parcel (for packages up to 16 ounces) and SmartMail Parcel Plus (for packages up to 25 pounds). Delivery through these services usually takes 4 to 8 days in 2024.

You’ve probably got more questions about the DHL-USPS partnership, so be sure to keep reading for more useful and interesting facts!

Does DHL Handoff to USPS?

Like FedEx and UPS, DHL has a deal that involves “handing off” packages to USPS for final-mile delivery.

Here’s how it works:

When a business in another country gets an order from an American customer, they’ll send the package through DHL.

DHL will pick up the package, enter it into the logistics system, and transport it through the DHL distribution centers.

Upon arrival in the United States (or in the destination city), DHL will give the package to the postal service.

This partnership has been around since 2003 and covers a few different services.

One service, DHL SmartMail Parcel, handles packages weighing up to 16 ounces. Another, DHL SmartMail Parcel Plus, covers packages weighing up to 25 pounds.

Lastly, there’s DHL SmartMail Parcel Return, a program that uses USPS to collect product returns that are then transferred back to DHL.

Why Does DHL Handoff Packages to USPS?

It can be frustrating if you’ve ordered something expecting it to be delivered by DHL, only to find out that your normal mail carrier is the one bringing it to your door. 

While you’re right to be confused, we’re here to reassure you that this kind of delivery arrangement is quite normal.

DHL hands-off packages to USPS for final-mile delivery because it makes sound logistical and financial sense.

As a German-based logistics carrier, DHL simply does not have the resources (e.g. trucks, drivers) to deliver to every American customer.

What’s more, even if DHL wanted to complete deliveries from start to finish, doing so would be too costly. After all, the “last mile” is the most expensive part of the delivery process. 

Therefore, rather than investing more in its infrastructure or charging customers more for shipping, DHL partnered with USPS to complete last-mile deliveries.

This arrangement is a win-win for both parties.

For example, DHL can reach all of USPS’ customers without having to make huge investments or changes in how it does business. 

Also, USPS makes money from completing DHL deliveries and returns without having to adjust its daily routes or schedules for drivers.

Does DHL Express Use USPS?

Does DHL Express Use USPS?

Direct DHL Express shipments are delivered by a DHL courier only.

Only DHL SmartMail Parcel and DHL SmartMail Parcel Plus packages are delivered by USPS.

Does DHL Deliver to USPS PO Boxes?

DHL packages can be delivered to PO boxes.

Once DHL hands a package off to USPS, the postal service takes control of the delivery, whether that’s to a house, an apartment, or a PO box.

How Do I Track a DHL Package Through USPS?

When you order something that’s being shipped through DHL, you’ll receive a tracking number that you can use to follow your package.

Once your package reaches the United States and is handed off to the postal service, you’ll see a link on the DHL tracking page that will redirect you to USPS’ tracking system.

From there, you’ll be able to track your package as it goes out for delivery.

How Long Does It Take DHL to Transfer to USPS?

You can expect your DHL package to arrive in 4 to 8 days, depending on where it’s coming from.

This includes the time it takes for your item to clear customs when it reaches the United States, gets processed by USPS, and is sent out for delivery.

Why Does DHL Take So Long to Transfer to USPS?

As mentioned in the previous section, packages sent through DHL usually take 4 to 8 days to arrive.

While that may seem like a lot, it’s pretty quick considering all the steps your package has to go through to reach you.

Not only does your package have to make it to the United States, but it has to clear customs and get sorted by USPS before going out for delivery.

Given all the steps your package has to go through, there is plenty of room for delays.

For example, aircraft maintenance, bad weather, or staffing shortages could mean a longer wait for your package.

To know more, you can also read our posts on USPS vs DHL, does Ontrac deliver through USPS, and USPS 2-Day shipping.


DHL and USPS’ partnership means American consumers have fast access to products coming from all over the world.

While the delivery may take a bit longer, and it can be confusing to see USPS delivering your package, this collaboration means inexpensive and reliable shipping.

Photo of author

Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

Leave a Comment