We all know the feeling: Checking on a highly anticipated package mailed USPS, and the tracking shows no progress. You check again a few days later, and still nothing.
It’s frustrating, especially when you’re looking forward to the contents of that parcel. What does it mean? Is USPS Tracking down? Is it possible? I’ve looked into it and found everything you need to know!
Is USPS Tracking Down In 2023?
It is highly unlikely that USPS Tracking is “down” unless the organization has issued a site-wide notice that the entire page or specific parts will be offline, usually for maintenance reasons as of 2023. Instead, tracking may be slowed or stopped for various reasons, though your parcel is still well on its way to you.
For more about why USPS Tracking doesn’t seem to be working, why your parcel isn’t moving, when you should get worried and why mail seems to move slow, keep reading for all you need to know!
Why Is USPS Tracking Not Working?
The United States Postal Service’s Tracking tool does not generally “not work.” In fact, USPS maintains one of the best tracking systems in the country in terms of accuracy.
That said, it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility that certain functions, or even the entire website, might be taken offline for maintenance.
Moreover, this most often occurs late at night, like a Sunday at 11 PM until Monday at 3 AM schedule, and USPS gives a warning on its website.
Also, you can check a site like DownDetector.com to see if the problem truly is site-wide.
If USPS Tracking is loading, but your item simply isn’t moving, that is more likely due to a different issue (see below).
Why Is Your USPS Shipment Not Moving?
There are plenty of reasons why a USPS shipment might not be moving, and therefore tracking is not updating or seems like it’s “down.”
For example, some reasons your USPS shipment is not moving could include:
- Inclement weather
- Major highway accidents slowing traffic
- Fewer employees (daily tasks take longer)
- Human error (parcels don’t get scanned)
- Busier schedule due to an influx of parcels moving through the system
- The parcel is lost (the Postal Service makes every attempt to locate lost items and get them to their destination)
Should You Be Worried If USPS Tracking Hasn’t Updated In Three Days?
You do not necessarily have to worry if your USPS Tracking hasn’t been updated in three days.
For the reasons given in the section above, tracking might not update because there Is no progress yet to show. Do you know how boxes progress to their destinations?
That said, each label has a unique barcode, and as shipments move from truck to distribution center to truck and so on, the barcode gets scanned.
Therefore, those scans are what you see when looking at USPS Tracking.
Generally, your box makes it onto the truck without being scanned – so there is no tracking update.
Then, it reaches the next distribution center – sometimes even the delivery destination – and it’s finally updated.
So, while it looked like it made a straight shot from a faraway city to your home city, it might have actually stopped at one distribution center along the way.
If your package is lost, it will eventually update to say so. If it never does, then it’s probably just delayed, and USPS may update tracking to reflect that.
You should actually worry if your package is updated as “Delivered,” but it’s a few days later, and you still haven’t received it.
Does “In-Transit Arriving Late” Mean Lost?
“In-Transit Arriving Late” does not mean lost at all. Instead, it means just what it says: the parcel is on its way, but it will likely be late.
However, the “why” behind that is something you might never know, but it could be any of the above reasons why USPS Tracking might not be updating.
Major transportation upsets, like bad, even disastrous weather or a major highway collision, or not enough employees to meet Postal Service need could contribute to lateness.
What Issues Is The USPS Facing?
Sadly, the USPS is a self-sustaining government-affiliated entity that faces some major financial crises.
An independent agency of the Executive Branch, USPS doesn’t take its orders from the President but receives no government funding.
Instead, its only funding comes from sales of postage and other items or services, so like any business, USPS must make tough decisions, often cutbacks, to remain solvent.
Further, this, in turn, slows down service overall, whether indirectly or by design, as per the 2021 announcement.
Therefore, USPS Tracking appearing to be “down” or not working in the future will become a lot likelier as time goes on and the agency does what it has to.
To know more, you can also read our posts on why is USPS tracking not updating, is USPS tracking accurate, and do USPS tracking numbers expire.
The United States Postal Service has a robust and well-respect tracking service that rarely “goes down.”
However, often what is actually happening when customers check their parcel’s progress is that shipping is just taking longer than anticipated.