USPS Origin Facility (What They Are, How They Work + More)

Usually, when we drop off a letter or package, it’s out of sight, out of mind. But have you ever wondered how USPS processes mail and makes sure it gets to the right destination?

USPS excels at delivering mail quickly and accurately thanks to its complex delivery network. This network is made up of origin facilities, regional facilities, and processing centers.

In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about origin facilities, so read on!

USPS Origin Facility In 2024

A USPS origin facility is the post office that initially collects your letter or package. If you purchase postage directly from the USPS, then that post office is the origin facility. If you place your item in a mailbox, then the largest or main post office in your ZIP code will likely be the origin facility.

If you still have questions about origin facilities, then be sure to keep reading!

What Is A USPS Origin Facility?

A USPS origin facility is the post office that collects a letter or a package from the sender. Thought of another way, an origin facility is where a mailpiece is introduced into the USPS mail system.

If you mail a letter or package by handing it to a mail clerk, then that post office is the origin facility for your item.

If, on the other hand, your mail is pre-stamped and is picked up in a collection box or individual mailbox, then the origin facility is typically the largest or main post office serving your ZIP code. 

An origin facility is like a processing plant. Here, all the mail from a given location is sorted and redistributed depending on the destination.

It’s also here that an item’s initial shipping route is determined.

What Does Accepted At USPS Origin Facility Mean?

If you’re keeping an eye on your tracking information then you may notice the terms “Accepted at USPS Origin Facility” or “Origin Acceptance.”

Seeing this message means that USPS has accepted your package at the sorting facility assigned to the ZIP code you’re shipping from.

Having an item accepted at a USPS origin facility is the first step in the mailing process. Once accepted, your item will be sorted and sent to another sorting facility as it makes its way to the final destination.

How Long Does Mail Stay At A USPS Origin Facility?

How Long Does Mail Stay At A USPS Origin Facility?

Mail usually spends 24 hours or less at a USPS origin facility. USPS employees work around the clock to make sure mail is accepted, processed and out for delivery in a timely manner. 

What Does Departed USPS Origin Facility Mean?

Another term you may see on your tracking information is “Departed USPS Origin Facility.”

This means your item has been processed, sorted and has left the origin facility en route to its next destination.

Where Does A Package Go After The Origin Facility?

After a package is processed by the origin facility, it will be redistributed and sent to a regional sorting facility.

Which regional facility the package is sent to depends on the package’s final destination.

Why Is My Package Stuck At A USPS Origin Facility?

Not seeing tracking updates is frustrating at any time during the shipping process. However it’s even worse when your package seems to be stuck right after mailing it.

While it’s possible that your item gets held up at your local post office for a couple of days, it’s unlikely. Most packages leave their origin facilities in 24 hours or less.

What’s more likely is that your package has left the origin facility without the tracking information updating. As efficient as USPS’ system is, sometimes there are glitches.

You can either contact your local post office to confirm that your package is no longer there, or you can wait a few more days to see if the tracking information updates.

To know more about USPS, you can also see our related posts on USPS standard shipping, USPS restricted delivery, and how fast is USPS ground shipping.


USPS has thousands of origin facilities all over the country. In fact, any post office that accepts mail is considered an origin facility.

These facilities are where your letters and packages are initially scanned into the USPS system. It’s the first stop every piece of mail makes on its way to the final destination.

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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

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