What Does “Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment” Mean? (USPS)

Some tracking messages like “In Transit,” “Arrived at Post Office” and “Out for Delivery” are easy to figure out. However, others like “USPS Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” can be almost impossible to decipher.

Fortunately, we’ve researched what this term means, and when you can expect to see your package, so check our guide for more information!

What Does “Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment” Mean at USPS In [currentyear]?

“Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment” is a USPS tracking term associated with packages arriving from overseas in [currentyear]. It’s a general term, and therefore doesn’t provide detailed information about a package location. It can mean that a package is prepared and ready for shipment, or it can mean that a package has been delayed due to weather or transportation issues.

This term can be pretty confusing, so make sure you read the rest of our article for more useful information to better understand this shipping term and procedure!

What Does “Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment” Mean at USPS?

Like other tracking terms, “Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” is USPS’ way of keeping customers updated about the status of their package.

Unfortunately, this term is rather vague, and most customers don’t understand what it means anyway, so it’s not especially helpful.

Sometimes, this message means that your packages(s) have had tracking information created for them, have likely been scanned into the mail system and that the sender (also known as the originating post) is getting ready to send the item.

Other times, it can indicate that your package has encountered a delay and has not yet been shipped.

Why Am I Seeing “Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment” at USPS?

You’ll see this message on packages that are coming from countries outside of the United States.

That’s because other countries’ postal systems communicate with USPS to inform the company about shipping timeframes.

Because USPS is getting this information from a variety of sources, it consolidates all of the information into this one tracking term.

While this can be a convenient way to manage information, it means that you won’t know exactly how close your package is to getting sent when you see this message.

For example, it could mean that everything at the origin post is going smoothly, and that your package will be out the door the next day.

However, it’s just as likely that you’re seeing this message, because there’s an issue. So, here are some common issues that may trigger the origin post message:

1. Transportation issues

Your package may be delayed due to weather (e.g. tropical storms, hurricanes, tornados, or snowstorms), staffing shortages, or issues with transport (e.g. aircraft maintenance).

Basically, the farther packages have to travel, the more likely they are to encounter problems and delays.

2. An arrival scan wasn’t done

USPS’ tracking information gets updated every time a pallet of packages is electronically scanned into the USPS system.

While uncommon, it’s possible that the pallet containing your package missed getting scanned.

Therefore, the tracking information makes it look like your package hasn’t moved, when in fact, it has. This explanation is especially common during busy shipping times.

3. A package overflow

USPS has been shipping more and more packages in the past several years. In fact, USPS handles more than 12 billion pieces of mail every year.

It’ll come as no surprise, then, that packages get backed up at warehouses, workers struggle to keep up, and deliveries get delayed.

How Long Does “Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment” Take?

How Long Does “Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment” Take?

Perhaps the only thing worse than seeing a tracking message you don’t understand is not knowing how long it will take for the status to change.

While we don’t have a crystal ball, we can tell you that in most cases, you’ll see this status for 3 to 5 business days.

Depending on how long the status stays, your mail could be delayed 2 to 3 days. While unlikely, you may see this message for a week or even longer.

What Should I Do About an “Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment” Message?

When you’re eager to get your hands on your new stuff, it can be really tempting to look for a solution, especially if you’ve been seeing the “Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment” message for several days or more.

Unfortunately, the best thing you can do (at least at the beginning) is to wait. That’s especially true if you’ve only been seeing this message for a few days.

As explained above, there are a lot of reasons why your package may take longer to arrive than you thought it would.

In most cases, the issue will sort itself out in due time without you having to do anything.

If, however, you’ve been waiting a week or more and this message hasn’t changed, then it’s time to take action.

One option is to contact USPS customer service to see if you can gain any insights into the issue.

You can reach customer service by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777), Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM (ET), and Saturday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (ET).

Alternatively, you can contact USPS via email or through the chat function on the company website.

In addition to contacting USPS, it’s a good idea to get in touch with the person or company mailing your package.

While this isn’t a guaranteed solution, they may be able to contact their local postal service to get more information about what’s going on.

To know more, you can also read our posts on USPS origin facility, what does “available for pickup mean” at USPS, and what does “undeliverable” mean at USPS.


In most cases, seeing “Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” is no reason for concern or alarm. Your package may be slightly delayed, but it should be on it’s way to you soon.

In rare cases, your package may get delayed for a week or more. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to contact USPS and the sender to get more information.

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 QuerySprout.com.

Leave a Comment