What Does “Tendered to USPS” Mean? (Your Full Guide)

If you’ve ever looked at tracking information for a package you ordered, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen updates like “In Transit” or “Out for Delivery.” These updates are easy to understand, but what about “Tendered for Delivery?”

Tendered for Delivery is a less common tracking update, but a very important one to understand. Therefore, we’ve put together this guide to help you understand what it means for your package, so keep reading to learn more!

What Does “Tendered to USPS” Mean In 2024?

“Tendered to USPS” means a private carrier like FedEx, UPS, or DHL has transferred a package to USPS. USPS then manages the final delivery (also known as the “last mile”). Packages sent through FedEx Economy Ground, UPS Surepost, or DHL eCommerce may show this tracking update. Delivery usually occurs 2 days after a package has been tendered to USPS.

If you still have questions about what tendering is and why it happens, then be sure to read the rest of our guide.

What Does “Tendered to Postal Service” Mean?

Tendering to a postal service means that a package sent via FedEx, UPS or DHL is being handed off to USPS for the final delivery (also known as the “last-mile delivery”).

This kind of handoff occurs most often with FedEx Economy Ground, UPS SurePost, or DHL eCommerce shipping options.

In these kinds of arrangements, a private shipping company receives your package, creates tracking information for it, and moves it through the delivery network.

This company is responsible for your package up until the last step before delivery.

Then, rather than making the delivery to your home, the private carrier delivers the package to the post office nearest to you.

At that point, USPS takes control of your package and makes the final delivery to your address.

What’s the Point of Tendering to USPS?

What’s the Point of Tendering to USPS?

If you ordered a package expecting delivery from a private carrier, you may be surprised (and even a bit angry) that your package changes hands, and that it’s USPS that ends up making the delivery.

While it can be frustrating feeling like you were duped, know that this kind of handoff is quite common amongst shipping companies.

For example, USPS and FedEx teamed up in 2004 to create Economy Ground Shipping (previously called SmartPost).

Similarly, USPS and UPS joined forces in 2011 to create SurePost.

Both of these services combine the speed and efficiency of the private carriers’ shipping infrastructure with USPS’ wide-reaching delivery network.

Look at it like this: FedEx, UPS, and DHL are skilled in moving packages quickly from point A to point B.

However, they lack the resources, manpower, and infrastructure to deliver single packages to individual households.

USPS, on the other hand, has more than 200,000 vehicles. What’s more, the organization has made a name for itself, delivering to every address in the United States six days a week.

Therefore, by combining the speed and efficiency of private carriers with the huge delivery network of USPS, both companies benefit.

Private carriers benefit because they can offer an inexpensive option for budget-conscious shippers. In addition, they save money by not having to complete the costly final delivery.

USPS benefits because workers get paid for completing part of the private carriers’ tasks without having to change much about day-to-day operations.

These relationships benefit not only shipping companies but also consumers. Consumers can take advantage of FedEx, UPS, and DHL’s fast shipping times while still paying lower prices.

Can I Track Packages Tendered to USPS?

In most cases, you’ll be able to track packages, even if your original shipping company hands them off to USPS.

Sometimes, you’ll be able to track the package from drop off to delivery using the tracking number you received when you originally shipped your package.

Other times, you may receive a new tracking number from USPS once they gain possession of your item.

In any case, you won’t be left out in the dark regarding the whereabouts of your package.

How Long Does It Take to Get Tendered to USPS?

You should receive your package within two days of receiving the “Tendered to USPS” update.

That’s usually the amount of time it takes for a third-party shipping company to make the handoff, and for USPS to get your package out for delivery.

If you’ve been waiting longer than a few days, then it’s worth getting in touch with the original shipping company you used.

This company may be able to provide information about the whereabouts of your package, or if it can’t, an employee will put you in touch with someone who can (usually USPS).

To know more, you can also read our posts on what does “delivered to agent” mean at USPS, USPS restricted delivery, and USPS lost mailbox key.


You may go years without seeing the “Tendered to USPS’ tracking update, but if you do, rest assured that your package is in good hands and that you should receive it soon.

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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 QuerySprout.com.

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