While USPS makes sending mail and ordering online effortless, there is potential for your mail to get lost along the way.
So how can you keep an eye on your mail as it makes its way to you, and what can you do if it doesn’t arrive?
Where Is My USPS Mail?
If there isn’t tracking information available for your mail and the delivery window has passed, it’s natural to feel like there’s something amiss.
In this situation, it’s important to remember that USPS does not guarantee delivery windows for mail.
Take into account the time of year and the weather where you are, as well- if it’s around Christmas, your mail will likely take longer to reach you due to the influx of packages USPS is contending with.
If there’s inclement weather in your area, like ice, snow, or heavy rain, this can also prevent USPS from making timely deliveries.
If your package still hasn’t arrived a week after the delivery window, it could be lost, so be sure to read the next section to find out why and how that happens and what you can do.
What Do I Do If My Package Is Lost?
If you haven’t received your mail within 7 days of the delivery window or your tracking information hasn’t been updated within 7 days, your package is considered lost.
Once your package is considered lost, you have a few options available to deal with the issue.
When you reach out for help with a missing package or piece of mail, be sure to have any tracking, shipping, or destination information you have handy, as this will help USPS identify and locate your missing mail.
To learn more about how your package can get lost and what you can do about it, you can watch this short video.
Can I Track My USPS Mail?
Almost all USPS mail services come with a tracking number.
Below is a list of all of the USPS shipping options that come with a tracking number:
- Priority Mail
- Priority Mail Express
- First Class Mail Package Service
- USPS Ground Retail (packages only)
- Media Mail (packages only)
If your mail doesn’t fall into one of these categories, you can request a tracking number to be added at an additional charge.
You can see a full list of features included with each mail service and the prices for any additional tracking services here.
How To Track USPS Mail
To track your mail with USPS, your first step will be to locate the tracking number, which is most easily found on the confirmation email from USPS or on your shipping receipt.
Depending on the mail service you’re using, your tracking number may look different, with tracking numbers typically being 22 numbers with the occasional tracking number having additional letters added in.
Once you have your tracking number, simply plug the number into the search box found in this link, and it will populate the available tracking information.
You can also request text updates on your package by texting 28777 with your tracking number.
If you want to learn more about USPS tracking services and how they work, you can find more information here.
What If My Tracking Number Isn’t Updating?
If your tracking number isn’t updating, the best thing to do is first verify you have the correct tracking number, which can be found on your shipping receipt or the confirmation email from USPS.
If you have the correct tracking number but the tracking still isn’t updating, don’t panic!
Tracking information is updated when a package is scanned at a facility or when it’s loaded onto/taken off of a truck, and there can be a 24-hour system delay once a package is scanned.
There could also be inclement weather conditions or traffic issues, or the barcode could be unscannable, so it’s always best to wait a few days to see if your information will update or if your package will be delivered before you reach out for assistance.
If you’re concerned your package is lost and need to reach out for help, be sure to check out the following sections for more information!