Why Isn’t My USPS Package Moving? (All You Need To Know)

You’ve packed your items nicely, printed out the right shipping label, and dropped off your package at the post office, and now it’s time to relax!

However, if you notice your tracking information hasn’t been updated for days, it may be time to take your feet off the table and see why your USPS package isn’t moving. Our article will tell you exactly what to do next, so keep reading!

Why Isn’t My USPS Package Moving?

There are several reasons why USPS packages get stuck in transit and appear not to be moving, such as a holiday rush, inclement weather conditions that slow delivery trucks, or a missorted package. Most stuck packages resume movement after a few days without any customer intervention, but taking additional steps can speed up the process.

If you’d like to learn more about why your USPS package isn’t moving, what to do when you discover your package hasn’t moved, and more, continue reading this article for more useful facts!

More Reasons Why Your USPS Package Isn’t Moving

There are many reasons why your package is stuck in transit (i.e. not moving). Here are a few reasons why this may happen:

  • A USPS tracking system failure
  • Your package was lost
  • Your package has improper packaging and/or is damaged
  • Your package has an incorrect or incomplete address
  • Your package is too large or heavy for its label, so a shipping depot has stopped progress on the shipment until you pay the difference
  • Environmental conditions like traffic or bad weather can slow down USPS trucks responsible for delivering your package
  • If your package is crossing international borders, it may be stuck at customs due to errors in customs documents, unpaid duty/taxes, or because of prohibited contents

While these above scenarios are all possible, they’re worst-case scenarios and aren’t terribly common.

If your tracking information hasn’t been updated for a few days, it’s more likely that the short-staffed USPS has temporarily misplaced, mislabeled, or overlooked your package. 

What To Do If a USPS Package Isn’t Moving?

As frustrating as it is to have a package that’s not moving, you have plenty of options for dealing with this less-than-ideal situation.

If you mailed the package to a friend or family member and there’s no rush, the best thing you can do is wait. In most cases, the package’s tracking information will update after a few days, and the item will be on its way.

If, however, you mailed something time-sensitive or as part of your business, waiting for things to work out may not be an option.

If that’s the case, being proactive is the best way to manage customer satisfaction. Contact the recipient, apologize, and let them know you’re doing everything you can to track down their package.

Depending on your business policy, you may also want to remind your customer that you’ll issue a refund or ship a replacement in a few days if their item is still stuck.

Next, you’ll want to contact your local post office and have them look into the issue. Alternatively, you can submit a search query on the USPS website or call USPS customer support at 1-800-275-8777.

Whichever method you choose, USPS will look through its computer system and physical locations (e.g. the dead letter department) to try and find your package, and after the search, they’ll email you their findings.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to get some information about your packages within a day or so.

If the shipment isn’t found, though, make sure to update the recipient as soon as possible and do what you can to fix the problem (e.g. offering a refund or sending a replacement).

Your final course of action is to file a claim online, though it may take a couple of weeks to receive your compensation. However, you will still be fully refunded for the mishap.

Should I Be Worried If USPS Tracking Hasn’t Been Updated in Multiple Days?

Should I Be Worried If USPS Tracking Hasn't Been Updated In Days?

Not necessarily. While USPS policy says that packages with tracking numbers should be scanned at every stop between the origin and the destination, sometimes these scans are missed or skipped.

There are several reasons why your tracking hasn’t been updated,  such as the following:

  • Holiday rush (the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is especially busy)
  • Delay on the part of the carrier
  • Weather conditions

Therefore, it’s recommended to wait for a period of time until your tracking is updated.

However, if your package has not been updated beyond the estimated delivery date, you may want to contact USPS, as there could be another issue.

How Long Should I Wait For a USPS Package That’s Not Moving?

There’s no hard and fast rule to determine how long you should wait for a stuck package.

Ultimately, it will come down to what the package is, who you sent it to, which shipping method you used, and your personal preferences.

That being said, USPS does have deadlines for filing lost-package claims.

If you suspect your package is gone for good and are hoping to get some kind of reimbursement, it’s important to stick to these deadlines to make sure you get your money back.

The deadlines for lost package claims are listed as follows:

Mail Type or ServiceWhen to File (from mailing date)
No Sooner ThanNo Later Than
Priority Mail Express7 days60 days
Priority Mail Express

Collect on Delivery

15 days60 days
Registered Mail15 days60 days
Registered Mail

Collect on Delivery

15 days60 days
Priority Mail and Other Insured Mail15 days60 days

To learn more about USPS delivery and shipping services, you can also see our posts on what to do if USPS tracking is not updating, how long USPS holds packages, and if USPS delivers at night.

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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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