How Many Delivery Attempts Do USPS, UPS, & FedEx Make?

Learn how many times each of the three major carriers in the U.S. will try to drop off packages with recipients before they mark them as "Return to Sender"
how many delivery attempts do carriers make in the U.S.?
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Sometimes recipients aren’t home when a shipping carrier comes to deliver a package. This happens quite often…and if you weren’t home when USPS, UPS, or FedEx tried to drop off your shipment, you might not have missed your chance to receive it! Each major carrier in the U.S. (USPS, UPS, and FedEx) will make multiple attempts to deliver packages to recipients. That said, the number of tries varies from carrier to carrier. The article explains how many delivery attempts USPS, UPS, and FedEx will make per shipment before they send it back to the original shipper.

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USPS Makes 1-2 Delivery Attempts

The U.S. Postal Service will make between 1-2 delivery attempts before they mark a package as “Return to Sender” and send it back to the original shipper. USPS notes that this number of attempts is based on the discretion of local letter carriers.

When USPS attempts to deliver the package a second time, letter carriers will leave a Second/Final Notice at the address if they are unable to deliver it to the intended recipient. Second/Final Notices contain the specific date that USPS will return the package to the sender unless the recipient arranges a redelivery or picks up the package at their local Post Office beforehand.

USPS Will Hold Packages at Post Offices for a Certain Number of Days

If you’re the recipient, USPS will hold your package at your local Post Office for a fixed number of days after the first delivery attempt before they send it back to the original shipper. For the shipping services Priority Mail and USPS Ground Advantage, USPS will hold your package at your local Post Office for 15 days after the first delivery attempt. USPS holds Priority Mail Express shipments at local Post Offices for up to 5 days after the first delivery attempt.

For more information on how long USPS will hold your package, visit the USPS website.

UPS Makes Up to 3 Delivery Attempts

UPS will try up to three (3) times to drop off a package with the recipient before they mark it as “Return to Sender.” When UPS comes to deliver a package but the recipient isn’t there to receive it, they will leave a delivery notice at the residence to let the recipient know they attempted delivery.

The UPS landing page on delivery notices says the following:

“UPS may make up to three delivery attempts at its discretion at your address on regular UPS delivery days. After the final attempt, undeliverable packages will be returned to the sender.”

FedEx Makes Up to 3 Delivery Attempts

Based on the FedEx website, FedEx said it will make up to three attempts before returning a package to the original shipper. The company added that they will call the recipient to check availability and try delivering the package if the local courier is unable to leave it for any reason. However, FedEx will only call the recipient if the shipper provided the recipient’s phone number when they shipped the package.

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