USPS Tracking Statuses: The Most Common Ones

Understanding some of the most common tracking statuses on the USPS website
USPS tracking statuses

If you’ve ever shipped anything with the US Postal Service, you know that you and your recipient can track a package on the USPS website. However, the statuses you’ll find are a bit more complicated than simple “In Transit” and “Delivered” messages. In fact, a lot of people get confused by all of the different USPS tracking statuses, seasoned shippers included! So, we decided to throw a list together containing the most common statuses, and a little explanation of what each one means.

The Most Common USPS Tracking Statuses for eCommerce Shippers

Below are the most common USPS tracking statuses we see for shipping services. Each status is under a category that you’ll find on the USPS website.

Pre-Shipment

  • LABEL CREATED, NOT YET IN SYSTEM : It’s a newly created label, but USPS hasn’t scanned it into their system yet (this can typically take up to 24 hours)

In Transit

  • IN TRANSIT ARRIVAL AT UNIT: The package arrived at the destination Post Office on the day indicated and is scheduled for delivery
  • DEPARTED USPS FACILITY: The package left the sorting facility indicated by the city, state, and Zip Code
  • ARRIVED AT USPS FACILITY: The package arrived at the sorting facility indicated by the city, state, and Zip Code
  • PROCESSED AT USPS DESTINATION FACILITY: USPS processed the package at the destination facility indicated by the city, state, and Zip Code
  • ARRIVING LATE: The package is delayed, arriving later than initially anticipated
  • OUTBOUND – OUT OF US CUSTOMS: The US Customs Department has released the package back to USPS, and it can now be shipped overseas

Delivered/Arrived

  • DELIVERED: USPS delivered the package, with a delivery scan recording the time and date of delivery
  • PICKED UP: The recipient picked up the parcel at their local Post Office
  • DELIVERED TO AGENT: USPS delivered the package to an agent of the residence or institution it was addressed to (for example, a college dorm, condo building, etc.)
  • AVAILABLE FOR PICKUP: The recipient can pick up the package at the Post Office or otherwise specified USPS facility

Delivery Attempt

  • HELD AT POST OFFICE CUSTOMER REQUEST: The recipient requested USPS to hold the package at the destination Post Office
  • RECEPTACLE BLOCKED: The path to the delivery receptacle was physically blocked somehow
  • RECEPTACLE FULL/ITEM OVERSIZED: There wasn’t any room in the mailbox/delivery box, or the parcel was too big to fit
  • NO SECURE LOCATION AVAILABLE: The location wasn’t deemed safe enough to deliver the item, and there was no endorsement to ‘leave if no response’ (this sometimes happens if there is a loose, angry dog blocking the mailbox)
  • NO AUTHORIZED RECIPIENT AVAILABLE: No one was available to accept the package (this typically happens for packages that have Signature Confirmation service attached to them)
  • NO ACCESS: The USPS worker couldn’t access the delivery location (for example, a gated community with an access code)

Alerts (Return to Sender and Otherwise)

  • REFUSED: USPS tried delivering the parcel, but the recipient refused it
  • UNABLE TO DELIVER PROBLEM WITH ADDRESS: One more of the address elements was incorrect, so USPS couldn’t make the delivery
  • FORWARDED: USPS forwarded the package to the recipient’s new address they have on file
  • DEAD MAIL/SENT TO RECOVERY CENTER: USPS can’t deliver, forward, or return the package for whatever reason, so they sent it to the Atlanta Mail Recovery Center

Return to Sender

  • NO SUCH NUMBER: Some part of the address was missing or invalid, like an incorrect suite number or a typo in the street address
  • INSUFFICIENT ADDRESS: USPS can’t deliver the package because there isn’t enough information in the provided address
  • MOVED, LEFT NO ADDRESS: The recipient moved and failed to set up a forwarding address
  • FORWARD EXPIRED: The recipient’s order to forward mail and packages to their new address has expired
  • ADDRESSEE UNKNOWN: No one knows the recipient at the address provided
  • VACANT: The delivery point is unoccupied or empty
  • UNCLAIMED/UNSPECIFIED: USPS is returning the package to the sender for an unspecified reason (this typically occurs in the case of a recipient who is deceased)

Seeing a Different Tracking Status on the USPS Site than We’ve Listed?

Keep in mind that all of these USPS tracking statuses we listed are the most typical ones that you’ll run across if you’re an eCommerce seller using shipping software to buy postage. You’ll see a few other different statuses sometimes for different services, such as mailing certified letters, or if you’re shipping with a USPS consolidator partner like FirstMile. If you can’t figure out what your particular status means, you can always try to Google it. There are some pretty obscure ones out there, but in our experience, there are always a good number of resources you can find on the Internet…just like us!

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