What Can I Do About a Missing Package?

Learn the steps you need to follow to file a claim on a missing package, as well as how to check that it's really missing (sometimes it's not)
missing package

Have you ever sent a package to a customer, only to find out that they never got it? Maybe you’ve ordered something online but it never came. Whatever the case, most of us have dealt with a missing package at one point or another. It can be a real pain, but fortunately, each of the major carriers has steps that you can take to deal with a missing package that you sent. First, let’s address the most obvious question:

Is Your Package Actually Missing?

More often than not, a “missing” package isn’t missing at all! Sometimes packages simply get placed in unexpected areas at delivery addresses. Delivery workers are human, after all (except for Ford and Agility’s new delivery robots…but that’s another story). So, before you go filing any claims, we recommend that you first ask your recipient to check any other locations where the package might be. Some good places for them to start are the front door, back door, their mailbox, or even a neighbor’s house.

If your recipient still can’t find your package and it’s indeed missing, we’ve included links for how to proceed with each of the major carriers below.

USPS

File a missing mail search request with USPS.

Pro Tip: Sometimes your recipient can find their missing package by visiting their local Post Office or speaking with the letter carrier for their address. If the package is truly missing, you may be eligible to file an insurance claim with USPS if you purchased an insured service such as Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express.

UPS

File a claim with UPS for a lost or damaged package.

FedEx

File a claim with FedEx for shipments that are lost, damaged, or have missing contents.

Always Purchase Extra Insurance!

No matter which shipping carrier you choose, you should always spring for extra insurance to protect yourself. This covers you in the event of a missing package, or if your package is damaged during transit. In most cases, it only costs a few bucks to protect your packages with shipping insurance. There’s no reason not to add it!

If you use online shipping software to buy shipping labels, you’ll see that most USPS shipping services actually come with built in insurance. Priority Mail includes $100 of insurance coverage, and Priority Mail Express comes with $200. However, there are a couple exceptions. First Class Package and Parcel Select Ground services don’t come with any USPS insurance, so we always recommend purchasing extra coverage whenever you use those two services.

Also, some international USPS mail classes don’t come with included shipping insurance, such as First Class Package International. We always recommend buying insurance when shipping internationally, since packages are much more likely to get lost or damaged during those long voyages overseas. At the very least, it never hurts to double-check your package is covered before buying postage and sending it out.

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