Why Is My USPS Package Delayed?

Learn why your USPS package may be delayed longer than expected, and some next steps you could take to claim insurance if it's truly lost
USPS package delays are more common now with COVID-19

Due to the current COVID-19 health crisis, we’ve noticed a significant increase in delays for USPS packages. If you’re a sender or recipient and you’ve found yourself in this situation, here are some next steps you can take with USPS…along with some things to keep in mind for the future.

COVID-19 Has Forced USPS to Extend Service Commitments

The first thing to remember right now that package delays aren’t the Postal Service’s fault. The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a lack of resources for domestic transportation, and with over 500,000 direct employees, USPS isn’t immune to the effects of the pandemic. As a result, USPS has changed their service commitments by 1 day each for Priority Mail and First Class Packages. Until further notice, shippers should expect Priority Mail and First Class Package parcels to be delivered sometime within 3-4 business days, instead of the usual timeframe of 1-3 business days.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible for anybody to determine the end of the Coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, USPS hasn’t provided a timeframe for when the organization’s normal commitments will revert back to normal.

What Can I Do if My USPS Package is Delayed?

Unfortunately, the only real thing you can do in these situations is simply wait until the package arrives. However, if your package still hasn’t arrived at its destination 15 calendar days after shipment, you may be eligible to file an insurance claim directly with USPS (depending on which service you shipped with).

Pro Tip: If you shipped Priority Mail Express, then you only have to wait 7 days before filing a claim.

The Delivery Timeframes are Estimates, Not Guarantees

One thing to keep in mind is that the Postal Service’s advertised delivery timeframes are estimates, and not guarantees. People often confuse a delivery estimate with a delivery guarantee. For example, the delivery estimates for USPS First Class Package Service is typically 1-3 business days. It’s not unusual for a package to arrive a couple of days later than this timeframe. On the other hand, we’ve also seen many packages arrive quicker than expected.

The Only USPS Service with Guaranteed Delivery is Priority Mail Express

If you’d prefer a service with guaranteed delivery, your only option is to ship Priority Mail Express. USPS Priority Mail Express is the fastest service the Postal Service offers, with overnight delivery to most locations. Also, if USPS doesn’t deliver your express package by the guaranteed delivery timeframe, you’ll be eligible to receive a full refund for your postage! So, if you’re shipping time-sensitive or perishable products, Priority Mail Express is the way to go.

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