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.

Also, Postmaster DeJoy recently sent a memo to all USPS employees effectively prohibiting postal workers from working overtime to deliver packages. This could potentially lead to a gridlock in USPS facilities, resulting in an even greater increase in USPS package delays.

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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  1. Maggie

    Forget about using usps for packages. They use every possible excuses they could possibly use for delayed delivery. USPS is a company you can never rely on when it comes to time sensitive products.

  2. Ray Battiston

    I have shipped a package on May 3rd 2021 from NOTL, Ontario , Canada (we’re 7 minutes from the US border, but yes, I do not it has to go through Customs too. As of May 30th it still has not arrived in Cedar Park, Texas. The shipping tracking number just indicates it reached a foreign country (US) and “is in transit”. When the border was open, we used to drive the package to the US Post Office in Lewiston, and it would normally get to Texas in 3 or 4 days. Letters from Florida to Ontario are taking 7 to 14 days.

  3. Avery Stover

    I ordered a king sleeve chef coat and it has been a week since the tracking number was sent

  4. kevin Agg

    USPS lost a package I sent from the UK November 2020, then told me next time ensure proper labels for recipient and sender! Now I have Two more delayed by about 2 weeks. Through Chicago. I ship for business worldwide. USPS were so reliable a few years ago now they are the worst I have come across and that includes the likes of China, Russia and Italy.

  5. Leanne

    I had a package shipped out last Saturday from Connecticut to long island and it’s still not here 9 days later, it was supposed to take 1-3 days

  6. Orionsune

    HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHASHAHAHA EXPECT PACKAGE IN 3-5 DAYS INSTEAD?!?!?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH I’m staring at a tracking number on USPS site that has been delayed for over 3 weeks and it is priority package. In fact, the past 5 packages I’ve ordered from various locations have all been delayed by at least a week if not more.

    • Bao

      Agreed. I have bought 5 packages within the last 2 months. All of them have been delayed by atleast 1 week by the shitty “In transit, arriving late” message. They always try to blame it on the weather and covid-19, we know it isn’t fucking Covid-19 nor weather, the weather is just fine. Ever since Louis Dejoy has gotten the rank of PMG, he has been sabotaging the entire postal service.

      • Bridget Cafarella

        I order items from Mercari and you usually get the items in 3 days,but almost all my items have been taking a week or more to get here.The seller needs to be rated within 3 days to get paid,and I am trusting I will get the packages,Thank Goodness I found out that if I do not rate them in 3 days,they still will be paid,because it is not their fault the items have been delayed and therevis proof the items have been shipped.

  7. Billy Suter

    The mail is delayed because of Covid 19, inclimate weather and every other problem that FEDEX and UPS is experiencing,but FEDEX and UPS seem to still deliver on time and actually make a profit doing it. Perhaps the USPS has outlived it’s usefulness and purpose.

  8. BASIR

    I ordered from a package store on 12/29/2020, was supposed to arrive on January 6th,2021.still I don’t have my package.when i truck my package saying it is in Philadelphia on January 12th since no more information.

  9. Clendon Purnell

    Shipped package Priority Flat rate Box 2 day To Philadelphia 12-14-2020 Still has not arrived 12/20/2020

  10. Brenda

    all my package been late 1 come for Texas To Arkansas shipped June 22 I got it July 7
    2 pacage shipped July 10 and I have not got the package it be going few months I can understand if only few days late a few but all of my package Had few other packages was late to

  11. Lissie Wickes

    Hi John –

    I have 3 packages I’ve shipped from the US to Canada beginning of July. At two separate customs (Miami and LA), one was processed July the 15th and two others July 24th. It’s now the 27th and they’ve all received no other additional tracking. It’s not just you! I sure hope it doesn’t take my clients 7 weeks to get their packages! I hope yours arrives soon!

  12. John Ippolito

    I ordered a small package from the Netherlands in early April. USPS tracking says that the package was processed through Chicago ISC on April 16 @ 9:49 A.M. There’s been no update since. Is there anyone else with a similar situation? I’m trying to get answers. I don’t think that it disappeared but why no update in seven weeks?

    • Jamie lloyd

      I was supposed to get my stuff last week on Monday but then missed it. Rescheduled it for Wensday and it has been stuck in transit since.

      • Rajen

        I sent a shipment to Sweden and it’s been sitting in Chicago since May. I am in the similar situation as well. I don’t know what to do.

        • Vicki Neuleib

          The USPS is messing up deliveries of my stolen family treasures to others.

    • Craig McCall

      Same here , Departed Chicago for days now NOTHING !!


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