Home Life Tips USPS Tracking Not Updating? Here’s What It Might Mean

USPS Tracking Not Updating? Here’s What It Might Mean

by Judith Lepage
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You probably know that the USPS tracking system allows you to track the status of your delivery. With every shipment, you receive a unique ID called tracking number, which helps you check your package’s status at all times. But what does USPS tracking not updating mean? And more importantly, is there anything you can do about it?

What Does USPS Tracking Not Updating Mean?

what does it mean

If the status of your shipment is stuck and the tracking is not updating, it could mean a couple of things:

1. The current location of your shipment is not known or hasn’t changed recently.

2. The package hasn’t been scanned, so there’s no new tracking information.

3. Your parcel has arrived for delivery; but, it has not yet been processed for delivery.

Possible Reasons Behind USPS Tracking Not Updating

Possible Reasons

There can be multiple reasons for the USPS tracking not updating problem. However, in order to understand those reasons, you need to know how the tracking system works.

First and foremost, each package has a barcode. Every time the package moves from one location or a facility to the next one, the USPS workers scan the barcode. And whenever that happens, you get an update on your dashboard. Before a shipment reaches its final destination, it usually gets scanned several times.

So, anything that interrupts this process might also affect the tracking system and the status of your delivery. Here are some of the possible reasons for the delayed update:

1. Your Parcel Was Not Scanned

There is a possibility that your shipment is on its way, and it will be at your address on the appointed delivery date. Still, for some reason, the bar code does not get scanned along the way.

Maybe the USPS courier is using a malfunctioning scanner, or they simply forgot to scan the parcel. In any case, if the parcel has not been scanned for 14 hours or more, you will notice USPS tracking not updating as you will not receive any updates on your dashboard.

Sometimes, the USPS workers do not scan packages on purpose. Something like that can happen during a holiday season when the USPS needs to deliver an increased number of packages. So the scanning process tends to take longer. To speed up the process and make sure they deliver the packages on time, the USPS workers simply skip the scanning process altogether.

Of course, there also might be some unavoidable circumstances that prevent a parcel from being scanned at intermediary stops. For example, the barcode on a parcel could be broken or unscannable. If that is the case with your parcel, you will not receive any updates. If the code is not working correctly, it might also give inaccurate information about the shipment.

2. Weather Conditions

Sometimes the packages do not arrive at the intermediary stops on time due to the poor weather conditions. For instance, heavy rain, snow, or thunderstorms can cause problems in traffic. Hence, your package might be stuck somewhere in the middle of the road. Situations like these can further cause a delay in the scanning and delivery process.

3. Delay on the Part of the Carrier

Another reason for USPS tracking not updating might be that the delivery worker has ended their shift. In that case, they leave the package in the truck or take it back to the delivery center. Don’t worry — the courier will deliver it to you on the following day.

Additionally, unexpected circumstances, such as a truck malfunction, flat tire, or sickness of the driver, can also cause a delay.

In any case, your shipment is definitely on its way to you. However, something is interrupting the scanning process, or some events prevent the shipment from making the route. So, is there something you can do about it?

What Can You Do to Get the Tracking Information?

what can you do

If USPS tracking is not updating for days, you need to make sure that you have the correct tracking number. Following is the list of places you can check the number:

1. USPS shipping receipt

2. If you bought insurance at USPS, check the sales receipt

3. The confirmation email from USPS

4. The bottom peel-off portion of the tracking label

5. If you missed a USPS delivery, you could check the back of the orange slip

However, you could enter the correct tracking number and still face the USPS tracking not updating issue. In that case, the problem is at the carrier’s end, and there are a couple of steps you can take:

· Wait a Couple of Days

The carrier can efficiently resolve many of the causes of delay mentioned above. Therefore, try waiting a couple of days to see if the status of your shipment will change. Your parcel might even arrive in the meantime!

· Call The USPS

If there is no change in the status after a few days, you can call USPS Customer Service (1800-ASK-USPS) and inquire about your parcel. On the website, you can also find an email address and other numbers you can call to get the information you need. However, the USPS usually recommends waiting about five days before you make a call.

When talking to a customer representative, you will need to provide them with your USPS tracking number. Once they have it, the Customer Service will find out what happened and give you the accurate shipment status in 24–48 hours.

· Go and Ask in Person

Another option is to go to the last facility you’ve received an update from and ask what happened.

Once the tracking details are updated, you will see the out for delivery status.

Where Can I Get the Tracking Information?

You can get tracking information for your shipment in more than one way:

1. Try tracking your package on the USPS website.

2. You can also try using your smartphone app to track the parcel.

3. Sending a text message to USPS (28777) is also an option. You have to write your tracking number in the text.

4. Call customer service.

FAQs

Can I check the status of my USPS shipment?

Yes, you can. Use the USPS tracking system to see the location and the status of your shipment. For this, you’ll need your shipment’s tracking number.

What does USPS tracking not updating mean?

USPS tracking not updating means that your parcel has not been scanned or that the location of your shipment is currently unknown.

How long does it take for my USPS tracking to update?

It takes around 24 hours for your USPS tracking to get updated. However, some unpredictable circumstances can make the process last longer.

How often does the USPS tracking status get updated?

When your package reaches a certain facility or intermediary stop, the USPS workers scan its barcode. With each scan, the USPS tracking system updates your shipment’s details.

Should I worry if the status of my package hasn’t been updated in 3 days?

No, there’s no reason to worry. The USPS scans your package at every checkpoint on the route. However, sometimes that doesn’t happen. There can be multiple reasons for this, including weather conditions, broken barcode, holiday season, etc. The USPS will update the status of your package as soon as possible.

What can I do if the USPS tracking is not updating?

First, please make sure you have the correct tracking number. You can also call or email USPS Customer Service to get the information about your parcel. In the end, you can visit the last place you’ve received an update from and ask what happened.

How can I check if I have the correct tracking number?

Please recheck the tracking number in one of the following places:

1. USPS shipping receipt

2. If you bought insurance at USPS, check the sales receipt

3. The confirmation email from USPS

4. The bottom peel-off portion of the tracking label

5. If you missed a USPS delivery, you could check the back of the orange slip

What if there have been no updates after Arrival At Unit?

Arrival At Unit means that your package has reached its first postal station. Sometimes, you can get this status whenever your package gets to one of the checkpoints. However, if this status doesn’t change after a while, make sure you have the correct tracking number. If the issue remains, contact Customer Service.

Will I get any refund for the late delivery?

No, USPS does not offer a refund for late deliveries.

Can my First-Class Mail arrive late too?

Yes. First-class mail usually arrives in 1–3 days. However, this is only an estimation. The USPS doesn’t provide guarantees.

Bits of Advice from USPS

On their webpage, USPS offers the following apology and advice for the USPS tracking not updating issue:

We apologize that your mail or package delivery status is not yet available. We ask for your patience while the item is being processed.

If there has been no follow-up scan the day after arriving at your local Post Office™ facility AND no delivery has occurred, to save time, a service request may be sent by email to your local Post Office™ facility for follow-up.

You will receive a confirmation number and a contact within 2-3 business days. You may also sign up for an USPS.com® account to receive text or email updates.

Conclusion

All in all, it can be frustrating when you’re not able to learn the status or location of your shipment through the USPS tracking system. There are many possible reasons behind the USPS tracking not updating — from a broken barcode and bad weather to a holiday season. However, the best thing you can do is be patient and wait for USPS to handle the matter. Your package will be with you as soon as possible.

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