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How Long Does USPS Hold Packages? (Time Period, Tips And More…)


Have you ever ordered something online and been worried it will not arrive in time for the big day?

Or maybe you are waiting on a present from a loved one who lives on the other side of the country. Either way, you are probably curious about How Long Does USPS Hold Packages? Especially before returning it to the sender. Well, wonder no more, because I will be taking an in-depth look at the United States Postal Service hold period for both international and domestic parcels. 

So, whether you are sending or receiving, you will know exactly what to expect and when!

What Is The United States Postal Service?

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a delivery service that is responsible for delivering mail and parcels to addresses in the United States. It is an independent agency of the federal government and is one of the largest employers in the country, with over 630,000 employees.

What is the USPS Hold Period?

The hold period is the amount of time that they will hold an item before returning it to the sender. The time domestic parcels are held is 15 days, and for international parcels is 30 days. After this time frame, you will no longer be able to collect your items and will have to arrange to get them resent. 

Worth noting, however, is that items sent by Priority Mail Express are only held for five days, so you will have to be much more prompt at collecting them!

Why does USPS have a Hold Period?

USPS has a hold period in place to ensure that packages are not abandoned at postal facilities. This allows the sender to have enough time to arrange for redelivery or pick up, and it also allows the USPS to clear out its facilities so that they can be used for other deliveries.

How Can I Find Out If My Package Is Being Held?

How Can I Find Out If My Package Is Being Held?

If you think your package may be subject to the hold period, you can check the status of your parcel online using the USPS Tracking service. Simply enter your tracking number into the search bar on their website, and you will be able to see if your items are being held at a facility. 

Additionally, if they attempted to deliver your parcel, but you were not home, they will leave a PS Form 3849, which is recognizable by its peach color. Although the postal worker will try to leave this notice somewhere visible, sometimes you might not notice it! 

If this happens, do not despair! You will receive a final notice up to five days after the initial delivery. 

What Happens If I Do Not Pick Up My Package?

Disaster! You have missed the hold period and forgotten to collect your items. What now? Well, if you do not pick up your package within the designated time, it will be returned to the sender. 

If you are the sender, you will be notified that the item was not claimed and will have the option to have it reshipped. The recipient will also be notified that the package was not claimed and may have to pay additional fees for reshipment.

What If Someone Else Picks Up My Package?

If you know, you will not be able to pick up your items and want to get someone else to do it. They will need to sign for it to ensure that the items are received by the intended recipient. 

The person picking up the mail will need written authorization from you; this can either be written directly on the delivery note or just normal paper! You need to write the person’s full name, a sentence granting permission, and sign your name underneath. The helpful friend or family member who is collecting your item will also need to bring their photo ID with them. 

How Long Does USPS Hold Packages? – What About P.O Boxes?

How Long Does USPS Hold Packages? - What About P.O Boxes?

Your P.O box will hold items forever as long as you are paying for it and the items fit. However, if your box is full, items will be held for 15 days before being returned to the sender. 

As before, after this time, you will be notified your parcel was not collected, and if you want it reshipped, you may have to pay some additional fees. To avoid this in the future, you can upgrade your PO box size. 

How To Check the Status of a Package?

If you are the sender or recipient of a package, you can check the status of your package online at usps.com. You will need to enter your tracking number, which can be found on your shipping label. Once you have entered your tracking number, you will be able to see the current status of your parcel and its estimated delivery date.

What To Do If Your Package Is Late?

What To Do If Your Package Is Late?

If your item is late, you can contact USPS customer service at 1-800-275-8777. They will be able to help you track your items and find out where they are. They may also be able to provide you with a refund if your package is not delivered on time.

Tips For Shipping With USPS

Tips For Shipping With USPS

Here are a few tips to bear in mind when shipping with USPS:

  • Make sure you use a tracking number so you can track your package and know where it is at all times.
  • If you are shipping internationally, make sure you familiarize yourself with the customs regulations of the country you are shipping to.
  • Make sure you pack your items securely to avoid damage during shipping.
  • Use insurance if you are shipping valuable or fragile items.
  • If you are shipping to a PO box, make sure you include the PO box number in the address.
  • Be sure to include a return address on your package in case it is undeliverable.
  • Consider shipping your package via USPS Priority Mail Express if you need it to arrive quickly.
  • Use the free packaging provided by USPS if you are shipping items that weigh less than 70 lbs.
  • Schedule a free pickup from your home or business with USPS if you have more than five packages to ship.

Essential Information About UPS And USPS

We all have that worry of parcels getting lost, so to help keep track of your valuable goods, check out our info on Does USPS Have First Class TrackingCan You Track A USPS Package Without A Tracking Number, or how about What Does Delivered To An Agent Mean USPS, or maybe you’d like to know Does USPS Deliver At Night if the parcel hasn’t arrived yet.

Maybe you’ve wondered about working as a delivery driver? For that, take a look at my UPS Mission And Vision Statement Analysis to see what they’re about, along with my UPS Application Online Jobs Career Info and USPS Application, to get the process started.

If you have a criminal record, please check up on Does UPS Drug Test Package Handlers, along with Does UPS Do Background Checks, and Does USPS Hire Felons, before moving forward.

How Long Does USPS Hold Packages? – Final Thoughts?

Well, the quick answer is that they typically hold a package for 15 days before returning it to the sender.

 However, there are some things to keep in mind. This includes the type of parcel you are sending, where it is being sent to, and whether or not you have a tracking number. If you are the recipient of a package, be sure to check with your local post office for their specific policies.

Good luck, and I hope your package arrives soon!

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