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Why is USPS Tracking Not Updating? (Full Guide)


Are you waiting for an important parcel to arrive?

 If it is being sent via the United States Postal Service, you can easily monitor the progress of your parcel. All you have to do is enter the shipping number into the section on the company’s website. However, no system is perfect, and there may be times when the status of your parcel is not available. In this case, you are likely to see an error message instead of the details of your parcel.

If you are wondering, ‘why is USPS tracking not updating?’, then it’s time to find out…

The Reasons

The Reasons

Not being able to see an update on the status of your parcel is sure to be frustrating. The information should be refreshed each time the barcode on your parcel is scanned. This makes it easy to see exactly where your parcel is on its journey.

Being able to receive this refreshed information allows you to get a rough idea of where your parcel is. However, there are several reasons why the information may not have been refreshed. So, let’s take a look at some of the main reasons that this can happen. 

Nothing to update

The person who is supposed to send your parcel may not have gone to the post office yet. In this case, nothing will come up when you enter the number for your parcel in the designated space. In this case, you either need to contact the seller or just be patient. 

Weather conditions

Snow, heavy rain, and thunderstorms can cause delays in the overall mail system. As a result, it may take a little longer for your parcel to get scanned at the next sorting office. There is a good chance that your parcel is in the queue of mail waiting to be scanned.

Wet weather can also cause the barcode on your parcel to become damaged. As a result, it will not be possible to scan your parcel properly. This may mean that the shipment information is missing or incorrect when your parcel is scanned. 

Package not scanned

There are several other reasons why your parcel has not been scanned at the next sorting office. During the holidays, there is a higher volume of mail, which translates to longer queues and delays. In addition, your package may not get scanned if the delivery driver has a malfunctioning scanner. 

Out for delivery

Your parcel may have been handed over to the delivery driver right before the end of their shift. As a result, your parcel could either have been left in the delivery truck or be waiting to be collected. In both of these cases, the delivery status may not have been refreshed. There could also be an unexpected delay such as driver illness or the delivery truck breaking down. 

Already delivered

Already delivered

If your parcel status has not been refreshed for a while, your parcel could have already been delivered. When this happens, the status of your parcel is usually refreshed. However, it could be the case that the delivery driver simply forgot to do this.

You could find that another person in your household or a neighbor is taking care of your parcel. It is best to check in with them before taking the issue further. You also need to check the perimeter of your property to see if your parcel has been safely stored somewhere. 

Lost in transit

While this final reason is unlikely, mistakes can happen even when care is taken. It could be that your parcel fell off the back of the mail truck or got misplaced. It may also be sitting forlornly in a sorting office if the parcel was incorrectly addressed.

The best way to avoid this is by verifying your address. You should also provide a current phone number that you can be contacted. If your parcel has become temporarily lost, the chances are high that the situation will be resolved. 

Why Is USPS Tracking Not Updating? – Potential Solutions

There are several ways of resolving the situation so that you can monitor your parcel properly. The solution you should want depends on the reason your parcel status has not been updated. Here are some potential ways of resolving the issue. 

Be patient

During business periods, it is likely to take longer for your parcel to reach you. This will also mean that it takes longer for the status to be refreshed between stages. It is best to wait at least five days before reaching out to the United States Postal Service

Check with your neighbors

Check with your neighbors

You may find that your parcel has been given to a neighbor by mistake. It is always a good idea to check in with your neighbors before taking further action. Also, as mentioned, check your property for places your parcel could have been left while you were out. 

Contact customer services 

If you feel that you have already waited long enough, you can reach out to the customer service team. You can either use the live chat feature on the website or call the phone number provided. Make sure you have all the necessary information close to hand before getting in contact.

The customer service member will also ask for your tracking number, name, and address. They will then do everything in their power to find the exact status and location of your parcel. It is likely to take between one and two days for them to provide you with the information. 

Visit your local post office

Talking to a postal worker in person is likely to help resolve the situation more quickly. Again, make sure you bring all the necessary order information with you.

 You are likely to be asked to provide proof of identification as well as proof of address when inquiring. If you are the person who sent the missing parcel, make sure you also bring your mailing receipt with you. This will help the person behind the counter locate your package more quickly. They are likely to make a few calls while you wait to provide you with accurate information. 

Make sure your number is correct

To receive your delivery status, you need to make sure that the tracking number is correct. This unique number consists of between twenty and twenty-two digits. It is fairly easy to make a mistake when quickly entering this number into the system.

The best way to avoid making a mistake is to cut and paste the number. Make sure you highlight all the numbers in the string before pasting it into the specified space. Keep in mind that the code for Express Mail is slightly different and consists of thirteen characters. It will start with two letters and end with US. 

Look for an orange slip

In some cases, the carrier may be unable to deliver your package. In this case, they will leave an orange slip on your doorstep that contains the tracking number. You can then head on over to the United States Postal Service website and enter the code. In many cases, you will be instructed to collect your parcel from your nearest post office branch. 

What About Lost Parcels?

What About Lost Parcels?

After you have contacted the post office about your parcel, you need to wait another week. If you have not received any more information at the end of this time, your parcel can be considered lost. You then need to go to the United States Postal Service website and file a Missing Mail Search Request

You need to provide all the necessary information, including the…

  • Recipient’s mailing address.
  • Tracking number.
  • Chosen mailing service.
  • Contents of the package.
  • Weight and dimensions of the package.

Incorrectly Delivered Mail 

Incorrectly Delivered Mail 

Someone may have intercepted your parcel after it was delivered. A porch pirate may have spotted your parcel and decided to take possession of it. 

Alternatively, your parcel may have been given to the wrong person, and that person decided to keep it. Unfortunately, the only way you will get your parcel back is if the new owner has an attack of conscience.

Rather use registered mail…

The best way to avoid this situation is to always send parcels by registered mail. This means that a signature is required from the recipient before the parcel is handed over. While it is still possible for someone else to fake your signature, there will be a clear record of what happened. 

Get Your Package Delivered On Time!

So, you’ve sent off your parcel, and now you have a few questions? No problem, just take a look at our Does USPS Have First Class Tracking, our Can You Track A USPS Package Without A Tracking Number, along with What Does Delivered To An Agent Mean USPS, or perhaps even Does USPS Deliver At Night in 2023.

Why not become a delivery driver yourself? Check out my UPS Application Online Jobs Career Info and UPS Mission And Vision Statement Analysis to get you started, followed by my USPS Application and USPS Mail Processing Clerk Job Description to see what the position entails.

If you do have a criminal record, please read up on my Does UPS Drug Test Package Handlers, my Does UPS Do Background Checks, and find out Does USPS Hire Felons before applying.

Why is USPS Tracking Not Updating? – Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, the United States Postal Service is very fast and reliable. Tracking numbers are usually updated each time your parcel embarks on a different stage of its journey. This allows you to see exactly where your parcel is and know when you can expect to receive it.

However, a high volume of mail and bad timing can cause the refresh to be delayed for up to 24 hours. Other factors such as poor weather conditions can also cause a delay in this convenient service. While you can be sure that your parcel is in safe hands, you can call the USPS customer service team to check.

Good luck with your shipping and receiving!

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