What Shippers Should Know about USPS Tracking

USPS package tracking – person scanning USPS barcode

As an online business owner, it’s important to share regular updates with your customer regarding the status of an order. When consumers buy a product, they want to know when a package will ship and when it will show up on their doorstep. USPS Tracking® makes this process a lot easier by allowing you and your customers to track packages every step of the way.

USPS® package tracking is automatically included with all USPS domestic shipping products with the exception of commercial Standard Mail packages (tracking feature can be added for an extra fee). Your package is scanned up to 13 times throughout its journey, starting at the postal facility.

When applying your USPS shipping labels to your package, you’ll want to make sure you place your labels optimally to ensure good tracking visibility for your package. Check out Endicia CTO Harry Whitehouse’s tips for applying shipping labels, so that the USPS Tracking barcode is easy for your mail carriers to scan.

Here are a few frequently asked questions and more advice to help you navigate the world of USPS Tracking.

Where can I find my USPS Tracking information?

Where you find your USPS Tracking information depends on how you mailed the package. Here are all of the different places it can be found:

  • On the shipping label below the barcode
  • On your account page or in your postage log, if you printed the label through an online postage provider like Endicia
  • On your mailing receipt

What does my USPS Tracking number look like?

Each USPS service has a different formatting system to distinguish it from others. The chart below provides sample numbers for each service so that you can confirm which service you have selected. Note that these are just examples and that the leading numbers may vary depending on the service you use to print the label and the additional services you select:

How can I track my USPS package?

Once you have identified the tracking number, you can check delivery progress four different ways:

  1. Online on the USPS website
  2. By phone at 1 (800) 222-1811
  3. By sending a text message to 28777 with your tracking number as the content of the message
  4. By the USPS Mobile App available for iPhones, Android devices and Blackberry mobile devices

If you printed your shipping label using Endicia, you can also check progress online at Endicia.com.

Can I get proof of delivery?

Although not included in the basic USPS Tracking service, you can pair a USPS Tracking product with an extra service to receive additional proof of delivery, such as a signature confirmation. You can learn about all of the options on the USPS Insurance and Extra Services page.

What’s new with USPS Tracking?

The USPS has added over 263,000 new scanners since 2014, which has increased tracking from five to 13 possible scanning events. This means more updates for you and your customer.

On the delivery side, your customer can now provide specific delivery instructions when they’re not home, resulting in fewer stolen packages.

You and your customer can also be automatically notified of the package’s location each time it is scanned without having to input the information every time. You can set up email updates by tracking the package online at USPS.com and clicking on “Email Updates.” Or if you prefer to be notified by text, you can go online and select text updates under “Available Actions.”

What about tracking USPS international packages?

Unfortunately, tracking is not included with every international USPS product. For help with USPS international tracking, read our blog post on how to best keep track of your USPS international shipments.

Now that you know the ins and outs of USPS Tracking, you can provide up-to-date shipping information to your customers, so they can stay abreast of the status of their package. For more information on shipping carriers, check out our FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS page.

About Endicia

Endicia is a leading provider of internet-based postage services that make it easier and more affordable to ship parcels through the U.S. Postal Service®. We know that shipping can be complex and our goal is to simplify your shipping operations so you can focus on doing what you do best. Visit us at www.endicia.com to learn more.

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