USPS Tracking Not Updating | What Causes It & How To Fix It
Few things are more frustrating than waiting on an essential package and seeing no updates on your tracking information. The postal service handles thousands of packages each day, and most packages see a tracking update every day or two. However, sometimes it seems that the tracking status on some packages stops updating. So, what causes this, and what can you do when it happens? Keep reading as we give you all the details on what can make your tracking stop updating as well as how to resolve the issue.
Why Your USPS Tracking Is Not Updating
Have you entered your United States Postal Service tracking number on USPS.com and gotten the same tracking status message for several days in a row? It sounds like your tracking has stopped updating, and it could mean that your delivery status is in jeopardy. So, why is the USPS not updating tracking info? Here are the most common reasons why your tracking stops updating and what each might mean for your package delivery.
— Damaged Tracking Number Barcode
As packages pass through equipment at sorting facilities, sometimes a shipping label or barcode can get damaged. If the barcode label is damaged, postal workers cannot scan the package as it moves from one location to the next. You might find that some workers will take the time to enter the US Postal tracking information into the system manually, but that is usually not likely to happen. If they cannot scan the package, it will probably appear that the tracking is not updating. However, your package is still on its way and should arrive on time.
— Inclement Weather
Bad weather causes many problems for the U.S. postal service as well as other carriers like UPS and FedEx. Weather delays are quite common in the winter as snow, and icy road conditions can prevent USPS from moving packages from one facility to the next. Spring and summer thunderstorms will also cause similar issues. This could cause your tracking information to stop updating for a couple of days until the weather clears. Once weather conditions improve, you should start to see tracking updates again as your package moves toward final delivery.
— Package Has Been Lost In Transit
While a lost package is not common, it does happen from time to time. Obviously, a lost USPS package cannot be scanned for updates in the tracking system. So, it will appear that your package is sitting in one place with no tracking updates. Packages sometimes accidentally fall off equipment or get lost in large distribution centers. Often, these packages are found and sent on their way. Once this happens, you will begin seeing updates on your USPS tracking number. However, if the package is not found, you will probably have to contact the post office for assistance.
— Package Did Not Get Scanned
Just because your package did not get scanned does not mean it is lost. It may appear that your tracking is not updating, but perhaps someone simply missed scanning your package. The scan may have been missed as it was loaded onto a truck heading to the next sorting facility. Even though your package tracking did not get updated, a missed scan will usually not affect your delivery date. You should see a new scan when it arrives at the next facility, and regular updates should continue from there.
— Post Office Waiting On Package
Just because you have received a confirmation email and shipping notice from an eBay or Amazon seller does not always mean that the post office has your item. Many online sellers print their own shipping labels, and the tracking number is immediately available in the tracking system once the label has been printed. However, the package will not start moving until the postal service has the package in its possession. Once the seller drops off the package at their local post office, then you should start to see the tracking information getting updated.
— Delivery Status Not Updated
You might see your tracking info appear to be stuck when the delivery status does not get updated. This could be due to the fact that the United States Postal Service did not complete a scan of the package barcode when it dropped off the package. This status does not always mean that your package is arriving late, although it probably signals a problem if the status does not update after a couple of days.
How Long Does USPS Tracking Take To Update?
So, how often should you see updates to your tracking status? Most of the time, USPS updates tracking details with accurate information every day or two. Sometimes, your package might go several days without an update. Whether or not this is normal depends on the current status message. If you are using regular first-class mail package service, then you might see your package seemingly stuck in the “In Transit” status for several days. This might be because the package is actively traveling across the country en route to its next stop.
On the other hand, if your package shows that it is “Out For Delivery,” then you should see an update the same day or the next day. If the status does not update within two days, then you should contact USPS customer service to determine the cause of the problem.
The USPS tracking system is nearly real-time. This means that you should see updates to the tracking status within a few minutes of your package being scanned. If you have set up notifications with the USPS, like their informed delivery service, then you will usually receive an email almost immediately upon your item being scanned for delivery.
How To Resolve Your USPS Tracking Not Updating Issue
So, what do you need to do when the tracking status is not getting updated? You really have three options, and the option you take depends on how long it has been since an update and which message is displayed.
— Wait It Out
The first option is to simply wait a bit longer for an update. If the item is still in transit and it has been just a few days since an update, then there is likely no need for concern. You can probably wait a few more days, and you are likely to see an update appear during that time. However, if you have already waited several days and not seen an update, then it is probably time to move on to the next step.
— Visit Your Local Post Office
Visiting your local post office is usually a good option if your package has already arrived there and is awaiting final delivery. The postal workers there should be able to help you locate your missing mail and determine why the tracking status is not getting updated. Perhaps your item got placed to the side and never picked back up. Whatever the reason, a visit to your local post office will usually resolve the issue and get your package delivered.
— Contact USPS Customer Service
If you have seen no updates to your USPS delivery on the tracking page for several business days, then it might be time to contact customer service. This can be done by visiting the USPS website or calling 1-800-ASK-USPS. Customer service should have access to the full tracking history of your package, and they can reach out to the appropriate USPS facility to help locate your package.
Filing A Lost Package Claim With The Postal Service
There are a couple of different types of claims that you might need to file with the postal service. The first is a lost package claim. If your package has insurance, then you can file a claim with the postal service to obtain monetary reimbursement for the value of the package. Insurance is typically included with premium services like Priority Mail, but it may need to be purchased separately when sending mail via regular first-class service. If your package has not moved or been delivered within a certain timeframe, then you can file an insurance claim and recoup your money.
The other type of claim is a refund of postage charges. This only applies to services with a guaranteed delivery time like Priority Mail Express. If your package does not arrive on time, then you might be entitled to a refund of your postage charges. These claims can be easily filed through the USPS website or by visiting your local post office. The postal worker there can walk you through the process and tell you the documentation, like your sales receipt, that will be required to get your claim approved and paid.
The Bottom Line
Most people enjoy getting regular tracking updates as they watch their USPS package move from place to place. Unfortunately, it may sometimes appear that the tracking is not updating when you attempt to track your USPS package, and you may be left wondering, “Why hasn’t my USPS tracking updated?” The USPS tracking not working could be due to a system malfunction, but those issues are usually cleared within a couple of hours. If you notice that the tracking does not update for several days, then you might need to contact the post office. It is possible that your package is lost or damaged, and you may need to file a claim with the postal service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I be worried if USPS tracking hasn’t updated in 3 days?
If your package is in transit, then you should not be worried about three days passing without an update. However, if the package has already arrived at your local post office, then three days without an update is concerning. In all cases, you should be worried if you don’t see any updates after a week. That is when it is time to contact the post office to determine what is causing the delay with your package.
Why is my USPS package not moving?
There are a number of reasons that your USPS package may stop moving. Your package might not be moving because of bad weather in a certain part of the country. That can prevent the postal service from being able to transport packages from one place to the next. Other common issues are improper postage, damaged shipping labels, incorrect addresses, and damaged packages. Any of these items can cause your package to stop moving, and they usually require the post office to contact either the sender or recipient for additional information.
Is there a way to track my package without the tracking number?
Yes, there are some ways to track a package without the tracking number. If the package was sent with USPS, then you can sign up for the Informed Delivery service. This allows you to log in to the Informed Delivery portal. Here, you can see all packages that are on their way to your address. You can then individually track each package, and the tracking number for each will also be displayed there.
What does “delivery exception” mean?
A delivery exception occurs when the mail carrier cannot make the final delivery of your package for some reason. Some common causes are inclement weather or no access to your delivery location. Perhaps there is someone parked in front of your mailbox, or the gate to your house is locked. This would prevent delivery from being made, and the mail carrier will usually re-attempt delivery again the next day.