Can I call USPS to see why my package is late?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can call the USPS to inquire about a late package. The USPS has a toll-free customer service line that is available 24/7 for tracking packages and resolving delivery issues. When you call, have your tracking number ready to provide to the representative. They can look up the status in their system, see the expected delivery date, and let you know why it may be delayed.

What number do I call for USPS package tracking?

The toll-free USPS customer service number is 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). You can call this number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak with a representative about package tracking and delivery issues.

When you call, listen carefully to the menu options so you can select the one for tracking assistance. Usually, pressing “2” will get you to the package tracking line. Have your tracking number ready to provide to the agent.

What information do I need when calling about a late package?

When calling the USPS about a late package, have these details ready to provide:

– Your tracking number – This allows the agent to look up the status in the system

– Expected delivery date – Tell them when you expected to receive the package

– Ship date – Let them know when the shipper sent the package

– Origin and destination – Provide where the package was shipped from and the destination address

– Description of contents – A brief description can help them investigate issues

– Value – They may ask for the declared value of the contents

Having this information readily available can help make the call faster and more efficient. The agent can use those details to quickly pull up the status and provide updates.

What kinds of information can I get by calling USPS?

Some of the information you can obtain by calling USPS about a late package includes:

– Current status – The agent can tell you the latest tracking status

– Updated delivery date – If it will be delayed, they may have a new expected delivery date

– Location scans – They can let you know the last recorded acceptance or sorting facility scans

– Reason for delay – Agents may be able to see details on why it was not delivered on time

– Next steps – They can advise you if they will attempt redelivery or if you need to go pick it up

– Claims process – If eligible, they can explain how to file a claim for lost or delayed packages

Speaking directly with an agent gives you the opportunity to get details, ask questions, and discuss options. They have the most current data on your package in their systems.

When should I call about a late package?

Here are some recommendations on when you should contact USPS about a late package:

– Past expected delivery date – If you have not received it by the day it was scheduled to arrive, call for status

– No scans for 48 hours – Call if the tracking shows no updates for 2 days since the last recorded facility scan

– Wrong status – Reach out if the tracking status seems incorrect based on timeline

– Stuck message – Contact them if tracking says “in transit, arriving late” for several days with no updates

– Delivery needed by a certain date – Call ahead of time if you absolutely need the package by a specific date

– Damaged package – If package arrives but is damaged, contact them immediately

Calling sooner rather than later can help get solutions in motion faster. But avoid calling too frequently as the status may not change much day to day.

What are some common reasons for USPS package delays?

Some common reasons USPS packages may be delayed include:

Weather issues – Severe weather like snow, heavy rain, hurricanes can cause route disruptions.

Improper packaging – Poor packaging may cause contents to fall out or get damaged in transit.

Incorrect address – If the shipping address provided by the shipper is inaccurate, the package may get misrouted.

Volume surges – High volumes of packages during peak holiday shipping seasons can lead to some delays.

Transportation problems – Mechanical breakdowns, traffic jams, flight delays can interfere with timely transportation.

Priority mail took ground route – Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail are not guaranteed and may be routed ground if air network is at full capacity.

Stuck somewhere – Packages sometimes get “stuck” at a facility longer than expected due to capacity, dock delays, etc.

Misrouted package – If sorting codes are misread, packages can accidentally get sent to the wrong post office.

Speaking with an agent can help you get clarity on exactly what is causing your package to be delayed.

What if USPS says my package is lost?

If USPS informs you that your package appears to be lost in transit and they have no further tracking scans or information on its whereabouts, here are some steps you can take:

– File a missing mail claim – USPS agents can assist with starting a trace and claims process for lost packages.

– Verify address – Double check the accuracy of the shipping address provided to the shipper.

– Contact shipper – Notify the seller/shipper that USPS declares it lost so they can initiate a reship or refund.

– Check nearby addresses – Ask neighbors if package was mistakenly delivered to a nearby address by accident.

– Request inspection – You can request the local post office to search the facility again to be absolutely sure it’s not located there.

– Consider replacement insurance – If you purchased additional insurance, you may be able to file a claim to recoup the lost contents value.

– Change delivery instructions – Going forward, consider having high value packages held at post office for pickup or require signature confirmation.

Even with proper packaging and handling, sometimes packages get lost during the many handoffs in transit. Calling USPS first allows you to get status directly from the source and decide next best steps.

How can I prevent USPS delivery delays?

You can help avoid delivery delays by:

– Providing complete, accurate addresses – Typos or omissions in street address, city, state and ZIP lead to misrouting.

– Using proper packaging – Use sturdy boxes with enough padding to withstand transit shocks and drops.

– Adding handling instructions – Fragile, this side up, keep dry markings bring attention to special care needed.

– Obtaining tracking numbers – Trackable services allow monitoring movement so problems can be caught sooner.

– Insuring valuables – Pay for additional insurance when mailing expensive or irreplaceable contents.

– Dropping off at staffed locations – Entry at staffed post offices helps ensure proper handling.

– Checking post office hours – Verify the pickup times for collection boxes and retail hours to avoid missed last dispatch.

– Upgrading services – Express Mail has expedited handling and Priority provides faster transit time.

– Knowing delivery days – Most residential routes do not deliver on Sundays or holidays. Schedule mailing to avoid those dates.

– Allowing extra time – When mailing around holidays, order essential items earlier in case of busier than normal delays.

– Noting tracking history – Check tracking pages to see if addresses tend to get deliveries on standard days or inconsistent times when planning receipt.

What should I do if I cannot get an answer on a late package from USPS?

If you call USPS customer service about a late package but do not get a clear answer on its status or when to expect delivery, here are some additional steps to take:

– Escalate to a supervisor – Ask to speak with a supervisor or manager for additional help getting the issue resolved.

– Contact consumer affairs – File a complaint with the USPS postal customer advocate regarding poor service.

– Reach out to USPS Inspector – Report the problem to the inspection service via email, phone or online tip form.

– File a mail theft report – If applicable, report suspicions of mail theft or tampering.

– Begin claims process – To get compensation for value of lost contents, submit a missing mail search request and claim.

– Contact shipper – Notify the merchant you purchased from that USPS could not provide delivery information so they can assist.

– Contact sender – Have the shipper open a case on their end to request the destination post office search for the package.

– Request trace service – Specifically ask for a formal trace to be initiated and get a trace number for reference.

– Follow up frequently – Keep contacting USPS regularly until you get more concrete details or resolution to the problem.

Persistence usually pays off when dealing with sporadic customer service. Politely escalate your case until you get the late package delivered, recovered or refunded.


Calling USPS is the most direct way to get current tracking information on late packages, find out what is causing delays and determine next steps when things go wrong. Have your tracking number, addresses, description and other details ready when you phone the toll-free helpline. Listening carefully, taking names and keeping notes creates a paper trail you can reference as you advocate for a resolution. While most packages ultimately get delivered successfully, calling USPS as soon as you notice an issue provides the opportunity to intercept problems early, get answers on enroute exceptions and figure out backup plans when needed.

Scenario Call USPS?
Package is one day past expected delivery date Yes, to get updated status
Tracking shows no movement for 4 days Yes, find out cause of delay
Package scheduled for Monday but it’s already Tuesday Yes, see if there is a new delivery date
Delivery needed by Friday but not received yet Yes, see if that’s still possible
Package damaged upon delivery Yes, to begin claims process

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