Tuesday, 11 October 2016

How Track A USPS Package

Learning to track a USPS package will help you to ensure that the items that you send actually get to their destinations on time. Today, the United States Postal Service offers a wide variety of services that will allow you to follow packages every step of the way. Tracking is now a fairly straightforward process, but you do need to familiarize yourself with the various options before you make your next shipment.

Method 1. Tracking Packings

(i) Set up a trackable form of shipment via the USPS. Not all letters or packages can be automatically tracked through the postal system, so make sure that the method you are using does allow for tracking. Some tracking requires a wait of 45 days for lost mail.
  • Domestic first class and media mail shipments do not automatically include tracking. You must request tracking be added, for which there is an additional charge.[1]
  • Most other forms of shipping (that are more expensive than first class), such as Priority Mail, do include tracking.
  • Not all forms of tracking are equal. As a general rule, the more expensive the form of shipping, the more detailed the tracking information will be.
(ii) Hold on to your receipt. The receipt should include a tracking number (titled a "Label number" on some receipts) at the bottom of the form.
  • The number of digits and the precise format of the tracking number may differ depending on the form of shipment you selected. For a list of the differing formats, see here.
(iii) Go to the the USPS website. The USPS website--USPS.com--has links on nearly every page that will take you to the pages for tracking packages. The general search box on the site's homepage will also track packages if you enter the information here.

(iv) Type the tracking number into a search box and then press the enter key.

(v) Understand the USPS status descriptions. The USPS uses a particular terminology to describe the status of each package, and while most are straightforward enough others are less comprehensible.
  • You will see "Arrived at USPS Origin Facility" indicating the moment the package was first entered in the USPS sorting system. This is not necessarily the same as the first Post Office that the package was in, but the first place in which it was prepared for transshipment to the next point.
  • "Arrived at Post Office" will be seen when the package has arrived in the vicinity of its final delivery but still remains within a USPS facility.
  • The description "Out for Delivery" is perhaps the most straightforward. The package is currently with a postal service agent for delivery.
  • "Unable to Deliver" will appear if the package required a signature or further instructions in order to facilitate delivery. At this point, the package will usually be returned to the local postal facility for later delivery.
Method 2. Adding Advance Tracking and Confirmation

(i) Request signature confirmation with your shipment. This will require a signature (though not necessarily that of the listed recipient) upon delivery of the package. If you require Recipient Only signature it may wait at the Post office until the recipient can sign if not at delivery site. Proof of ID will be necessary. [2]
  • In addition, you can request that a copy of the signatory's name be sent to you following successful delivery.[3]
  • There will be an additional charge of roughly $3.
  • Signature confirmation is not available for delivery to PO boxes and may not be available for shipment to military bases or diplomatic posts (including all that are considered APO (Army Post Office), FPO (Fleet Post Office), or DPO(Diplomatic Post Office))
(ii) Add a return receipt to the shipment. If you ask for a return receipt, you will receive either an emailed or mailed confirmation of delivery from the USPS. [5]
  • Along with the name of the signatory, you will also receive information on the final delivery address or pickup site. If the receiver had requested that the shipment be sent to an alternative site, for example, you would be informed precisely when and where the final deliver was made.
  • The cost is an additional $2.70 for the mailed receipt or $1.35 for an emailed receipt.
(iii) Hold on to your receipt. The receipt should include a tracking number (titled a "Label number" on some receipts) at the bottom of the form. Though these packages do not require that you actively track them (after all, you will be informed upon delivery), that option is still available.

(iv) Go to the the USPS website. The USPS website--USPS.com--has links on nearly every page that will take you to the pages for tracking packages. The general search box on the site's homepage will also track packages if you enter the information here.


(v) Type the tracking number into a search box and then press the enter key. Read the results to find out the current status of the shipment.


(vi) Receive confirmation of delivery (if applicable). Whether via mail or email, you will be able to receive confirmation of delivery without actively tracking the package yourself, as long as you requested this service.


How To Rent A Post Office Box

If you feel uncomfortable giving out your home address, a post office box might be the solution for you. You can have your mail delivered to a private box at your local post office for a monthly fee. The safety and anonymity provided by a P.O box might be exactly what you need.

Method 1. Renting In The USA

(i) Fill out the application forms. You can apply online at usps.com, or print out a form and take it into your local post office. Before you start, consider these questions:
  • Where do you want your post office box to be? Are there two branches near your house? Would you prefer one over the other? Or is there only one post office where it's feasible for you to rent a box?
  • What size do you want? Post office boxes come in five sizes. The smallest is 3 inches (7.6 cm) by 5.5 inches (14.0 cm); the largest is 22.5 inches (57.2 cm) by 12 inches (30.5 cm). Fees are based on size, so try to get the smallest one for your needs.
  • Note who is authorized to receive mail at your post office box. You'll be able to list names on the application.
(ii) Prepare two forms of ID. Whether you apply online or in-person, you'll need to provide the U.S. Postal Service with two forms of identification. Here's what you need:[1]
  • Photo ID. For your first form of ID, you could use a driver's license, state identification card, passport, alien registration card, or any form of photo ID issued by a government, the armed forces, a recognized educational entity, or a corporate ID card.
  • Non-photo ID. Your second form of ID must be somehow tied to your physical address. Acceptable forms include your current lease or mortgage, your voter or vehicle registration card, or your home or vehicle insurance policy.
  • Be aware that your birth certificate, Social Security card, and credit cards are notvalid forms of ID.
(iii) Pay your fees in advance. You can reserve it for 3, 6 or 12 months.
  • Note that the fees for a post office box will vary by location. Not every branch will price them equally.
Method 2. Renting In The United Kingdom

(i) Consider a Royal Mail post office box. If you are over 16 and have a permanent address in the United Kingdom, you can apply for a variety of Royal Mail post office boxes.
  • Note that you must have a permanent address. If your address is in "care of (c/o)" of someone else, you cannot apply for a post office box.
  • Be aware that you cannot choose which post office you would like to use. The one that usually distributes your mail is where you're allowed to have a post office box.

(ii) Choose what kind of post office box you want. Royal Mail provides three options[3]:
  • PO Box Collect: This is a traditional post office box. You'll travel to your local post office branch and physically collect your mail.
  • PO Box Delivery: Items addressed to your post office box will be delivered to your home or business address.
  • PO Box® with Transfer of Normal Address Mail: This places all the mail sent to your name in your post office box, where you will physically collect it.

(iii) Choose a term. Royal Mail post office boxes may be leased for 6 or 12 months. Payments must be made in advance.

(iv) Download an application and fill it out. See Sources and Citations (below) for a link to an application. Your application should include:
  • Proof of address. You can submit one of the following items as proof of address. The item you include must be the original, and less than 3 months old[4]:
    • Bank or building society statement (dated within the last 3 months)
    • Phone bill for a landline only
    • Utility bill (gas, electricity or water dated within the last 3 months)
    • Council tax bill
    • Royal Mail Account number for an existing service
  • Payment for your post office box; you can pay via direct debit/check or postal order.
(v) Mail in your application and wait for a response. Your post office box should be ready for use in two weeks or less. Royal Mail will notify you when your address has been verified and your box is prepared. Post your application to: PO Box Application Team, PO Box 740, Barnsley, S73 0ZJ