USPS Tracking Not Updating: What Does That Mean?

The USPS tracking system provides you with detailed tracking for all your shipments. With every shipment, you will always receive a tracking number with which you can know the delivery status of your item at all times. Some of the information that the USPS tracking page includes are the delivery information, if available information, date and time of delivery, address of delivery.

The USPS has a top rated tracking system, high efficiency and reliability. However, sometimes, when you’re tracking your shipment, it is possible that you will see a message: “USPS Tracking Not Updating

This means that the location of the shipment is unknown or it hasn’t changed recently. There are always unforeseeable circumstances that can occur during the transportation of any shipment causing some delay in the delivery.

Below read why USPS Tracking Not Updating happens.

USPS Tracking Not Updating – Reasons

There are multiple reasons why you can’t see the updated information for the item that you’re tracking.

In order for the package to be scanned there are barcodes attached on the package which are being scanned regularly as it moves from facility to facility. This scanning also takes place several times until your package reaches its destination.

Every time the barcode is being scanned, you will get an update of the status of the shipment on your tracking dashboard.

It can be that the courier is using a malfunctioning scanner, that he forgot to scan the item or that the delivery has been interrupted for some reason.

It can be that your shipment is “out for delivery” but hasn’t been scanned in 14 hours or more, which causes the USPS to send an automated message at that point.

There is a possibility that the delivery worker finished his shift and left your item to be delivered the next day or he may have accidentally left it in the truck or taken it back to the delivery center.

Or maybe some unexpected circumstances may have caused a delay like a broken truck, a punctured tire or sickness of the driver.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions are another reason why your shipment might be in delay. Heavy rain, thunderstorms or snow can cause a big problem in traffic further delaying your item to even get to be scanned and delivered.

When the package travels between destinations, there are specific locations where it needs to be scanned, and due to unknown reasons it is possible that the item hasn’t been scanned at these locations therefore not showing the updated information.

It can also happen that the barcode is damaged not giving proper code to the scanner or preventing the item to be scanned altogether. This might give inaccurate information or no information about the shipment.

Package Not Scanned

Another reason for the “delivery status not updated” message is that the carrier is not scanning the shipment on purpose. Sometimes that can be during the holidays when there is a large number of packages to be delivered and so the USPS doesn’t scan packages in those situations to deliver all of the packages to a large number of recipients on time.

If you haven’t received the update for your package in more than a week, there is a great possibility that your package is on its delivery route but there was an unexpected turn of events that are preventing your item to continue traveling on its route.

USPS Tracking Not Updating – Solutions

In these cases, when your tracking number is not updating the status of your shipment you can just wait for a couple of days and see if your shipment arrives. If it doesn’t then you can call USPS and ask for information about your item or you can go to the last facility where the tracker is showing that your item got scanned.

When it comes to unexpected circumstances, it may be that your shipment will delay for one day, but sometimes it can even take a couple of days for your package to get to you.

You can also call the United States Postal Service customer service and ask for the information about your product. The number is 1800-ASK-USPS.

When you’re talking to the customer representative, you can ask him to give you the tracking details of your package and providing him with your USPS tracking number, after which he will make sure to provide you with the accurate information within 24-48 hours. There is 99% chance that you will get proper and accurate information from the USPS Customer Service.

Feedback from Customers

Here’s a good comment from the Amazon Services Seller Forum about this issue:

“Yep, this is a fact of life. USPS scanning happens when it happens. I would say that their scanning is reliable about 95% of the time, but that other 5% of orders can be a real pain.

I would also point out that there has been a major lag in USPS scans updating into Amazon tracking over the past few months – often it takes 1 to 2 days for the information you can see on USPS.com to update to Amazon. Be sure you check the tracking number though USPS.com and not just through Amazon if there’s an issue.

Complaining to USPS and/or your local postmaster can help sometimes. Additionally, packages that are hung up in the system somewhere can often be magically dislodged by opening a case with their customer service.”

Ways to Get Tracking Information

There are several ways you can get to the tracking information for your item.

  1. You can track your package online on the official USPS.com website
  2. You can track your package by sending a text message including your tracking number to 2USPS (28777)
  3. You can track your package using a smartphone app for both Android and iOS
  4. You can track your package by calling the official USPS telephone number 1-800-877-8339

When the status is updated you will receive a message “out for delivery” which means you will probably receive your item soon after that message appears.

Tip: To make sure you receive your package, make sure you’re at home when it arrives or organize for somebody else to pick it up for you.