USPS Package Not Delivered: 10 Reasons Why This Happens and How to Fix Them

A USPS Package not delivered doesn’t always depend upon the USPS service alone. Several other factors play a role in influencing the proper delivery of packages. And sometimes it so happens that a USPS package fails to get delivered at the expected time.

It can be extremely frustrating when these things happen, for the customer, yourself and USPS itself. However, being the top postal service company, USPS has the solution for every tiny offset. You just have to know about it!

USPS Package not delivered

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USPS Package not Delivered: What Are 10 Main Reasons?

There are several reasons why a USPS Parcel remains undelivered despite the best efforts from USPS officials. Here are the 10 main reasons that cause this to happen.

1. USPS Package Not Delivered – Incorrect Address:

If the address provided on the package is incorrect or incomplete, the USPS may have difficulty delivering the package.

2. USPS Package Not Delivered – Missing or Inaccurate Shipping Label:

If the shipping label is damaged, missing, or contains incorrect information, it can lead to delivery issues.

3. USPS Package Not Delivered – Customs Issues (for International Shipments):

For international packages, customs clearance can sometimes cause delays. If there are issues with the customs documentation or if the contents of the package violate customs regulations, it may not be delivered.

4. USPS Package Not Delivered – Weather or Natural Disasters:

Severe weather conditions, natural disasters, or other emergencies can disrupt mail services and cause delays in delivery.

5. USPS Package Not Delivered – Delivery Attempts

If the recipient is not available to receive the package, or if the delivery person is unable to access the delivery location, multiple delivery attempts may be made before the package is returned to the sender or held at a local post office for pickup.

6. USPS Package Not Delivered – Mail Theft or Loss:

Packages can be lost or stolen during transit, although this is relatively uncommon.

7. USPS Package Not Delivered – Restricted Items:

If the package contains items that are prohibited or restricted by USPS, it may not be delivered. This includes items like hazardous materials, illegal substances, or certain types of weapons.

8. USPS Package Not Delivered – Holiday Rush or Peak Seasons:

During busy times, such as the holiday season, the volume of mail increases, and this can lead to delays in processing and delivery.

9. USPS Package Not Delivered – Mechanical Failures or Technical Issues:

Technical issues with USPS systems or mechanical failures in sorting and transportation equipment can also cause delays.

10. USPS Package Not Delivered – Human Error:

Mistakes made by USPS employees, such as misrouting a package or placing it in the wrong delivery bin, can result in delivery issues.

What Happens to the Undelivered Packages?

The first option that the USPS looks for in undelivered packages is to return them to the shipper. The return parcel clearly states the reason why it couldn’t be delivered. This enables the sender to locate the actual delivery problem and hence solve it before resending the package.

But in case the sender’s address is illegible or not available at all, then the only option left with USPS is to send the parcel to its Mail Recovery Centre. It is considered the “Lost and Found” department of the USPS, which is used to store all undeliverable and non-returnable packages. 

The package that goes into the mail recovery center can only be recovered by starting a Mail Recovery Centre Search. The sender can only initiate it after they have provided the USPS with their valid ID proof and their tracking ID. However one has to wait for at least seven days from the expected delivery date to initiate the search for recovering their package from the USPS Mail Recovery Centre.

So, if you do want to start the Mail Recovery Centre Search, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

Firstly, you would need to provide the USPS with the following information:

  • A valid ID proof
  • The tracking number of the package
  • Additional barcodes, including insurance details
  • The date on which the parcel began its journey
  • The expected date of delivery as provided in the tracking status
  • The type of Mail Service that was used to ship the package
  • Address where the missing parcel should be sent once it’s recovered

Secondly, you will have to provide the best possible description of the missing parcel, like the exact dimension, approximate weight, the items contained in it, and other details that would help the inspectors identify your package. 

Finally, you will have to agree to their terms of conditions and accept two different disclaimers before you can officially submit the request for searching for your missing package.

Also, it is to be remembered that Mail Recovery Centre Search is your last resort after every failed attempt to find your parcel by any other means. You must contact the Post Office first to seek their help before applying for the search. 

USPS Package not delivered – What to Do

If USPS couldn’t deliver your package due to any of the reasons mentioned above, here are a few things that you can do:

  • Check whether there was something wrong or missing in the address. If yes, then correct the flaws and try to resend them.
  • Request the USPS to search for your package by writing a search application with relevant information, valid ID proof, and your tracking ID.
  • Seek help from the Consumer Affairs representative via mail or call.
  • Initiate the mail recovery process by visiting the local Post Office with your identity card and the tracking ID of your package.

In case you find the USPS claiming to have delivered your package, and yet you see no signs of your parcel, here’s what you can do:

  • Check all the places near and around your location to see if the package was dropped off there.
  • Check the places around surrounding houses to find if the parcel was mistakenly left on someone else’s doorstep.
  • Check the tracking status once again on the USPS Website to ascertain that it still says “Delivered” and has not changed to “In Transit” or “Out for Delivery” to ensure that there wasn’t any technical error the first time that you checked. You can track your item here.
  • When you have undergone all the above steps, and you are one hundred per cent sure that the package is not anywhere in or near your property even though it says delivered, the immediate step would be to contact the USPS via call or by paying a visit to the post office

Most of the time, it needs a little effort from your end to solve the problem of the undelivered package. As a sender, you should do everything to ensure that your package reaches its destination. As the recipient, ensure that there is nothing unattended from your end that might cause missed deliveries. 

In case of any other unpredictable circumstances or sudden mishaps, USPS will always be there to take care. Once aware of your predicament, USPS will do anything to find your missing parcel and have it delivered to its destination as soon as possible. Once you start the process of Mail Recovery Centre Search, it will bring the post officers who will put their best efforts into finding your package.

Hence, there is very little to worry about if your USPS package is not delivered. In most cases, you will find the package if you take prompt action to recover it.

Conclusion – USPS Package not delivered:

USPS is a very reliable and trustworthy postal service constantly devising plans and policies to ease its customers’ shipping experiences. Still, they too suffer certain difficulties despite their sincere efforts to provide their best service. Certain precautions and immediate measures can help avoid circumstances preventing the USPS package from getting delivered and recovering missing packages.

We have written an article on how to track your mail that you may find helpful. You can find the article here.

Avatar of Brent Watson

A delivery boy by profession, A traveler by passion. I love to explore new varieties of food. He also worked in many popular courier companies such as USPS and UPS. He likes to educate people on how they can save money while using these courier companies to send their parcels.

1 thought on “USPS Package Not Delivered: 10 Reasons Why This Happens and How to Fix Them”

  1. I have 2 packages in transit since the 7th. The haven’t updated since the 12th. Should I be worried? Do I need to call the usps or go to the post office?


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