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How to Ship Frozen Food

A lot more goes into shipping frozen foods than most people realize.

 

Not only do you have to make sure that the foods you are sending are actually frozen before they start their journey, but you have to make sure that the logistics that get those frozen foods from Point A to Point B are going to be able to keep them frozen every step of the way.

 

In this detailed breakdown, we run through (almost) everything you need to know about how to ship frozen food effectively.

 

Use the inside information in this guide to help you better plan for these kinds of shipments. By the time you finish up you’ll be able to confidently send frozen food through the mail (with multiple different shipping companies, no less) without headache or hassle.

 

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

 

fedex package given to a customer

 

The Biggest Challenges You’ll Face Shipping Frozen Food

 

Right out of the gate, the first thing you have to understand about shipping frozen food is that there are a variety of unique challenges that you have to overcome.

 

Shipping a book, for example, is a whole lot easier than sending a frozen prime rib.

 

Extreme temperature swings, humidity changes, and travel delays aren’t going to have much of an impact on your book. With your frozen prime rib, however, anyone of those things can prove to be disastrous – and all three combined (which isn’t at all uncommon when shipping frozen foods) can ruin your food completely.

 

Here are just a couple of things you need to keep in mind before you decide to send any frozen food through the mail.

 

Extreme Temperature Swings

 

Extreme temperatures are going to wreak havoc on your frozen food shipment.

 

Obviously extreme high temperatures are going to threaten to melt or defrost the frozen food that you are sending through the mail, especially if it hasn’t been properly “buffered” against these kinds of temperatures.

 

At the same time, though, extreme low temperatures can also destroy your frozen food. You might deal with a lot more freezer burn, a lot more dehydration, and a whole host of other problems that occur when your frozen food is dropped to really, really low temperatures.

 

Worse, your frozen food might go through a number of cycles between extremely high temperatures and extremely low temperatures. This is especially true if you are sending frozen food across country (or across the world).

 

As soon as you start to bounce through different regions and into different climates the potential for these temperature swings to destroy your food along its journey skyrockets significantly.

 

Humidity

 

Humidity is always another problem that people have to consider when they want to figure out how to ship frozen food effectively.

 

Humidity can cause spoilage but it can also contribute big time to freezer burn as well.

 

All it takes is a lot of extra humidity being introduced into the same space that your frozen foods are. As soon as that humid air comes in contact with your frozen food it’s going to turn that into condensation, which is (almost always) going to go in one of two directions.

 

You’re either going to end up with that condensation melting the frozen components of your food, bringing them up to (temperature). Or you’re going to deal with that condensation freezing on top of your frozen foods, causing problems that way, too.

 

Humidity control is a major piece of the puzzle when learning how to ship frozen foods effectively.

 

Travel Delays

 

Finally, you need to plan for potential travel delays.

 

Most shipping partners are going to do a really good job about getting their food deliveries to their ultimate destination as quickly as humanly possible. They don’t want any spoilage and they certainly don’t want an army of unhappy customers finding their frozen food delivery less than frozen when it hits their doorstep.

 

At the same time, sometimes travel delays cannot be avoided.

 

Perhaps equipment broke down. Perhaps inclement weather caused a travel delay. Perhaps there’s just a lot more traffic or a lot more road obstructions and accidents along a transit route, slowing down the delivery of frozen foods.

 

This has to be anticipated.

 

It’s always better to “over freeze” frozen food for transit so that it can survive through 24 hours (or more) of a delay without losing any of its freshness.

 

Tips for How to Ship Frozen Food Effectively

 

Now that we’ve covered a couple of the dangers and risks you have to account for when it comes to shipping frozen food let’s highlight a couple of tips that’ll help you send frozen food more effectively.

 

Preplan Your Shipment

 

As we highlighted a moment ago, preplanning (and timing) your frozen food shipment is absolutely essential.

 

We’re not just talking about trying to figure out your average time of transit for your frozen food packages, either.

 

That’s important, to be sure. You need to know how many days (on average) it’s going to take your frozen food to get from one location to another.

 

What’s equally as important, though, is timing the pickup and delivery window for your frozen foods. You want to make sure that your packages are getting picked up when the refrigerated/freezer truck is running at full blast, with the climate and temperature inside that unit already stabilized.

 

You also want to make sure that your packages are being delivered with someone there to receive them so that they can be moved from the climate controlled transportation directly to a stationary freezer system.

 

Use the Right Boxes and Containers

 

Your average cardboard box isn’t going to do all that much to buffer or insulate frozen foods from temperature swings or humidity.

 

Sure, you could probably get away with sending frozen foods in a cardboard box if you’re only going across town (or maybe even a couple of towns over). But any further than that – any further than a same-day delivery – and you’re looking at a skyhigh potential for spoilage without the right boxes and containers.

 

Instead choose boxes and containers specifically made to transport frozen foods.

 

You want a lot of insulation. You want a lot of protection. And you want a lot of humidity and temperature control whenever possible.

 

It’s also nice to have packages with easy to grip handles when you’re talking about transporting frozen food. Frozen food can be pretty heavy (and pretty chilly). Quality handles make moving those boxes around a lot easier.

 

Always Work with Reputable Companies

 

It’s critical that you work with reputable companies that know how to transport frozen foods as well.

 

Pretty much every shipping company out there is going to promise that they can deliver frozen foods effectively. But only some of them have the infrastructure and the equipment (not to mention the training and the experience) to get the job done right.

 

One of the biggest challenges you’ll have is choosing the right shipping partner to move forward with. We highlight some details below to help you out with that, though.

 

Just know that it’s important to steer clear of fly-by-night operators that don’t have a lot of history shipping frozen foods.

 

Make Sure to Refrigerate or Freeze Food Prior to Shipping

 

This sounds like a bit of a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to learn just how many people expect the freezer/refrigerated shipping container to handle the heavy lifting of refrigerating or freezing food as it goes along its journey.

 

That’s a surefire recipe for spoilage, uneven freezing, and a bunch of other headaches that can be avoided completely by refrigerating or completely freezing food before it’s handed off to your shipping partner.

 

With a shipping process as involved as transporting frozen food you want to have as much control over the finished results as possible. Make sure that you are handling the refrigerating or freezing before it gets into a shipping container for the best possible results when it gets delivered.

 

Ask Shipping Partners for Tips to Make the Process More Effective

 

It’s never a bad idea to talk to your shipping partners about tips, tricks, or insights they might have to help make the process a little more effective on your end.

 

There may be certain things that shipping partners like to do when transporting frozen food that you can help them out with.

 

This can go a long way towards not only getting your frozen foods delivered in the condition you are hoping they will, but it also helps to build a better relationship with your shipping partners, too.

 

It’s never going to hurt to ask!

 

frozen food in bags

 

How to Pack Your Frozen Foods for Shipping

 

If you absolutely, positively need your food to arrive frozen you have to pack it effectively.

 

For starters, your packaging absolutely needs to start with insulated Styrofoam boxes. These boxes are cost-effective, readily available, and do a great job at maintaining temperatures all while protecting frozen foods during transport.

 

Dry ice boxes are also going to help you protect your frozen foods during transport as well. Dry ice also does a top tier job at keeping temperatures low while your boxes are moving across the state (or across the country). This material buffers against temperature swings in a big way, too.

 

The outer storage box should be heavy duty carboard. It needs to be designed to protect not just the frozen food inside the container but the foam insulation as well. If the foam insulation layer becomes compromised you’re going to be looking at major temperature control issues.

 

It’s never a bad idea to use a bigger box than you think you need. That leaves a little bit of extra space for ice packs, more dry ice, or other temperature control solutions to be used as well.

 

ups driver delivering a package

 

How to Ship Frozen Food – Individual Shipping Service Specifics

 

USPS

 

The USPS will take frozen food shipments, but they aren’t designed to facilitate these kinds of shipments specifically. They don’t offer refrigerated or frozen transport as a specific service.

 

If you want to send frozen food through the USPS, you’ll want to use plenty of dry ice. This is necessary to keep the temperatures low enough to keep your things frozen.

 

You’ll also want to make sure your container is 100% leak proof. It’s important to prevent leaks but you need to steer clear of air tight containers. Air tight containers will cause condensation to build up inside the container as well as carbon dioxide. You’ll end up melting your frozen food much faster.

 

If you’re using dry ice your packaging needs to be labeled as Class 9 DOT as well. This lets USPS know that there are carbon dioxide materials onboard.

 

UPS

 

UPS does offer frozen food shipments as a specific service. They have a couple of recommendations they make to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible, too.

 

For one, UPS recommends that all frozen food shipments be sent out via expedited delivery services. Ideally something like Next Day Air, but within a 30 hour delivery window for sure.

 

UPS also recommends that anyone sending frozen food use a plastic liner inside the package, secure the frozen food in another plastic bag, and use thick insulated containers to keep things as cold as can be.

 

FedEx

 

FedEx is another top tier shipping partner that offers frozen food delivery services.

 

The FedEx Temp-Assure shipping method is recommended, providing a whole range of temperature controlled delivery options for customers large and small. US shipments should be sent with expedited services, services designed to deliver goods within 24 hours at the lastest.

 

Insulated foam containers are recommended as well, with walls that are at least an inch and a half thick (or thicker, if possible). These containers should be placed inside of secure, sturdy, and safe cardboard or plastic boxes, too.

 

virtual mailbox on a computer and mobile device

 

US Global Mail – The Ultimate Modern Mailbox Solution

 

If you’re looking for a way to modernize your mailbox there’s no one better than the folks at US Global Mail.

 

For starters, every US Global Mail customer gets a private, secure, and safe street address they can use for all of their mailing needs. This is a permanent address, too – one that will stay the same no matter how often (or where) you might move.

 

On top of that, every piece of mail sent to your US Global Mail virtual mailbox is scanned and uploaded to a digital dashboard in real time.

 

This means you’ll get instant notifications about every piece of mail sent to you, complete with a picture or scan, so that you never have to wonder about what is (or isn’t) in your mail.

 

Combine that with check deposit features, mail forwarding at 80% off of retail rates, and other benefits and it’s not hard to understand why so many choose this service.

 

For more details, check out the US Global Mail site today.

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Does DHL Deliver on Saturdays?

DHL is one of the largest logistical companies on the planet as well as one of the most trusted shipping partners worldwide.

 

Headquartered out of Germany, DHL is a true global shipping services. They offer delivery services to more than 220+ nations around the world, including overnight and express delivery, freight forwarding options, as well as warehousing solutions.

 

At the same time, though, DHL has some limitations – including the fact that they are a little bit spotty when it comes to weekend delivery (particularly on Saturday).

 

If you’ve been wondering “does DHL deliver on Saturdays” you’ve come to the right place, though. We can answer that question for you below!

 

DHL truck delivering a package

 

Does DHL Deliver on Saturdays?

 

Truth be told, the answer to “does DHL deliver on Saturdays” is a little more complex than most people realize.

 

Unlike other services (like the USPS, FedEx, or UPS) with guaranteed Saturday delivery, DHL offers Saturday delivery options – but there are certainly some stipulations, requirements, and factors that come into play.

 

Let’s run through the important things you need to know about Saturday delivery through DHL.

 

Does DHL Deliver to Residential Addresses on Saturday?

 

DHL will offer delivery to residential addresses on Saturday, provided you live in Europe.

 

US customers, on the other hand, are not going to be able to take advantage of Saturday delivery to residential addresses for the most part.

 

Instead, DHL runs Monday through Friday with very limited options on Saturday and next to no options for delivery on Sunday. US customers are going to want to make sure that they preplan all of their DHL deliveries, particularly if they are hoping to have their packages arrive somewhere before the weekend cut off.

 

Does DHL Deliver to Business Addresses on Saturday?

 

DHL also does not deliver to business addresses in the United States on Saturday, either.

 

This is a huge departure from what is “industry-standard” for the most part in the United States. All of the other major competitors to DHL – including the United States Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS – offer Saturday delivery (some of them at no extra charge).

 

The fact that DHL does not yet offer business delivery on Saturday is a bit of a sticking point, particularly for small business owners and e-commerce operators that might need to get packages out the door on Saturday (or are expecting deliveries on the weekend, too).

 

Again, US customers that are looking to have packages delivered on Saturday are going to want to make sure that they preplan ahead as much as possible.

 

You’ll need to make sure that your delivery will arrive by Friday afternoon if you’re going with DHL. If you wait any longer than that, your packages almost always will have to sit over the weekend until they can be delivered on Monday.

 

Will DHL Deliver to Foreign Addresses on Saturday?

 

Though Saturday delivery is next to impossible to take advantage of from DHL in the United States, this isn’t the situation in Europe (and other locales globally).

 

A big part of this has to do with the fact that DHL is, after all, a European company based and headquartered out of Germany.

 

They offer standard Saturday delivery on almost all packages to addresses throughout Europe. Insert locales, though, customers are going to have to pay a little bit extra to take advantage of Saturday delivery – though this price usually comes in at anywhere between €20 and €40 (which is the high-end of this extra fee).

 

On top of that, Saturday delivery hours in Europe are almost always significantly limited to just a handful of hours in the morning.

 

European customers are not going to see DHL vehicles driving all over the place, dropping off packages (or picking up packages) in the afternoon.

 

What About Sunday Delivery from DHL?

 

As far as Sunday delivery goes, you aren’t going to find any DHL trucks out on the road on Sunday in the United States.

 

In other countries, though – especially in Germany and the UAE, for example – it’s not at all uncommon to see DHL vehicles driving around processing Sunday pickups as well as Sunday deliveries.

 

What’s interesting here, though, is that DHL partners with local post office facilities to do these kinds of deliveries. In a lot of countries around the world Sunday is a “normal working day”, unlike in the United States where it’s not at all uncommon for businesses to be shuttered over the weekend – but especially on Sunday.

 

At the same time, DHL does charge an extra fee for Sunday deliveries. You’re looking at a similar fee to the €20-€40 fee that Saturday deliveries would have cost, too.

 

Sunday delivery timelines are not generally restricted to the early morning hours, though. It’s a lot more common to see DHL vehicles driving around in the afternoon on a Sunday in locales around the world where this type of delivery is available.

 

dhl truck delivering a package

 

What Do the DHL Delivery Windows Look Like?

 

The traditional delivery window for DHL (in the United States, anyway) is Monday through Friday, during normal “business hours”.

 

That means you’re probably going to see DHL vehicles driving around your town or city between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM. Sometimes you’ll see DHL vehicles out a little bit earlier than that, and sometimes you’ll see them out a little later than that as well.

 

For the most part, though, DHL operators try to stick to this “normal business hours” routine.

 

During the holiday season, though, things can get a little more unpredictable.

 

When DHL is handling a significant volume of packages (like all shipping companies do during the holiday season) it’s a lot more common to see these vehicles and these drivers on the road as early as 5 AM or 6 AM local time, sometimes staying out as late as 8 PM (or later) to make sure these deliveries get done.

 

DHL does have an exceptional reputation for going above and beyond when it comes to these high-volume delivery windows. They want to make sure that they really enforce their global reputation as one of the most trusted shipping partners on the planet.

 

You don’t have to worry about DHL fumbling the ball when it comes to your holiday packages, that’s for sure. They’ll do absolutely everything they can to make sure that your package gets there ahead of the holiday, even if that means their drivers have to spend a little bit more time out of the road than they would have during normal operating seasons.

 

What are the Common DHL Delivery Hours Throughout the Week?

 

As we just mentioned a moment ago, the normal delivery hours for DHL (the United States) begin at about 8 AM local time and end somewhere around 5 PM local time.

 

It may not be all that uncommon to see DHL trucks on the roads a little bit earlier or a little bit later than that, though. There are certainly some drivers that are willing to stay out a little bit later to make sure that their entire truckload of packages get delivered on time.

 

Some drivers also like to hit the road a bit earlier, giving them plenty of opportunity to make all of their deliveries without any headache, without any hassle, and without any rush.

 

At the end of the day, though, if you work a traditional 8 to 5 job (or 9-to-5 job) the odds are pretty good that you’re not going to see DHL drivers on the road – simply because they are working during the same hours that you are!

 

As far as the delivery window around the rest of the world is concerned, it’s not all that different than the US.

 

Some locales are going to have earlier starting hours and earlier finishing hours. Some are going to start later and end later. And others are going to start earlier and end later or start later and end earlier.

 

As a general rule of thumb, though, the standard 8/9-to-5 operation is pretty much the rule across the board.

 

dhl airplane

 

Does DHL Offer Same Day Delivery?

 

DHL does offer same-day delivery services, with immediate package acceptance and pickup from more than 1900 locations around the world.

 

DHL same-day delivery is a global service as well.

 

This doesn’t necessarily mean that your package will be picked up in the morning in New York and dropped off at its ultimate destination in Tokyo that same day. But it does mean that you’ll have the opportunity to leverage same day delivery from any of the areas that support DHL services.

 

Another really cool advantage of DHL same-day delivery is that it is available on a 24/7 basis 365 days a year.

 

Yes, that means that if you absolutely, positively MUST have your package delivered on a Saturday – or even a Sunday – you can move forward with DHL same-day delivery services to have that taken care of for you.

 

Obviously, the same-day delivery fee for a DHL service is always going to be significantly higher than their “traditional” delivery services packages.

 

You still get track and trace capabilities, delivery to addresses to more than 220 nations around the world, and all the other benefits that DHL provides, too.

 

If you are really pressed for time and need to make sure that a Saturday (or Sunday) delivery is possible with DHL, this is the only effective way to go (outside of Europe, anyway).

 

Can I Pay Extra for DHL to Delivery Before the Weekend to Avoid Delays?

 

There are opportunities to pay for next day delivery and expedited delivery services from DHL to avoid any potential weekend holdovers and delays in the United States.

 

For starters, though, it’s a good idea to send your package with DHL as early in the week as possible to avoid these kinds of extra fees.

 

Getting a package that’s set to be sent across the country out the door on Monday, for example, dramatically increases the chances that it arrives before Friday (or on Friday). That eliminates any opportunity for your package to be “held over” the weekend for a Monday delivery.

 

When you start to send packages on Wednesday and Thursday, though, the potential for those packages to arrive at their destination through traditional DHL services before the weekend dwindle significantly.

 

Sure, you can pay for next day delivery and expedited delivery when your package goes out on a Wednesday – but you’re still running the risk of that package not making it all the way before the Friday afternoon cut off.

 

Send a package out on Thursday without paying extra for next day delivery (or on a Friday without same-day delivery) and the chances are pretty good that even if it’s going across town – or across the state – it’s going to be delivered on Monday morning.

 

Those are just a couple of things you want to think about before you send things through DHL while trying to avoid a weekend holdovers situation.

 

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Learn More About the Virtual Mailbox Service from US Global Mail

 

If you are tired of dealing with standard mailbox services, even from the post office with their PO Box system, it might be time to take a closer look at US Global Mail and their virtual mailbox solution.

 

For more than 20+ years, US Global Mail has been the gold standard for modern mailbox services.

 

New account holders are immediately provided with a private, anonymous, and safe permanent street address that they can have all of their mail (and all of their packages) routed to.

 

On top of that, every piece of mail, every package, and every parcel that arrives at this street address for US Global Mail customers is immediately scanned and digitized. You’ll get real-time updates about everything that hits your mailbox, eliminating the need to ever wonder or worry about what’s really in your mailbox.

 

There are a whole host of other benefits and advantages to using US Global Mail, too. The up to 80% off discount on mail forwarding for all your mail and packages to any address on the planet is just one of them!

 

To learn more about US Global Mail and everything they have to offer, visit their website or reach out to customer service today.

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USPS Lost Tracking Number

Your USPS tracking number is a crucial piece of information, and unfortunately, it’s also fairly easy to lose, especially if you are given it on a piece of paper when you hand your parcel over. Tuck that into a wallet or purse, and it’s almost guaranteed to be gone when you next look for it. So, what happens if you lose your tracking number?

 

If you have lost your tracking number, you won’t be able to track your USPS parcel. This number is crucial to making the system work, and without it, you will be unable to track the parcel. This prevents you from knowing when it will be delivered, or if it has got lost en route.

 

usps tracking notification

 

What Is The Tracking Number?

 

The tracking number is a string of numbers that you will be given when you send a parcel via a tracked service with USPS. You can type this number into the tracking service on USPS’s website and it will display your parcel’s journey information and delivery estimates.

 

You can do this as many times as you want while the parcel travels, and it will show you updated information as it moves through the different stages, up to delivery. If a postal worker misses scanning it, it may jump a couple of steps, but this is still the most accurate way to track where your parcel is at any given time.

 

usps receipt

 

Where Do I Find My Tracking Number?

 

Your tracking number should usually be displayed upon the receipt you are given when you hand the parcel to USPS. You should also receive a confirmation email with the tracking number written on it.

 

You may also be able to locate the number on the online label record, if you paid for your postage online, or on the barcode that is placed on the item to be mailed (although you probably will not have this anymore).

 

Check all of these places. It is also a good idea to write down a tracking number when you are given it, so that you have a secondary copy. Often, an email is the safest way to receive your tracking number if you are given a choice about this.

 

Your tracking number is only generated at the point when you make an order with USPS. You cannot generate a tracking number prior to this; it is given to you when you pay to ship an item with the company.

 

How Do I Use A Tracking Number?

 

You have a few choices for utilizing a tracking number. The easiest is often by visiting the USPS website and entering the tracking number into the appropriate search field. You can also use the USPS mobile app (available for Android and iOS) and enter the tracking number there.

 

Alternatively, try texting the tracking number to USPS on 28777, or phone the USPS customer service line. You can call 1-800-222-1811.

 

Furthermore, it’s possible to turn on email and text notifications that will send you updates on your parcel. You can do this via the USPS tracking site profile.

 

I’m Not The Sender; How Do I Get A Tracking Number?

 

If you are a recipient, not a sender, but you still want the tracking number so you can see how your parcel is doing, what should you do? The best thing to do is to request the tracking number from the sender. They should be able to provide you with a copy of it.

 

If you have purchased something, you may also be able to see the tracking number on the website you purchased from. It is usually under “order information” or alongside the notification that your package has been sent. However, not all websites encourage sellers to upload this information.

 

If it isn’t on the site, your will need to request it directly from the seller. USPS cannot give you the tracking information, because they don’t store it, so the seller is the only person who can help.

 

Alternatively, if you are a current Informed Delivery subscriber with USPS, go to your online dashboard. This should provide you with the tracking number.

 

What Happens If I Lose My Tracking Number?

 

It’s important to keep your tracking number somewhere very safe. Once lost, it cannot be recovered, because you are the only person who has access to the number.

 

As mentioned, USPS does not store the tracking information, and they will not be able to help you recover it or generate any further information about it whatsoever. It is up to you to keep this information safe.

 

This is partly why it is sent via email, as well as printed on the receipt. This ensures that you have a copy that should be easy to access at all times, and recoverable even if you move it to the “Deleted” folder (with most mail providers).

 

It is best not to delete this email until the parcel has been safely received by the recipient, as they may need the tracking information.

 

If the parcel gets lost or delayed, this tracking information will be a crucial aspect of finding out where it is and potentially recovering it. Without the tracking number, you have no way of locating your item, and therefore no way of telling if it has got lost – and where it was last logged in the system if it has.

 

parcel being exchanged from hand to hand

 

Can USPS Look Up My Parcel With Other Information?

 

USPS has lots of other information about your parcel, such as the sending date, the recipient’s address, the sender’s address, etc. You might be wondering if they can use this information to look up your parcel and find out where it is.

 

Unfortunately, the answer is that they can’t. Your tracking number is what is associated with the parcel, not the other information. This makes sense if you think about it, because it is a unique number and there is no risk of getting it mixed up.

 

If USPS tried to look up your parcel by recipient address, they might find information about other parcels that are being sent to them, rather than yours. If they tried to look up the parcel by sender address, they might get other parcels that you have sent out. They keep things simple, and only use tracking numbers.

 

This system does seem rather outdated; by now, it seems USPS ought to be able to locate parcels via other information. However, given the size of the USA and the extensive nature of USPS’s postal network, this would involve unthinkable amounts of work.

 

What Steps Should I Follow?

 

You have probably already looked for your receipt and/or email, but these remain your only options, so it’s worth following the steps below.

 

  1. Look for the receipt you were given when you mailed the parcel. This would have been handed to you by the shipping clerk. Check your wallet, purse, car, or any grocery bags you were carrying that day.
  2. Check whether you have the insurance slip (if your mail was worth more than $50). This slip should be given to you at the same time as the normal receipt, and it will also have the USPS tracking information printed on it.
  3. Check your Inbox and your Junk folders for your email from USPS. Try looking in the Deleted folder, or use your email’s search function to look for “USPS,” “tracking,” “dispatched,” or other key phrases.
  4. If you are a buyer, and you purchased from an online store, check whether their confirmation/dispatch email contains a tracking number.
  5. If you are a buyer and you can’t find this information, contact the person you purchased the item from. They should still have the tracking information and can send it to you again.
  6. Try contacting USPS. It is unlikely that they can help at this stage, but you have nothing to lose by trying.
  7. If you are the sender, ask your recipient if they are an Informed Delivery subscriber. They must have an active subscription for this to work, but if they do, they should have the tracking number on their dashboard. While a long shot, this may solve the issue!
  8. Wait for the parcel to be delivered. If all else fails, this is your only choice! That’s why it is important to hang onto your tracking information.

 

I Still Lost My Tracking Number; What Should I Do?

 

So, if you have managed to misplace both your receipt and your confirmation email, what are your options?

 

Unfortunately, you do not have any options besides looking for one, the other, or both of these documents, or simply waiting for the parcel to be delivered. There is no other way to access USPS’s online tracking system, or to generate the tracking number again. If USPS customer service cannot help, all you can do at this point is to wait for your parcel to be delivered.

 

That’s why it is very important to keep your tracking number in a safe place. You could make a folder in your email program for tracking numbers if you regularly mail parcels. Create a safe spot in your home for the physical receipts, and consider taking a picture of each one on your phone as a secondary copy.

 

Hopefully, this will help to ensure that you never lose a tracking number. If you do, don’t panic; your parcel will probably still be delivered just fine. All you have to do is wait.

 

Do I Need A Tracking Number To Report Mail As Lost?

 

If the mail unfortunately does get lost en route and you have lost the tracking number, you might be wondering what you can do and whether this means the mail is lost for good.

 

Fortunately, no! Technically, you do not need the tracking number in order to inform USPS that mail has gone missing, although it is a recommended piece of information to include if you can. When submitting a Missing Mail request, you will be asked for:

 

  • The date of mailing
  • The recipient address
  • The sender address
  • What the parcel looked like
  • A description of the contents (preferably with a photo)
  • The tracking number if available

 

If you do not have the tracking number, you can still file a Missing Mail request, and USPS will do what they can to locate the parcel. However, it is harder for them without a tracking number.

 

You will need to wait for seven days after the last estimated delivery date before you can file this request, so it’s a good idea to keep this information safe (because without the tracking information, you won’t be able to access it online).

 

If you do not have access to this information anymore, simply wait a few days and attempt to file a request. If USPS rejects it, you may have filed too soon. Wait another few days and try again. If it is again rejected, it may be time to contact the company and request some assistance.

 

Does All Mail Have A Tracking Number?

 

Not all mail will have a tracking number, no. Items that do not include a tracking number are those such as:

 

  • Periodicals
  • Postcards
  • Certain Marketing Mail parcels
  • Letters (although tracking can be added at an extra cost)

 

It’s worth double-checking whether your mail should have a tracking number, or you might spend a long time looking for something you don’t have! Although most mail will generate a tracking number, not everything will.

 

virtual mailbox on a computer and mobile device

 

Summary

 

Tracking numbers are a useful but quite flawed system, and if you are struggling to know when you should stay home for your parcel delivery because your tracking number has been misplaced, why not consider a Virtual Mailbox from US Global Mail?

 

This takes all the headache out of trying to check estimated delivery dates, missing parcels, and staying home when they aren’t due for delivery. Instead, the Virtual Mailbox is always “at home” for you!

 

Although it is best to keep hold of a tracking number if you can, this can make it a lot easier to deal with waiting for parcels.

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$14.99 billed monthly.

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PLUS

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$19.99 billed monthly.

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UPS Surepost VS Ground

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between UPS SurePost VS Ground post? These are both mail services that are offered by UPS, but they aren’t the same service, although they are very similar. SurePost is an attempt by the mail carrier to reduce the cost of the last part of the journey, which is usually the part that bumps up the price.

 

SurePost relies upon the postal network that USPS enjoys to get UPS parcels to the right places as efficiently as possible. This makes it cheaper than Ground shipping, and it does not usually take much longer in spite of the reduced price. It is often only a day slower, and can cost as much as twenty percent less!

 

ups truck

 

What Is SurePost?

 

SurePost is a service created by UPS to try and reduce the shipping costs for their customers. Often, the most expensive part of shipping an item is getting it to the individual home. The very last leg of the journey, the one where a mail carrier has to walk up to each mailbox and fill it, is the part that drives up the price.

 

This is because all other parts of sending mail can be streamlined. Many parcels can be sorted all at once, and massive distribution centers that use sorting machines and enjoy the cost savings of bulk sorting are very efficient and cost relatively little to run.

 

As soon as parcels are nearly at their destinations, however, prices go up a lot. For independent couriers like UPS, this is because they may only have one delivery to make in an entire block, and that delivery costs them significantly more than if they have ten deliveries in that block.

 

USPS, however, is delivering to nearly every house on every block every day of the year. By tapping into that network, which is already established and fully operational, SurePost is UPS’s way of making mail delivery cheaper and more efficient.

 

ups driver delivering a package

 

What Is Ground?

 

With Ground delivery, UPS drivers take parcels to individual houses and deliver them. As described above, this is not very efficient, because they may only have one address in each area to go to, and so drivers are spending a lot of time driving, and not delivering.

 

Because of this, Ground delivery tends to be more expensive. It is often slightly faster than SurePost because it does not involve passing packages to USPS and making sure that they go into a secondary company’s sorting and distribution system, but it is far more expensive for UPS to run, and at least some of that cost is passed to the customer.

 

On average, Ground will be about a day quicker than SurePost, but it will cost quite a lot more. While you may not care if you are an individual shipping out packages now and then, the twenty percent difference can make a huge difference if you are a business sending out parcels every day!

 

How Does SurePost Work?

 

With the SurePost system, once the package has reached the area it needs to be in, the UPS driver will take it to a local post office, instead of delivering it to an individual house. All parcels for that area will be handed to the post office workers, who will log them as received.

 

This done, the post office will sort them into the piles with normal USPS mail that is being sent by the main postal service, and then the mailman will bring them to the door of each house the following day.

 

This is the part that usually causes the one day delay on SurePost deliveries. With the Ground system, the UPS van would take the mail to the individual houses, rather than to the post office, where it must wait overnight for the mailman.

 

How Different Is SurePost From Ground?

 

The only difference between these two systems is how the parcels are handled toward the end of their journey. For most of the parcel’s journey, it will travel in exactly the same manner with either system up until it reaches the last stage, usually the town in which the recipient lives.

 

When it gets to this point, SurePost parcels will be passed to the local post office, while Ground parcels will be distributed via UPS vans to their final destinations. This is all that makes a difference in the two postal systems.

 

Services such as tracking are still available to both customers and shippers.

 

calculating costs for surepost

 

 

How Much Does SurePost Cost?

 

So, if the SurePost system is cheaper, the first question is how much cheaper? Obviously, rates change, but to give you an approximate idea, in the last couple of years, SurePost rates have been as follows:

 

  • Seven pound packages cost between $10.90 and $15.85 (Zones 2 – 8)
  • Three pound packages cost between $9.54 and $13.24 (Zones 2 – 8)
  • One pound packages cost between $8.52 and $10.63 (Zones 2 – 8)

 

These are only estimates, but often, SurePost will work out around twenty percent cheaper per parcel you ship, which obviously makes a massive difference to businesses. Steep shipping prices can easily deter customers, so all businesses looking to compete are trying to find ways to reduce the cost of their shipping.

 

Many businesses offer free shipping and swallow the cost themselves, and this is expensive. Being able to reduce that cost, whether it is passed on to the customer or taken by the business, is an enormous benefit that can make a big competitive difference, especially if the business sells low value items in bulk, and so ships lots of packages.

 

One day added to the estimated shipping is not a big price to pay when it comes to this cost, and a business can – if they choose – offer both the cheap option and the more expensive Ground option, so that customers who are on a tight deadline can still buy from them and get their item in time.

 

This represents the best of both worlds, as most customers will not care if their parcel takes one day longer, but will care about paying higher shipping costs.

 

If the business is sending SurePost items for free, it is possible to calculate the additional shipping charge for Ground and pass only this cost on to the customer, keeping the shipping costs down while ensuring that the business is not losing money for shipping things more quickly.

 

pros & cons of scheduling a pickup

 

What Are The Advantages Of SurePost?

 

So, what are the major advantages of using SurePost? We have discussed the fact that it is cheaper, and this is a great start. However, it’s also important to note that SurePost could actually improve a business’s reach.

 

Because the USPS network is so good, they have access to places that may not be served by UPS. That means that customers who could not previously buy from the business are now able to do so because the shipping has become available. This increases the customer base, which could make a big difference to a business’s turnover.

 

Just as one example of this, UPS does not deliver to P.O. boxes, but USPS does – meaning a vast swathe of potential customers that the business can market to.

 

Another advantage of SurePost is that USPS delivers on Saturdays, and they offer this service for all mail shipped via the network, including SurePost. UPS will deliver on Saturday, but this usually comes with an additional charge.

 

Because of this, SurePost might actually work out at a similar speed to the UPS’s Ground post, because if you have not paid for Saturday delivery, it won’t move on a Saturday – while SurePost will.

 

Obviously, there is no guarantee that this will have an effect, but it may do, and it is also likely to be attractive to customers who work on weekdays and would rather have items delivered on a Saturday.

 

How Does SurePost Tracking Work?

 

You might be wondering how customers (and businesses) can track items sent via SurePost, since these are handled by two separate companies. Fortunately, this is perfectly straightforward, despite the fact that SurePost packages do end up with two shipping labels on them.

 

A single tracking number will be provided, and this allows customers to follow the parcel right through the delivery process, without having to do anything. Unlike FedEx’s joint service, where two tracking numbers are needed to account for the switch-over of carrier, a single one will work for SurePost.

 

This eliminates customer confusion and frustration, and makes everything much easier, reducing the amount of time that businesses need to spend helping customers who haven’t understood the system.

 

small business using surepost

 

Who Should Use SurePost?

 

So, who is the SurePost service targeted at? Really, it’s mostly there for the convenience of businesses that need to tap into the network of mail carriers as cheaply and efficiently as possible. You might use SurePost if:

 

  • Your shipments are not urgent
  • Your customers care about Saturday delivery being a cheap option
  • You ship lots of parcels every week
  • Shipping prices are causing you to lose margins or customers or both
  • You ship a lot of items to the mainland US, not Hawaii or Alaska

 

What Are The Disadvantages Of SurePost?

 

Like any service, SurePost has some negative sides. It is not a great option if you want to ship outside the 48 lower states of the US, for example. It can be done, but you are looking at a prohibitive number of fees and surcharges, and at this point, it is cheaper to use USPS directly than to use SurePost.

 

That might not seem like a big issue to you, but it can be quite annoying for businesses, because it means they have to create exceptions and rules for different customers, and it also irritates customers by complicating the system and charging “unfair” costs dependent on where they live. Overall, that isn’t a great outcome.

 

A second disadvantage is that one day delay. It may not be a big deal, depending on your industry, but it will put off some customers, especially if you don’t allow them to pick a more expensive, faster postage option.

 

The problem with doing this is that it once again makes your system more complicated, and means workers have to pay more attention to what parcels need to travel via which method. If you are shipping a lot of items per week, it is nicer to be able to make everything simple using one standard mail service.

 

Thirdly, the unified tracking service can cause some confusion because when the package swaps to USPS, it will show up as “delivered,” but not to the customer’s zip code. This results in customers who need assistance. While the demand should be lower than with FedEx’s dual tracking number system, it is still higher than if you use a single carrier and the tracking information is straightforward.

 

Another minor con is that you cannot use the free boxes that USPS provides, and you will have to supply your own boxes. UPS does not care what a package is wrapped in, provided it is transportable, but USPS may refuse to handle and deliver a Priority Mail Box that has been misused.

 

This could result in the package being returned to the sender, incurring extra costs. It wastes time and confuses and annoys customers, so it is best avoided. You will have to source your own boxes at an extra cost.

 

Finally, there are surcharges to be aware of, and these can be quite complex. There is a Non-Machinable Charge for certain packages, and large packages can incur a $14.25 Additional Handling Charge. Again, these add complexity to a business’s shipping system, increasing the manpower needed to handle it.

 

virtual mailbox on a computer and mobile device

 

Summary

 

UPS SurePost has some major advantages over Ground in terms of price, but you should be aware that it is often a slower shipping option and it can cause customer confusion at times. Think carefully before settling on it for sending or receiving mail.

 

If you find that the UPS system isn’t working for you and you’re always out when they need to deliver a package, consider whether a virtual mailbox could solve your problem and make getting deliveries easier!

Exceptional service, at the right price.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. Try Risk Free.

Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

All our plans come with

guarantee
100% Guarantee

Don't love it? Cancel within 30 days for a full refund.

location on the map
Permanent Street Address

Get a PO box online while maintaining a real street address.

computer devices
Smart Mailbox

Read all your mail virtually. No paper mess and a greener planet.

no-limits
No limits

Get mail from all your homes and business(es) or both in the same app.

security symbol
Free Check Deposit

Deposit bank checks virtually... with the click of a button.

flexible plans
Flexible Plans

Upgrade, downgrade, cancel anytime.

Tree on the top of the world globe

We want to leave a greener Earth for our children

We plant a tree for every new member sign up

Recent blog posts

fedex driver getting into a fedex truck

Why Does FedEx Take So Long?

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USPS Delivery Time Calculator 5

USPS Delivery Time Calculator

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Categories
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FedEx To USPS Tracking

You may have heard of FedEx Ground Economy, previously known as FedEx SmartPost. This is a postal service that is shipped by FedEx but gets passed to USPS for delivery, and if you have chosen to use it, you’re probably wondering how the FedEx to USPS tracking system works.

 

If you’re looking to track a FedEx parcel after it has been transferred into the USPS system, you can still use the tracking number provided by FedEx, but you need to add “92” to the start of the number. This changes it from a 20 digit number to a 22 digit number, making it compatible with the USPS tracking system.

 

usps trucks

 

Why Would My FedEx Mail Be Passed To USPS?

 

Your FedEx mail will only be passed to USPS if you have used a service such as FedEx Ground Economy. This service makes use of USPS’s extensive mail network to offer cheap and reliable postage options to businesses.

 

The service takes away some of the things that FedEx usually offers, but it’s a very cheap option, and many businesses use it. It’s suitable for inexpensive, high volume sellers that want to distribute a lot of parcels quickly and don’t need insurance on them.

 

So, how does it work?

 

If you have chosen FedEx Ground Economy, your mail will be handled by FedEx initially, but it will then be transferred into the USPS system, usually for the “last leg” of its journey.

 

That might sound worryingly chaotic and unreliable, but the shipping service has a 98% on time delivery rate, so you don’t need to worry too much! FedEx is simply making use of the fact that USPS delivers to every US household almost every day of the week, and tapping into this maximizes the efficiency of their own delivery service.

 

However, using two mail carriers does have some disadvantages, one being that it is more complicated when it comes to tracking your parcel and seeing how far it has traveled. We’ll cover this next.

 

usps tracking notification

 

How Can I Track Something That Has Been Passed To USPS?

 

Tracking something that you have mailed with FedEx should be easy enough. FedEx will have given you a tracking number that is 20 digits long, so all you have to do is go to their website and enter it under the tracking tab. That should give you plenty of information about where the parcel is – unless USPS now has it.

 

If FedEx has passed the parcel on, they will not be able to tell you anything further about where it is or what is happening. Their system is not compatible with USPS’s system, so they can’t just show updated parcel scans on their site. You will probably see something like “delivered to USPS” in the tracking box.

 

To get further information, you will need to go to the USPS website. However, you only have a 20 digit tracking number that belongs to FedEx, so what do you do with this in order to pull up tracking information?

 

Enter “92” in the box for the tracking number, and then enter the full tracking number you were given. With the “92,” this should be a 22 digit number.

 

The USPS website should then display up to date tracking information for that parcel, letting you know what’s going on and where your mail is.

 

woman calling a parcel sorting center on her phone

 

That Isn’t Working – What Should I Do?

 

If you are having trouble tracking your parcel on the USPS website or it isn’t accepting the tracking number, it’s a good idea to contact FedEx directly. You could try contacting USPS, but if you are having problems with the tracking number, they may not be able to locate the parcel either.

 

It is better to get in touch with the company who supplied you with the tracking number, as they should at least be able to connect it to a parcel. They may then advise you to call USPS, which is fine provided that they can help.

 

Often, there seem to be issues with the FedEx tracking number and USPS’s service. This may be the fault of FedEx, or problems with incompatibility between the two systems. Whenever two companies try to marry their different methods, it is common for issues to arise, so don’t panic if you are having trouble locating a parcel.

 

Sending a parcel via a merged carrier service is probably one of the most complex ways you can mail something, so it is not surprising that the tracking information doesn’t always work or things go wrong.

 

tangled up

 

Why Is It Complicated?

 

You might be wondering what makes it tricky for the tracking to update properly. After all, it is only a case of the parcel being scanned and associated with a specific ID number, and then the website being updated.

 

Unfortunately, it is complicated because two companies are attempting to provide a single service. That immediately causes confusion because the companies operate in different ways and have different protocols.

 

You can see this even in the fact that you have to alter your tracking number once the parcel reaches USPS. The incompatibility between the two sites is evident, because FedEx uses 20 digit tracking numbers and USPS uses 22 digit tracking numbers.

 

As we have seen, it’s possible to get around this, but anything that requires out of the ordinary behavior and loopholes is bound to run into issues occasionally. As soon as something goes wrong, it will throw the whole system out.

 

For example, if FedEx forgets to assign the tracking number or something similar, they have no way of correcting this once the parcel is in USPS’s hands. Similarly, they can’t make any other alterations or fixes, so it’s hard to get mistakes corrected.

 

There is also no clear “responsible” party when things go wrong. FedEx tends to be considered the one at fault, because the customer contracted their services, but if USPS has made a mess of something, it can be challenging to work out who to contact.

 

All in all, given how complicated the mail carrying business can be, it’s amazing that FedEx and USPS manage to get so many of their items to the right places, because making the two different systems work together is not an easy process!

 

usps driver delivering mail to a house

 

Who Is Scanning My Mail To Update The Tracking Information?

 

You might be wondering who is physically scanning your mail whenever the tracking system gets updated. Is it USPS or is it FedEx? Who is behind that job?

 

It depends where your parcel has got to. Initially, it will be FedEx workers who scan it on each stage of its journey so that they can update the tracking information, but as soon as it gets passed to USPS workers, the job will be passed to them too.

 

They will have to use their systems and scanners to upload new information about your parcel’s movements, rather than FedEx’s.

 

How Long Should It Take?

 

You might be wondering how soon you should be worried about your parcel and how long it ought to take, especially if the tracking information is not working as it should.

 

Unfortunately, FedEx Ground Economy is not a quick service, because it prioritizes cheapness over speed.

 

FedEx suggests that it should take between two and seven business days, but often, it will take between five and fourteen business days to get to you, and while that might seem an annoyingly long time, this is necessary for the coordination of the service and the low cost.

 

Usually, if you see the message that it is at your “local post office,” it will only be another day before it is at your door, unless there is a further delay. However, up until this point, the delivery time can be quite varied and hard to predict, because the parcel might backtrack on its progress to get to a USPS sorting hub before it reaches you.

 

What Do I Do If My Parcel Seems Lost?

 

If you can’t get an update via tracking and your parcel is outside this delivery estimate, you might be wondering if it has got lost. This is particularly likely if the tracking never seemed to work once it got to USPS, as it’s probable that something went wrong at this stage, and USPS has no way of locating the parcel now.

 

If this happens, what should you do? Well, the best step is to get in touch with FedEx, since they are responsible for the parcel and they might be able to help. There is no guarantee, however, especially if it is now in FedEx’s system.

 

They might tell you to contact USPS, or they may tell you that the parcel should be marked as lost, and you need to get in touch with the sender to organize a refund or replacement.

 

Fourteen days might seem like a long time to wait (especially with weekends), but that is the standard for this kind of shipping, and nothing will be done before this amount of time has passed.

 

fedex truck delivering a package

 

Why Do People Use FedEx Ground Economy?

 

You might be wondering what encourages people to use this service if there are potential issues with the tracking, and it is not particularly fast. The real reason is that it is cheap, so for business sellers who have a lot of parcels to ship and want to keep prices low, it is an attractive service.

 

It is only available to those signed up for the service, so it really is aimed at small businesses and while it may not seem like an ideal option to many others, it is attractive to them because of its low cost.

 

It also makes returning items very easy for customers, which is another reason that sellers of low cost items tend to prefer it. Customers can simply leave return parcels in their mailboxes for collection by USPS, rather than having to drop them with a courier or wait in for them to be collected.

 

Customers can also monitor the progress of their return online, which saves the business from needing to monitor a customer service line as regularly as they might otherwise have to do.

 

My Tracking Shows The Parcel Is Moving Away, Not Getting Closer

 

This is a potential problem with using tracking for a parcel that has been shipped via FedEx Ground Economy. Because the parcel will change hands and move from FedEx to USPS, it may not always take the most direct route to your home.

 

There seems to be some debate about whether or not the parcel is delivered to a USPS local post office, or whether it needs to be processed by one of their sorting centers first.

 

Some people claim that there are only eighteen of these major centers in the whole US, so unless you happen to be near to one, your parcel could move quite some distance away before it is sorted into the right mail stream and on its way back to you.

 

So, don’t be surprised if your parcel information shifts from a nearby location to one that is further away at first. Although this is very annoying, it is nothing to worry about; it’s just how the system works.

 

The parcel will then be processed along with USPS’s other packages, and then shipped in your direction again. This can make the tracking information confusing or even misleading, but rest assured that it is not abnormal and doesn’t mean that your parcel is lost.

 

virtual mailbox on a computer and mobile device

 

Summary

 

If you are having problems with tracking information and you find that you are constantly missing attempted parcel deliveries or you need to go out during the estimated delivery slot, you might benefit from a virtual mailbox. These help you to be at home even when you are not at home, allowing parcels to be delivered at any time.

 

Tracking information has come a long way in helping customers organize their time better and stay at home for deliveries, but it’s still far from perfect. If you are struggling with the FedEx to USPS tracking system and find that it just isn’t working for you, consider getting a virtual mailbox as a good alternative.

Exceptional service, at the right price.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. Try Risk Free.

Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
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No limits

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Why Does FedEx Take So Long?

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FedEx Home Delivery vs Ground

FedEx was an almost instant success when it first began operations as Federal Express, promising that they were the choice “when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”.

 

At the time, overnight delivery wasn’t something that the USPS could offer reliably – and it certainly wasn’t something that they were willing guarantee.

 

FedEx stepped into that opening been built a business empire, changing forever the way that packages (later every bit of mail) was handled in the United States. Their logistical systems are mimicked by almost every major player around the world today – including the federal government!

 

Over time, FedEx grew into more of a traditional shipping service and started offering options that weren’t necessarily tied to overnight delivery.

 

Eventually they began to offer a bunch of different standard delivery options, too – and that’s how we ended up being able to choose between FedEx Home Delivery and traditional FedEx Ground.

 

But how do we know which one is the right one for our needs?

 

Is there any real difference between these two options?

 

Which one should I spend my money on?

 

Find out the answers to all of those questions (and then some) by reading our detailed breakdown below!

 

fedex packages on the front door

 

What is FedEx Home Delivery?

 

FedEx Home Delivery is basically and “offshoot” service of traditional FedEx Ground delivery services.

 

Taking advantage of (almost) the exact same technological framework and logistical chain that operates FedEx Ground, there are a bunch of similarities between these two services. Most of the fulfillment for FedEx Home Delivery is handled by FedEx Ground, too.

 

 

There is one major difference between these two services, though – and that’s the fact that FedEx Home Delivery is only intended for use with residential addresses.

 

You’re not going to find FedEx Home Delivery vehicles (or even delivery routes, for that matter) heading out into the commercial part of town. It’s going to stick with residential addresses. That’s what the service was built from the ground up for.

 

What is FedEx Ground Delivery?

 

FedEx Ground, on the other hand, is more of a “catchall” kind of shipping services – and inexpensive alternatives to options like USPS Priority Mail and UPS Ground.

 

The kinds of customers that usually take advantage of this service are often sending higher volumes of packages, entitling them to even more significant discounts on already discounted ground shipping options.

 

Individuals and organizations can send FedEx Ground packages to pretty much any address in the United States. There are even FedEx Ground routes in Alaska and Hawaii (though packages shipped via ground obviously need to initiate in those “not reachable by truck” states in the first place).

 

pros & cons of scheduling a pickup

 

Pros and Cons of FedEx Home

 

The biggest advantage of using FedEx Home Delivery is that you can save a decent amount of money on smaller, lighter packages compared to FedEx Home when sending stuff through this particular method.

 

Businesses that are sending a high volume of consumer packages that are small and light should consider taking advantage of FedEx Home Delivery, too.

 

Obviously this kind of service would only really work for businesses that focus exclusively on “B2C” operations – business to consumer – as commercial addresses and nonresidential addresses in general cannot be fulfilled by FedEx Home Delivery.

 

Another of the big benefits that FedEx Home Delivery offers is the flexibility of the service itself.

 

Home Delivery from FedEx is available Monday through Sunday, 1 PM through 9 PM (local time) every single week of the year.

 

There’s a lot of opportunity to schedule your packages to be dropped off during those windows of time, guaranteeing someone’s sure to be home to receive your package rather than having it left out on the porch or the front step four hours and hours each day.

 

You’ll literally have the chance to schedule (or at least request) specific delivery times with FedEx when you use this service. That’s not something you’re going to have a lot of opportunity to do when you are running FedEx Ground.

 

Add in the fact that you get free Saturday delivery with all FedEx Home Delivery shipments and it really starts to become a bit of a no brainer here.

 

On the flip side of things, FedEx Home Delivery can be a little bit slow – especially when you are sending packages to more far-flung locales, rural addresses, and areas outside of “normal” FedEx delivery routes.

 

On top of that, there’s no real opportunity for FedEx Home Deliveries to be dropped off during “normal business hours”. At least not before 1 PM (local time), anyway.

 

If you need to get a package to someone in the morning, or on a Monday, you are going to be able to get the job done with Home Delivery. You’re going to have to go with Ground from FedEx instead (or another service altogether).

 

Pros and Cons of FedEx Ground

 

As far as FedEx Ground is concerned, there are some pretty significant advantages to using this service – especially if you need to send your stuff to nonresidential addresses sometimes.

 

The fact that Home Delivery from FedEx cannot be sent to nonresidential addresses is obviously it’s biggest drawback, but it’s also the biggest advantage that FedEx Ground has to offer.

 

You have an almost universal ability to send your packages pretty much anywhere when you use Ground from FedEx instead.

 

On top of that, you’re going to be able to rely on FedEx getting their Ground packages out much earlier in the day than the FedEx Home Delivery packages.

 

While Home Delivery packages aren’t going to start hitting doorsteps until 1 PM local time, FedEx Ground packages are starting to be delivered at 8 AM (local time) on a pretty consistent basis. Sometimes even earlier than that!

 

FedEx Ground also has a top shelf reputation for very fast delivery times.

 

It’s not at all uncommon for Ground from FedEx to show up at a delivery address a day or two earlier than projected. It’s not at all uncommon for these packages to show up a couple of days faster than the same package sent via USPS or UPS, too.

 

That’s all thanks in large part to the amazing logistical system that FedEx has built and pioneered.

 

On the flip side of things, if you’d like your packages to be delivered to any address on Saturday you are going to have to pony up a bit of extra money for the privilege.

 

This isn’t free the way it is with Home Delivery.

 

Secondly, you can make all the requests for specific delivery times you want with your local FedEx operation but there’s no guarantee they are going to be able to hook you up.

 

Sometimes they might. Sometimes they might not (most times they might not, really). There’s no real way to guarantee a specific delivery window outside of how FedEx handles their Ground delivery logistics for that route.

 

And while FedEx Ground does work in other countries (Canada and Mexico specifically), you might have to pay a decent amount of money just to get your packages through Customs. Then you have to think about delays, items potentially not making it through the Customs process, and a whole host of other issues.

 

fedex truck

 

How These Two FedEx Services Stack Up Against One Another

 

When you compare these two services together they are far more in common than they are dissimilar.

 

It’s important to remember, after all, that FedEx Ground laid the (no pun intended) groundwork for FedEx Home Delivery to exist in the first place.

 

FedEx Home Delivery leverages a lot of the infrastructure, a lot of the fulfillment process, and a lot of the actual manpower of the Ground division of FedEx to get their packages where they need to go.

 

Still, if you need to have your packages delivered during a specific window of time (or don’t want to spend a lot of money on Saturday delivery) then FedEx Home Delivery is the way to go. So long as your intended recipient lives in a residential address, anyway.

 

If, on the other hand, you don’t really mind when your package shows up on a doorstep during the day so long as it shows up on the estimated delivery date – or even earlier – then FedEx Ground is probably the way to go.

Which FedEx Service Should I Use?

 

Well, choosing between these two top-tier services really comes down to when and how (and where) you want your packages delivered.

 

Let’s say, for example, that you have a small Christmas gift that you want to make sure arrives at your sister’s home – and you don’t want it to be left out on the front step and potentially stolen by anybody.

 

In this specific situation you’d probably want to go with FedEx Home Delivery.

 

Not just because the package is headed to a residential address (though that’s a big piece of the puzzle). But also because you have a lot more control over when your package actually arrives, especially outside of “normal business hours” when most people are home to receive a package in the first place.

 

If, on the other hand, you have a heavier package that you want to send to your brother for their birthday and they work at home FedEx Ground might be better suited to your needs.

 

You know that your brother is going to be at home (most likely) during the FedEx Ground delivery hours, so you don’t have to worry about the package being left outside unattended. You’re also going to be able to save a little bit more money sending a heavier item to a residential address.

 

But what if you want to send a congratulations gift to your significant other and surprise them at work?

 

Well, if you’re going to be sending anything to a nonresidential address via FedEx than FedEx Home Delivery services are out the window straightaway. You simply won’t be able to even select this as a delivery method if the address isn’t classified as residential.

 

When you get right down to it, it really all does come down to personal choice, personal preference, the estimated price to get your package where you want it to go, and the specifics of your shipping situation.

 

There’s a lot more freedom and a lot more flexibility with using FedEx Ground. You usually get a bit of a price savings on heavier items as well, especially if you are sending them in higher volumes each month.

 

If you want a lot more control over when your packages arrive, though, nothing beats using FedEx Home Delivery. You’ll be able to choose specific delivery windows during the day that are outside of normal working hours, Practically guaranteeing someone’s home to pick up your package when it arrives.

 

Compare these two choices every time you have to send a package and you won’t have anything to worry about!

 

Virtual mailbox on desktop & mobile

 

US Global Mail – The Perfect Modern Mailbox Alternative

 

For longer than 20 years, US Global Mail has been the undisputed “king of the ring” when it comes to virtual mailbox services.

 

New account holders immediately receive a physical (permanent, too) mailing address that provides improve safety, security, and privacy protection with their Virtual Mailbox.

 

This address can be used to receive traditional mail as well as packages from all major delivery services – including FedEx, DHL, UPS and even the USPS.

 

As if that wasn’t enough, every piece of mail and every package that arrives at your new Virtual Mailbox is instantly scanned and uploaded to your account dashboard. You’ll get a real time notification about every piece of mail that hits your mailbox when it hits your mailbox – as well as a graphic proof about what that piece of mail was.

 

You’re not going to find that kind of service from the post office!

 

Combine all of this with other services and amenities like free check depositing, mail forwarding to any address on the planet at up to 80% off, and a whole host of other benefits and an account with US Global Mail becomes a no-brainer.

 

For more information about this service, or to learn how to open up your own US Global Mail account today, visit their website now.

Exceptional service, at the right price.

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Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
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BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

All our plans come with

guarantee
100% Guarantee

Don't love it? Cancel within 30 days for a full refund.

location on the map
Permanent Street Address

Get a PO box online while maintaining a real street address.

computer devices
Smart Mailbox

Read all your mail virtually. No paper mess and a greener planet.

no-limits
No limits

Get mail from all your homes and business(es) or both in the same app.

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Free Check Deposit

Deposit bank checks virtually... with the click of a button.

flexible plans
Flexible Plans

Upgrade, downgrade, cancel anytime.

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We want to leave a greener Earth for our children

We plant a tree for every new member sign up

Recent blog posts

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Why Does FedEx Take So Long?

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USPS Delivery Time Calculator 7

USPS Delivery Time Calculator

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What is FedEx Smartpost

If you are looking at the different shipping options available, you might have come across FedEx SmartPost. If so, you are probably wondering if this is a viable shipping option for you and whether you should use it.

 

FedEx SmartPost is now known as FedEx Ground Economy. It is a shipping option that is suitable for non-urgent, inexpensive, and low weight items that do not need to reach their destination immediately. It tends to be popular with businesses (usually medium and small businesses) and is cost effective. If you are shipping to residents and need to offer returns, it’s a good choice.

 

fedex truck delivering a package

 

What Is FedEx SmartPost?

 

FedEx SmartPost is ideal if you are mailing something that is not urgent, not heavy, and not particularly valuable. It does not have much insurance and it does not ship fast, but it is a cheap option, so it’s ideal if you are sending something that is not particularly important and you don’t want to pay a fortune to mail it.

 

The delivery service operates Monday to Sunday, so seven days a week, but quite a few of FedEx’s normal shipping options are unavailable when you use it. For example, you cannot have:

 

  • Signature to provide delivery
  • Selected time deliveries (either date or time of day)
  • The ability to correct the address
  • Stated declared value for the item being shipped
  • A money-back guarantee for the item being delayed or not arriving
  • Redirect requests (from the shipper) to alter the parcel’s destination if necessary
  • Redirect requests to hold the item at a FedEx location
  • A service for shipping hazardous materials.

 

The lack of the above services may put you off using the FedEx SmartPost service, particularly if you need insurance on your parcel because the item is valuable. They do offer liability insurance of up to $100, but no more than this under any circumstances.

 

SmartPost is certainly not suitable for shipping expensive items, because if the parcel gets lost, you will have no comeback or way to recover the item or its cost beyond this $100.

 

However, for items that aren’t worth a lot and do not need to arrive at a particular time or on a particular day, it is an appealing option because it is less expensive than many of the others.

 

What Can Be Shipped With FedEx SmartPost?

 

The shipping options are pretty generous, and you can ship parcels up to 130” in combined length and girth. Parcels are allowed to weigh up to 70 lbs, but you will get a better deal if the item is between one and ten pounds.

 

You can see that this service is intended for light, small, and valueless items that don’t need to move about in a hurry.

 

Map of US Zip codes

 

Where Can I Ship To With FedEx SmartPost?

 

So, where can you send items to using this service? FedEx SmartPost delivers to all of the contiguous US, and it will also deliver outside of this area, but often will estimate longer shipping times as a result of the greater distance.

 

How Long Does It Take?

 

The shipping time will vary a bit depending on the location, but they advertise delivery times of two to seven days for the contiguous US. Obviously, seven days is quite long by today’s shipping standards, but generally considered acceptable.

 

If you are running a small or medium business with lots of small items that don’t need to arrive in a hurry, this is a great option for you and will help you make shipping easy and cheap. Make sure you inform customers in advance about the shipping times, though – especially if they are outside of the US.

 

How Does It Work?

 

The SmartPost option works by utilizing the United States Postal Service (USPS) in order to finish the delivery of some items. Because the USPS postal service is so extensive and efficient, this helps to get parcels to the right places as quickly and efficiently as possible.

 

So, it’s a sort of hybrid service. FedEx will collect your parcel from the shipping destination, and pass the parcel on to USPS in order for them to deliver it. Every parcel is handled by two different companies, which are FedEx and USPS, ensuring that the most efficient route is taken every time.

 

The advantage of this system is that USPS is already delivering mail to almost every address almost every day, so it is very little extra work for them to take some small parcels alongside their usual mail.

 

They can easily collect the parcels and drop them off at the intended destination, with minimal extra work for anyone. This gets the parcels delivered much more quickly than if FedEx tried to deliver to houses individually.

 

Because the service is efficient and makes use of an existing network of deliveries, it helps to keep the cost low. It is somewhat similar to the UPS SurePost service, but uses two different carriers.

 

domino blocks leaning on a domino

 

Is It Reliable?

 

You might be surprised, given that two different companies have to handle the parcels, to hear that it is very reliable, yes. FedEx SmartPost achieves a 98% on-time delivery success rate, as long as the parcel arrives at the proper hub. From this hub, the parcels go to USPS, or sometimes to another small delivery company, and continues to the recipient.

 

Because the shipping service is so reliable, you may feel that you don’t need additional insurance on high value items. However, this is not advisable; things could still go wrong, as they handle thousands of parcels per day.

 

If you are shipping something valuable, make sure that you send it with an appropriate, signed-for service that offers insurance up to the item’s full value. This protects you in the event that something goes wrong, and will allow you to get your money back.

 

Are The Claims True?

 

You may have heard a number of accusations against FedEx SmartPost, and some are not true, but others are true or at least partially true. Let’s explore these in detail.

 

It’s Slow

 

We’ve already covered the shipping times, but what do people mean when they say that FedEx SmartPost is slow?

 

Well, it is in a way, but only relatively. There are so many impressively fast shipping options nowadays that anything slower than two or three days often feels slow to us. If your FedEx SmartPost parcel ends up taking a week to arrive at its destination, you and the buyer might well feel like this is a bit slow.

 

However, remember that you get what you pay for, and to make the shipping cost less, FedEx is using a different mailing service to get it to its destination, rather than sending out a dedicated driver. This, inevitably, will take longer.

 

The SmartPost option does average four days transport time, so in theory at least, it is not slow compared to some shipping options. However, if your buyers need items more quickly, it might be wise to offer an alternative, more expensive shipping option so that they can get things they need in a rush.

 

This makes people more likely to buy your items for birthdays and Christmas, when they need something at the last minute. Since they pay the extra, there is no additional cost for you, and your buyers can still have low-cost shipping if they are prepared to wait.

 

So, is SmartPost slow? It’s slower than some options, but not enormously slow, and many people are very happy to wait a few more days for their parcel if they have not been charged a lot for shipping, or have been given it for free.

 

It’s Unreliable

 

Many people say that SmartPost is unreliable, or that it is “bad” in general. They may mean that it is almost always late and does not reach its destination when it should (even accounting for the longer shipping times).

 

This is a bit of a falsehood. It’s mostly based on the startup phase of SmartPost, in which there were quite a few hiccups, because USPS and FedEx had to learn how to communicate and make sure that everyone knew what they were supposed to be doing at all times.

 

Changes had to be made to the system and new hubs had to be opened up to ensure mail could travel efficiently, and some tweaks had to be made to the system. Early experiences of SmartPost may not have been great, but the system has massively improved in the years it has been running.

 

FedEx SmartPost Is Just USPS

 

This is not really true. FedEx takes the orders and is responsible for picking up and handling the items. However, they do pass them to USPS for the later part of the journey, because USPS has the most comprehensive and extensive service across the whole of the United States.

 

It might seem strange for two carriers to join up to provide a service, but FedEx SmartPost is not just USPS masquerading as another company. It is a hybrid service that involves work from both parties.

 

There are major advantages to this system, namely that you have full tracking, the coverage is extremely extensive, and you have access to Saturday deliveries. The service can also reach other parts of the US, such as Hawaii and Alaska, but be aware that the shipping time for these areas can be much slower.

 

What Do I Have To Do To Use The Service?

 

You have to be contracted with FedEx in order to use this service; it is not available to most people. You cannot just book it via their online site.

 

If you are interested in using the SmartPost service, you will need to contact FedEx by phone and discuss it. Remember, it is now called the FedEx Ground Economy service, so ask about this while on the phone.

 

Their workers should then be able to guide you through the process of getting into a contract and getting access to this service so you can reduce your shipping costs and offer a cheap and reasonably swift service to customers of your company.

 

pros & cons of scheduling a pickup

 

What Are The Biggest Advantages Of FedEx SmartPost?

 

Apart from being reasonably cheap, why should you use FedEx SmartPost for your business?

 

It offers a range of benefits, including:

 

  • It makes it easy for customers to return items, which increases customer satisfaction and customer confidence
  • Customers get a prepaid return label and clear instructions so you don’t have to man the phones and deal with return queries as extensively
  • You can ship packages within a good range of weights and sizes, making this a viable option for many business items you might send
  • The service days are from Monday to Sunday
  • There is a tracking service so you (and your buyers) can keep an eye on where parcels are and how far they have traveled

 

Are FedEx SmartPost And FedEx Ground Economy Exactly The Same?

 

Yes, these two services are two names for the same thing. The old name is SmartPost and the new one is Ground Economy, but they result in an identical service and there is no difference between them.

 

Don’t be surprised if some merchants still refer to FedEx SmartPost during the checkout process, or even if you get labels with your shipment that refer to SmartPost. The transition is still taking place, but Ground Economy is the new name.

 

virtual mailbox on a computer and mobile device

 

Summary

 

FedEx SmartPost is a great, hybrid service that gets shipments to the right places as cheaply as possible. It serves small and medium businesses that have low weight, low value items that do not need to reach their destination too quickly, so it’s an ideal option for e-commerce.

 

If you are struggling while waiting for deliveries or having problems with being in at the right time, you might want to consider a virtual mailbox.

 

Then, even if your parcel is delayed and SmartPost lets you down, you don’t need to worry – because with a virtual mailbox, you are effectively always in. This takes all the stress out of waiting for a delivery!

Exceptional service, at the right price.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. Try Risk Free.

Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

All our plans come with

guarantee
100% Guarantee

Don't love it? Cancel within 30 days for a full refund.

location on the map
Permanent Street Address

Get a PO box online while maintaining a real street address.

computer devices
Smart Mailbox

Read all your mail virtually. No paper mess and a greener planet.

no-limits
No limits

Get mail from all your homes and business(es) or both in the same app.

security symbol
Free Check Deposit

Deposit bank checks virtually... with the click of a button.

flexible plans
Flexible Plans

Upgrade, downgrade, cancel anytime.

Tree on the top of the world globe

We want to leave a greener Earth for our children

We plant a tree for every new member sign up

Recent blog posts

fedex driver getting into a fedex truck

Why Does FedEx Take So Long?

Why is FedEx shipping taking so long? Read more below.

Read more
shutterfly book

Why Is Shutterfly Shipping So Expensive

Ever wondered why Shutterfly shipping is so expensive? We breakdown the top reasons here. Read more below.

Read more
USPS Delivery Time Calculator 8

USPS Delivery Time Calculator

How long does USPS take to deliver mail to each address? Read more below.

Read more
Categories
Uncategorized

Can I Pick Up a Package From FedEx Before Delivery?

There’s always a lot of stress and anxiety when you know you are going to be around to accept a package, even from a delivery services as reputable as FedEx.

 

“Porch pirate” crime is skyrocketing year after year, but there are a whole bunch of other things that can happen to your package when dropped off and left unattended. Most folks just don’t want to deal with the headache and hassle – and who could blame them?

 

Luckily, though, it’s easier today than ever before to have your package rerouted. Especially when you’re working with a company like FedEx, a company known for their world-class customer service.

 

In this detailed guide we run through just about everything you need to know about picking up a package from FedEx before delivery is completed as well as having that package rerouted or held for you until you can come by and grab it yourself.

 

Ready to jump right in?

 

Let’s do this!

 

building with shipping trucks outside

 

Can I Pick Up a Package From FedEx Before Delivery?

 

You’ll be glad to know that in the overwhelming majority of situations it’s really easy to pick up a package from FedEx before delivery has been initiated.

 

A lot of this is due to the fact that FedEx really has their logistics nailed down pat.

 

One of the most innovative and technologically savvy logistics companies on the planet, FedEx really rose to prominence thanks to the investments that they made in their logistical chain.

 

This is why FedEx offers such accurate tracking information. It’s why they are able to route and move packages more efficiently than maybe anyone else in the business. And it’s why they were able to promise “when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” – the competitive advantage that differentiated them from all other shipping companies and built the FedEx empire.

 

Best of all, it (usually) takes nothing more than a quick phone call to FedEx to have your package held for you so that you can come and pick it up.

 

Let’s run through this process together right now.

 

fedex truck

 

FedEx Hold at Location (HAL) Services

 

FedEx offers the ability to pick up your package personally before delivery is attempted as a 100% free service that they call “Hold at Location”.

 

The fact that this service is completely free is another testament to the way that FedEx sees their customers. They are always trying to add more value, always trying to grow their customer relations, and aren’t trying to squeeze every penny of profit from their customer base.

 

Other shipping services (like UPS, for example) regularly charge for this kind of delivery hold. That won’t be a problem with FedEx.

 

How HAL Works

 

To take advantage of HAL, though, you’ll either need to contact FedEx directly (using their toll-free customer service line, 1-800-463-3339) or you’ll need to jump on the website and initiate the HAL on your own.

 

Before you get started with that, though, it’s important to understand that you can only start the HAL process if your package hasn’t been loaded onto a delivery vehicle and scheduled for delivery that day.

 

You have plenty of opportunity to get out in front of that package. But the second that it is on a truck and that truck leaves a FedEx facility to initiate delivery you’re going to be out of luck.

 

As long as you check the tracking and start your HAL request before delivery is attempted, though, you’ll be good to go.

 

How to Initiate a HAL for a Package

 

As mentioned a moment ago, you’ll need to initiate the HAL process all on your own either by calling customer service or using the online tools to start the process yourself.

 

If you’re going to use the website, you’ll want to log on using your username and then input your tracking information for the package that you want to be held in place.

 

From there, you’ll be prompted with the option to “customize delivery”. This option is going to let you run through a couple of different choices, including an option to “Delivered to Another Address” – though that will cost you a little bit extra.

 

Run through the options, find the Hold at Location option, and then click on it to start the process. If the option is grayed out, however, that means that the package is already in the delivery initiation process and you’ll have to wait until your driver attempts delivery to make any potential changes.

 

Provided you’re able to initiate the HAL, though, you’re going to need to pick a local FedEx location that you want your package to be held for you.

 

Most of the time this is going to be either a regional distribution center or a physical retail operation. Sometimes, though, it will be a partner FedEx operation that allows for HAL pickup.

 

After selecting where you want your package to be held and confirming the location you are good to go.

 

All you have to worry about from there is showing up at the location, presenting an ID that matches the name on the package, and collecting your FedEx delivery – all without any headache or hassle whatsoever!

 

HAL Eligible Services

 

The only other wrinkle that you might have to worry about with HAL from FedEx is whether or not your premium FedEx shipping services can be held in place to begin with.

 

FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight Saturday Delivery, FedEx Second Day Saturday Delivery, and FedEx Express Saver services may or may not be eligible for HAL.

 

These speedy premium shipping services are designed to get your packages to their ultimate destination just as quickly as possible. There may not be enough time between your package being sent out, getting routed through the FedEx logistical chain, and then moving out for delivery for you to initiate an HAL in the first place.

 

Even still, it’s worth running through the process as we outlined above. If you aren’t able to initiate a HAL with these premium services the option will be grayed out. If it’s available and can be clicked you are good to go and a HAL can be started.

 

fedex truck delivering packages

 

When Does a FedEx HAL Make Sense?

 

Honestly, there are a bunch of different reasons you might choose to have FedEx hold your package in place so that you can pick it up rather than have it delivered to your doorstep.

 

Delivery Problems

 

For starters, there are all kinds of delivery problems that certain addresses (and certain packages) just seem to be plagued with.

 

Houses in particularly rural areas, apartments in crowded buildings, and homes with funny addresses that don’t always “play nicely” with the FedEx logistical system may have more delivery problems than normal.

 

If you are sick and tired of having to juggle these kinds of issues, tracking down FedEx drivers and constantly having to call FedEx customer service, it may make more sense to initiate a HAL and go out and get the package yourself.

 

Scheduling Issues

Scheduling issues are another common reason that HAL services are taken advantage of from FedEx.

 

Some people are totally comfortable with FedEx dropping packages off at home even when they aren’t around. They have been able to get their packages from their doorstep or their driveway with real consistency even if the package sits unattended for a few hours.

 

On the other hand, some folks don’t like the idea of packages just being dropped off when they aren’t able to scoop them up in a timely manner.

 

Maybe you’ll be away at work for later than expected. Maybe you won’t be in town for a couple of days but are still expecting packages. Maybe you just don’t like the idea of your packages sitting out for hours and hours until you get home.

 

No matter the reason, scheduling conflicts definitely exists and are a perfect reason to set up HAL solutions.

 

Increased Risk of Package Theft

 

We mentioned earlier that “porch pirate problems” are dramatically increasing every single year.

 

There’s nothing worse than expecting a package to be on your doorstep when you get home, especially after you see a delivered message in your tracking info, only to discover that it’s been stolen.

 

You have to go through the whole process of trying to track the package down, contacting FedEx and the individual or business that shipped the package, and jumping through a bunch of hoops along the way.

 

By setting up an HAL you’re able to avoid all that altogether.

 

You’ll always know that your package is in a safe and secure location. You’ll always be able to pick it up at your convenience. And you’ll never have to worry about someone snooping on your property and stealing packages from you when you aren’t home.

 

fedex sign

 

Can I Pick Up a Package From FedEx Before Delivery on a Sunday?

 

If you are trying to pick up a package from FedEx before delivery has been initiated on a Sunday you may or may not have a tough time.

 

More FedEx OnSite businesses are accessible and open on Sunday (between 9 AM and 5 PM) each week, but traditional FedEx stores and FedEx distribution centers usually aren’t open to the general public on Sundays.

 

This is something that you’ll want to contact your local FedEx HAL location to figure out ahead of time. Some of them will accommodate (especially in rare circumstances), but others may ask that you either arrive on Saturday or show up later on Monday to get your package – a package they’ll keep safe until you arrive (even if it’s a day or two later).

 

How Long Will FedEx Hold a Package for Me?

 

As a general rule of thumb FedEx wants you to pick up your package as quickly as possible after you have initiated a HAL request.

 

That being said, it’s not at all uncommon for FedEx to hold a package for their customers for a couple of days, maybe even a week or so – and rarely even longer than that (so long as you are in communication with them).

 

Try your level best to get your package as quickly as possible after you set up the hell request and you won’t have much to worry about. Your package will be placed inside of a secure container awaiting your pickup, even if it takes a little bit longer than you originally expected it to.

 

You don’t have to worry about it being left unattended!

 

What Happens If I Don’t Make It to FedEx in Time?

 

If you don’t make it to FedEx in time to pick up your HAL package the odds are pretty good that another delivery attempt is going to be made. You may or may not be able to initiate another HAL request (some have had luck with that, others haven’t), too.

 

Most of the time you’ll simply have your package dropped off at the original delivery address – whether you’ll be home to pick it up or not.

 

Sometimes (in very rare circumstances) a package will be returned to sender and then have to be shipped out again (obviously with new shipping expenses being paid for before the package can be rerouted back out to you).

 

virtual mailbox on a computer and mobile device

 

Modernize Your Mailbox with US Global Mail

 

If you don’t want to have to worry about initiating HAL services with FedEx, driving out to pick up your packages, and juggling all of those new responsibilities it might be time to sign up for a US Global Mail account.

 

The premier virtual mailbox service in the industry today, US Global Mail has been offering their modern virtual mailbox services for more than 20+ years.

 

Customers enjoy improved security, better shipping speeds, detailed digital breakdowns and scans of every package, parcel, and envelope that arrives in their mailbox – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

 

Combine all of that with the ability to forward packages to any address on the planet at up to 80% off of traditional retail costs and it’s a bit of a no-brainer.

 

For more information about US Global Mail and all they have to offer, visit their website today!

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Hold At Location Fedex

Have you ever come across the phrase “hold at location” in relation to FedEx and wondered what this means and where your parcel is currently at? This is a common shipping method, but many people are unaware of it or don’t know what it means.

 

The FedEx Hold At Location option is a method whereby the customer can select one of FedEx’s participating locations as a delivery destination for their parcel, instead of putting their own address in when ordering something online. They can then pick the parcel up from that place instead of having it delivered to their home.

 

fedex trucks

 

What Is FedEx Hold At Location?

 

This shipping option allows people who are rarely at home or not at home during the common delivery times to still enjoy the convenience of online ordering, without having to worry about what will happen to their parcel or making complicated arrangements with strangers.

 

FedEx Hold At Location brings additional convenience to ordering online for people who don’t work from home.

 

Instead of needing to wait in for parcels that aren’t delivered when they should be, or trailing around different holding offices because you have missed a parcel, or banging on your neighbor’s doors and scouring the bins for a “left in a safe place” option, you will know that your parcel is waiting in a FedEx office, safe and sound.

 

There are many locations that you can choose from, so it’s fairly easy to find one that is convenient for you, and there are also other businesses that participate, making the most of this option to maximize the ease with which people can get their mail.

 

With so much of the world moving online, particularly given the impact of COVID-19, it’s obvious that there is a need for such a service, and thousands of people benefit from using it. So, let’s explore in more detail how this works and how you can utilize it!

 

fedex truck delivering a package

 

Where Can I Collect My At Hold Location Parcel From?

 

FedEx offers multiple different offices that you can collect your parcel from, and you can choose whichever is most convenient for you. If a location happens to be near your place of work or on your route home, this is an ideal way to get your mail quickly and conveniently, without any worries about it being left in an insecure place.

 

Many of the offices are FedEx Office or FedEx Ship Center stores, so make sure you check the list thoroughly and see what looks like it would work for you.

 

The service also offers quite a few partnering options to help you find something convenient for you. You may find that you can collect your parcel from:

 

  • FedEx Office inside certain Walmarts
  • Kroger, Alberston’s, and some other grocery stores (so you can pick up your parcel at the same time as your groceries!)
  • Independent FedEx Authorized ShipCenters
  • Certain Walgreens

 

In total, there are over 11,000 places you can collect from, so do make sure you are selecting one that is right for you. We will talk about this next.

 

finger pointing a location on a map

 

How Do I Choose My Location?

 

You need to pick carefully to make sure that your parcel does not get sent to the wrong place, as you don’t have that long to collect it. Accidentally sending it to the wrong area will cause a real headache and you may not be able to get it rerouted to you.

 

The 3dcart FedEx HAL feature makes it very easy to find the right collection place, because you begin by entering your ZIP code – so there’s no risk of it going to the wrong area. From here, you can add a maximum search radius, so that you know you won’t have to drive a long way to get your parcel.

 

You should then see a full list of available locations, with the address and business hours for each one. This makes it easy to select a location that will still be open around your work hours, which is ideal.

 

You should also see a shortcut that will let you get directions, making it very easy to choose the ultimate easy location.

 

clock melting

 

Does It Take Longer?

 

No, it should not take any longer to go to the FedEx offices or partnering locations than it would to a home address. The shipping process ought to be exactly the same as if you were shipping to a standard residential address, although you may have to wait for the parcel to be marked as “arrived” at the location.

 

Of course, once a parcel reaches your home, you have it and you don’t have to wait for someone to scan it as present. This shouldn’t really make any difference overall, however.

 

When Can I Collect My Parcel?

 

You can collect your parcel as soon as you receive a notification that it has arrived at the office. You should be able to find this on the tracking on the FedEx website by entering your tracking number and checking where your parcel is.

 

Don’t try to collect your parcel before it has been marked as arrived; it is not going to be there! The workers are unlikely to be able to give you any more information than you can find on your tracking information page.

 

How Long Do I Have To Collect My Parcel Once It Has Been Delivered?

 

If you can’t get to the location your parcel has been delivered to on the day it arrives, don’t worry! It won’t be returned to the sender straight away. Instead, you will have a full seven days to collect it from the day it arrives at the shipping location.

 

What Do I Need To Do?

 

When you get a notification that your parcel has been delivered to the location, you can head over there at your convenience during the next few days. However, you must take some identification and your tracking number in order to do this.

 

This ensures that the tracking method remains secure and other people cannot steal your parcels. However, somebody who lives at the same address as you and has the tracking number will be able to collect the parcel on your behalf.

 

This means that you can send somebody else to get your parcel provided that they live with you and you give them the tracking number. Be aware of this if you do not want another member of your household to collect the parcel, and keep the tracking information private in such instances.

 

A member of your household who is collecting the parcel on your behalf will need to bring an alternative form of ID to prove that they share your address. They can use their own photo ID, provided it has an address on it, or a utility bill or credit card statement as proof of their residence.

 

You cannot ask someone else to collect a parcel on your behalf; the recipient must live at your address, have the tracking number, and have proof of identity and residence in order to get the parcel. This helps to prevent theft.

 

pros & cons of scheduling a pickup

 

What Are The Advantages Of This System?

 

So, why do so many people use this system and what are its advantages? After all, most people don’t want to have to trail out to pick up a parcel when they can comfortably have it delivered to their own home instead. Why should people select FedEx’s Hold At Location service?

 

There are a number of reasons, and most include issues with getting it delivered to your home address. Let’s look at what the reasons for using this service are.

 

You Don’t Want To Give Out Your Home Address

 

You may not want to share your home address when you purchase from certain companies. Perhaps you are afraid that they will send you junk mail or lots of advertising material. You might just not feel comfortable giving personal information to strangers when you don’t have to.

 

In any of these cases, using an At Hold Location is a good way to keep your address private.

 

You Don’t Want The Parcel Delivering To Your Home

 

One of the hardest parts about shopping online for Christmases and birthdays is that parcels get seen by their intended recipient. Sometimes this isn’t an issue, because it’s wrapped and boxed, but often, this can spoil the surprise early.

 

If you aren’t at home to whisk the parcel out of sight, your intended recipient might even see the contents printed on the box, depending on who has mailed it, which is disastrous for any birthday.

 

It is much better to have it delivered to a secure location where you can collect it and hide it at a time that works for you.

 

Your Address Is Hard To Deliver To

 

It’s possible that you live somewhere that is difficult for delivery drivers, and you’ve had a lot of failed deliveries in the past. If you are up a long drive, a steep track, or you are difficult to find for any reason, you may feel that it’s just easier for everyone if you have your parcel delivered to a central location.

 

People in all sorts of places find that delivery drivers have trouble getting their mail to them. If, for example, you live in an apartment block that does not have a clear place for parcels to be placed, your driver might struggle.

 

If you live somewhere rural and the houses are hard to identify from the road or tricky to tell apart from other nearby houses, you may find parcels aren’t delivered. Drivers generally prefer to put “unable to deliver,” rather than risk sending the parcel to a wrong address, so this is quite common.

 

You Work Difficult Hours

 

If you aren’t at home often, it’s generally more convenient to pick up your own mail on the way to or from work if it won’t go in the mailbox. You can just drop in en route and collect your parcel with ease, without all the hassle of waiting in for the delivery driver, only to find he does not turn up.

 

There Is No Safe Space

 

Of course, some people can get around the work problem by asking for their parcel to be left in a safe space, but many can’t. If you aren’t able to designate a safe spot because there is nowhere suitable, you might want to send your parcel to a FedEx location instead.

 

This avoids all sorts of potential issues, like people stealing the parcel from your porch or parcels being handed to neighbors that you don’t get on with. Once the parcel has been left, it is often your responsibility if it is stolen, so you’re the one who loses out if it has been left in an insecure spot and gets lost.

 

You Don’t Want To Be Disturbed

 

Some people just don’t want others coming up and ringing their doorbells. If you work a night shift and need to sleep in the day, or you have young children, nervous dogs, PTSD, etc., you might not want mail delivering because this invades your privacy and peace at home.

 

It might be much more convenient for you to just collect the parcel when it suits you from a location in your local town. After all, you are likely to be traveling out to get groceries and run errands at some stage in the week, and you can just add collecting the parcel to your list.

 

virtual mailbox on a computer and mobile device

 

Summary

 

The FedEx Hold At Location service is a great option for many people who would otherwise struggle to get their parcels delivered to them at a convenient time. Online shopping is all about convenience, but delivery remains one of the trickiest aspects for delivery companies to get right.

 

If the Hold At Location option isn’t for you, consider whether a virtual mailbox could be a viable alternative. This offers the same advantages of a secure location that delivery drivers can access at any time, and you can pick up your mail from it whenever it suits you to do so.

Exceptional service, at the right price.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. Try Risk Free.

Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
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  • 180 days free physical mail storage

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Permanent Street Address

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USPS Distribution Center

Every single day, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is responsible for processing and delivering north of 173.1 million pieces of mail.

 

Think about that for just a moment.

 

The USPS is handling nearly 200 pieces of mail every single day of the week, including Sundays when USPS distribution centers are still operating.

 

Truthfully, it’s because of those USPS distribution centers that the organization is able to come close to handling anywhere near that kind of mail volume in the first place.

 

Without these distribution centers, and without the logistical system they have in place, it would take a whole lot longer than 3 to 5 days for a piece of mail to get clear across the country (and sometimes a lot faster than that, even).

 

But have you ever really thought about how a piece of mail goes from one address to another?

 

Have you considered its entire journey from start to finish?

 

Have you ever wondered about the logistical system that makes it possible to drop a letter in a mailbox somewhere in the northern part of Maine and have that same letter show up in a mailbox in the southern part of California inside of a week’s time?

 

If you’ve ever asked those kinds of questions before and wondered how USPS distribution centers fit into this puzzle you’re going to love the inside information that we highlight for you below.

 

Let’s jump right into it!

 

building with shipping trucks outside

 

What is a USPS Distribution Center?

 

USPS distribution centers are regional hubs that allow the USPS to operate as effectively and as efficiently as they do today.

 

Essentially gigantic warehouses filled to the brim with all kinds of sorting machines, organizing systems, and employees operating together in concert with one another, it’s the USPS distribution centers that “grease the wheels” of American mail delivery systems today.

 

Without these centers, mail would take ages longer to get from one destination to another – and the entire system would be far less reliable, far less secure, and far less accurate than it is today, too.

 

As of right now (late 2021), the United States Postal Service currently operates 22 individual Network Distribution Centers around the country.

 

Each of these individual NDC buildings are strategically located throughout the nation. About half the states in the country have an NDC within their borders, with California having two of them.

 

There’s also a Sectional Center Facility (another type of USPS distribution center) located in San Juan, Puerto Rico that operates similarly to a Network Distribution Center.

 

Every piece of mail – every letter, every package, every parcel – gets shipped through one of these warehouses no matter where it is going to be sent later down the line.

 

usps truck

 

How the USPS Delivery Process Works

 

Now that we’ve gone over what a USPS Distribution Center is, it’s time to break down the every day process that a regular piece of First Class mail goes through when it is sent via the USPS.

 

This will give you a much better idea of the important role that individual distribution centers play in the “spoke and hub” infrastructure system that the USPS leverages these days.

 

Let’s jump in!

 

Mail and Packages are Collected

 

The first leg of the journey for every single piece of mail sent through the USPS begins the same way – the mail, the letter, or the package gets collected by a USPS official.

 

Sometimes mail gets dropped off at a local post office, physically being handed to a postal employee that checks that piece of mail into the logistical system (using a unique barcode set up).

 

Sometimes, though, individual pieces of mail or parcels are dropped off and collection boxes dotted throughout towns and cities. Sometimes pieces of mail are left in individual mailboxes for pickup by a letter carrier, and sometimes pieces of mail are dropped off with affiliated partner organizations and facilities.

 

At the end of the day, however, no matter how the mail gets collected by a local USPS facility that’s the first step of the journey for absolutely everything.

 

Mail is Dropped Off at a USPS Processing Center

 

The next piece of the puzzle, though, is for that mail to be collected in bulk and then brought to a regional USPS processing facility.

 

This processing facility is used to then separate and categorize individual pieces of mail according to a variety of different system designations.

 

For example, every piece of first-class mail will be separated out from every piece of priority mail (and every other type of mail available from the USPS, too). That mail will then be further separated into individual states and individual ZIP Codes and then organized to be sent out from that USPS distribution center.

 

Each piece of mail is going to go through this treatment, with the overwhelming majority of the process automated every step of the way. US postal employees are going to monitor and supervise this process, though, guaranteeing that everything is consistent and accurate.

 

barcode for a package

 

Unique Bar Codes are Attached to Envelopes and Boxes

 

While this sorting is going on each and every piece of mail is going to have a unique barcode attached to it, allowing that individual piece of mail to be tracked independently but also allowing it to be tracked “in bulk” with all the rest of its traveling companions.

 

Most people think that every piece of mail gets scanned individually every time it arrives at another USPS distribution center.

 

That’s not really what happens.

 

When you’re talking about moving north of 173 million pieces of mail every day (and more all the time), that’s just not feasible.

 

What happens instead is all of these unique barcodes are grouped and linked together with pieces of mail that are headed to the next distribution center. All those pieces of mail are bundled into large pallets and groups, and then the entire group gets scanned with a single barcode that updates all the rest associated with it.

 

That’s how you’re able to track your individual piece of mail as it moves around the country just as everyone else is able to track there’s making the same journey.

 

It’s a lot more efficient, it’s a lot more accurate, and it’s a lot more reliable than breaking each pallet down, separating every piece of mail, scanning each piece of mail on its own, and then rinsing and repeating the process every time a new USPS distribution center gets that pallet.

 

Sorting Machines Sift and Organize USPS Mail and Packages

 

After the barcodes have been attached to that piece of mail (or that package) the barcodes are then going to be used with automatic sorting machines to sift and further organize each and every piece of mail in that facility.

 

This allows for rapid fire sorting, streamlines things significantly, but also improves the overall accuracy of each individual USPS shipment.

 

You no longer have to rely on human eyeballs alone to figure out where every individual piece of mail is going. After a while, human beings are going to get pretty wiped out trying to track individual barcodes and individual destinations and mistakes are going to happen.

 

With automated machinery armed with barcode readers, though, that’s never a problem. This is why the USPS system is so effective and a lot faster than ever before, even though they are handling a lot more mail flow on a day-to-day basis than they previously did.

 

Mail is Sent Out to USPS Distribution Centers

 

The next step in the chain is for the mail to be bundled together with other pieces of mail headed to the same destination (at least the next USPS distribution center, anyway) and then sent out the door.

 

Some of that mail is going to be loaded onto USPS trucks for a long haul trip. Other pieces are going to be loaded up onto airplanes for faster delivery. Others still are going to be dumped onto smaller USPS vehicles for local distribution.

 

Either way, mail needs to move from its original sorting facility onto the next USPS distribution center (regional distribution center) so that it can be further moved on and get closer to its ultimate destination.

 

Final USPS Distribution Centers Disperse Mail to Local Delivery Post Offices

 

In some situations, a piece of mail will only have to visit a single regional USPS distribution center.

 

This is usually the case when you’re talking about a piece of mail going to a local area business, residential address, or a destination in a similar ZIP Code.

 

For example, a piece of mail originating in Massachusetts headed to Rhode Island is almost always going to find itself working its way through the Springfield, Massachusetts distribution center. A piece of mail traveling from Vermont to Connecticut is likely going to stop off in that same Springfield, Massachusetts USPS Distribution Center.

 

For pieces of mail that are going to be sent across country (or longer distances than just neighboring states) the odds are pretty good that those letters and packages are going to find themselves bouncing between a couple of different USPS Distribution Centers.

 

Sometimes a piece of mail will only have to go to two distribution centers, other times it will hit three or four. At the end of the day, though, the USPS logistical systems (especially the automated software solutions) try to find the most direct and the fastest path for that piece of mail to travel from one address to another.

 

Mail is Loaded on Trucks for Final Delivery or Stuffed in PO Boxes

 

No matter what, though, mail will inevitably find itself in the nearest regional Network Distribution Center (NDC) for the USPS.

 

After it arrives at its final destination USPS distribution center the mail will be loaded onto smaller trucks to be sent to local post office is. Some post offices act themselves as “regional hubs” for more rural areas, delivering mail to smaller post offices before they are then actually handled by letter carriers and dropped off house by house.

 

Other pieces of mail are going to find themselves in PO boxes, especially for rural customers that do not have physical home mail delivery as well as businesses that use all the benefits PO Box solutions bring to the table.

 

At the end of the day, though, every piece of mail – whether it’s going across the street or across the country – is going to find itself moving through the machinery and capable hands of USPS employees at distribution centers dotted across the country.

 

virtual mailbox on a computer and mobile device

 

Simplify Your Mailbox with a New Account from US Global Mail

 

If you’ve been looking for ways to simplify how you get your mail each day, or are looking for more convenience, more anonymity, and more security for your mailing address, a Virtual Mailbox account from US Global Mail is the way to go!

 

With a Virtual Mailbox account from US Global Mail (the premier virtual mailbox services on the planet today), you start off with a permanent physical street address for your mailing address that provides you with a tremendous amount of extra security and anonymity.

 

You’ll be able to have pieces of mail sent to this address directly that are then routed to your virtual mailbox, helping you protect your home address along the way.

 

As soon as mail starts to arrive at your virtual mailbox, though, you’ll also get the added benefit of being alerted with each individual piece. You’ll get a digital scan of the envelope or the package and can opt to have a digital record of the letter sent to you as well.

 

On top of that, you get added benefits that include automatic check depositing features, package acceptance from all of the major delivery companies (including the ones the USPS will not accept packages from), and mail forwarding to any address on the planet at up to 80% off of traditional shipping costs.

 

For more than 20 years people all over the United States (as well as ex-pats around the world) have been relying on US Global Mail to modernize their mailbox, to simplify their mail workflow, and to provide them with the privacy, security, and reliability they won’t find anywhere else.

 

To learn more about US Global Mail and their Virtual Mailbox service, visit their website or reach out to them via customer service today!

Exceptional service, at the right price.

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Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

All our plans come with

guarantee
100% Guarantee

Don't love it? Cancel within 30 days for a full refund.

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Permanent Street Address

Get a PO box online while maintaining a real street address.

computer devices
Smart Mailbox

Read all your mail virtually. No paper mess and a greener planet.

no-limits
No limits

Get mail from all your homes and business(es) or both in the same app.

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Free Check Deposit

Deposit bank checks virtually... with the click of a button.

flexible plans
Flexible Plans

Upgrade, downgrade, cancel anytime.

Tree on the top of the world globe

We want to leave a greener Earth for our children

We plant a tree for every new member sign up

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