What Does In Transit Mean?

What does it mean that a package is in transit? Does it mean the same thing for UPS, FedEx & USPS packages? Click here to learn more.

Tracking a package sent by any of the major shipping companies (as well as USPS) is a lot easier today than it ever used to be – and a lot more accurate, too.


All you have to do these days is simply punch your tracking number into any of the tracking tools provided by the shipping companies (or any major search engine, including Google) and you’ll instantly be provided an update.


The information will provide details about where your package is right now, when it was last scanned, and most of the time will also provide you with an update about when your package is expected to arrive.


On top of all that, though, you’ll also get shipping updates and statuses to help give more context to the information you are getting.


While that little update has definitely improved things significantly, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what’s happening with your package if you’re not sure of what these status updates mean.


Especially when you get something as big as “In Transit”!


Below we dig a little bit deeper into the ins and outs of what this specific status update needs, as well as what some of the other common updates from all the major shipping companies mean as well.


Use this as a quick guide to translate any of the status updates you get moving forward and you’ll have a much easier time deciphering exactly what your shipping information is trying to tell you.


Let’s get right into it!



What Does “In Transit” Mean on Tracking Info?


To put it simply, “In Transit” as a status message on your shipping information means exactly what you would think it means – that your package is currently in transit and moving from one location to the next within the shipping infrastructure.


Sometimes this means that your package has just left it’s origination location and is on its way to the first shipping warehouse or hub before it gets rerouted to the next location, sometimes it means your packages in between different hubs, and sometimes it means that your package is on its way to the last destination before it hits your doorstep.


The bottom line is that anytime you see “In Transit” you should know that your package is currently on the move!


USPS Tracking Messages


“In Transit” is a status update used by the United States Postal Service (USPS), and it’s pretty common to see even if you are only having a package shipped to an address in your town or across state.


Here are some other status updates you might see when you are having a package shipped with the USPS.


Electronic Shipping Info Received


This status update is almost always going to show up when a package is being prepared for shipment with the USPS, but before they actually receive the package themselves.


Most of the time, this update pops up when a third-party is printed off a tracking label for a package to be sent through the USPS and not a label initiated by the USPS themselves.


A lot of online vendors, e-commerce operations, and folks running a business out of their own location use online tools to create shipping labels with the USPS.


This update means that your packages being prepared for shipment but has not yet been handed off to the USPS themselves.




When you see the “Acceptance” status update pop up on your tracking information you’ll know that the USPS has actually received and accepted your package and scanned it into their system.


This usually follows the status update that we just highlighted a moment ago, though it also might be the very first status update on your tracking information if the package was dropped off with the USPS directly.


Processed Through Sort Facility


This status update means that your package has already been processed through the USPS facility that it was dropped off at or that it was processed through a local sorting facility and is getting ready to move through that location and onto the next destination in its journey.


You’ll know that your package is currently being bundled up with other packages to be moved efficiently across the state or across the country (or even internationally) after you see this update pop up on your tracking information.


Departed from the USPS Facility


This is the update that you are going to get after the one just mentioned above, simply telling you that your package hasn’t just moved through the facility but that it’s actually departed that facility as well.


This means that your package is on the move at that point in time, getting ready to head to the next hub for destination along the delivery route.


In Transit


As we mentioned earlier, “In Transit” just means that your package is being moved between different locations – in this case, between USPS locations.


It may mean that your packages on board USPS trailer trucks, it may mean that your package has been shipped via USPS train cars, and it may mean that your package is currently flying above on airfreight use by the USPS fleet.


The bottom line is pretty simple and straightforward – “In Transit” means that your package is currently moving and not stuck somewhere along the way.


Arrival at Unit


If you see “Arrival at Unit” on your tracking information is generally means that your item has finally been scanned at the last USPS hub before it is moved along to the ultimate delivery location.


Sometimes this means that your package has been moved to your local post office and will be loaded into a delivery vehicle, but other times it means that your package has arrived at a local regional hub and will be dropped off at your PO Box soon, too.


At the end of the day, when you see this alert you should know that delivery is imminent.




Another of the more self-explanatory status updates you’ll get when you are having a package shipped through the USPS, “out for delivery” basically means that your packages out for delivery.


You should expect it to be dropped off at your location (or your PO Box) that very day.




This is the status update that all of us look forward to the most, the update and let us know that our package has finally finished its journey through the USPS system and is sitting at our doorstep or in our mailbox, ready for us to take possession.



FedEx Tracking Messages


Though FedEx has many of the same status updates that the USPS has for their tracking information, they do have a couple of different messages or message meanings that you’ll want to understand, too.


Let’s break them down right now.




The “New” status update from your FedEx tracking information can alert you to the fact that new shipping information has been added to the FedEx database (either digitally from third-party sources or directly from a FedEx location) or that your FedEx package has been picked up and is beginning its journey to you.


FedEx doesn’t have more granular information about what “New” status updates mean, but context may be able to provide you with a bit of information about whether or not your package has actually been received by FedEx themselves or just a shipping label created ahead of your package being shipped out.




This status messages universal across the board, and (just like with the USPS) it means that your package has finally arrived and you are good to go!


Expect to find your FedEx package at your doorstep come in your mailbox, or wherever you usually have FedEx packages dropped off.


In Transit


The “In Transit” FedEx message can mean a couple of different things, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that your package is currently moving through the FedEx infrastructure the way that the USPS “In Transit” message does.


When you see this alert pop up for your FedEx package it may mean that your package is currently:


  • Sitting at a FedEx facility awaiting movement
  • Has already left a FedEx origination facility
  • Actually on the move between FedEx locations
  • On a FedEx delivery vehicle ready to be dropped off at your location


Context in relation to the kinds of messages you already gotten from FedEx with your tracking information will help you figure out exactly what’s going on with your package when you see this message pop up.


Delivery Exception


If “Delivered” is the message that we all want to see our tracking information update with, “Delivery Exception” is the message that we never want popping up!


This message means that delivery was attempted by FedEx but was impossible for a variety of different reasons, and it means that our delivery date is going to be pushed back at least one day (and sometimes even more).


If you see this message, it’s not a bad idea to get on the phone with FedEx customer service directly to see what you can do to speed things up and facilitate a smoother delivery drop-off.



UPS Tracking Messages


Like FedEx, UPS tracking status information (sometimes) means something different than the same status from USPS might mean.


That’s why we breakdown some of the more common updates you’re likely to find from this shipping partner below.


Arrival Scan


The “Arrival Scan” means that your package has actually arrived at a UPS facility, and context will let you know whether or not that’s the originating facility or a follow-on facility that your package visits before it reaches its ultimate destination.


Clearance Completed


Clearance Completed is a message that updates when your package is coming from another country or is being sent to another country and needs to go through customs.


If your package isn’t going to have to clear customs, the odds are pretty good you’ll never see that this update in your tracking details.


Departure Scan


A “Departure Scan” let you know that your UPS package has left one facility and is on its way to another, basically letting you know that your package is on the move even if you haven’t yet seen the “In Transit” update.


Destination Scan


“Destination Scan” is a great update for folks that are waiting on a UPS package, as it means that the package has finally arrived at the last UPS facility or location before delivery is attempted.


On the other hand, it doesn’t necessarily mean that delivery is imminent or that is going to happen that same day. Sometimes there may be a delay between the “Destination Scan” and the “Delivered Scan” that can last updates.


In Transit


“In Transit” means that your package is currently moving through the UPS shipping infrastructure. It may be moving via ground services or air services, but this update means that it is currently in between UPS destinations for sure.


On Vehicle for Delivery/Out for Delivery


This is the second most popular status message to see when you are checking your tracking information, simply because it means that your packages is actually on a vehicle for delivery and delivery should be imminent.


Expect your UPS package to be dropped off that day!




This is by far the most popular tracking status update to see from UPS (or any other shipping partner), and it means that your package has actually been dropped off at its final destination and is ready to be received.



US Global Mail Let’s You Know the Moment Your Package Has Arrived


If you would love to be updated in real time when your package arrives at your mailbox, not through tracking status updates like the ones we highlighted above but with a real alert specific to your package, you’ll want to check out US Global Mail and their virtual mailbox service.


Clients of US Global Mail receive immediate notification every time a package, parcel, or envelope arrives at their mailbox.


A digital scan or photograph of the package, parcel, or envelope itself is included in this update, letting you know exactly what has arrived and when.


Other services are available as well, including mail forwarding for all packages and envelopes at up to 80% off of traditional shipping prices.


On top of all that, you get a permanent address that works no matter how often you move coming address that provides a lot more security and privacy as well.


For more information about everything US Global Mail has to offer, or to sign up for an account, contact them today!

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