The only thing worse than waiting for your USPS package to be delivered is watching the tracking, seeing it “frozen” the next town over, and wondering when it’s going to start moving towards your doorstep again.
While, believe it or not, you might never again have to worry about waiting for that package to start moving through the USPS infrastructure again – especially if you want to “intercept” your package and go grab it yourself!
This is all made possible thanks to a couple of really cool changes made to the way that the Post Office was reorganized into the Postal Services back in 1971.
Combine that reorganization with much more efficient modern logistics and tracking tools and you’ll be able to intercept your package and (hopefully) get it home a whole lot faster than you might have been able to otherwise.
Now, the same time, we can tell you that you’ll be able to intercept your package 100% of the time.
As you’ll learn in just a moment, sometimes tracking information that you’ve been provided isn’t as accurate or as useful as you hoped it would be.
Sometimes – because the post office is filled with humans just like us, humans that make mistakes – your package or parcel might not get scanned somewhere along the way. It might even be closer to your door (if not already delivered) even though it hasn’t yet updated on the tracking website!
What we cover all of that and more in depth below.
Let’s jump right in!
Is Your Package Held Up By the USPS?
The very first thing you’ll want to do is use the tracking information you’ve been provided from the USPS to see where your package is in the first place.
There’s more data in this tracking set up their most people pay attention to, and a lot of it is really important to focus on when considering a package intercept.
For starters, that tracking information is going to let you know exactly who is responsible for transporting that package from one point to the next inside of the USPS infrastructure.
Most people that purchase something online or have something shipped via USPS just assume that is going to be USPS handling it from start to finish.
Sometimes that’s the situation for sure. But other times other shipping partners – all kinds of shipping partners, even – are responsible for moving your package closer to you before getting into the USPS infrastructure at the “last mile”.
Other times you might have a company like FedEx handle almost all of the transportation of your package right up to your local post office where it gets handed over to the USPS, sitting in your PO Box or driven out to your home from there.
This is hugely important to know because you have to be certain that the USPS actually has your package in their infrastructure to hold or intercept for you in the first place.
After all, if your package is being handled by DHL or FedEx the odds are pretty good that a phone call to the USPS isn’t going to do you much help to get that package held back, slow down, or intercepted.
Before you do absolutely anything else just make sure to confirm that your package actually is currently being handled by the USPS.
Tracking Info Breakdown – What You Need to Know
The next thing you need to do is figure out where your package actually is during the transportation process right now, this very minute.
Your tracking down from the USPS website is going to show all kinds of different notifications and different pieces of relevant information, but you’re really looking for the most up-to-date location data you can find.
Not only do you want to know where your package was last scanned along its journey, but you also want to know whether or not that scan was an arrival scan, a departure scan, or an in transit scan.
Arrival scans (obviously) mean that your package has arrived at a specific USPS facility. There’s a good chance that if you contacted that facility directly and asked them to hold back your package for intercept they’d be able to track it down in their warehouses and help you out.
A departure scan, though, means that your package has already moved through that facility and is on its way to the next one – and unless you know what route your USPS package is traveling or what the next stop in the chain is, you’re probably going to have to wait until a new arrival update is made.
In transit scans of the most nebulous of the bunch and easily the most frustrating to deal with as well.
In transit could basically mean anything and everything. All it really says is that your package is moving, and usually you get this when a third-party carrier is moving your package, when a package scan hasn’t been made already, or when the information just hasn’t been updated currently.
It’s also important to remind you that your package isn’t being scanned independently or individually every time it moves through a USPS facility.
Your package gets scanned individually when you drop it off (that’s when the tracking information is created and attached to the package itself), but then it’s added to a huge pellet of other packages to be moved around the country as well.
That whole pallet is given a scanning code that ties into each and every one of the pallet package codes as well, allowing for the USPS workers to scan a single code and have it update the information on all of those packages at the same time.
Every now and again, though, for one reason or another the USPS might not have tied your package code to that pallet code.
Sometimes the pallet code doesn’t match with your package code.
Sometimes your package doesn’t get scanned as part of a pallet, either.
Sometimes there’s software glitches that sort of mess things up in one of the USPS facilities along the way, and a whole batch of codes are given “In Transit” notifications just to show that the pallet is moving – even if more detailed information is available.
At the end of the day, you’ll want to make sure that you are using the tracking information to find out exactly where your package is (or where it is most likely to be next) so that you can make the decision to intercept or have a package held for you.
Can You Pick Up a Package from USPS Before It Gets Delivered?
Like we’ve been saying throughout this guide, you really have two different options available when you want to get your hands on a package before USPS delivers it to you.
You can either go with a package intercept or you can go with a package hold.
The cool thing about the solutions is that they give you a lot more control and a lot more freedom about how to get your hands on your package.
Let’s dig a little bit deeper into both of these two options right now.
How to Start the Package Intercept Process
The package intercept process is super simple and straightforward to start.
All you really have to do is reach out directly to your local post office and initiate a redirect/intercept or you can do most of this online, too.
The intercept basically reroutes your package before it goes through the final delivery stage to an address or a location that you have chosen. You can do this (for a fee) with letters, packages and parcels, flats, and any other piece of USPS postage that includes tracking information.
Fees are going to vary on a case-by-case basis, but you usually don’t have to spend a lot of money to make this decision – even at the last minute.
Just remember that the fee is totally nonrefundable!
What About a Package Hold?
Placing a hold on your package is different from a package intercept, and that you aren’t going to be rerouting it to another location but are instead going to be holding it at the next location along the delivery routes.
This is particularly useful if you order things from a company or a website that uses a similar transportation route almost every time and you can anticipate what the next step in the delivery process is going to involve..
Let’s say, for example, that every time you order from Amazon you know that your package is going to be routed through the Tampa, Florida post office – and you live close enough to pop down and grab your package there if you don’t want to wait another day.
Well, all you would do is initiate a package hold for the Tampa, Florida stop along the way and that tells the USPS to put that package aside for you at that specific location.
You can go that day that it arrives, couple of days later, or at your earliest convenience. You’ll obviously want to call ahead and make sure that your package actually is there (especially if you live far away) but it’s a great way to have more control over getting your packages faster.
Important Details to Remember
At the end of the day, there are a lot of opportunities for you to reroute, redirect, or hold your packages when you want to pick them up before they go out for delivery.
As we touched on earlier, the overwhelming majority of people that are going to want to take advantage of these tips and tricks are sick and tired of watching their packages get lost in the machine – sometimes held at the next post office over for a couple of days (if not longer) for no real reason whatsoever.
If that situation has started to happen to you more frequently (and it’s happening to everyone a lot more often nowadays) the ability to either intercept or hold your package at a location is a game changer.
Never again do you have to worry about your packages slipping through your fingers or being excessively delayed with these approaches!
Try Out US Global Mail Today for a New Mailing Experience
Of course, if you are just flat-out tired of the way that the USPS works and operates – and it’s not hard to get frustrated with this operation these days, even though postal workers are putting in the time, energy, and effort to make things better – you can always choose a more modern mailing experience.
Not only do you get a physical mailing address to use permanently from here on out (instead of a PO Box address, which limits your mail delivery options quite a bit), but you’ll get so much more as well.
For starters, the fact that US Global Mail digitally scans the outside of every envelope, package, and parcel you get immediately upon receipt – and then upload that information to you instantly, and in real time – is a huge bonus.
Now you’ll know exactly what you have coming in the mail the second it arrives, all without having to pop down to the mailbox to find it empty (or worse, filled with junk mail).
Secondly, you can take advantage of mail scanning solutions that digitize your documents and pieces of mail for your access straightaway – all in a 100% secured and encrypted backend.
Add in the fact that you can also have your checks automatically deposited in your bank accounts, can accept packages from all major shipping companies in the United States, and can have all of your mail physically forwarded to any address of your choice through US Global Mail dashboard (including overseas) and it’s not hard to see why so many people love this organization.
For more info and details about these services, contact US Global Mail directly or check out their website today.