Not many tracking information updates are going to be as confusing as being told that your package was delivered to an agent for final delivery.
Luckily, these kinds of messages are quite rare.
The overwhelming majority of packages handled by the USPS, by FedEx, by UPS, and by other shipping partners are going to be handled by their own employees right up until the moment of delivery – not handed over to agents to go the “last mile”.
At the same time, with more and more packages being sent on a regular basis (millions of packages moving through the USPS infrastructure alone on a daily basis) it’s not a stretch to imagine that you might get this update from your tracking information sooner rather than later.
If that time comes, you’ll want to know exactly how to navigate that situation.
That’s where this guide comes into play!
Below we run through exactly what this tracking message – “Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery” means, who these agents are, why they are being handed to these agents, and what you need to do to actually get your package at the end of the day.
Let’s get right into it, shall we?
My Tracking Says “Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery” – What Does That Mean?
As we mentioned above, with so many different pieces of mail and packages being handled by the USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, and other companies the infrastructure of the shipping operations are being placed under more and more stress.
On top of that, the packages that are set for delivery may go out at such a time that the intended recipient isn’t around to actually receive the package that they were expecting – and that introduces a whole different ball of wax into the mix that needs to be dealt with, too.
In these situations, though, the USPS specifically look for ways to deliver your package to “authorized agents”.
This allows them to get the package to a person that can finalize the delivery for them, allows them to focus on other packages that they have to deliver, and also guarantees that you’re going to be able to get your package in a reasonable amount of time, too.
Who Are These Agents My Package is Being Handed to for Delivery?
But just who are these agents in the first place?
After all, not many people remember going down to the USPS and speaking to someone at the post office about authorizing different agents that can receive their packages on their behalf.
At the end of the day, though, anyone that is authorized to receive packages on your behalf are considered your “agent”.
Usually this simply means someone that lives at your home, someone that works at your business, or a third-party company or shipping locker service that has a partnership with the USPS that allows them to act as agents to receive packages on your behalf.
Of course, your local post office employees can also be considered agents that are able to accept packages on your behalf as well.
The bottom line to understanding who these agents are is really simple and straightforward: basically anyone that has been empowered by the USPS to accept packages for you.
Does USPS Confirm Identities of these Agents?
One of the drawbacks of this process from the USPS is that they do not have the resources or the ability to confirm the identity of every individual that they count as agents able to accept packages for you.
Most of the time that’s not going to be a huge problem, as it’s not like the USPS mail carriers are going to be handing boxes from Amazon over to just anyone and everyone walking by your street – assuming that they are your neighbors and that they have a good relationship with you.
No, the overwhelming majority of the time that you find this message pop up in your tracking information it means that someone at your home (likely someone in your family) or someone at your office (likely a coworker) has received a package on your behalf.
Just know that the USPS does not (and cannot, really) take any extra steps whatsoever to confirm the identity of the individuals that they and these packages over too.
When it comes to USPS final delivery, it’s not like mail carriers are asking for any ID, asking for proof of a relationship, or otherwise looking for ways to confirm that the agent is a legitimate agent and fully eligible (and responsible enough) to accept your package for you.
That can be trouble, for obvious reasons!
Like we talked about a second ago, though, the USPS definitely trains their mail carriers to only ever hand packages over to authorized agents if they have a reason to expect that they are actual agents of the individual named on the mail or package directly.
The bulk of USPS mail carriers aren’t just going to be handing things over to anyone and everyone.
They will either deliver packages to you, drop them off at your home for your personal pickup, give them to people they feel are actual authorized agents on your behalf, or simply not complete the delivery process and instead leave a note for you to expect delivery attempts again the next day – or for you to come down to the post office and pick up the package yourself.
Why is My Package Being Routed to an Agent?
In the overwhelming majority of circumstances that you see this message pop up in your tracking info it’s because a USPS mail carrier has completed delivery to someone that wasn’t expressly named on the envelope or package directly.
Usually this means someone at your home received a package on your behalf, someone at work received a package for you, or your package was rerouted to an authorized agent service (like a shipping locker company or the local post office).
Outside of those exact kinds of situations, though, you really shouldn’t see this popping up in your tracking info.
Will Tracking Still Update When My Package is with an Agent?
As soon as you get the “Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery” message popping up in your tracking information you’re not going to get any other updates whatsoever.
Remember, this package (after this message pops up) has been handed off to someone that doesn’t work for the USPS (as a general rule) and isn’t going to have the tools or technology necessary to update your tracking information moving forward.
No, consider this specific tracking update message to mean that your package has actually been delivered – and if it hasn’t been physically dropped off at your home or office it’s with someone that you can visit to get your package from directly.
Just don’t be surprised if this is the last message you see your tracking ever update with!
How Long Will It Take for the Agent to Deliver My Package?
Trying to figure out exactly how long it’s going to take for authorized agents to deliver your package into your hands is next to impossible, again because there are so many different kinds of authorized agents out there.
In the event of a “standard” delivery to authorized agents at your home, for example, you’ll be able to expect your package to be sitting there on your kitchen counter or dining room table when you get home.
The authorized agent is almost always going to be someone that lives at your home, someone that brings your package in for you, and someone that leaves it inside the house for you to open up when you get there.
Of course, if the authorized agent that received your package for final delivery was a trusted neighbor or coworker you might have to wait a little bit longer to get your hands on your package – at least until the next time that you see them, or until you reach out to them and schedule a time for you to get your package.
This does add a little bit of extra stress into the equation, but as we have highlighted a couple of times already this whole situation is very rare.
Most of the time when someone accepts a package on your behalf as an agent for you they are going to want to seek you out and give you your package just as quickly as possible.
Nobody wants to be on the hook for anything happening to your package, so there’s a lot of incentive for them to connect with you ASAP.
Tracking Says “Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery” But It’s Missing – What Now?
The tricky thing with this update is that it never really says who your agent that the package was delivered to actually is, which makes tracking them down a little bit of a challenge if they don’t first reach out to you instead.
If the authorized agent was your spouse or a member of your family living at your home the chances are pretty good you’re not going to have to do a whole lot of hunting to find your package. You’ll know who to ask, they’ll be able to tell you where the package is, and you’ll be good to go!
If, however, the authorized agent that has received your package for final delivery was a coworker or a neighbor that you trust you might find your package to be “missing” a little longer than expected – at least until they reach out to you and let you know that they accepted the package for you and set up a time to drop it off or have you come by and pick it up.
In some very rare circumstances, though, you may be dealing with someone that acted as an authorized agent to receive a package for you that wasn’t authorized to do so at all.
They may not want to tell you that they accepted the package for you or they may not even know who you are and instead just feigned to be authorized agents so that they could get their hands on whatever it is you were having shipped to you in the first place.
If a package is marked as “Delivered to Agent for Final Delivery” but no one has let you know that they accepted your package for you, and your package isn’t where you were expecting to find it, it’s time to get a hold of the shipping company that handled the delivery (and handed things off to this agent) as well as the company or organization that sent the package to begin with.
Eliminate All the Headache of Agent Deliveries with a US Global Mail Account
The good news about having the USPS in specific and over your package to people that may or may not be authorized agents is that it happens so very rarely.
Still, if you want to be 100% certain that this situation isn’t ever going to plague you, it’s a good idea to consider signing up for a US Global Mail account.
With a virtual mailbox from US Global Mail you get a permanent physical street address you can use to receive all of your mail and all of your packages (from any carrier or provider) no matter how often you move – or where you move to – in the future.
This means that every single package you have sent to this address will be accepted, received, and put into a storage locker for you by the folks at US Global Mail – complete with digital scans and notifications that go out to you so that you know exactly what has arrived in your mailbox, when it arrived, and what you should do next.
Add in the deeply discounted mail forwarding costs (up to 80% off of traditional postage) to nearly any address on the planet, automatic check depositing features, improve safety and security options, and so much more and it’s not hard to see why people love US Global Mail as much as they do.
For more details, visit the US Global Mail website today!