There are few things as frustrating as finding something to order online, going through the checkout process, and then discovering – when you have to put your shipping information in – that UPS will not deliver to your PO Box.
Unfortunately, this is something that happens all too often.
The odds are pretty good that if you’ve done even just a little bit of online shopping you had this problem pop up a dozen or more times. For a variety of different reasons, the folks at UPS just don’t like to deliver packages and parcels to PO boxes.
Worse, in all but the most extreme and specific circumstances they will flat out refuse to deliver your item whatsoever.
That can really put you in a bit of a bind.
Sometimes you’ll find that UPS is the only service available to have specific products shipped to your doorstep. And even if there are other shipping services that deliver to your address or your local area you’ll likely have to spend a lot more money to take advantage of those shipping options – which is why UPS was chosen as the “primary” shipping service in the first place.
Thankfully though, there are ways to work around this issue and we dig deeper into those methods in just a moment.
By the time you’re done with the information below you’ll know exactly what you can do to get UPS to deliver your packages and parcels to you, even if you want those packages dropped off at a PO Box.
Let’s get right into it!
Does UPS Deliver to PO Boxes?
As we just illustrated a moment ago, UPS – as a general rule – will not deliver any packages, any parcels, or any deliveries whatsoever to addresses that are PO boxes.
UPS has written explicitly on their website that they only ever except shipments that are addressed to real, valid, and verifiable street addresses.
On top of that, they also state that if a shipper wants to use a PO Box then they have to include a valid phone number on the label directly – and that the phone number will be used to come up with an alternate delivery address as PO boxes still won’t be eligible for use.
Think about that for a second.
Even if (for some reason) and online vendor or retailer decides to let you use a PO Box address while shipping through UPS they also include your phone number right on that label.
Then, when UPS gets your package they’ll notice that it is being sent to a PO Box and will immediately delay its delivery. They’ll find the phone number, reach out to you directly, and hassle you to come up with some other physical street address that you can have the package delivered to.
If you aren’t able to come up with a physical street address that you can use to have your package shipped to you’ll have to pick your package up physically yourself at a local UPS facility or retail location.
The odds are pretty good that’s going to be a lot less convenient than simply having all of your packages dropped off directly at your PO Box to be picked up at your leisure.
That’s especially true if the nearest UPS is miles and miles away from your home, maybe an hour or more away from your local area. Nobody should have to worry about that when they are shipping things through this service.
Avoid PO Box Deliverability Issues with These Tips
Thankfully though, there are a couple of things you can do to improve the deliverability of UPS packages when you have a PO Box.
In the rest of this quick guide we are going to go over some of the most useful tips and tricks you’ll want to keep in the back of your mind. Use these tactics to navigate the uncertain landscape of having UPS packages addressed to a PO Box, allowing you to streamline the process significantly so that you can get your packages without having to go out of your way all the time.
Let’s get into it right now!
See If Your Post Office Will Accept and Hold UPS Packages For You
Not all local post office is are willing to do this, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask a postal worker at your area post office (where you have your PO Box already) if they’d be willing to hold packages from UPS for you.
You’ll obviously need to get signoff from a manager or the postmaster of that specific office, but if they get the green light you may be able to start using the physical street address of your post office for your deliveries.
The chances are still good that you’ll have to include your PO Box as a “secondary” address, using the street address of the post office simply to get your UPS packages through the logistical system.
UPS will arrive, hand your packages off to the postal workers that will accept on your behalf, and then (using the PO Box secondary address) they will be able to move it into your box or put it in a secure blocker for you.
The only trouble with this specific approach is that most post offices (especially busier offices) are not going to be interested in accepting UPS packages from all of their customers all of the time.
This is likely only something that they will let you do sporadically and infrequently. It’s something that can really frustrate postal workers if you overuse the privilege.
On top of that, some postal workers, postal managers, and postmasters are not going to be comfortable with you doing this at all. In that eventuality you’re going to have to come up with something else that allows you to receive UPS packages without a valid physical address for delivery.
Use Your Street Address
Even if you don’t traditionally have mail delivered to your home that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have your UPS packages sent directly to your doorstep.
There may be other reasons that you aren’t all that interested in using your street address for UPS packages (including privacy, security, etc.) but it may be the best option if you have no other mailing alternative than your PO Box.
If the main reason that you can’t use a physical street address for shipping packages is because the address is not recognized by the USPS or UPS databases it’s not a bad idea to go through the process of manually adding your address to those systems.
This is a very simple, very straightforward, and relatively quick process that you can complete 100% free of charge. Both the UPS and USPS websites have sections and online tools you can use to complete the process in about five minutes, though it can take a day or more for your address to “go live” in the system itself.
As far as privacy and security are concerned, there may be things you can do to better manage and mitigate those issues as well.
Consider installing security cameras (like Ring cameras, for example) or requesting that your packages from UPS only be delivered when someone is home to sign for and accept the packages specifically.
There are scheduling tools that you can use on the UPS website to make this process go a lot smoother, and you are definitely encouraged to at least have a look at those tools to see if they make sense in your situation.
Have UPS Sent to Family, a Friend, or Work
Of course, you could always choose to have UPS packages sent to family members, friends, coworkers, or your school or office if they are willing to allow that.
This is something that you are going to have to discuss with the people in your life that you trust, people that you can rely on to accept packages on your behalf that you will later pickup yourself.
No, this isn’t anywhere near as convenient as having your packages dropped off directly to you at your PO Box or your home but it may be one of the few viable alternatives – especially if picking it up at UPS directly means you’re going to be going significantly out of your way.
Some people even rent storage lockers that have physical addresses to have their packages delivered to. This may or may not be something available in your local area, something that fits your budget, or something that you are even interested in.
Include Your Phone Number
No matter what, it’s important that you include your phone number on every single UPS order – especially those that are going to be sent to PO Box addresses.
As we highlighted earlier, that phone number is going to be taken advantage of whenever UPS determines that a shipment they have been charged with is undeliverable for a variety of different reasons – including it its ultimate destination is a PO Box.
It’s important to understand, however, that deliveries to a PO Box that are made after a phone call from UPS are not going to be protected with the UPS Service Guarantee the way that traditional orders are.
On top of that, depending on the specifics of the situation, you may also find yourself on the hook for a $12 address correction charge as well as a number of other extra fees associated with the new shipment address/instructions.
Take Advantage of a PO Box Alternative Like US Global Mail
Another alternative that you’ll want to consider are the virtual mailbox solutions available from US Global Mail.
One of the premier modern virtual mailbox providers on the market today, the reputation that US Global Mail has built up over the years is one of the best in the industry.
Thousands of people trust US Global Mail to handle package receiving, mail forwarding, mail scanning, and even check-cashing services (amongst a whole host of other benefits provided by this company) that you will not be able to take advantage of with other services – particularly those available from the USPS today.
A very modern and streamlined approach to having your mail accepted and forwarded to you, one of the biggest advantages you’ll enjoy as a member of US Global Mail is the use of a physical street address as opposed to a PO Box number.
Unlike a lot of other mailbox services out there, US Global Mail allows you to use a 100% valid and 100% legitimate physical street address as your shipping address. This means there will be absolutely no problems whatsoever using US Global Mail to have all of your UPS packages delivered to.
Because it isn’t a PO Box number the UPS systems are going to recognize your US Global Mail address as a valid address, never triggering the internal systems that cause UPS to delay your package shipment completely.
Once your UPS packages arrive they will be signed for and received by US Global Mail representative and then immediately transferred into a personal and private storage locker for you. The box will be digitized so that you have a live record of your package arriving, and also so that you have digital records of that package (and its delivery timeline) added to your account for your reference, too.
Remember, this is just one of the many services available from US Global Mail in just the tip of the iceberg of the benefits you’ll enjoy moving forward.
To learn a little bit more about everything that this organization has to offer, including information regarding pricing, service tiers, and the kinds of solutions you’ll be able to enjoy when you become a member you’ll want to check out the main page of the US Global Mail website.
You can also reach out to contact customer service and support at your earliest convenience for more details, including getting any of the specific questions you have about the service answered from live support members that can walk you through the process from start to finish.