When you’re sending a parcel, you may not be totally familiar with the process, as different carriers can have different approaches, and the website may be somewhat confusing. It’s important to understand what you are doing to avoid any potential issues, so let’s look at what “shipping label created, USPS awaiting item” means.
You may be particularly confused and concerned if you have already dropped the parcel off, and yet USPS doesn’t seem to know that it has it!
This message can mean either that you have made the label for your parcel and it is logged in the system, but the parcel has not yet been dropped off, or it may mean that the parcel has been dropped off but the system has not yet registered it. Neither is anything to worry about most of the time.
What Does “Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item” Mean?
You might be able to guess at the gist of this message; it means that you have created a label for your parcel and that your parcel is not yet “in the system” for USPS. There are a couple of potential reasons for this.
You Haven’t Yet Dropped It Off
This is the most obvious explanation, and if this is the case, the message probably isn’t puzzling you – but just in case, this message in theory means that you still have the parcel. If you haven’t passed it on to a drop off point yet, this is the message you should see.
When you drop it off, the message should update and change to “in transit” or “dropped off” or something similar.
Don’t worry; you have a bit of time before you have to drop it off, but of course, it won’t get there as quickly if you delay in sending it.
USPS Haven’t Recognized It Yet
However, sometimes you will see this message even when you have dropped your parcel off, sometimes even for a few days. That might concern you a bit, but it shouldn’t be anything major to worry about.
Let’s look at why this might happen.
Firstly, it is possible that the tracking simply hasn’t updated because sometimes the system glitches. Your parcel may be physically in the office and someone might have scanned it as “accepted,” and it’s possible it has even moved on to the next step of being collected by a courier, but if the system isn’t updating properly, this won’t show.
Secondly, it is possible that the parcel hasn’t actually been accepted yet, and this can unfortunately happen even if you have passed it over a few days beforehand. Usually, it is the result of the center being extremely short staffed or of illnesses or call-outs.
If nobody is able to get to your parcel to scan it as “handed in,” it won’t show up as accepted on the system even though you have handed it over.
This might be concerning, because you no longer have the parcel and you don’t have any indication that they have it either. However, you should try not to worry too much.
You should have a receipt that proves you have dropped the parcel off, and it’s a good idea to keep hold of this, just in case something happens – you can then prove that it happened in the delivery company’s hands.
What Should I Do If My Parcel Stays on “USPS Awaiting Item?”
The best thing to do if you see this message is to wait for a few days. While it may be a frustrating and worrying message to see displayed, it is not necessarily a reason to panic.
The system should update, either when the tracking technology catches up, or when the people do. You may sometimes see tracking information jump several steps, simply because a scanner has failed to register the first time around, or something like that.
If this happens, it’s likely just that the scanner has stopped working on the website has stopped updating correctly. Don’t worry about it – your parcel is still traveling and you will get it eventually!
I Bought An Item; Does This Message Mean That The Seller Has Not Shipped It Yet?
This is possible, yes. Your seller may create labels in advance and then ship all their items out at the same to save on gas and time in traveling to a drop off point. If they send you the tracking information, it may be in the hope that you will then be able to tell when the item has been shipped out, so you know how soon to expect it.
However, it is also possible that the seller is experiencing one of the outcomes mentioned above – the tracking information is not updating as it should be, or there is a parcel backlog and the parcel has not yet been scanned into the system at the drop off point.
The latter of these could delay your parcel, but hopefully, it shouldn’t make much difference.
Should I Contact The Seller?
This depends on how urgently you need the parcel. If you are waiting eagerly for the parcel to arrive, you could contact the seller to ask if they have physically handed the parcel over yet or not, but if you aren’t in any hurry, you might as well wait for the tracking to update on its own.
This saves both you and the seller time, and may make the seller feel less stressed about shipping stuff out. You could also read any shipping information offered by the seller, which may make it clear how soon they will drop your parcel off with USPS.
If you need the parcel quickly, it is a good idea to communicate that at the time of purchase to see if the seller can accommodate you or offer expedited shipping options. This may save on disappointment with items that get delayed.
How Do I Know If A Seller Has Actually Shipped An Item?
Although most online sellers are reputable and friendly and honest, sometimes you may run into somebody who is attempting to scam you, or who cannot ship the item for some reason but does not want to admit it. The item may have got broken or been lost.
In this case, the seller might create a label but never actually drop the item off. They can claim to have dropped it off, but that their local drop off has not yet scanned the item – and you have no proof either way. How do you know if this has happened?
The best way for a seller to prove that they have actually posted an item that is still displaying this message is to send you a copy of the receipt. This confirms that they handed the parcel over and USPS has possession of it, and it might help to put your mind at rest.
Occasionally, a seller may tell you that they weren’t given a receipt and they forgot to ask for one.
While it is possible this is a genuine oversight, this is something to be wary about, and you should remember to follow up and get your money back if the item does not arrive soon. It may not be a scam, but it is a little suspicious, and not very professional behavior.
What Can I Do If I Have Dropped Off A Parcel And This Message Is Showing?
If you have delivered the parcel to the drop off and this is the message you are receiving, the best thing to do is wait a few days. You will probably find that the message disappears and new tracking information replaces it.
However, if the information does not change, you may wish to go back into the drop off and ask them what has happened. It is possible that a member of staff will be able to update you on whether it has been entered into the system or not. They may be able to see if the parcel is still in the office or has been taken by a courier.
You could also contact USPS directly and ask them for an update. Usually, you will just be told to wait and see if the shipping updates, but this is still one of the few ways to get further information on your parcel.
Can My Parcel Jump Shipping Steps If It Has Not Been Scanned Properly?
Yes, it can. You may find that your parcel goes from “shipping label created, USPS awaiting item” and jumps straight to “out for delivery” or even “delivered.”
The tracking information is only updated when a member of staff scans the parcel, so if several people miss scanning it (or the scanner does not work properly and they don’t notice), it is easy for a parcel to jump steps.
This is another reason not to worry too much about the tracking message not updating. It is possible the parcel is moving and just isn’t being scanned in properly.
How Long Will My Item Stay As “Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item”?
This totally depends on the staff at the drop off center and the tracking software that is being used. In the normal course of things, you should find that the information updates to show the parcel as dropped off within a few hours.
However, some people find that it can take days or even a week for this to occur, usually because the center has got backlogged or because the parcel has fallen off a counter and got lost temporarily.
Hopefully, this issue will resolve itself, but if it doesn’t, it’s well worth dropping in and asking the staff if something has gone wrong.
Obviously, you don’t want to be waiting seven days for a parcel that should have been delivered in three to even register in the system, but there isn’t much you can do if there is a backlog or the center doesn’t have enough staff.
It may be worth complaining to USPS in such instances, as you may get a partial refund (or even a full refund) of your shipping fees if the delay is significant, but otherwise, you can’t speed things along.
If My Parcel Doesn’t Get Scanned At Drop Off, Will It Get Scanned During The Route?
Some people seem to experience an issue where a parcel that hasn’t been scanned as being dropped off also won’t get scanned throughout the rest of its journey. This may be something to do with USPS’s system not recognizing it because it hasn’t been logged as present in the system.
However, this isn’t always going to be the case. Sometimes, a parcel will scan just fine when it has not been scanned at drop off, so you may find that it simply goes to “in transit” instead of “dropped off; awaiting collection” (or something similar). That means a courier has collected it and it is on its way to the next stop.
The scanning system does depend upon a member of staff picking up your parcel and scanning the barcode, so any time throughout the process that this doesn’t happen, steps will be jumped and information will be missed.
This doesn’t affect the overall journey of the parcel, however. It just means that you get less useful information. It will still move as quickly, or at least it should do.
If you can see “shipping label created, USPS awaiting item” displayed on the tracking information page, you may be wondering what to do. The best thing is to wait for a little while and see if this updates and disappears.
If it doesn’t and you are the parcel sender, follow up with your local drop off point or with USPS themselves. Make sure you keep your receipt.
Having a virtual mailbox is a great way to solve this issue. This makes it very easy to relax about where your mail is and what the tracking is like, because you don’t need to try and be home during delivery, and you can easily see when a parcel has been delivered to you. Consider trying this service if you are having issues!