Over the last 20 years or so, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has really stepped up their tracking information game.
Prior to 2000 or so, tracking information provided by the USPS was always a little bit spotty, a little bit unreliable, and not necessarily the most accurate information – or the most timely, either.
Since then, though, the USPS has invested a considerable amount of resources into overhauling their tracking platform and shipping infrastructure.
Today, the tracking details they provide are incredibly accurate, always up-to-date, and useful. Not only do customers using USPS get location information provided to them every time they use their tracking number, but they get a lot of contextual information that lets customers know what’s going on with their packages, too.
One of the messages that you might receive as a USPS customer is “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination”.
This isn’t the easiest to understand message provided by the USPS, though, which is why we have put together this detailed guide.
With the information below you’ll have no trouble whatsoever deciphering exactly what the post office means when you get the “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination” status update when you check your tracking information.
You’ll know what this means, how to interpret what’s going to happen next for your package, and how to ballpark estimate how soon your delivery will arrive with this info, too.
Shall we begin?
Why Does Tracking Say “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination”?
Right out of the gate, we should tell you that you might see the “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination” status update at a couple of different times when tracking your shipment – though this message will (usually) only pop up once somewhere along the journey.
No matter what, though, this status update simply means that your package is currently in transit to another destination along the shipping infrastructure for the USPS and should be arriving imminently.
Sometimes that means that the package you are expecting (or shipping) is going to arrive at the first processing hub before it moves further through the shipping infrastructure. Sometimes it means that it’s jumping from one processing facility to another, usually when a package moved from one major USPS region to another.
And sometimes this status update means that your package is about to reach its final destination before being handed off to your local post office for actual delivery.
The bottom line is this – as soon as you see this message pop up in your tracking it means that arrival at another USPS facility is imminent.
Tracking Your Package As It Moves Through the Shipping Infrastructure
As we just alluded to a moment ago, this kind of tracking information has the potential to pop up at a couple of different times during the actual shipping journey of your package.
Below we go over what this tracking status message might mean depending on the context of where your package is along its travel to its ultimate destination.
Believe it or not, the journey that your package takes when it is being shipped by the USPS begins well before the USPS even accepts or receives your package for delivery and instead when the shipping label is created.
This is called the “pre-shipment” stage of the process, and this is the least likely time you’ll see this message pop up.
Sometimes you might see this message pop up after a shipping label has been created and a USPS mail carrier has been dispatched to pick the package up, but that’s only going to happened if the USPS mail carrier doesn’t immediately scan that package into the system.
The odds are very good that you’re not going to see this specific status update pop up between your shipping label being created and the USPS actually getting your package scanned into their shipping infrastructure.
After the package has been accepted by the USPS, though, the chances of this status message popping up skyrocket significantly.
In fact, most of the time you’re going to find the “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination” message pop up immediately following the “Package Acceptance” status update – or maybe just a few hours (to a day) after that message comes across your tracking info.
This shouldn’t, as a surprise, though, as your package has to leave the initial post office or USPS acceptance facility to move to another destination before it can be rerouted on to its ultimate destination.
The “in transit” part of this message denotes that the package has already left one facility and should be arriving at a new destination in the immediate future.
Keep your eyes peeled, as the next message will usually be “Package Arrived” or “Processed Through Facility” – letting you know that your packages closer and closer to actually being delivered.
A lot of people are (understandably) under the impression that a package in transit means that it is actually on the move at that particular point in time, which may or may not actually be the case.
Most of the time, a “In Transit” simply means that a package has left one facility and is currently either in transit or has arrived at the next facility without actually being scanned just yet.
Depending on how USPS employees scan packages as they arrive at different facilities this update may happen every single time your package hits another USPS location, skip over a couple of USPS locations, or not get updated at all.
When you see the “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination” message, though, just know that the package isn’t just en route to a new destination but that it’s getting close to the final destination before being handed off for delivery, too.
The overwhelming majority of the time that you see the “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination” tracking message it means that your package is one USPS facility away from arriving at your local post office or USPS fulfillment center where it’s actually going to be processed for delivery.
There’s pretty good odds that this message means your package is going to be delivered in the next few days if this message pops up after your package has already moved through a couple of other processing facilities or regional delivery hubs.
Context is king when it comes to deciphering exactly what the status message means, of course. But if you notice the last geographic location for the previous update to this one is in your area (within a day or so of travel) then you’re probably going to be able to expect delivery ASAP.
If the “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination” status update pops up for your tracking code near a regional hub or facility close by to the ultimate destination for your package you should expect a “Package Out For Delivery” update to follow shortly after – maybe in a day or two (and sometimes even sooner than that).
What Are the Destinations My Package is Moving Through?
There are a couple of different kinds of facilities/destinations that your package is going to move through during its shipping journey, including:
Processing facilities are usually going to be the fastest “stopover” for a USPS package.
These facilities are designed to get high-volume amounts of mail and packages into and out of just as quickly as possible, routing pallets of packages headed in the same general direction to the next “link in the chain”.
Regional hubs are larger facilities where packages may sit for a little while longer, especially if they have to be split from their original pallet and then re-combined with other packages that are headed different areas of the country – smaller processing facilities before they are shipped out for delivery.
Finally, you have local post offices that actually handle the “last mile” of getting your packages to your PO Box or your physical address.
You might get the “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination” status update ahead of your package arriving at any of those destinations along the way.
What Happens to My Package After It Arrives at a New Destination?
What happens to your package upon arrival at a new destination is going to be influenced entirely by what that new destination is, where that destination is located in relation to the rest of the shipping journey, and what has to happen to get your package to your local post office so that it can be delivered.
As highlighted earlier, processing facilities are usually smaller links in the chain to get packages further along in the USPS shipment infrastructure. These packages usually move as giant bundles on pallets until they hit regional hubs.
Regional hubs are larger processing facilities where individual packages that are parts of larger pallets can be separated from their original traveling pallets, combined with different packages headed in a different direction, and then rerouted on their way.
At the end of the day, your package is likely going to move through a number of USPS destination facilities while it finds its way to its ultimate destination.
You might see the “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination” pop up a handful of times during the shipping process because of how many different stops along the way your package has!
What Other Tracking Updates Should I Expect to See?
Some of the tracking updates associated with the “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination” update include:
“In Transit” – This status update is a little less descriptive than the one we just highlighted, and it usually isn’t attached to any geographic location data.
Often times this status update is used to alert customers to the fact that their packages moving from one processing facility to another, and more often than not entire pallets of packages that your packages part of our scanned as one when this update pops up.
“Package Arrival” – This status update (as well as “Package Arrived at Facility”) lets you know that your package has finished one leg of its journey, has arrived at a new facility, and is currently being processed and getting ready to be moved further along the line.
“Processed Through Sort Facility” – You’ll find this status update (as well as the “Departed from the USPS Facility) showing up in your tracking information following the “Package Arrival” update and usually just ahead of the “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination” message.
It basically means that processing at one specific location has concluded, the packages getting ready to be moved again (transit), and is either headed to another processing facility or is going to be dropped off at the local post office and sent out for delivery.
Better Manage Your Package Deliveries (And More) with a US Global Mail Virtual Mailbox
Of course, those looking to better manage all of their package deliveries – as well as their day-to-day mail – without having to worry about checking your mailbox every day are going to want to consider signing up for a virtual mailbox from US Global Mail.
The industry leader in virtual mailbox services for the past 20 years, US Global Mail provides instant notifications about all packages, parcels, and pieces of mail immediately upon their arrival.
You’ll be able to get notified on your mobile device, via email, and through your US Global Mail administrative backend – or on all of them at once – so that you never miss a single package or piece of mail coming in.
On top of that, you’ll get digital scans or photographs of the package, envelope, or mail itself uploaded to your US Global Mail backend. This lets you see exactly what you’ve received so that you can decide what to do with that mail.
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Combine all of that with the myriad of other benefits that US Global Mail offers – a permanent physical mailing address, increased security and safety features, check depositing services, and more – and it’s easy to see why so many consider this service to be the modern solution to the traditional mailbox.
For more information or to sign up, contact US Global Mail today or visit their website.