The anticipation of receiving a package evaporates when you discover a slip of paper saying “package transferred to post office.” Usually, this slip of paper means that instead of your package being delivered to your door, you are now gifted another errand (read with a sarcastic tone). But in actuality, it doesn’t have to be all that bad. In the blog post we will break down what package transferred to post office actually means. Additionally, we will chat about why a package gets marked this way, and what options are available to you once this distinction is made.


Main Points

  1. Package transferred to Post Office means that  USPS is now handling your package..
  2. Packages will be delivered in 1-2 extra days unless specified otherwise on a slip left by the carrier.
  3. You can track your package through the initial carrier’s site until it has been transferred to USPS. After the handoff has been made, it is best to use the USPS system to track your package.
  4. If your package is delayed past 1-2 days, don’t worry. There are sometimes processing delays. Reach out to USPS after 5 business days without an update.


Package Transferred to Post Office Meaning


In simple terms, package transferred to post office means that  USPS is now in charge of your package.  Oftentimes, this distinction in your tracking information means that another carrier started the delivery process but for various reasons handed your package off to USPS.  These reasons could include the following:


  1. The previous carrier did not have the capability to deliver to the end address.
  2.  It was more economical and efficient to use USPS.
  3. SurePost® was used to ship your package.
  4. The customer (you) or the seller can elect to have your package rerouted to the post office.


What Package Transferred to Post Office Means To You

The vast majority of times, the package will be delivered to you but will be delayed by about a day. A slip or receipt will usually be left behind letting you know that the post office now has the package.  

There may be a time when you receive a slip that will instruct you to pick up the package at the post office. If the slip does not specifically instruct you to pick up the package at the post office, that likely means they are planning on delivering it within the next day.

If there is a delay, you can contact your local post office using your tracking number to find the package’s location. Anything past 3-5 business days deserves an inquiry.


How do I Track My Package?

If you purchased your shipment through UPS initially,, then you will be able to track your shipment in its entirety through UPS.  Once the package has been handed off to USPS,  the USPS system will have more accurate tracking information. You can still track it through UPS but sometimes it can take a hot minute for the two systems to communicate accurate information and updates.


What Happens If USPS Can’t Find My Package

In rare instances, your package may get the update “package transferred to post office” and get no other updates for days.

Two women are shown at a parcel locker, opening one of the lockers with a package in hand.<br />
Behind them there is a large stack of waist high packages.

This happened more frequently during the Pandemic. During this time, post offices were short-staffed. At the same time, more packages were being shipped.  This was due to people’s increased desire to stay home. There were massive piles of packages around post offices. They just didn’t have the capacity to handle the influx of mail. 

This can occasionally happen even though the Pandemic is over due to staffing shortages. It can also happen during peak shipping times during Holidays.

It’s also important to note that USPS prioritizes packages that have been shipped 100% through their system. So, there is another chance of delay simply because your package has become deprioritized. 



In conclusion, having a package transferred to the post office usually means your package is a day or two away from delivery. There is nuance surrounding what this distinction could mean. However, the vast majority of people still see the package come through safe and sound.

If you would like help finding a fulfillment partner/3PL that specializes in HAZMAT reach out to our Fulfillment Consultants and we can place you with a vetted fulfillment partner.


Find A 3PL