According to USPS, all deliveries are generally made by 5PM, Monday through Saturday. Although they don’t specify a start time for deliveries on their website, US postal workers generally start delivering mail at 9AM.
Extenuating circumstances such as weather, traffic, accidents, etc. may extend the delivery times into later hours of the day.
If it’s after 6PM on the guaranteed delivery date for a piece of mail sent via Priority Mail Express Shipping, contact your local postmaster. USPS does not guarantee delivery dates or times for packages shipped with Priority Mail or First-Class Mail.
Benefits of Priority Mail Express Delivery
When you ship items using First-Class or Priority Mail through USPS, your mail is not considered late until more than five days have passed since the item was mailed. When using Priority Mail Express, however, delivery is guaranteed by 5PM within 48 hours of shipping the item.
Shipping with Priority Mail Express is the best way to guarantee that your package will arrive at its intended destination exactly when it’s supposed to.
Some other benefits of using Priority Mail Express include…
- Money-back guarantee on late deliveries
- Optional signature confirmation included in the price
- Optional Sunday and holiday deliveries (for an added fee)
All Priority Mail Express shipments within the US are guaranteed delivery within two days. Same-day delivery cannot be guaranteed, and packages must be postmarked by 6PM to qualify for next-day delivery.
How To Track USPS Deliveries
To track a USPS package, click here and enter your tracking number into the search bar provided.
Your tracking number can be found on your USPS receipt or on the customs receipt you received for an international package. If you’re tracking an order being sent to you from an online retailer, you can also find your tracking number in your shipping confirmation email from the retailer.
When your tracking information appears, you should be able to see the most recent location where your package was scanned.
As a package moves through the USPS network, the tracking barcode is scanned each time it arrives at and departs from a different location.
If your tracking information says your package is “in transit,” this means that it has departed a USPS facility and is en route to the next facility, either by ground or air. If your package is listed as “out for delivery,” this means that it has arrived at your local post office or mail sorting facility and is with a postal carrier on its way to your address.
USPS provides end-to-end tracking for all trackable packages, meaning that the package will be scanned at each stage of the shipping process, from the time it arrives at a USPS facility until it is delivered to its destination.
Another way to track your USPS packages is to use Informed Delivery. This only works for tracking packages that are being delivered to you. If you are the sender, you will need to track using your track number.
With Informed Delivery, you can receive daily email updates about all of the mail items and packages being sent to your address. It’s a fast and easy way to access the tracking information for all of your incoming packages, regardless of whether or not you saved your tracking numbers elsewhere.
Reasons Why Packages Get Delayed
Some common reasons why USPS deliveries are delayed include…
- Extreme weather conditions or natural disasters
- High mail volume (especially during the holiday season)
- Traffic accidents
- Incorrect or illegible address provided
How To Claim A Late USPS Package
If your USPS package is late, you’ll first want to submit a help form via USPS.com here. After submitting your form, you should receive contact form a USPS representative within 2-3 business days. If within 7 days your package has not been located or recovered, you can submit a Missing Mail Search request here. To do this, you will need to register for a USPS.com account.
If you sent your package via Priority Mail Express and your package was lost or delivered late, you could qualify for a refund. You can apply for a refund here.
Finally, if you would like to file an insurance claim for a lost package, click here.
Does USPS compensate for late packages?
In most cases, no. However, if you paid for Priority Mail Express Shipping, you may qualify for a refund if your package was not delivered within the guaranteed time frame. You can also submit an insurance claim for a lost package, but it’s difficult to get these claims approved.
What is the longest USPS delay?
Unfortunately, it’s fairly common for USPS packages to be delayed for weeks or even months. Speaking from personal experience, I once had a package take about four months to arrive at its destination after being sent through USPS (it was an international package, but still!).
Does USPS deliver after 10 PM?
This would be highly unusual. Typically, USPS drivers finish their deliveries between 5PM and 6PM.