USPS In Transit to Destination – What, Why and How?

 December 17, 2020

By  Vada Shelby

When you are waiting for a courier, your package goes through 5 stages of the tracking process. The package is accepted, in transit, out for delivery, delivered, and status not available. Whether it’s a courier service, online shopping, or postal service, tracking a package has these five basic steps.

All the other four steps are pretty self-explanatory except the ‘In Transit’ step. Whenever you try to track your USPS package, this is the only part where you cannot understand what’s going on. Let us try to solve this mystery.

What Does In-Transit  Mean?

The courier or package is in transit to the destination means that it’s literally on the way. Once the seller has readied the package, lodged it, and handed it over to the carrier, the status of the shipment changes to ‘in transit to the destination.’ So basically, the package has left the seller or the packing facility. The carrier has also picked it up. But it has not reached its destination yet. Until the package is scanned at the destination city and sent out to the delivery address, it says “in transit.”

There are many facets to this. In transit means your package can be handed over to the carrier at any stage, departed from its origin country, arrived at the destination country. Still, pending customs, passed customs but in local transportation, or is at another stopover country and is yet to reach the destination country. So when your package tracking says ‘in transit to destination,’ it can be anywhere on the route to reach you.

How Much Time Does The Parcel Take To Reach?

More often than not, the delivery time mentioned by the courier is an estimated time of delivery. Many courier services guarantee to deliver a package within the stipulated time. But such couriers are significantly fewer. The standard ones give out a date estimation based on the route and distance the package travels. The package can take less or sometimes more time to reach you than mentioned.

USPS Parcel stuck in transit:

Most of the time, when the due delivery date passes, and your package does not arrive, you will see the status of the package changed to “stuck in transit.” It rarely happens that the package is stuck in transit, but the status does not change. All in all, there will be irregularities with your delivery date.

You will notice that your parcel is not moving ahead. It is either kept at one of the company depots or in customs. It is like a traffic jam for packages. But that is also temporary, of course! At some time, the package is released, and it continues its transit towards its destination.

Why Does The Parcel Get Stuck in transit?

There are many general reasons because of which the parcel can get stuck in transit.


Any package arriving from another country needs to pass the custom before being delivered to the recipient.  The package should also contain a commercial invoice. So if no commercial invoice or a huge cargo is coming in at the same time and the processing takes time, your package can get held at the customs. It will be cleared eventually but will reach you at a later date than the estimated delivery date. If there is an absence of the commercial invoice, then a surcharge needs to be paid before the package is further cleared.

Size or weight:

If the parcel is oversized or over-weight, then the package is usually returned to the shipper. It is essential to provide the right size and weight to the courier company. The carrier may not notice the difference right away. But eventually, the inconsistency comes to light, and then the parcel is returned. This could cause a delay in delivering the package to you.

Damaged or absent label:

Mistakes rarely happen with the couriers, but they can happen, especially when thousands of packages to pack per day. Thus, the label on the parcel may fall off or get damaged at some point. This may take the courier company some time to work out whom the parcel belongs to.

Order changes:

If you change the delivery address after the parcel has left the seller, the package can take extra time to reach you. So if you want your package to arrive on the delivery date, you should avoid address changes after the parcel has gone in transit. And in case you are unsure of the delivery address, then opt for ‘Flexible booking’ when available.


The parcel can become undeliverable for ample reasons like a damaged parcel, forbidden goods, or even improper packing. Proper packing or shipping only permitted goods is necessary for the safety of other parcels and the staff too. If your package is leaking or contains a sharp object, then also the parcel stops in transit.

Lost parcel:

On a rare occasion, such a thing happens that the package gets lost during logistics. The carrier tries its best to locate the package through tracking updates, but most of the time, the parcel is found, but sometimes the parcel gets lost.

Weather and traffic:

Sometimes the bad weather conditions or traffic jams can delay your parcel delivery. Hailstorms, pouring rains, and such extreme weather conditions mean stopping all kinds of transportation facilities. Also, during busy times like summer vacations, all transport facilities – rail, air, and road get extremely busy and crowded. This can also delay the delivery.

What should you do?

When your package tracking shows ‘in transit to destination,’ the only thing you can do is wait for your parcel to arrive or keep tracking updates. But if it does not arrive on time and eventually gets stuck in transit, you can contact your courier service to find out more about the details.


The meaning of transit has been discussed above in this post.

Many questions like:

1. How much time does it take to reach.

2. Why the parcel gets stuck in transit mode has also been discussed in this post.

If you have any other questions regarding the USPS in transit mode, you can comment on this blog; we will help you out soon.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

Q.1. Does In Transit To Destination Mean Out For Delivery?

In transit means your item is being processed or transported to your delivery facility. Further tracking details will be available once the package reaches the unit and is out for delivery. In transit doesn’t mean the item is out for delivery.

Q.2. How Long Does In Transit To Destination Take?

If the package has reached the destination facility, then it might take three days to deliver. They will try to provide the package sooner to you.

Vada Shelby


  1. My parcel from SPRING HILL, FL 34609 is still showing on the tracker “The item is currently in transit to the destination” after arrived at USPS facility in JAMAICA NY INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER on October 14, 2019 at 9:45 am.

    I just wanted to know if the item is still there in US or left for my country UAE.

  2. i was tracking my parcel and it shows hopping from an international to another international airport in USA. whats the explanation for this, the destination is to another overseas country

  3. My package was picked up by pitney bowes in CA. on May 9th. It should have reached MN by now and there is no tracking number but the ASPS number. I should have it by now as it cleared customs obviously. How do I find it??? Any help would be appreciated. USPS # 92748927005319010000673463

  4. I am checking on the status of a package that was sent out about 1 month ago. The tracking # provided is 92748927005361010000644794. The USPS site shows it was in Rowland Heights California on June 11. It also states “Awaiting item pick up by shipping partner Pitney Bowes” the Pitney Bowes tracking site states “No package with that tracking # found”

  5. it is almost a month stuck in transit in my destination country, what should I do? Should I gk to my local post office?

  6. I mailed a letter to my daughter Elise at the end of July from Israel to her home in Green Wood Lake New York. She still hasn’t received it. The tracking Number is LX057082228IL. When I try to track it I Am told it is in transit. How is this possible. Please help me get the mail to her.

  7. I’ve been waiting for a wiring harness I ordered on 9/26/20. Ad said 3-5 days shipping, then changed to 10/17/20. Couldn’t cancel order. It arrived in Indiana on 10/09/20, then Illinois 10/11/20. And hasn’t moved since. What’s the hold up? I’m 10 hours away from there, I paid more for shipping than the damn part cost. Why haven’t I received my shipment? This is rediculous.

    1. Did you buy it from eBay by any chance? If so, eBay sellers often use eBay Global Shipping who in turn, use USPS to deliver the parcel. I've heard that if they were to simply skip the eBay global Shipping, and just sent it via USPS, we'd get it faster…by skipping a useless step. Good luck…I'm currently waiting for a guitar amplifier headphone unit from the U.S.A. I'm in Canada, not that far away, in fact, I bought a guitar from the U.K. at the same time and I just got the guitar yesterday!!! The amp unit is still in Chicago…? WTF? Patience my a$$ eh? lol

  8. My package was scanned at local p.o. 95130, then scanned at main p.o. 95101, then scanned at another local p.o. 95125, all in CA. Mailed 9/15, all scans done 9/16, in transit ever since and not delivered to Michigan. Which office do I follow up with. My customer service request was closed by MI. p.o. as resolved without resolution. I called MI. and they say it never arrived in MI.

  9. I am still waiting on my package that I supposed to had got but I haven’t got it yet y’all have the tracking number

    1. I am still waiting on my package with yet but I haven’t got it yet you’re all I don’t put tracking number already up the email up there and I had put my tracking number so we all please let me know when I’m getting my package thank you

  10. I had a package going to El paso,texas,,they said it would be there today at 12:00 noon
    time,,,it didn’t get there so do I get my money back,,it was close to $50.00 to ship,,,plus it was a gift,, so now I’m in the dog house,,,so when will it be delivered,,,thanks for your time

  11. On Wednesday Dec 02,2020 in Detroit, Michigan US Post office I had purchased an overnight/next day expressed mailer containing a money order for my relative in Texas. I was promised that it will arrived there in Texas by noon Thursday Dec 03, 2020. While checking with arrival for Texas I had learned that it has not arrived. I checked on the tracking number and seen that my package is still in transit status in Detroit. Why? Did I not paid for an express delivery ? I was guarantee next day arrival which I have paid for.
    What can be done to get my package move to delivery. Anyone I can contact?
    Thank You

  12. Where is my package? I paid for 2 day delivery on November 30, 2020. Mailed from Alabaster, Alabama to Dadeville, Alabama. It is now December 7, 2020 and package still has not been delivered.

  13. I want my package back plus a refund. I am sick to death of the post office stealing from me and I want answers as to why there is no information on my package.
    I don’t care if the post office is overwhelmed, this is your job and if you can’t deliver it then give it back and I will find someone who can.

  14. I was curious because the original delivery was December 12th, 2020 but it’s currently December 13th, 2020 & still says in transit to destination. What does this mean? Also who caries my package ???? currently?

  15. Mailed package on Dec 3rd. Expected delivery was to be the 7th. Package not received as of yet. My tracking # is 9505 5141 8072 0338 5636 70. I have been tracking for a week and it says in transit. This is a Xmas package, very concerned it is lost. Can u help?

  16. I sent package out from Callahan Fl.Paid for 2 day, 1st class shipping on Dec.9th. Package going to Andover New York.Its been 10 days and still no delivery. Where is my package?

  17. I sent package out from Callahan Fl.Paid for 2 day, 1st class shipping on Dec.9th. Package going to Andover New York. Its been 10 days and still no delivery. Where is my package?

  18. Two pkgs mailed to same city 30728 from same po 44833 at same time. One arrived, this one did not. Tracking only says in transit

  19. Two pkgs mailed 30728 from same po 44833 at same time. One arrived, this one did not. Tracking only says in transit. Pls help.

  20. I was looking forward to my package to be delivered on one knocked on my door I was receiving packages all day I didn’t even receive a slip at all I will like to have it redelivered and left in front of my door please cause no one knocked on don’t leave nothing iam always home I received all my other packages

  21. I mailed a box on Dec. 11 from Augres Michigan going to Berkeley Mich. I also mailed a package to Colorado. That package has arrived in Colorado. Why hasn’t my package from Mich. going to Mich. has not been delivered yet. There is a problem somewhere in Michigan. I will get to the bottom of this. I also paid $18.95 to mail the box. It was supposed to be priority. Why pay priority if they can’t get it there. Fed ex & UPS is much faster. I will use them next time FOR SURE.

  22. This express envelope was due Saturday. It contains valuable papers, and I was assured it would arrive. Now all I’m getting is “in transit.”
    It doesn’t help that I can’t speak to anyone, since no one answers the phone. Please help !

  23. Tracking states that my package reached Anchorage Alaska on Dec 15 but then was sent on to Bethel Alaska. It states that it has been in transit for 2 days in Bethel. Why was it sent to Bethel when it was supposed to be delivered right there in Anchorage where it was on the 15th. I paid a lot to even send the package let alone the Christmas presents in it. Tracking number is 9534 6154 8417 0342 9434 39

  24. I wish you would mention what to do if a 10 pound Priority package stays “in transit” over 11 days and my originating post office just tells me to “file a claim” but that has not been answered either. I mailed 3 others on the same day but they got delivered perfectly.

  25. This package has been in transit for more than 2 weeks??? I have tried calling, texting.. nothing, could someone at least look into this tracking # 9405511899564778708298

  26. I’ve been waiting on pkg to my daughter was supposed to be delivered Saturday before Xmas and still has not arrived tracking number is 9505515600460351359510

  27. When it says in transit to destination it absolutely does not take 3 days. I have no idea where that idea came from. It means you’ll get it by tomorrow.
    Read on Reddit, this site has so many false statements on it.

  28. Hi
    I have been waiting for a parcel for three months now from USA to South Africa.
    This is more than the time stated in the receipt.
    I am really not happy with this service at all.

    Can I please can help in this regard, my emails have also not been answered

  29. I purchased a Priority Mail shipping label on Jan 21st to ship a package to Philadelphia PA.
    It was picked up on Jan 22nd. As of Jan 25th it has been marked “processed through USPS facility Fayetteville NC” and has been “IN TRANSIT TO PHILADELPHIA” ever since.
    I filed a lost parcel form on Jan 29th and received an email that the USPS would contact me soon but never did. Instead, the tracking status shows a “PACKAGE RESEARCH CASE 22331905 CREATED” on Jan. 29 and “PACKAGE RESEARCH CASE 22331905 CLOSED” on Jan 29.
    I have contacted my local post office several times and the only thing that was done for me to date was to file a PARCEL RECOVERY FORM on Feb. 6.
    Please help me find my very expensive item.


  31. bullshit! My priority mail express pkg has been “in transit” to the destination facility for six days. I have tracked, called, emailed and complained to everyone and anyone at udos and NOTHING! It remains stuck EJ504307890US. I believe that it will never get unstuck. I think they just stole my package at this point,

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