Why Is My USPS Package Still In Pre-Shipment? Decoding Delays

Why Is My USPS Package Still In Pre Shipment?

Seeing a USPS package status stuck in pre-shipment can be frustrating. But there are some common reasons for this.

Let’s explore why it happens and what you can do about it.

Contents show

Why Is My USPS Package Still In Pre-Shipment?

Your USPS package is in pre-shipment because the label has been printed, but the post office hasn’t received it yet. This can happen due to delays in the seller dropping off the package, busy times at the post office, or tracking system glitches. It should start moving soon.

USPS Package Still In Pre-Shipment

What To Do When Your USPS Package Is Stuck in Pre-Shipment?

Here are some tips if your package seems to be delayed in pre-shipment:

Reach Out To The Sender

Contact the seller/shipper and ask if they have dropped off the package. They may provide additional tracking insights.

Contact USPS

You can call USPS or visit your local post office. Provide the tracking number and they can investigate issues.

Patience Is A Virtue

During peak seasons especially, packages may need extra time in pre-shipment. Have patience and avoid contacting USPS too soon.

In most cases, the package is still making its way through the system normally. But if you are concerned, take proactive steps to get clarity on the status.

With the seller’s help, you can hopefully get the tracking back on track!

Understanding Pre-Shipment

Pre-shipment is the phase when the shipping label has been printed, but the package has not yet been received by USPS.

The tracking will not update until the post office scans the barcode.

Does USPS delay packages?

USPS does not intentionally delay packages without reason. However, factors like staff shortages, weather, and high-volume seasons can slow down processing.

How long does a USPS package stay in pre-shipment?

There is no set timeframe. Packages usually ship within 1-3 days after the seller prints the label. But it can take longer during busy periods.

Package Logging Procedures

After the seller prints the label, they must drop off the package at USPS. The post office will then scan it to register that they have received the order.

This scan updates the tracking from pre-shipment to “in-transit.”

Top 10 Reasons Your USPS Package Might Be Stuck in Pre-Shipment

Sometimes the package can sit in pre-shipment status for days or even weeks. This leaves buyers wondering, “Why is my USPS package stuck in pre-shipment?” There are a few common reasons.

1. Packing The Order

The seller may have printed the label but hasn’t finished packing the order yet. Large or customized orders take time to fulfill.

2. Not In Stock

If an item is back-ordered, the seller cannot ship it out yet. They may print the label in advance while waiting for the inventory to arrive.

3. Seller Hasn’t Dropped Off The Package

The seller may have created the label but hasn’t taken the package to the post office yet. Some sellers don’t ship daily.

4. Busy Office

During peak times like holidays, post offices get inundated with packages. This can cause backups and delays in scanning.

5. Faulty Barcode

If the barcode is damaged or unreadable, USPS cannot scan the package and track it. The seller would need to reprint the label.

6. Software Problems

Glitches with USPS’s tracking system can also prevent updates. The scan may not register even though USPS has the item.

7. Package is Lost

In rare cases, packages are misplaced before they reach the post office.

If an item seems to be stuck in pre-shipment indefinitely, it may be considered lost by USPS. The seller would need to file a claim.

8. High Volume Seasons

Holiday spikes slow everything down. During peak times, USPS might only scan packages once or twice per day rather than constantly.

This means more packages sitting in pre-shipment.

9. Operational Constraints

Staff shortages, extreme weather events, and other logistical issues can interfere with speedy processing. USPS does its best but cannot control these variables.

10. Inaccurate Tracking

The tracking system is not perfect. Sometimes packages get scanned along the way but the tracking does not update. So a package may be further along than the status indicates.

When Is Pre-Shipment a Concern? Decoding the Duration

There is no firm rule since many factors impact transit time. But here are some general guidelines:

  • Domestic packages typically update to “in transit” within 1-3 days after the pre-shipment scan.
  • During peak seasons, pre-shipment may last 3-5 days or more before the first scan.
  • If your package has been stuck in pre-shipment for over a week with no scans, reach out to the seller.
  • International packages can take over two weeks in pre-shipment due to customs procedures.

FAQs About USPS Pre-Shipment Delays

Q: Why does my package say “pre-shipment info sent” but has not been updated in days?

A: This usually means the seller has printed the label but has not dropped off the package at USPS yet. Contact them to find out the status.

Q: My package status has been “shipping label created” for a week. Should I be worried?

A: One week in pre-shipment is longer than normal. Reach out to the seller to make sure they shipped it, and contact USPS if needed.

Q: The tracking said “pre-shipment” and now says “in transit” but with no scans. What does this mean?

A: The system likely missed a scan along the way. But if the status is updated, the package is moving within the USPS network.

Q: Why would a package be stuck in pre-shipment for over two weeks?

A: International shipments face customs checks and other special processes. Domestic packages should not take this long in pre-shipment unless lost.

Q: Does “pre-shipment info sent to USPS” mean the seller mailed my package?

A: No, it just means they printed the label. The package is not with USPS until the status changes to “accepted” or “in transit.”

Q: What should I do if USPS says they can’t find any information on my pre-shipment tracking number?

A: Contact the seller to make sure the number is correct. If so, open an investigation request with USPS in case the package is lost.

Q: The tracking said, “Origin post is preparing shipment.” How long until it actually ships?

A: This typically means the shipper has submitted info to USPS but has not dropped off the package yet. Follow up with them if it doesn’t update soon.

Q: My package has said “pre-transit” for 4 days. Is this normal?

A: “Pre-transit” is another term for pre-shipment. 4 days is a long time in this status. Reach out to the shipper for an update on when they dropped it off.

Q: The seller said they shipped my order a week ago but it still just says “label created.” What should I do?

A: The package is likely lost or they gave you an incorrect tracking number. Request an update from the seller and ask them to start an investigation with USPS.

Key Takeaways

  • Pre-shipment means the label was printed but USPS does not have the package yet
  • It can take a few days to move past pre-shipment, longer in peak seasons
  • Common reasons for delays include the seller not dropping off the package yet, busy post offices, or tracking glitches
  • If stalled in pre-shipment for over a week, follow up with the shipper and USPS
  • Have patience but take action if a package seems lost in pre-shipment limbo


Seeing a package stuck in pre-shipment for an extended time can be worrying. But in many cases, it just means high volumes are slowing things down at USPS.

Still, it’s wise to do some detective work with the shipper and USPS to make sure the package is still on track.

With good communication and patience, hopefully, the tracking will begin moving again soon so you can receive your long-awaited order.