Can I Pick Up a Package from USPS Before Delivery?

USPS has a solution for you if your hectic work schedule means the package will be waiting at home when it’s delivered. They offer two options – pick up from one of their distribution centers or the local post office, which is generally more accessible since they’re usually open during regular business hours!

It might seem like there would always come some point where something needs signing for, but luckily, with USPS, this isn’t always necessary as long we take care of ourselves by following these steps:

How to Pick Up Your Package from USPS Before Delivery

Before picking up a package at USPS, you’ll need to do a few things. Don’t rush in there, as you may experience disappointment. 

  • First, check post office opening hours. Not every USPS has the same working hours. 
  • Second, make sure that your package is eligible to be picked up. If you have a tracking code, check if the package is not already delivered or is on its way to your address. If it’s released for delivery, don’t bother, it is already too late to go to USPS.
  • Third, if the package is still in the post office, notify them that you plan to pick it up at their office. If calling sounds like the best option, you’re wrong. Each USPS sorting center and office receives a massive number of packages every day. It would be a waste of time if everybody called them to hold their packages. It can be done and they might help you, but there are much better options if you plan in advance to pick up your package from USPS (see below).

Better options to Pick Up Your Package from USPS Before Delivery

  1. Mark “Hold for pick up” on the Shipping label 

If you are shopping online, ask the seller to add the location where you plan to pick up the package with a simple note on the shipping label “Hold for pickup.” To do that on your own, you will have to use the USPS “Click-N-Ship” service, and here is how to do it:

  • Visit the USPS site here and sign in with a valid account. If you don’t have one, create it for free. 
  • Enter the returns address. 
  • Leave the “Delivery address” field empty and scroll down to “More Actions.” Click it and select “Hold for Pickup at a Post Office.” 
  • Use Zip code search and choose the USPS office you plan to pick up the package. 
  • Fill in other necessary details for creating the shipping label. 

Should you create a USPS account? It is not obligatory, but if you want some perks regular users don’t have, be my guest. USPS offers their account holders a lot of services: 

  • request a Package Pickup, 
  • manage PO boxes, 
  • print shipping labels or custom forms, 
  • shop at the USPS store (buy some stamps), 
  • file domestic claims. 

2. Hold for pick up

USPS has a particular “Hold for Pickup” service that allows you to have the package held at one of their facilities until you arrive. When it arrives at the USPS office, you will receive a notification that the package is ready to be picked up. 

This service is available to almost any domestic packages and letters with tracking barcodes, including flats (exemption – periodicals and Standard Mail). To use the “Hold for pickup” service, do this: 

  • Visit the USPS site here (you will be redirected to the “Hold for Pickup section” at the USPS).
  • Pick a ZIP code where you want to pick up your item. If applicable, you will see a statement, “Your package can be held for pickup at one of the following Postal locations.” Otherwise, add a different ZIP code. 
  • When you click the “Review” button, USPS will ask you to log in or create a free account. 

The “Hold for Pickup” service is part of the “Intercept a package” service. It allows customers to have the package held for pickup, redirect an undelivered shipment from one destination, or deliver it elsewhere. 

Please note – You’ll need to pay for any additional postage, redirecting your package as Priority mail, plus the interception fee. If the USPS fails to turn in your package, you will not be charged for the service. 

How to pick up the package

The package can be picked up only by the person addressed on the shipping label. Your relatives – wife, husband, child, or neighbor won’t be able to do that as the USPS will ask for an ID. To avoid unpleasant moments, check USPS working hours before going to the post office. 

Best way to track your package with USPS

Similar to other delivery services or large online retailers, USPS has its own package tracker. To use it, you will have to visit their webpage and add there a valid tracking number. 

Some of you might be wondering what my tracking number looks like. Well, it depends on your chosen delivery service.

To be more exact, 4 out of 5 delivery services (“USPS Tracking,” “Priority Mail”, “Certified Mail” and “Collect On Delivery Hold For Pickup”)will give you 22 digits number.   

Example: 9400 1920 0560 0593 0621 00

The last one, “Global Express Guaranteed” tracking number, has only 12 digits. 

Example: 82 760 002 36

All of the aforementioned service providers can be tracked on the USPS official tracking webpage here

If tracking your package is not a concern, don’t bother. USPS might send updates on its movement and estimated delivery time anyways.

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