You’re waiting on a delivery from USPS and you have received an “In Transit to Next Facility” tracking update.
What does this mean exactly? Is your mail item on its way to your door? And what should you do if it gets stuck on this alert?
Let’s take a look…
“In Transit to Next Facility” USPS – Meaning
The “In Transit to Next Facility” update from USPS means that your mail item has been dispatched from one USPS facility and is on its way to another USPS facility or Post Office.
Where is My Package When I Receive the “In Transit to Next Facility” Update?
Essentially, your package has been loaded onto a truck (or airplane) when you receive this update. It is on its way from one USPS facility to another USPS facility or Post Office.
It is not out for final delivery (i.e. on a truck to the delivery address) as you would have received a status alert with details of that.
To get a better understanding it is important to understand that When USPS mail items are processed they go through several facilities on the journey toward the final destination.
The last time you might see this update is after the mail item has been dispatched to the post office related to the ZIPCODE delivery address.
In between each of these steps, (i.e facilities), it is possible to receive the “In Transit to Next Facility” alert.
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How Far Away Is My Package After an “In Transit to Next Facility” Alert?
How close your package is to delivery really depends on how close the facility is to the destination address.
If the package has just left a regional facility in the general area of the recipient, the next location will be the local post office.
From there, it will be scanned and dispatched on the USPS driver’s route the following day.
In this scenario, you can expect delivery within 2 or 3 days of receiving the update, (depending on the service speed ordered).
However, if the mail item has merely left a USPS Distribution Center, (such as USPS Metro NY), close to the origin location, it clearly has a long way to go.
A standard mail item sent to California (from New York) could easily pass through 2 or more facilities on its way, triggering more “In Transit to Next Facility” alerts every time it leaves a facility.
Again, depending on the service speed used, your mail item could be a week or more away.
- Related Content: BPost “Departure to Distribution Network” – Tracking Guide
My Package is Stuck on the USPS “In Transit to Next Facility” Update
There are a number of reasons your mail item might be stuck on this status alert.
Remember, your mail is on a truck (or possibly an airplane) between facilities when you receive the update. Anything that can impede transit will potentially cause a delay.
Circumstances causing the alert to become stuck include:
- Adverse weather conditions causing transit issues between facilities
- Technical issues (malfunction of transportation)
- Traffic delays or airport congestion
- Staffing problems causing delays in transportation
It doesn’t take much imagination to realize the myriad ways your mail item might be delayed and stuck in transit for longer than you would like.
- Related Content: What Does USPS “In Transit Arriving Late” Mean?
My Tracking is Repeating the “In Transit to Next Facility” Alert
Sometimes, the USPS tracking updates will repeat this alert over and over.
This is because the alert is automated, and while a consignment is in transit, it will not receive further scans.
In order to bridge the gap, the USPS tracking system will send out a repeating alert to inform the customer that the situation remains the same, i.e. the mail item is still in transit to the next facility.
What to do if the Tracking Remains Stuck
If your USPS mail is stuck on this update for an unreasonable amount of time, (several days), your first step should be to make contact with customer services.
They will likely only state the obvious (“your consignment is still in transit), however, depending on the service speed ordered for the delivery, (i.e. if the delivery schedule has passed) USPS will make efforts to look into the whereabouts of the item.
This may or may not require assistance from the sender. At some stage, however, you will want to consider making a claim if the location of the mail item cannot be ascertained and might be lost.
Essentially, the “In Transit to Next Facility” is a standard USPS update that informs you the mail item is on its way to the next facility or post office.
As long as you receive further updates that communicate positive progress toward the destination address, you have nothing to be concerned about.
If the consignment ends up stuck on this alert, or it is repeated with no further details, a delay has likely occurred.
In this case, you should contact USPS directly.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂