Can I Pick Up A Package From USPS Before Delivery? That’s the question we’ll answer today.
There are many reasons you might want to pick up a package from USPS early. Thankfully, there are a few ways that you can.
Let’s take a look.
Can You Pick Up a Package From USPS Early?
USPS has implemented two different methods allowing customers to pick up a package before it is delivered.
One is to arrange a package intercept the other is to instigate a package hold.
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Pick Up USPS Package Before Delivery: Package Intercept
USPS has a fully-fledged Package Intercept feature that is available online.
The service has been set up to provide customers with greater control over how their packages are delivered.
It allows you to send instructions to USPS on what to do with your package before delivery.
For example, you can arrange to pick up the mail item from a specific location or have it redirected to another address.
There are some limitations to using the package intercept service, however. Namely the type and size of the package and where it is in the transit process.
Is Your Package Eligible for Intercept?
Firstly, the service is only available on domestic shipments. The number of eligible mail types is wide, with availability for letters, packages, parcels, and flats across all the USPS mail services.
Note: Packages larger than 108 inches in length or girth (combined) cannot be intercepted.
A large stipulation is that the shipping method MUST include a tracking number.
This makes sense, as USPS will need to pinpoint the exact location of your package in order to implement the intercept.
Essentially, as long as your package has not been sent out for final delivery, (i.e on the truck to your door), you will be able to intercept it using this service.
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How to use the USPS Package Intercept Service
Using the USPS package intercept is straightforward. It is only available online so you will need to go to this website and click the “Intercept a Package” button to get started.
You will be prompted to verify that your shipment is eligible for Package Intercept.
You will also need your USPS tracking number to confirm that the package can be intercepted and isn’t out for delivery.
You will then be able to submit your request, choosing an intercept and pickup or redirect action that is applicable to your needs.
USPS will then provide you an estimated total for the action (intercept fee of $15.95 and cost of Priority Mail service to the redirect address if required).
You will only be charged if the intercept is successful.
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Where Do I Pickup Packages That Have Been Intercepted?
Where you pick up the package before delivery is dependent on the intercept action you have requested.
The tracking status will continue to alert you of progress so if you have requested an alternative address, that is where you will have to pick up the mail item.
Alternatively, if you requested that the item be intercepted at a particular USPS facility or post office, that is where you will have to pick up your package.
Pick Up USPS Package Before Delivery: Package Hold
Placing a hold on your package is slightly different from a package intercept.
In this scenario you will not be rerouting the item, instead, you will be requesting that the package be held at an applicable USPS facility so that you can collect it yourself.
This can be done at the time the shipping label is created (the easiest method is via the Click-N-Ship webpage at usps.com).
It can also be done using the “Hold for Pickup” service.
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USPS Hold for Pickup
To use the “Hold for Pickup” service, go to the “Hold for Pickup” webpage at USPS.
You will then need to log in to your USPS account and follow the steps to select which package you want to be held and at what location.
As this feature is offered through the package intercept service the same restrictions apply, namely that the package has a tracking code, is an eligible mail item, and is not out for delivery.
Once your package arrives at the USPS facility you have specified for the hold, you will receive an alert from USPS.
At that point, you will be able to pick up your package from USPS early.
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How to pick up a package placed on hold?
Once you have received the alert informing you that the package is being held at the USPS facility you selected, you should visit at your earliest convenience to pick it up.
You will need to bring a photo ID that matches the name on the package.
Another alert will be sent 24 after arrival if the package is not picked up. You will also receive one after 48 and 72 hours.
It is important to pick up the package as soon as possible so as not to risk it being sent back to the sender.
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Pick Up USPS Package Before Delivery: Call Your Post Office
Another way to Pick Up A Package From USPS Before Delivery is to call your local post office.
Although USPS does not recommend this method and it isn’t official policy for the post office to assist you if you phone direct many will assist in some way.
It could be that they simply redirect you to one of the methods we have listed above.
However, in some cases, if the package is already at the post office and is easy enough to locate, they will set it aside for you to pick up in person.
Pick Up USPS Package Before Delivery: From the Driver
There is no official way of picking up a package early once it is out for delivery. For the most part, why would you want to? It is on its way to your door.
That being said, if you are out in your neighborhood and you see a USPS driver on their round, there is nothing stopping you from picking up your mail from them before they have made the delivery to your door.
Assuming they know you, (or they are willing to take the time to check your ID), you should have no problems collecting your mail early in this way.
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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. 🙂