You’ve just received a “Processed Through Facility ISC Miami FL (USPS)” tracking update, and you’re wondering what it means.
What is the ISC Miami FL and where is your package when you see this alert?
Let’s take a look…
“Processed Through Facility ISC Miami FL (USPS)” – Meaning
“Processed Through Facility ISC Miami FL (USPS)” means the consignment has arrived at the Miami International Service Center and the mail item has been scanned. Before being dispatched from the ISC it will undergo customs clearance checks.
What is the ISC Miami FL (USPS)?
The International Service Center in Miami is a USPS sorting facility based within the Miami International Airport complex.
Inbound and outbound international mail items are processed within the service center, with customs clearance happening too.
ISC Miami FL is the main USPS processing center of its kind in the South East United States.
(NOTE: USPS also has ISCs in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.)
What Happens Inside the ISC Miami FL (USPS)?
The “Processed Through Facility ISC Miami FL (USPS)” update is actually quite misleading in that the alert is triggered when a mail item arrives at the center, (not after it has been processed through).
This could be outgoing mail traveling overseas, or international mail entering the USA.
Either way, the alert signifies that the consignment has entered the ISC and has been sorted for its onward journey.
However, it will be subjected to the customs clearance process before being released.
In other words, customs staff work alongside USPS with the ISC and will check incoming and outgoing shipments.
Once the shipment has been cleared it will be passed on to USPS or the linehaul carrier responsible for the international transit.
- Related Content: What does “Inbound out of Customs” Mean? (USPS Tracking Guide)
Is the ISC Miami FL (USPS) a Customs Facility?
The ISC Miami FL is primarily a sorting center as far as the role of USPS.
However, as already mentioned, the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does work within the same building.
Clearly, the two organizations have very distinct roles in the processing of incoming and outgoing shipments.
The CBP’s sole responsibility is to inspect all international packages entering or exiting the USA.
Customs staff will check the contents of shipments to ensure no prohibited items, (foods, animals, drugs, and counterfeit goods for example) are contained within.
USPS on the other hand is responsible for the sorting and delivery of items entering the USA, (as well as the appropriate dispatch of items leaving the USA).
So yes, a shipment will go through the customs process at ISC Miami FL (USPS), however, the item is under the jurisdiction of the CBP as this happens.
- Related Content: What Does “USMIAA” Mean in Tracking Updates (USPS)
How Does the CBP Check Mail within the ISC Miami FL?
Here’s a summary of what happens when the CBP checks a package within the ISC Miami FL facility:
- Non-intrusive inspection techniques, i.e checks without opening the package are the first step. This will also involve relevant documentation checks.
- Any suspicious mail items will be taken to an inspection area, for further examination by sniffer dogs and/or subjected to x-rays
- Finally, a package will be opened for a physical inspection if required.
- The U.S. Postal Service processed over 729 million pieces of international mail and parcels in fiscal year (FY) 2020, with the vast majority of shipments clearing customs with little issue.
After clearance, consignments are once again in the control of USPS who will deliver the package or hand it across to linehaul.
- Related Content: What Does “Arrival at Export Hub” Mean (Tracking Guide)
How Long Will my Package be at the ISC Miami FL?
Although the customs clearance process is standard procedure, the length of time you can expect to wait until your package leaves the ISC processing facility in Miami varies widely.
Under normal circumstances, a small package (that is part of a single consignment), should take between 1 and 3 days to be processed through the ISC.
Bulk imports/exports can take longer due to the nature of the clearance inspection.
Also, unloading, sorting, and dispatch times should be attached to these estimates, and can see even a simple mail item be held up for a week or more.
Issues that impact processing times at the ISC Miami FL:
- Declaration of the package contents
- Correct and fully filled-in documentation
- Where the package has come from (i.e which country)
- The size and weight of the package
- Whether tax or duties are owed
- Staffing levels (Covid staff reductions had massive impacts)
- The volume of packages arriving (seasonal variations)
My Package is Stuck at the ISC Miami FL (USPS)
If your package tracking status remains stuck within the ISC Miami FL facility for more than 7 days you will have grounds to contact USPS to see what the delay is.
Also, it will probably come as little consolation but you are not alone. Below are a few quotes from online forums on this subject.
Customer Comments regarding wait times at ISC Miami FL (USPS)
“Who had the same experience with ISC Miami recently? I called USPS, they said the parcel was waiting for a plane to be sent to destination country, although, it’s been 2 weeks already.”
“I’m waiting for a package to uk its been at miami fl international distribution centre since the 7th of June““Arrived at ISC MIAMA ISC on December 10, 2021. Last tracking notice on December 10:
“PROCESSED THROUGH FACILITY ISC MIAMI FL (USPS),” Today is January 19, 2022!“
What To Do if Your Package is Stuck at the ISC Miami FL?
If you do not receive any updates after the “processed through…” alert, it can be difficult to determine whether the hold-up is due to general delays in the ISC processing or if a problem has occurred during customs clearance.
The latter will generally trigger an alert advising the shipper or recipient on what issues have taken place with the CBP.
However, as some online comments suggest, USPS will provide little information on the whereabouts of the mail item.
Essentially, if the tracking status does not update after 7 days you should contact USPS Customer Service to find out more.
How to Contact the ISC Miami FL
With the new process, customers now simply call the International Inquiry Center at 800-222-1811 to initiate an inquiry regarding international registered, recorded delivery, insured, and ordinary parcels.
There is also a USPS ISC Facebook Page, where you can post concerns considering delays.
You may also wish to raise your complaint with the USPS Inspector General Office.
Tracking Updates Related to the “ISC Miami FL (USPS)”
There are a number of USPS tracking updates you can expect to see after your package has arrived at the ISC Miami FL (USPS) facility.
This includes confirming that the customs clearance process is underway (Inbound into Customs) or complete, as well as indicators that the package has been returned to USPS and has been dispatched to another facility.
For example, the “Arrived at USPS Regional Facility”, means your package has left the ISC and arrived at a regional sorting facility and has been scanned.
You may also receive an “In Transit to next USPS Facility” tracking alert. This means exactly what it describes.
The package is on its way to the next facility (or post office) closer to the destination address.
Essentially, the ISC Miami FL (USPS) is a major facility responsible for mail and packages coming in and out of the USA in the midwest.
In other words, if you live in this region of the United States and are sending or receiving mail to or from overseas, your item will pass through this facility.
The United States Customs and Border Protection works inside the facility to inspect shipments to ensure the safety of U.S. citizens and that laws are abided by.
Long wait times for packages coming through the ISC are unfortunately all too common, so be prepared.