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What Does USPS “Moving Through Network” Mean?

You are expecting a package from USPS and have received a “Moving Through Network” tracking alert.

What does this mean exactly, and is there anything you need to do?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: USPS “Moving Through Network”

This alert means that the package is actively in transit within the USPS extensive distribution network, moving through various facilities and checkpoints as it progresses toward its final destination. Essentially, the package is still en route and moving according to schedule.

Understanding the USPS “Network”

logistics network

The USPS tracking system is designed to provide regular updates about the journey of your package.

“Moving Through Network” is one of the many alerts that can potentially be received.

This particular update means that your package is currently in transit and progressing through various USPS facilities and checkpoints.

When USPS refers to a “network,” they are talking about their extensive infrastructure, which includes processing facilities, distribution centers, and transportation hubs.

Packages travel through this network on their way to their final destination, which might include multiple stops and transfers.

This alert, therefore, signifies that your package is actively moving within this network and is on its way to its next destination.

So, is there anything to worry about?

a woman shrugging

The answer is no, the alert is simply keeping you updated.

Your package is moving as it should through the delivery infrastructure, (I just didn’t want to use the word “Network” again :)).

The alert only becomes an issue if your package or mail item ends up stuck with no further updates.

How Long Does it Take For an Item to Move Through the Network?


The time it takes for an item to move through the USPS network can vary widely depending on several factors, including:

  • Specific service used (e.g., First-Class, Priority, Priority Express),
  • Distance between the sender and recipient,
  • The volume of mail in the system,
  • And any unforeseen circumstances (covered below).

In general, for domestic shipments, the USPS provides estimated delivery times for each service, which can range from a few days to a week or more.

That being said, on a standard shipment you would only expect to see the “Moving Through Network” alert for 2 to 3 days before seeing another update.

Anything sent with express shipping and that time should be even shorter.

My Tracking is Stuck on “Moving Through Network”

frustrated girl on phone

If your package’s tracking status appears to be stuck on “Moving Through Network” for an extended period, it can be frustrating.

However, there are several common reasons why this may occur, and there are steps you can take to address the issue:

1. Weather Delays

snow storm traffic

Inclement weather, natural disasters, or adverse conditions can affect transportation and cause delays.

Be patient, as USPS may hold packages in these situations for safety reasons.

2. Processing Backlog

Occasionally, USPS facilities experience a backlog in processing due to high volume, holidays, or other factors.

This can cause tracking updates to slow down.

3. Tracking Update Delay

scanning packages on conveyor

Sometimes, the tracking information may not update correctly or promptly.

The package may also miss a scan at a particular stop within the network. If this happens, no update will occur.

It’s a good idea to give it a day or two to see if the situation resolves itself.

Actionable Steps

1. Contact USPS

If your package’s status hasn’t changed for an extended period and you’re concerned, it’s a good idea to contact your local post office or the USPS customer service for more information.

They can investigate and provide updates on your package’s status.

USPS can be contacted at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777)

2. Contact the Sender

It could be that the sender has more up-to-date information on the item.

They are another source of help in a situation where a shipment seems to have encountered a delay.

3. Use a Universal Tracking App


Although you would think the USPS tracking page would be the best place to look for new status alerts, this is not always the case.

I very often turn to free universal tracking apps such as 17Track and Parcelsapp for my investigations into the whereabouts of a package.

Just look at any of my responses in the comments section on Mailbox Master, and my recommended actions generally come from the fact I found out more about the missing mail item through using one of these apps.

They are definitely worth checking out if your package seems AWOL.

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