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“Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item” – Meaning

You’re expecting a delivery from an online order and you have received a “Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Will USPS be delivering your package? What happens if the tracking remains stuck on this alert?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item

The “Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item” tracking update means that a third-party carrier has been responsible for the package so far. The item has now departed that carrier’s facility and is on its way to a USPS facility or post office. USPS is awaiting the item and will be in charge of the final delivery.

Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item – Guide

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The system of a third-party carrier being responsible for the lion’s share of a package journey, with USPS completing final delivery is extremely common, especially within eCommerce.

FedEx, DHL, UPS, and all manner of smaller carriers based in the USA can be considered Shipping Partners of USPS.

Services such as SmartPost and SurePost, as well as some Amazon deliveries, utilize USPS for what is known as last-mile delivery.

In other words, these third-party carriers will pick up the package from the seller or fulfillment warehouse and will be responsible for the transit of the package all the way to the vicinity of the destination address.

When the carrier reaches the locale of the recipient, the package will be delivered to a USPS facility or post office so that the postal service can complete the final delivery.

Although the additional step (i.e carrier handing over the item to USPS) can mean the delivery takes slightly longer, the costs are lower, after all, USPS has to deliver to every post box in the related area anyway.

These savings are generally passed down to the customer.

Where is My Package When the Alert is Sent?

Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item

When the “Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item” alert is sent it can be difficult to know exactly how close your item is to being handed over to USPS.

Very often you are simply told that the package has left the carrier facility (it could pass through several on its way to you) and that USPS is aware of its existence.

Remember, at this point, USPS has not touched the package. It has not entered the USPS delivery infrastructure.

However, one way of ascertaining how close the mail item is to the destination address is to look at the details that accompany your updates.

If you receive an update similar to the screenshot above, it will contain information on the facility’s location. If this is in your state at least, there is a good chance that the next update will confirm that USPS has your package.

If the facility is located on the other side of the country, the package will undoubtedly pass through more carrier facilities before it reaches your location.

Tracking Stuck on “Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item”


A common problem arises when the tracking is seemingly stuck on this update. If there are delays in transit on the part of the shipping partner, it will take time before USPS has the package for delivery.

During this period, the lack of updates can be a concern.

However, due to the fact USPS does not yet have your package, it makes no sense to contact the postal service at this stage.

It is the third-party carrier you need to speak to. To find out these details you may need to look into the information that was provided with your online order. If it is unclear here, you may need to contact the seller.

That being said, another way of tracking your package (and finding out the carrier responsible), is to use a universal tracking up.


A free service such as ParcelsApp or 17Track allows you to punch in the tracking details that you have.

The app will then search the databases of hundreds of carriers to see where your item is.

It could be that tracking updates are being created and you just haven’t been seeing them.

At the very least, you will now know which carrier to contact in order to find out what’s going on with your delivery.

Tracking Updates After “Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item”

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Although the shipping partner may send out further updates, the alert you will want to see is a confirmation that USPS has your package.

This can come in various forms. Everything from “USPS in Possession of Item”, to “Arrival at Unit” and “Arrived at Hub” would signify that USPS is now in charge of the package and that delivery will be within 24 to 48hrs.

How Long Until Delivery After Receiving the Update?


The previous sections answer this question in a roundabout way. Essentially, when you first receive the “Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item” alert it is difficult to ascertain how close the package is to delivery.

The third-party carrier still has to transport the mail item to USPS and this could take several days depending on the distance between the origin and destination.

However, once USPS has the package the fact all is left is final delivery means you should expect your item within 1 to 3 business days.

Any longer than 3 days and you have grounds to contact USPS to see what the hold up is.

Final Words

Overall, the “Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item” tracking update informs you that the shipping partner still has the package and that it has left a facility.

There will still be steps in the package journey before it reaches USPS, however, progress is being made.

3 thoughts on ““Departed Shipping Partner Facility USPS Awaiting Item” – Meaning”

  1. USPS scanned my package and I have the receipt. On the tracking it says USPS is still awaiting the item???? They had it to begin with. What is up with this?

    • Was it scanned by a pickup driver or at the post office? Sometimes you will not get an update passed the “USPS still awaiting item” until it has been scanned in the actual sorting facility… if you are still seeing this update at this point (3 days later), I would contact USPS.


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