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What Does “In Transit, Arriving on Time” Mean? (USPS Tracking)

You’re expecting a delivery from USPS and have received an “In transit, Arriving on Time” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Is your mail item on its way to your door when you receive this update and is there anything you need to do?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: In Transit, Arriving on Time

The “In Transit, Arriving on Time” tracking alert simply means that the package is currently moving according to plan (in transit) and should arrive within the allocated delivery period (on time) in line with the shipping method purchased.

USPS: In Transit, Arriving on Time – Guide


Essentially, the “In transit, Arriving on Time” status alert is a good update to receive. Even the shortest distance USPS shipment has to pass through various steps on its way to the destination address.

This update means that these steps are going according to plan and that the package is currently in transit. It also means that the parcel should arrive within the expected delivery period.

Arriving on Time

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On-time will vary depending on the shipping method chosen. For example, if a Priority 24-hour delivery method were selected at purchase, “In transit, Arriving on Time” would mean that the package is due to arrive within the 24-hour delivery period.

Conversely, a non-expedited standard shipment with a delivery period of 5 days has a longer window within which to send this particular alert.

If USPS expects delivery to take place on day 4 of the shipment, and it is moving toward the destination address, an “In transit, Arriving on Time” alert would still be valid.

My Tracking has Changed from “In Transit, Arriving on Time” to “Arriving Late”

USPS in transit arriving on time

You may have reached this article because your tracking has changed from stating “Arriving on Time” to “Arriving Late”.

Unfortunately, this does happen regularly enough to be frustrating.

The reasons are quite self-explanatory. It simply means that although your mail item was traveling according to schedule during the first part of the shipment journey, (hence the original alert being sent), it has now encountered a problem.

The delay in whatever form it has occurred has caused the delivery schedule to change.

No longer will your item arrive on time. USPS is telling you with this new update that the mail item will be late. (See the dedicated article to “In Transit, Arriving Late” here.)

Package Stuck on “In Transit, Arriving on Time”

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If your tracking ends up stuck on “In transit, Arriving on Time” for the remainder of the transit journey, however, the delivery window has not yet passed, so you should give it more time.

If the shipment service included guaranteed delivery times, you should contact USPS if this period passes, (or is about to pass and delivery does not look imminent).

If a non-guaranteed service has been used, you have fewer grounds for complaint.

Only where your tracking has been stuck on the “In transit, Arriving on Time” alert for more than 2 business days past the relevant delivery window, would I recommend you start to make enquires.

This would involve contacting USPS with your tracking number or calling your local post office to see if your mail item has made it that far and simply not been allocated a truck for final delivery.

What Happens After the “In Transit, Arriving on Time” Status Alert?

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The tracking updates you might see after the “In transit, Arriving on Time” alert all depend on exactly where your mail item is. 

For example, if you have received the update towards the end of the journey, you might next receive an “Arrived at Hub” or “Out for Delivery” update.

If the item is at the beginning of its journey, the next update could be stating that the package has arrived at a “Regional Facility”.

Final Words


Overall, theIn transit, Arriving on Time” status alert is positive.

At this stage of the shipment journey, the parcel is moving according to plan and should arrive within the delivery period relevant to the shipment method purchased.

However, logistics is an ever-changing beast and there is room for delay right up until final delivery.

If a complication does occur, your tracking may update to contradict this alert, and the shipment could still be late.

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