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USPS Jamaica NY International Distribution Center – Complete Guide

You’re expecting a parcel delivery from USPS and the tracking status reveals that it is at the “Jamaica NY International Distribution Center”.

Where is this Distribution Center? Is it really in Jamaica? How far away is your package when you receive this status and what happens if it gets stuck there?

Let’s take a look…

Summary: Jamaica NY International Distribution Center

The Jamaica NY International Distribution Center (IDC) is located in Queens, New York. It is a postal facility used to sort and dispatch mail to and from the USA. As such, an IDC carries out customs clearance processes and distribution services.

Jamaica NY International Distribution Center – Location

Queens New York

The Jamaica NY International Distribution Center is located in Queens for logistical reasons.

New York City is a major U.S. hub, with international transport links via major airports and harbors.

This provides the Jamaica IDC with easy access to superior distribution networks.

Mail and packages flowing through the IDC can reach many parts of the globe, (Europe, Asia, and Australasia to name but a few).

United States Postal Service jamaica IDC

Address: USPS Jamaica NY International Distribution Center, 8840 164th St. Queens, NY 11432

What is the Jamaica NY International Distribution Center?

An IDC is a giant mechanized sorting facility run by the USPS. The Jamaica IDC is one of several of its kind in the US, which is responsible for the sorting and dispatch of standard mail and package services (single piece and bulk shipments) across the US and overseas.

Mail arrives at the IDC and is sorted for dispatch to a destination country (outbound).

It can also arrive at the IDC after passing customs clearance checks by the Customs and Border Control, (inbound).

From here it will be dispatched by USPS for distribution to the recipient’s location within the U.S.

How Much Mail is Processed Through the Jamaica NY International Distribution Center?

logistics map earth

Unfortunately, up-to-date figures on mail volumes flowing through the Jamaica NY International Distribution Center are hard to come by.

However, in 2016 the United States Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General reported that the Queens (Jamaica) P&DC “processed about 78 million mailpieces”.

On the negative side, (and an issue we will come to shortly), “almost 22 million of those (or 28 percent) were reported as delayed“.

The report also stated that “this was the highest delayed mail percentage in the nation during this period. Of the almost 22 million delayed mailpieces, about 17.8 million were IIP“, (international).

We can only assume that the increased mail volumes during the pandemic with more people turning to buy items online, will have only added to these mail volumes.

How Long is Processing Inside the Jamaica NY International Distribution Center?

held at Jamaica NY International Distribution Center

How long a package takes to be processed at the Jamaica NY International Distribution Center is determined by a number of factors.

Whether the mail item has all the necessary paperwork to clear customs clearance is one issue.

From which country it has arrived, the contents of the package and the time of year will also all have an influence.

For example, if the contents are on the prohibited list or it is an incoming shipment around the holidays when mail volume is high, you will encounter delays.

There are also capacity issues as reported by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). The aforementioned 2016 report showed that:

Mail was delayed because the Queens P&DC did not have enough machine capacity for the volume of packages it needed to process. On average, the facility received about 82,000 more packages than it could process per day”.

In other words, even under the best of circumstances, mail can be held for longer than it should within the Jamaica center due to capacity issues. 

That being said, the average wait time at the Jamaica Center for a mail item that is not contentious, is currently 4 business days.

Can Items Be Held At The Jamaica NY International Distribution Center?

woman on mobile phone

Due to mail items being subject to customs clearance, the most common reason for a mail item to be held at the IDC is a failure at customs.

Incorrect details or incomplete documentation are the bain of anyone sending or receiving packages to or from overseas.

USPS will get in contact with the sender or recipient in order to rectify the problem. 

Solutions range from sending in copies of commercial invoices to paying any required tax or duty on the contents, (and a whole lot in between).

What to Do if Your Package is Stuck?

woman on phone complaining

Should the package be stuck inside the Jamaica NY International Distribution Center for more than 5 business days, you should make contact with USPS.

You can also contact the center directly.

How to contact the Jamaica NY International Distribution Center

The Jamaica NY International Distribution Center can be contacted on:

  • Phone: 718-990-1090
  • Toll-Free: 1-800-Ask-USPS (275-8777)

Visiting the Center

Unlike most USPS distribution centers, it is also possible to visit the Jamaica NY International Distribution Center in person.

Customer-facing staff within the retail section of the center are available between 9:00 AM and 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday, and 9:00 AM through 3:00 PM Saturday.

You could also visit during lobby hours. This is open from 7:00 AM and 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday, and 7:00 AM through 3:00 PM Saturday.

Both the retail section and the lobby are closed on Sundays.

Tracking Alerts Related to the Jamaica NY International Distribution Center

Arrived at Jamaica IDC status

Due to the fact a mail item goes through several scans within the Jamaica IDC, there are a number of tracking status updates you can expect to receive.

Arrived at Jamaica NY International Distribution Center

As the alert suggests, this update is triggered when the mail item arrives at the center. This can be for either an inbound or outbound package.

The item will not have been sorted or processed for clearance at this stage.

Accepted at Jamaica NY International Distribution Center

This alert means the same as “Arrived at Jamaica NY International Distribution Center”. Why USPS opts to use different wording for the same status is anyone’s guess.

Essentially, the item is inside the center waiting to be processed.

Processed through Jamaica NY International Distribution Center

When you receive this update you know that the mail item is making its way through the center, and will soon undergo customs clearance or will be made available for dispatch, (depending on the nature of the shipment).

Inbound into Customs

The “inbound into customs” status alert tells you customs has your package and it will be subject to inspection. This is where problems can arise.

Inbound out of Customs

This is where you can let out a big sigh of relief. The “inbound out of customs” status alert confirms that the mail item has successfully passed customs clearance and is now back in the hands of USPS.

It will now be sorted for dispatch to the delivery address.

Departed Jamaica NY International Distribution Center

Jamaica NY International Distribution Center

This is the news you are looking for. The item has now left the Jamaica NY International Distribution Center. It will be on its way to a sorting facility or post office closer to the location of the recipient before final delivery.

NOTE: If the mail item is outbound, i.e. leaving the U.S. it will now be passed onto the international carrier service responsible for transit overseas.

Upon arrival in the destination country, it is delivered by a local postal service or carrier, not USPS.

20 thoughts on “USPS Jamaica NY International Distribution Center – Complete Guide”

    • Hello, you will really need to contact USPS for this shipment. Assuming you live in the U.S. more than enough time has passed for your package to leave the Jamaica NY facility and be on its way to you. The phone numbers can be found in the article above. Good luck.

    • My name is Patricia. My package has been delayed now 11 days in Jamaica NY for no reason. They say there was no address but I have contacted sender business in India and they have not only reassured me but also sent a picture of the package with correct address sent to my address. I have a case number. Please ask for this when reaching out to me

      July 18, 2023 (11 days sitting) in NY
      Tracking #LP062459128IN

      Arrived at USPS Regional Facility


      July 14, 2023, 3:55 pm

    • Hi there, yes your package is definitely stuck in that facility. It has been scanned into the USPS delivery network and is visible within its tracking system. I recommend that you begin making inquiries with USPS as a month has nearly passed already.

  1. UA469062252US

    It’s been a whole month and my package is still on the Jamaica facility. The package price/service doesn’t have support included. What can I do? I can’t seem to be able to talk to anyone there.

    • According to the tracking your package could have left the Jamaica facility and actually arrived in the United Kingdom. Royal Mail have yet to receive it, (meaning it could be stuck in customs). If you are unable to contact the original carrier that the shipment order was made with, (which seems strange), you will need to wait longer… You could make an inquiry through Royal Mail but they will be of little help until they have received the package.

    • It won’t neccessarily be lost as delays inside USPS international distribution centers are common. The recipient could contact USPS regarding the package, however, as it is clearly with USPS right now.

  2. My package CB009053059RU was arrived in May 3rd in processed through Jamaica NY International DC but actually stuck there since June 5.
    I called USPS – they said that it is in Customs. So I called customs service. They said that my package had never been there.
    Nobody at USPS could answer my questions about where is my package, when should I expect it to arrive or what’s the problem and how can I help.

    • Hi there, unfortunately, it is not unusual for international packages to be held up in Jamaica NY for several weeks. However, since a month has passed it might be worth your while to contact the center. Details are in the article above. Good luck…

  3. Hi there, 52 days passed since my 2 packages departed Jamaica, NY. I contacted USPS, Canadian customs, Canada Post-no luck. Where could these packages could possibly be after they departed Jamaica. I am willing to offer a $500 reward for help retrieving my packages. Its a life and death situation for me honestly CM218267225US

      • I contacted customs. They replied that they did not have the parcel EL038112182RU. It has been cleared by customs and handed over to the USPS. Does Jamaica NY have an email address? Please, this is a very important package. The fact is that I can’t call, I can only apply in writing? The USPS is not responding to my search query.

  4. 803392732405600485
    Hello. Could you please help me find the package EL038112182RU. It has been in your distribution center for 19 days, and still says Pending.

    • Hi there, the tracking number you provided points to a package that was sent back in August. It shows that a “Missing Mail Search Request Closed” in November. This parcel is lost. You should contact Russian Post if you haven’t already to make a claim.

  5. Oddly, I had a package show at arriving at Jamaica Center on 2/16/24. I had information on USPS Informed delivery, and a few days after it said it had left to sorting facility, it dropped off USPS ID completely. More frustrating is that it went to NY instead of LA……. Living on the West Coast, just seems it would make more sense. However, once it dropped off USPS ID, I have no means of determining whether it was lost, with another domestic carrier, or ever made it. USPS has no archive to even check. Another frustrating aspect of ID.

    I’ve not called the Jamaica Distro Center. Would it even be worth it?


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