“Pre-shipment info sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item” is an annoying update to be stuck on for both Shipper and Recipient.
If you’re the Shipper and you know that the package has been handed over to the post office you’re wondering why the update isn’t advancing to something new.
For a recipient you’re thinking has this thing even been posted yet?
There are a few reasons you might be seeing the “Pre-shipment info sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item” alert.
Let’s take a look…
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Summary: Pre-shipment info sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item
The “Pre-shipment info sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item” update is triggered when a shipper has purchased shipping details for a package (normally via Click N Ship) and has yet to hand it over to USPS for its first physical scan. In other words, the shipping information is created once the order was made, and USPS is awaiting the item.
But I Have Handed the Package to USPS!
The main issue arises when a shipper has handed the package over to USPS, yet the “Pre-shipment info sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item” alert remains.
This is frustrating for the shipper and can be confusing for the recipient. Where is the package and why is the tracking not updating?
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Tracking stuck on “Pre-shipment info sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item”
If the package tracking details remain stuck on this alert (and the item has been physically handed to USPS), it is due to the post office not scanning the item.
If the package isn’t scanned, a new update can not be created.
Reasons the Package Hasn’t Been Scanned
There are a number of reasons the package has not been scanned by USPS.
- High mail volumes due to a seasonal backlog, short staffing, or technical issues can lead to a package not being scanned in the post office.
- Mistakes such as a mis-scan or the package being placed into the wrong pile will delay a new update.
- If the package was handed over to a USPS driver they may have failed to scan the item.
- Problems with the package or box, (in terms of damaged label or not following best practices) can lead to the item being shipped without being scanned for tracking.
PRO TIP: How to Ensure the Package is Scanned by USPS
To avoid the package being stuck on “Pre-shipment info sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item”, the shipper should drop the item at the post office and ask for a receipt at the counter.
By default, this creates an “Acceptance Scan” that automatically alerts the USPS tracking system that the package has been received.
The tracking will move on from a “USPS Awaiting Item” and the recipient will know that the item is within the USPS delivery infrastructure.
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How Long Will Tracking be Stuck on “Pre-shipment info sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item”?
If USPS does not scan when they pick the item up or after it is dropped off at the post office it can take multiple days for a new update to occur.
If there is a backlog, technical issue, or the item is misplaced it takes time for the package to have that first scan.
In another scenario, the package could even make its way to a regional distribution center before a new scan is created.
Either way, several business days can pass before a scan takes place to trigger a new update.
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What to do When You See a “Pre-shipment info sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item”? Update
Whether you’re a shipper or recipient, you should at first remain patient if you see this update and it seems to be sticking around.
As already mentioned, both parties can end up frustrated thinking that the package is not progressing.
The first step a recipient will need to take is to contact the shipper to confirm that the item has in fact been handed over to USPS.
If several days pass, the shipper should contact USPS to see what the delay is and to find out the whereabouts of the package.
In most situations, the tracking will update to show that the item is on its way. When it doesn’t, contacting USPS will be the first step to take.
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I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂