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What Does “Arrival at Unit” Mean? (USPS Tracking Guide)

You’re expecting a delivery from USPS and have received an “Arrival at Unit” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Where is this “unit” and how long will it take for your parcel to arrive?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: Arrival at Unit

The “Arrival at Unit” tracking update from USPS means that the mail item has arrived at the final postal unit, (I.e the post office local to the destination address) and has been scanned. The next step will be sorting for final delivery.

Arrival at Unit – Guide

facility unit

The “Arrival at Unit” status alert is a positive one to receive. It means that the package is reaching the end of its journey and is now located inside the post office local to the recipient.

The parcel would have been scanned upon arrival at the post office (unit), which would trigger the update to state that it has arrived.

Why USPS couldn’t be slightly more specific and state “Arrival at Post Office” is difficult to understand.

At the very least, this would clear up the common misconception that arises: that “Unit” actually means apartment and that the parcel has in fact arrived at the destination address.

Anyway, now that we know that “Unit” refers to the post office, it is plain to see how close the package is to delivery.

“Arrival at Unit” – What Happens Next?

Departed USPS Regional Facility

As the parcel has just arrived at the post office, the next step is sortation for dispatch on the relevant USPS delivery truck.

This should happen within a 24hr period, meaning your parcel will be delivered on the next business day following that of the update.

The alert to watch out for will be “Out for Delivery”. This will signify the USPS driver has your parcel on the truck and that delivery is imminent.

Can I Pick up my Package From the Post Office After an “Arrival at Unit” Alert?

Arrival at Unit usps

This depends on how quickly you act to retrieve your parcel. The best course of action is to contact your local post office as you receive the “Arrival at Unit” update.

You can also go online to manage your USPS Delivery options. The steps are as follows:

  • Head to this page and enter your tracking code.
  • Click on “Delivery Instructions” (This will appear next to the details of your shipment).
  • If you haven’t done so already you will be prompted to log in or signup for a free account.
  • After this, you will reach the Delivery Instructions page.
  • From here, you can follow the onscreen prompts to organize pick-up from your local post office.

Assuming your address is applicable for the service, local post office pick-up can be arranged for no fee. (Redirection to another address or post office will incur charges, however).

Word of warning, if you do not make timely arrangements to pick up the item in person, it may be sorted and dispatched onto the delivery truck before you inform USPS to do otherwise.

Tracking Stuck on “Arrival at Unit” For Days!?

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If your tracking is stuck on this particular alert for more than 2 or 3 business days, you should contact USPS Customer Services or your local post office.

As mentioned, it should only take around 24hrs for your parcel to be sorted and progress toward an “Out for Delivery” status.

Seasonal volumes and backlog can cause long delays, however, if several days pass it is likely that your parcel has been mislaid within the unit.

Making contact with USPS will help to get it moving again.

On rare occasions, it is also possible that the parcel was mis-sent to the wrong unit (post office). This clearly causes further delay as the item will then be re-routed to the correct post office.

That being said, you will receive updates notifying you of this, rather than experiencing a stuck alert.

Final Words

Overall, the “Arrival at Unit” tracking status is a good update to see.

It means that the mail item has reached the post office closest to the recipient and will be out for delivery within 24 to 48hrs.

If it takes any longer than this, you should contact USPS to find out more.

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