You are expecting a package and have received a “USSFOA” tracking update.
What does USSFOA mean and what do you do if your tracking ends up stuck on this alert?
Let’s take a look…
Summary: What Does “USSFOA” Mean?
USSFOA breaks down to mean the US and San Francisco Airport. This is an international service Center (also known as ISC SAN FRANCISCO (USPS)) owned by the US Postal Service. International inbound and outbound mail items flow through this sorting facility, where they are also subject to customs clearance.
USPS “USSFOA” – A Complete Guide
Today we will cover some of the points that will have made you search “USSFOA” in the first place.
Essentially, USSFOA is the main international service center owned by USPS in the San Francisco region of California.
More specifically, the sorting facility is based in the wider San Francisco Airport complex.
The clue is essentially in the name.
If you break down USSFOA into its component parts you have US (for the United States) and SFOA for San Francisco International Airport.
Anyway, as an international sorting center owned by USPS mail items pass through USSFOA on their way in and out of the USA.
This means that customs clearance takes place here, along with sortation to relevant facilities inside the US (inbound mail) or to overseas destinations (outbound mail).
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Tracking Stuck On USSFOA
It is highly likely that you looked up the term USSFOA because your package tracking has become stuck on this alert, leaving you curious about the status of your shipment and any actions you should take.
Regrettably, delays in USSFOA (or any USPS ISC) are quite frequent due to various reasons.
One primary factor is the high volume of packages that are processed through the facility every day.
Even a minor interruption in the usual logistics processes can cause packages to fall behind their expected delivery schedule.
Whether it’s a delayed flight because of weather or technical problems, or disruptions in the facility due to the same, USSFOA can encounter numerous challenges causing shipment delays.
The carrier industry was significantly affected by Covid, resulting in fewer transportation options and reduced staffing.
Moreover, customs clearance also takes place within USSFOA, where USPS does not have control of your parcel, which means it is not being scanned for new updates.
If customs encounters a backlog of items or, worse yet, issues arise with the paperwork or contents of the package, a delay is inevitable.
However, if such issues exist, customs should notify you.
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What to do if Tracking is Stuck on USSFOA?
I have provided an explanation above to emphasize the importance of managing your expectations.
In essence, it is typical for tracking information to stop updating once the package reaches USSFOA, so it is unnecessary to become anxious or contact USPS regarding this matter.
However, if an expedited international 2-day delivery (or similar) service was bought and USPS fails to deliver within the guaranteed delivery window, you should undoubtedly contact customer services.
In general, having patience is crucial, particularly when dealing with normal service speeds, or budget carrier options from overseas.
Eventually, your package will go through USSFOA, either en route to a US delivery address or an international destination, but it may take some time.
Depending on the estimated delivery window, I suggest waiting for at least 7 business days for the mail item to undergo processing at the ISC and receiving a new scan before contacting anyone.
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USPS Contact Details for International Inquiries
You can call the International Inquiry Center at 800-222-1811 to make inquiries on any USPS international registered, recorded delivery, insured, mail items as well as standard parcels.
USSFOA is essentially a different name for the ISC SAN FRANCISCO (USPS), serving as the primary international service center and sorting facility for San Francisco and the surrounding metropolitan area in the US.
Once your package reaches USSFOA, it may take some time before it departs again.
If your package gets stuck in the facility, keep in mind the estimated delivery window of the shipment and reach out to USPS as necessary.
With any luck, your parcel will begin moving again with minimal interruption, and the shipment will progress as planned.
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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. 🙂