In just a day, the USPS delivers millions first-class mails. In 2020, the mail volume was 129.2 billion, and the package volume was 7.3 billion. That’s a massive amount of mail! But some never make it to their destinations.
Some packages get lost while in transit. That’s why many people prefer to track their packages. However, it may not be easy to figure out what the tracking updates mean.
This article will help you understand what “in transit to destination” means in USPS. You’ll also understand how to deliver a package correctly and various shipping methods you can use.
Now, let’s face the question.
What Does In Transit To Destination Mean For USPS?
In USPS, “in transit to destination” means that your package is still within the delivery process. And it’s part of the USPS tracking updates, which shows the status of your package per time. Others include pre-shipping, accepted, alert, and delivered.
Note that when your package reaches a distribution center, the tracking status updates its location.
But there are times when it doesn’t show any location. At such times, you need to call the USPS customer care service. That will help you find out if they have the correct destination for your package.
How To Deliver A Package Via USPS
Follow these steps to ensure your package is ready for delivery before sending an item.
Step#1: Choose a shipping method
To choose a shipping method, consider how urgent the package delivery is. But you also have to consider its size and weight.
There are several shipping methods you can select from in USPS. And they have varying package sizes, delivery time, insurance, and tracking.
The shipping methods include Priority Mail, USPS Retail Ground, First-Class Package Service-Retail, Priority Mail Express, and Media Mail.
When choosing a shipping method, consider the contents of your package, shipping speed, USPS tracking, destination, special handling, and insurance. Also, the USPS delivery confirmation receipts and the package’s shape, size, and weight are good considerations.
Step#2: Select a box or envelope
The next thing to do when preparing to send a package is select a box or envelope. The box serves as a packaging material and provides a protective covering for your item. Depending on your package size, you may use an envelope.
When choosing a box, ensure its size is big enough for your item. Use the standard sizes; else, you’ll have to pay for the non-machinable package. Ensure the box is strong enough to hold the item and has space to add cushioning if it’s fragile.
If you want to reuse a box, check that it has no old shipping labels or logos. If it does, cover them up.
You don’t have to bother about getting a box when you use priority mail or priority mail express. The shipping methods allow you to get free boxes that come in standard sizes. All you have to do is order them or get them from your post office.
Step#3: Prepare your package
To prepare your package, ensure it doesn’t weigh more than 70 pounds. Next, place your item into the box or envelope and put in cushioning materials if it’s fragile. You can use newspapers or bubble wraps as cushioning materials.
Make sure the box closes well and is flat at all sides, and then tape it. Seal it if it’s in an envelope. For an added precaution, reinforce the top and bottom of the box with 2-inch-wide packing tape. That’ll prevent it from opening while in transit.
Please remove any loose string or tape, so they don’t get caught in the sorting equipment. However, it’s safer not to use a cord, line, or twine.
It’s best if you add a packing slip or paper with the destination address in the box.
Step#4: Add an address to your package
The next thing is to address your package. You can do this by writing the address on the box. But make sure you include a return address and zip code.
Ensure the ink doesn’t smear when writing the address. That’s to ensure clarity during the package travels.
If you intend to write directly on the box, use a permanent marker. You can use a mailing label if you print one. Use the same address format for all packages, including envelopes.
Add the sender and recipient addresses on the same side of the box or envelope.
Step#5: Take your package to the post office
Now that your package is ready, please take it to the post office. At the post office, a postal worker at the retail counter will measure the size and weight of your package. That will enable them to decide how much postage your package requires.
Step#6: Apply the correct postage
Ensure you pay for the correct postage depending on your shipping method. Then place the postage label on a visible part of your package. The barcode on the postage label will get scanned continuously during the transit period of your package.
It’s best to apply the postage at the top-right corner of your package. If you print your postage yourself, make sure you use transparent tape to cover the entire paper. It’ll prevent it from getting wet so that it can get scanned easily.
A postal worker will also inspect your package at the post office. After he confirms that it’s okay and that you used the correct postage, they’ll scan your package. Scanning prepares the box for delivery.
You can request a receipt of the transaction or a confirmation.
When you send a package without enough postage, the receiver may have to pay the difference, or they may return it to you. So, ensure you never underpay on postage.
You can also get a tracking number if you want to track your package. However, you may make an extra payment for it. Some shipping methods come with free tracking information.
The Shipping Methods In USPS
Always use a shipping method that best suits your package and timing. Here are the shipping methods available in USPS.
If you are looking for a cheap shipping method via USPS, you can consider the Retail Ground (formerly Standard Post). Its delivery rate is between two to eight days.
However, you may have to wait for up to 14 days (about two weeks) to get your package delivered. The Retail Ground shipping method also requires a package weight of not more than 70 pounds.
It’s a suitable shipping method for delivering small packages that are not time-bound.
Its delivery rate is between one to three days, which is a lot faster than Retail Ground. It also comes with some free offers like free tracking and a flat rate for your packages.
The flat-rate offer means that you’’l get your package delivered at a fixed flat rate irrespective of the weight. As long as it fits the USPS standard box, the weight won’t matter.
You can also get free envelopes or boxes from the post office or have them shipped to you.
The flat rate box options for priority mail include:
- A padded envelope (waterproof) of about 12.5 inches (32 cm).
- A cardboard envelope of about 12.5 by 9.5 inches (32 x 24 cm).
- A small cardboard box of about 8 x 5 x 1.75 inches (20 x 13 x 4.4 cm).
- A medium box with measurements of 11.25 by 8.75 by 6 inches (28.6 x 22.2 x 15 cm) or 14 by 12 by 3.5 inches (36 x 30 x 8.9 cm).
- A large box with the dimensions of 12.25 by 12.25 by 6 inches (31.1 x 31.1 x 15 cm).
Priority Mail Express:
It’s the shipping method with the fastest delivery time. This choice guarantees next-day delivery, as it delivers your package within one to two business days.
The express choice has a money-back guarantee and is the most expensive shipping choice.
Just like the priority mail, it comes with flat-rate boxes, with which you can ship without considering the weight. You can get the flat-rate offer if your package is within the standard weight or less (70 pounds or 32 kg).
One good aspect of the express mail is that you’ll have insurance coverage of up to $100. You’ll also get tracking info and a signature to confirm the delivery.
It’s important to note that the express shipping method has a different drop-off and pick-up time. That’s to ensure that the package arrives on time. So, it’ll help if you call your post office to confirm the time.
First Class Mail:
If you intend to send a light package, the First-Class Mail is a sure bet. The shipping method allows you to ship packages that weigh about 13 ounces (370 g) or less. And you can have it delivered within one to three working days.
The good thing is you get insurance for damage or loss for up to $5,000. You also have an option to track your item to ensure it gets to its destination.
However, the envelope for first-class mail must be within 15 by 12 inches (38 x 30 cm). And the package thickness mustn’t exceed a quarter of an inch (0.64 cm). If not, you’ll get charged according to the next available shipping category.
It’s also best to use padded envelopes when you choose First-Class Mail. It’ll protect your package.
It’s a USPS shipping method for media items like CDs, manuscripts, books, and other media. However, you can’t send computer hard drives and video games through this shipping method.
Additionally, packages must not exceed 70 pounds. It’ll save you lots of stress if you first make inquiries from the post office before packaging a media item. That’s to ensure that the item qualifies for the Media Mail.
There’s no need to panic when you notice your tracking information for USPS shows “in transit to the destination.” It simply means that your package is still in the transporting process and will get to its destination soon.
Always ensure you perfectly package your item. Please pay attention to details before delivering your package. That will ensure you use a suitable shipping method when sending it.