USPS - USPS tracking System - USPS careers

USPS – USPS tracking System – USPS careers

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the federal government, responsible for providing postal service in the United States. The USPS has a long history dating back to the Second Continental Congress in 1775, making it one of the oldest government agencies in the country.

The USPS plays an important role in the lives of Americans, delivering mail and packages to over 159 million addresses across the country. Its services include letter mail, marketing mail, periodicals, and packages through USPS Priority Mail Express, USPS Priority Mail, USPS First-Class Mail, USPS Media Mail, and others.

In addition to mail delivery, the USPS also provides services to track packages and mail. The USPS tracking system allows customers to follow the progress of their shipments in real-time. This gives people peace of mind knowing when they can expect to receive their parcels.

The USPS also employs over half a million workers in careers sorting mail, making deliveries, and serving customers. USPS careers provide good wages and benefits in roles ranging from mail handlers and clerks to supervisory and corporate positions. Those seeking postal jobs will find opportunities across thousands of locations nationwide.

Below is more detail on key aspects of the USPS, including its package tracking tools and career options working for the Postal Service.

Overview of USPS Tracking

The USPS offers several options to track packages and letters through its Postal Service network. Customers can track the progress of their domestic and international mail right from their homes.

USPS Tracking Number

USPS Tracking Number

Every domestic package shipped via USPS Priority Mail Express, USPS Priority Mail, USPS First-Class Mail, and others receives a USPS tracking number. This begins with two letters followed by 9 or 10 digits (e.g. AA12 3456 7890 00).

The tracking number is essential for monitoring USPS deliveries. Customers can enter it on the USPS website or mobile app to see detailed tracking history including:

  • Date and time the shipment was mailed
  • Processing facility stops
  • Estimated delivery date
  • Status notifications such as “Out for Delivery”

Tracking numbers are usually available within 24 hours of a package being shipped.

USPS Delivery Confirmation

USPS Delivery Confirmation is a free service that provides additional security for qualifying mailpieces without the full tracking history.

It allows the USPS to record when your shipment was delivered. You will receive the delivery date once the parcel reaches its destination.

To use USPS Delivery Confirmation, the mail must include a 20-digit barcode above the destination address printed directly on the package.

USPS Insurance

The Postal Service also provides additional USPS insurance for mail or packages containing valuable contents. This covers packages worth up to $50,000 in case of damage or loss.

Insuring USPS packages requires purchasing coverage at the time of mailing. Customers must file a claim online or at a Post Office location to receive compensation in the event of an issue with their insured packages.

Tracking USPS Packages and Mail

The USPS offers several ways for customers to track their packages, letters, and flats. This allows people to closely monitor deliveries without wondering where their mail is or relying solely on delivery estimates.

Track on

The primary way to track USPS deliveries is on the official USPS website. To track a shipment on

  1. Go to
  2. Enter the package tracking number
  3. Click “Track”

The USPS tracking results show every step of the delivery process, both past and future. This includes the post office origin facility, processed sorting centers en route, arrival at the local post office, out-for-delivery scan, and final delivered scan.

Tracking updates automatically every time the package enters the next stage of transit.

USPS Mobile App

In addition to, customers can download the USPS Mobile app to monitor USPS packages on the go. The USPS Mobile app allows quick access to tracking by:

  • Scanning tracking barcode numbers
  • Typing in the number manually
  • Accessing a list of recent shipping trackers

The mobile tracking feeds include the same detailed history with status updates from USPS facilities.

USPS Mobile also sends push notifications about tracking updates so customers can closely monitor mail without constantly checking the app.

USPS Text Tracking

For added convenience, the Postal Service offers USPS text tracking alerts sent directly to your phone.

To receive USPS tracking updates over text:

  1. Text tracking code to USPS at 28777 (2USPS)
  2. Reply YES when you receive an opt-in confirmation message.

Once active, the system will text timeline updates until the package is delivered. This makes it easy to monitor progress remotely without internet access.

USPS Email Updates

Finally, registered users can enable email alerts for tracking updates. With USPS email updates enabled, customers receive the same notifications and scans regarding mail progress at every tracking event.

Email alerts can be activated by:

  1. Visiting
  2. Click “View All Features” once logged in
  3. Selecting “Delivery Features”
  4. Checking the “Email me tracking updates” box

Choosing USPS Shipping Services

The USPS provides several domestic shipping options with varying speeds and prices. Selecting the right USPS mailing service ensures packages arrive on time while controlling costs.

USPS First-Class Mail

USPS First-Class Mail is the most affordable shipping choice for standard delivery timeframes. It handles envelopes, postcards, letters, bills, statements, and lightweight packages under 13 ounces.

First-Class Mail takes 2-5 days for delivery depending on distance. This low-cost option does not include free tracking services. Upgrades like USPS Delivery Confirmation must be purchased separately.

USPS Priority Mail Express

USPS Priority Mail Express is the fastest USPS domestic service, with next-day delivery by 10:30 am to most addresses. It handles packages up to 70 pounds shipped in USPS-provided envelopes, boxes, or tubes.

Priority Mail Express includes $100 insurance, real-time tracking updates, and date-specific guarantees. Due to the speed and reliability, it has higher rates than other shipping classes.

USPS Priority Mail

A step below Express, USPS Priority Mail takes 1-3 business days for delivery anywhere in the U.S. This service covers packages heavier than 13 ounces up to 70 pounds.

USPS Priority Mail offers cost-effective expedited shipping with tracking and insurance included. Customers can also pay extra fees for added services like Sunday delivery.

Comparing USPS Shipping Prices

The cost to ship with USPS depends on variables like delivery speed, weight, destination distance, and extra services. On average, its shipping rates are:

  • First-Class Mail – Starts around $4+
  • Priority Mail – Starts around $8+
  • Priority Mail Express – Starts around $26+

Customers can compare prices online by entering details during checkout or using the USPS postage price calculator.

Overall USPS shipping tends to be cheaper than competitors for lighter packages across the country. Heavier or expedited items may cost less elsewhere. Shoppers should compare all carrier rates – USPS vs UPS vs FedEx to find the most affordable option.

International USPS Shipping & Tracking

In addition to domestic delivery in the U.S., the United States Postal Service also ships mail and parcels internationally to over 200 foreign destinations.

When using USPS international shipping, packages travel through the domestic network to one of five International Service Centers (ISCs). After processing, dispatches hand off the item to the destination country’s postal carrier for last-mile delivery.

Just like U.S. packages, international USPS mail gets a unique tracking number to monitor status. Senders can follow foreign deliveries using the same tracking tool and receive text or email updates.

However, international shipments involve more carriers, so tracking tends to be less detailed. Scans typically appear at origin, ISC export, foreign arrival, and final delivery. Other interim updates may be unavailable until reaching the destination postal network.

Purchasing USPS Postage

Tracking and insurance come standard with certain USPS shipping services discussed above. But you must still purchase adequate postage to get packages into the mail stream.

The USPS offers several ways to buy postage whether mailing from home, a business, or a Post Office location.

USPS Stamps

The most traditional form of USPS postage is adhesive stamps, available in a variety of designs. These are attached to letter mail based on the current USPS rates – Forever Stamps always cover 1-ounce letters regardless of future increases.

Stamps can be purchased online at, at Self-Service Kiosks inside Post Offices, or grocery/convenience stores around town. Large-volume stamp buyers can even order through a Postal Sales Representative.

Postage Meters

Postage meters apply exact rate postage imprints directly onto packages and envelopes. They eliminate trips to the Post Office to pay for every piece of mail. Many modern meters connect online to automatically deduct funds from a user’s account.

USPS-approved suppliers like Pitney Bowes and Neopost offer postage meter rental packages for homes or businesses with frequent mail. The meters use encrypted indicia to comply with postal standards and prevent fraud.

Online Postage

For e-commerce sellers and casual shippers, the USPS Click-N-Ship service prints shipping labels with prepaid postage from your printer.

After entering each package’s address, weight, and dimensions, Click-N-Ship calculates the exact postage cost online. This can be paid via credit card, debit from a bank account, or funds in a Click-N-Ship account balance.

Labels include unique USPS tracking barcodes and any extras like insurance coverage for media mail, priority boxes, etc.

USPS Hold Mail

Sometimes customers need mail held at their local Post Office temporarily instead of delivered at home. The hold mail service is useful while away on vacation, during a hospital stay, or preparing for a move.

To place a USPS hold mail order:

  1. Visit your closest Post Office location
  2. Fill out PS Form 8076 – Request to Hold Mail
  3. Specify the start & end dates (up to 30 days)
  4. Provide ID and verification signatures

Held mail is available for pickup during business hours once you return. An extension can be filed if needed.

You can also request USPS holds online at up to 30 days in advance. However, the Post Office form is required for longer holds.

USPS Change of Address

Moving to a new home often means updating your mailing address everywhere to avoid missed bills and correspondence. The USPS makes this process simpler by allowing customers to file just one USPS change of address order online.

Submitting an official USPS COA form forwards mail to the new location for anyone residing at that address. It works for both homeowners and renters. The system automatically notifies banks, magazines, insurance providers, and more regarding the new address.

To change address with USPS:

  1. Visit
  2. Click “Change Your Address”
  3. Provide details on previous/current address
  4. Confirm household member names
  5. Pay $1.10 processing fee*

*The fee is waived for changes filed through the official USPS movers guide.

Address changes take effect within 2-5 days. USPS forwards mail for 6-12 months before it returns to sender. You can also schedule future move-in dates 30+ days in advance when using their mover’s tool.

USPS Careers

In addition to its public mailing services, many Americans pursue employment within the United States Postal Service for entry-level jobs or long-lasting postal careers.

The USPS employs over 497,000 workers supporting operations behind mail delivery across 50 states. Staffing levels fluctuate with seasonal demands around major holidays.

Applicants can expect good wages with regular cost of living adjustments. All positions qualify for federal benefits from comprehensive health insurance to retirement savings programs.

Here are some of the most common USPS careers.

Postal Service Clerk

Postal Service Clerks perform frontline duties like sorting letters, selling stamps, registering mail, and answering customer questions inside Post Office locations. They are the faces that greet residents when sending packages.

It only requires a high school diploma and a passing score on the postal exam to qualify for USPS clerk positions. Pay starts around $19 per hour or $40k annually for new hires.

City Carrier

City carriers deliver mail directly to homes and businesses within metropolitan areas by vehicle or on foot. They typically handle routes with many stops per mile within dense neighborhoods.

Carriers need valid state driver’s licenses with clean driving records. The job involves lifting heavy bags of letters/packages repeatedly per shift. New USPS city carriers earn approximately $18 per hour.

Mail Handler

Behind the scenes, mail handlers operate sorting machinery inside postal facilities to keep mail flowing between trucks, planes, and carriers. They load equipment, track inventory, and transport items between building zones.

Mail handler jobs have no formal education requirements beyond a high school diploma. Pay starts around $16 per hour with premium overtime rates.

Rural Carrier

Rural carriers deliver mail to remote residential areas outside major cities by personal vehicle. Their routes cover wider distances between fewer individual addresses per trip.

Applicants need current driver’s licenses and their insured vehicles. Rural carriers start around $19 per hour and receive mileage reimbursement for using personal cars.

Postal Inspector

At headquarters, approximately 1,200 Postal Inspectors work in law enforcement protecting mail, postal staff, and customers from illegal activity. They investigate mail theft, fraud, vandalism, and assaults related to USPS operations.

Inspectors earn around $60k-$80k annually. Entry requires a 4-year college degree plus extensive screening and background checks.

The USPS also hires mechanics, HR specialists, analysts, maintenance workers, and corporate support across its vast network. Beyond core operations, USPS offers diverse business careers in areas like Marketing, Communications, Innovation, Information Technology, and more.

Applying for USPS Jobs

To search current USPS job openings, visit the Postal Service careers site at or their job board on

Interested candidates can browse listings by job title, location, or facility. Details include pay range, responsibilities, requirements, hours, and assessment process.

Most positions ask applicants to first pass relevant postal exams measuring skills in areas like address checking, forms completion, coding, and basic safety. Exams are computer-based multiple choice/self-assessment.

Once you pass the test, applicants can apply to match openings nationally or in preferred cities. Hiring facilities will reach out to schedule interviews for promising candidates.

The entire USPS job process aims for an applicant to experience under 2 weeks from search to offer letter.


The United States Postal Service delivers vital communication and essential goods into the hands of Americans every day. Customers rely on dependable USPS services to send letters across town or ship time-sensitive packages around the world.

The USPS tracking system removes uncertainty around deliveries by providing step-by-step monitoring with real-time updates. And when something goes wrong, customers have recourse through insurance claims and guaranteed shipping refunds.

Meanwhile, half a million postal workers support these efforts behind the scenes – transporting, sorting, tracking, and delivering the mail. USPS careers offer stable federal government employment to qualified applicants across over 31,000 facilities countrywide.

Over its long history, the USPS remains committed to “binding the nation together.” Its consistent services provide important lifelines between individuals and businesses across great distances. By embracing innovation alongside classic offerings, the Postal Service delivers solutions adapting to the future of American communication

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