Shipping Delays this Holiday Season

Many customers have let us know that their packages are delayed this holiday season. We are all worried about Christmas packages arriving on time. We are doing everything we can to ensure on-time delivery. However for some packages, delays are inevitable.


What does USPS "In Transit to Next Facility" or "Item currently in transit to the destination" mean?

When the USPS’s tracking system marks a piece of mail as “In Transit to Next Facility,” it’s actually just a placeholder message meaning, “We don’t have a more specific scan today, but rest assured, it’s en-route.” It shows up once there has been no other scanning activity within the last 24 hours.  Since trucks and trains can take several days to cross the country and move parcels from one hub to the next, there can often be a couple days between scans.

This happens with Priority Mail shipments, since the USPS contracts with FedEx to fly Priority Mail between hubs, which can sometimes take 36 hours or so, and FedEx doesn’t scan individual USPS packages in the course of carrying USPS bags and containers around the country.

Why has my parcel not moved in a week?

A package could have become stuck in transit because it was stopped at a border crossing, in a vehicle accident, because a blizzard has stopped traffic, because the local post office or hub is currently overloaded with packages, or any number of other things which would slow down the movement of the courier vehicle.

Usually, the tracking system indicates if the package is stuck in transit. If the parcel has not moved for some time now, then most likely some of the above mentioned reasons have occurred.

It is important to note that the tracking statuses can sometimes take up to 24-48 hours to be updated, so do not panic yet if your parcel has not changed its status yet. Your package is still within the courier network and, unless otherwise noted, should be delivered. Shipment movement information is captured each time a tracking label is scanned in the USPS or UPS delivery system. There may be several days between scans if the shipment is going cross-country or moving between countries or territories.

With the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is common that parcel scans are missed. Still, your package is in transit and will catch up with scans soon. Once an item is posted, it's on the move.

Why has my package not moved with UPS?

It's easy to get anxious if your UPS tracking status says "In Transit: Please check back later for scheduled delivery" or "Your package has been delayed due to events beyond our control" with no further updates.

Due to COVID-19 outbreak, UPS is experiencing a rush of packages and there can be delays. All the shipping companies are slammed because of all the volume. There are trailers sitting at facilities full of packages because they can’t be processed. Give it a day or two and see if it clears up.

In March 2020, UPS suspended the service guarantee for all shipments from any origin to any destination as part of the company’s response to the virus.

Cited from UPS.com: "Effective March 26, 2020 and until further notice, we have suspended the UPS Service Guarantee (also referred to as the UPS Money Back Guarantee) for all shipments from any origin to any destination. For all U.S. origin shipments, the Service Guarantee suspension became effective as of March 24, 2020."

It can be frustrating to wait, but your package will be delivered.

How long does the transit take?

It is important to keep in mind that the estimated delivery time is exactly that, an estimation. It is an average calculated based on the time it usually takes to a given courier company to bring a package to its destination.

The estimated delivery time depends on the distance and the type of service you have booked.

My Tracking Information says Delivered, but the package isn’t here!

Most likely, it will turn up in the next few days

If your tracking number says delivered and you haven't received your package, here are a few tips:

Please check with your neighbors. If you live in an apartment complex, please check with your building.

USPS and UPS delivery vans have GPS that sometimes automatically updates a shipment as "delivered" prematurely. Please wait 2-3 business days because the package was most likely marked as delivered accidentally, and will arrive soon.

If the package still hasn't turned up in the next week, we'll be glad to file a claim with the Carrier. Before we go to that step, though, let's give it a few days.

Other Causes for Delayed Shipments:

Wrong or incomplete address – This is the most common cause for undeliverable shipments. You should always double–check if your address has all the necessary details for it to be transported. Contact the courier company once you have realized that your order has some incomplete or wrong details written. The courier company will then make the changes.

Weather conditions or traffic – It is not so rare that during busy periods, such as holidays, or heavy snow, the parcel would take longer to arrive at its destination.

Shipping Delays in the News

News outlets have taken notice of unprecedented shipping delays this holiday season. Here is a sampling of recent news coverage:

Snowstorm and holiday shipping gridlock delaying nearly 10 million packages a day, CBS News

Shipping delays mounting as USPS struggles with ‘historic’ holiday volume. Here’s how to be a successful Santa, Chicago Tribune

Thousands of delayed packages are piled up at Pa. Postal Service facilities, Philadelphia Inquirer

Don’t let delayed packages ruin your holidays. Here’s what to do instead, The Washington Post

Jenni Bick