Have you ever tracked a package and seen the status “USPS in possession of item” for days? Or if it’s even stuck in that status longer than expected? You may wonder what it signifies and what to expect.

This means that the USPS has received your package and is handling it. This is a crucial status update for USPS tracking, as it confirms that the package has been successfully received and is in the hands of the postal service.

A person is carrying a package

The “USPS in possession of item” status is usually updated when the USPS scans the package into their system. This scan allows the USPS to keep track of the package’s location and progress throughout the delivery process. It also allows the package recipient to monitor its progress and estimated delivery date.

It’s important to note that the length of time a package stays in the “USPS in possession of item” status can vary. The package may stay in this status for several hours or days. USPS’s package volume, weather, or other unforeseen events may cause this.

There are a few scenarios where you might see the “USPS in possession of item” status update. If you’re the sender of the package, you might see this status update shortly after dropping off the package at a USPS location. If you’re the package recipient, you might see this status update once the package has been scanned into the USPS system and is coming to you.

What does this status update imply regarding the transit journey of the mail or package? It means that USPS has received the package and is now responsible for getting it to its destination. The sender no longer has access to the parcel since it has been sent to USPS.

Once a package is in the “USPS in possession of item” status, it will likely move through various USPS facilities and be sorted and processed before eventually making its way to the recipient. 

Why Is My Package Stuck on “USPS in Possession of Item” Status Alert?

A lot of packages on the crates

You’re not alone when tracking your package and noticing that it’s been stuck on the “USPS in Possession of Item” status alert. Many people have experienced this same issue. Waiting for a shipment to come may be annoying.

Common Reasons Why Packages Might Be Stuck on This Status Alert

Processing backlog: USPS has been facing an unprecedented volume of packages due to increased online shopping. This implies there may be a processing backlog at USPS facilities, causing your package to be held in one place for an extended period.

Delivery delays: Sometimes packages may be held at a USPS facility due to delivery delays. This could be caused by inclement weather, mechanical issues, or other circumstances affecting the delivery timeline.

Customs clearance: If you’re receiving an international package, it may be held in customs for clearance. Depending on the package’s contents and origin, this can require time.

Missed scan: Occasionally, USPS may miss scanning your package at certain checkpoints, which can delay status updates. This can cause your package to be stuck on the “USPS in Possession of Item” status alert for longer than expected.

How To Track Your Package and Know if It Is Proceeding As It Should

A person is holding a phone while looking at the package tracking app

There are a few things you may do to check on the delivery of your shipment if you’re worried about it. To discover whether there are any changes or new details on your package’s delivery, you can check the USPS website or app. You can also sign up for alerts to receive notifications about any changes in status or delivery schedule.

What To Do if Your Package Stays on This Status for an Extended Period

A woman using the telephone

If your package has been stuck on the “USPS in Possession of Item” status alert for an extended period, it may be time to take action. You may contact USPS customer service for assistance locating the package and resolving any issues causing the delay. It is also a good idea to reach out to the sender of the package, who can provide additional information or initiate a search for the missing package.

Remember that USPS is committed to delivering your packages quickly and efficiently, but sometimes unexpected delays can occur. Staying informed and taking proactive steps to track your cargo and handle any concerns will guarantee that it arrives at its destination on time.

What To Expect After “USPS in Possession of Item” Status Alert

After the “USPS in Possession of Item” status alert, your package will typically pass several other updates before reaching its final destination. These updates may include “In Transit,” “Out for Delivery,” and “Delivered.” You can expect regular updates on the package’s progress through the USPS tracking system during this delivery journey.

Delivery timeframes depend on the destination, shipping method, and the volume of mail and packages in transit. Generally, USPS estimates delivery times based on your chosen service level and the distance between the origin and destination addresses. 

Contact USPS customer care if there are any problems or delays in the delivery of your shipment. Do this by visiting the USPS website, filling out their online contact form, or calling their customer service hotline. Be sure to have your tracking number ready and any relevant details about your shipment, such as the origin, destination address, and shipping date.


The “USPS in Possession of Item” status alert is a normal update that indicates the USPS has received your package and is in its possession. However, packages may get stuck in this status for various reasons, such as delays in processing or scanning. 

Use the USPS website or mobile app to track your package and know if it is proceeding as it should. Notify USPS if your shipment remains in this status for a lengthy period.

Remember to have patience and give USPS enough time to deliver your package. Feel free to ask for assistance if any issues or delays arise. With these tips, you can stay informed and prepared throughout your shipping journey.


How long does USPS hold items?

USPS generally holds items for up to 15 days before returning them to the sender.

What does USPS do with suspicious packages?

USPS has a process for handling suspicious packages, which includes isolating the package and contacting law enforcement for further investigation.

What to do if your USPS package is not moving?

If your USPS shipment hasn’t moved after a few days, you can contact customer care to find out where it is and file a report so the problem can be investigated.

What’s the longest a package can be in transit?

It can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the shipping method and distance.