In keeping up with the time, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has initiated moves to upgrade its notification system. 

No longer a technological laggard, USPS has improved its overall services—from providing timely information in their tracking alerts to conveying reliable information about the shipping and delivery statuses. Their updated system is said to rival that of other shipping and courier companies in terms of accuracy.   

However, most people get confused over what the notification, ‘Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending,’ means. 

Whether you’re running a business or itching to receive a personal package, it’s useful to familiarize yourself with the USPS tracking process and how notifications work.  

How Does The USPS Tracking Process Work?

Before exploring USPS tracking statuses, it’s primordial to understand the processes involved in the tracking system.   

With all things going digital these days, the USPS tracking system is a service similar to those offered by their commercial counterparts. Below are the important points to remember about the tracking system.   

  • In order to be included in the USPS system, all domestic mails with local addresses must be scanned. This means Canadians using US shipping addresses will be able to track their packages using this method.    
  • However, first-class mails aren’t automatically included. The sender has to upgrade the service and pay more to make it trackable. Hence, you can’t check whether your package has been sent, is pending delivery, or has been received, unless you avail of this upgraded service.  
  • Once included in the system, a unique tracking number is assigned with every barcode in each mail or package.  
  • Each tracking number is composed of multiple alphanumeric codes. This means they’re both comprised of numbers and letters. 
  • The barcode is scanned at each facility and makes things easier for everyone. Instead of manually typing in the codes, the postal worker would only place the machine and the code is entered into the system immediately.
  • These codes, which are scanned by machines, contain information about the package. For instance, the name and complete address, contact numbers of the sender and recipient, shipment date, are included.

This electronic tool is key to providing timely information to the sender and recipient. If you want to know where your item is, just input the tracking code on the company website to receive accurate information about its status. The codes can also be updated as ‘delivered’ once the receiver accepts the mail or the package.   

The barcode and tracking number are merely used to check the status of your package. It doesn’t mean that it can hasten the delivery process. Various factors influence how fast or how slow your package reaches your doorstep. For instance, the Holiday seasons, logistical issues, and other factors such as bad weather can also delay your shipment considerably. 

What Does ‘Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending’ Mean?

‘Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending’ applies to packages sent in bulk by businesses that need to have hundreds of items sent out to multiple recipients.   

Bulk shippers, such as major retailers and shipping partners typically send out huge volumes of packages on a daily basis.  

Before dropping off all these items for shipping at the postal office, a scan form will be used, wherein the tracking number of 50 packages were placed on a single page of the scan sheet. There’ll only be one barcode that will represent the packages and all the tracking numbers that was included in the form.  

This means that USPS, instead of placing the barcodes on every item, they’ll bundle the packages together. Once the packages arrive at the local post office, the postal worker will only scan the packages at once using the single barcode that was given for all the tracking numbers that was included in the scan sheet — cutting the processing time significantly.  

Thus, when you receive a ‘Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending,’ notification for the packages you sent out, it could mean that: 

  • The USPS workers have accepted the packages and already entered the information into the tracking system. 
  • Typically, you’ll receive a message that says; ‘Accept at USPS Origin Facility,’ before ‘Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending’ notification. 
  • Your bulk package hasn’t been scanned and checked individually at the sorting area.  

This notification will last until the packages are scanned individually, for about a few hours or up to 48 hours. 

What Happens Next? 

The ‘Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending’ stays for up to two days. It depends on how fast the postal workers are able to forward your packages to the sorting facility, where they’re scanned individually. When this happens, you’ll receive a ‘Package Acceptance’ message.

However, if it’s been more than five days and your ‘Shipment Received, Package Acceptance Pending’ notification hasn’t been updated, you may contact USPS to find out what’s causing the delay. Just be ready with your tracking number.   

 Other Notifications You Want To Know About

While the rest of the notification messages may be self-explanatory, you’d need to know more about what each message means.  

  •  Currently Awaiting Package or USPS Awaiting Item  

This means the shipper has created the label and that the package may have been dropped off at the postal office, but it’s not in the system yet. So, you’d have to wait until the postal worker scans the item for updates.    

  • Pre-Shipment

When the shipper transmits information about a shipment but hasn’t physically dropped off the item yet, you’ll get this message. Business partners have the privilege to send recipient information and tracking number to the USPS even before sending the package.  

  • Accepted

This means that the package has been physically accepted at the post office and has been scanned and forwarded to the sorting facility. If sending a single package, the recipient may receive this notification instantaneously. It would take up to two days for bulk shipments, though. 

  •  In-Transit

An in-transit status means the package is being transported or shipped towards the recipient. Depending on the distance, the in-transit notification may take a few days before it gets updated.    

  • Departed from USPS Facility

An item that arrives and leaves a shipping station is being scanned for tracking and recording purposes. This notification means your package has left a particular shipping facility to be transferred to another one near you, or towards your home.   

  •  Out For Delivery

This means your package is being transported towards your home by the courier’s delivery vehicle. 

  • Delivered

Seeing this status means your package has arrived at your doorstep. Make sure that you have the item physically on your property. If you receive this message but without the item, it’s best to call USPS customer service. Do this as soon as possible as there may be chances that the delivery workers made a mistake and delivered your package to the wrong address.    

Final Thoughts 

Tracking packages is a worthwhile added value feature offered by all courier and shipping companies. It gives both the sender and the receiver peace of mind that their items are sure to reach their destination. 

As one who operates a business or an individual who wants to ship an important mail or item, it’s important to know how the tracking process goes and what each package notification means.      


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