What Does USPS “In Possession of Item” Mean?

Usps Office

You might have seen the “USPS In Possession of Item” delivery status while tracking your USPS package in the initial days of shipment, and you may be interested in knowing what it means.


The “USPS In Possession of Item” is a self-explanatory delivery status indicating that USPS has taken possession of your parcel and is now responsible for delivering it to the final destination.

This notification usually appears when USPS first interacts with your package in the shipping process.

For your better understanding, we have discussed what USPS “In Possession of Item” means, how close your parcel is to delivery when you see this update, and what to do if your tracking information appears stuck at this status.

“USPS in Possession of Item” Meaning

Usps Tracking

USPS (United States Postal Service) is an enormous shipping company in the U.S. that ships millions of packages daily and handles “Last Mile” delivery for serval other courier service providers.

Whether you are a sender or receiver, USPS provides a tracking number to track your parcel online throughout its journey toward the destination.

When you track your shipment, the USPS system displays various tracking statuses to inform you of your package’s location. At times, you may come across unfamiliar phrases that can be confusing, such as “USPS In Possession of Item.”

The delivery status update “USPS In Possession of Item” means that a third-party shipper or sender reaches and scans your parcel at any USPS facility.


You may encounter the delivery status “USPS In Possession of Item” when USPS first interacts with the parcel in both cases, whether it is a domestic or international package.

Let’s discuss a few scenarios where you may encounter the delivery status update “USPS In Possession of Item.”

1. Parcel Reaching USPS for Final Delivery

Usps Delivery

As discussed above, various shipping companies, such as UPS, DHL, FedEx, etc., uses USPS “Last Mile” delivery due to its extensive reach to almost every area in the United States.

So, whenever your parcel comes to USPS from a third-party shipper for final delivery to the destination and gets scanned upfront for the first time, its delivery status updates to “USPS In Possession of Item.”


Shipments sent by a third-party shipping company to USPS may experience delays in reaching their destination due to the procedural requirements of two separate service providers.

2. USPS Collecting Parcel From a Seller or Customer

Usps Delivery

USPS also collects parcels from various sellers and customers to deliver them to their designated addresses. Similarly, senders can drop packages at any USPS store or mailbox to get them delivered.

Therefore, when USPS collects a parcel from the seller or someone books a shipment with USPS, the package delivery status changes to ‘USPS In Possession of Item.”


USPS has more than 34000 stores where you can drop off your parcel to deliver it to the destination.

3. Parcel Coming From Overseas

Overseas Delivery

When USPS owns your parcel in one country and needs to send it overseas, they hand it over to the customs authorities for inspection and clearance.

Once your package clears customs checks, it moves to the destination country’s USPS facility for delivery.

Upon arriving at the USPS facility in the destination country, your parcel’s delivery status updates to “USPS In Possession of Item.”

Tracking Update Stuck on “USPS in Possession of Item”

Tracking updates stuck on “USPS In Possession of Item” can be frustrating as this stage is one of your parcel’s initial processes in delivery to the final destination.

So, let’s explore some possible reasons and solutions for this issue.

1. Parcel Stuck at USPS Facility

Usps Facility

As discussed above, the delivery status “USPS In Possession of Item” appears when your parcel first gets scanned at a USPS facility.

If there are staffing issues, high workload, or technical problems at the USPS facility, which could cause delays in its delivery, your parcel’s shipment status may appear as “USPS In Possession of Item” for an extended period.

2. Parcel Missed Scan

Scanned Packages

There is also a possibility that your package has been released but has not received a subsequent scan, which results in tracking information stuck on “USPS In Possession of Item.”

In other words, your package is currently in transit and moving toward its intended destination, but no tracking update has been recorded to reflect its latest status.

3. Parcel Not Being Scanned

Usps Package

Sometimes, your packages may get stuck at the “USPS in Possession of Item” delivery status without any further updates generated.

This issue is common for low-priority domestic deliveries that may not receive further tracking updates until they reach your address or nearby post office.


Your parcel’s delivery status does not change from “USPS in Possession of Item” to “Out for Delivery” until it is loaded onto the delivery vehicle for final delivery.

What To Do if Your Package Is Stuck on “USPS in Possession of Item” Status?

In any of the cases mentioned above, if your package’s delivery status is stuck on “USPS In Possession of Item” for more than five days, you should contact USPS and ask them why your parcel is not moving.


Make sure to have your package’s tracking number available, as USPS customer service representatives will need it to track the package from their end and provide accurate information.


In this article, we discussed what “USPS In Possession of Item” means in detail, the situations in which you may encounter this delivery update, and what you do if your parcel stays on this status for an extended period.

We hope you now understand that “USPS In Possession of Item” appears only when USPS first intersects with the parcel in the shipping process and indicates that your package is progressing toward the destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know if USPS Took My Package?

You need to track your package using USPS tracking systems to determine whether USPS took your parcel.

To do that, follow these steps:

  • Open the USPS website.
  • Enter your consignment barcode or tracking number.
  • Click “Track.”

On the result page, if you see the delivery status “USPS In Possession of Item,” USPS has taken over your parcel.

How Long Will USPS Hold My Package?

Suppose you missed a delivery attempt and a notice was left for you. In that case, USPS typically holds packages up to 15 days from the first delivery attempt for their Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, and First-Class Mail services.

For USPS Parcel Select and Media Mail services, the holding period may be longer, up to 30 days.

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