Have you ever encountered the messages “Arrived at USPS Regional Facility” or “Departed USPS Regional Facility” and wondered what they meant? This article will shed light on some basic information about the USPS Regional Facility—what does it mean?
If you get a message on the tracking page that says “Departed USPS Regional Facility,” it means that the parcel has already departed the logistics facility. Typically, USPS will transport your parcel to different distribution facilities until you receive it at a post office nearest to you.
Read on to learn more about the “Arrived at USPS Regional Origin Facility” and “Departed USPS Regional Destination Facility” delivery status.
Are USPS Origin Facility and USPS Regional Facility the Same?
In case you don’t know, USPS stands for United States Postal Service. It’s an independent government agency that offers affordable and dependable postal services to all states and territories of the United States, including U.S. insular areas (e.g., Guam and Puerto Rico).
So, let’s go back to these questions: Are “USPS Origin Facility” and “USPS Regional Destination Facility” the same? If not, what are their differences?
People often use the two terms interchangeably. They mean almost the same thing, but with a slight difference. Let’s discuss each below:
USPS Origin Facility
This term refers to the post office that first received (from the sender/shipper) and processed a parcel. From there, a parcel goes to a sorting facility, where employees determine its specific route and delivery schedule. It could also go to other facilities before it reaches the destination post office.
Let’s say you’re going to send an ‘I Miss You’ card to your parents, who live in a different state. If you mailed it the old-fashioned way—go to a USPS office and buy postage over the counter—the origin facility is that post office.
If your card is pre-stamped, which a USPS letter carrier would collect from your mailbox or a collection box, the origin facility is the main (or the largest) post office in your region.
USPS Regional Destination Facility
The USPS Regional Destination Facility, also referred to as a “hub,” does the same functions as the origin facility. It acts as a sorting center for the following:
- Packages, and
- Other items that you can mail, depending on their destination address.
Every region has one of these facilities. The first facility mailable articles pass through is known as the “USPS Regional Origin Facility.” They’ll pass through other similar facilities from the regional origin facility until they reach the local post office near the recipient’s address. Then, USPS delivers each parcel to the correct final destination.
Workers at any USPS regional facility do the same kind of work. They batch mailable articles (letters, postcards, products, etc.) that’ll go to the same USPS regional facility and sort them based on their delivery destination. Therefore, it’s important to check multiple times if you’ve given the correct delivery address.
What Does “Arrived at USPS Regional Facility” Mean?
“Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility” is an industry term that means your mail or parcel has reached one of the regional distribution facilities of the USPS. Then, it’ll move to a similar facility before going to a local post office for delivery.
Or, sometimes, people receive the “In Transit: Arrived at USPS Regional Facility” message on the tracking page. “In Transit” means that a mail or package is currently moving within the USPS shipping infrastructure and is on track to arrive at a regional facility before eventually getting to the post office nearest to the recipient.
How Mail Pieces Are Sorted at the Regional Facility
- After people posted a mail piece (large envelope, letter, package, etc.), it travels to a centralized distribution facility.
- In the facility, workers and automated mail-sorting machines sort mail pieces based on the first three digits of the zip codes. This will ensure they’ll go to the correct regional facility. The last thing you want is for 941 (San Francisco area) to end up in 850 (Phoenix area).
- When the mail pieces arrive at a regional facility, workers and automated machines once again classify them based on their full zip code. This will help them sort mail pieces to the specific city. For some of those with the +4 digits (ZIP+4® ZIP Code™ number), they’re classified in sequence at the regional facility for courier services.
What Does “Departed USPS Regional Facility” Mean?
“Departed USPS Regional Facility” or “In-Transit: Departed USPS Regional Origin Facility” means a letter or package has left the regional facility or the sorting center. Depending on the location, it’s either on its way to you (or the person you addressed it to) or the next USPS distribution facility, which may or may not serve the area where it’ll get delivered.
How Long after Departing the Usps Regional Facility Will Your Package Arrive?
There’s no way for USPS to determine the exact date and time for a carrier or a postal employee to deliver a package at a specific location. Therefore, USPS can’t guarantee the exact time mail pieces leave their regional facilities for delivery.
Factors That Affect the Delivery Truck’s Departing Schedule
Many factors could affect the departing schedule of delivery trucks from regional facilities, including:
- Number of mail pieces, which changes daily;
- The month of the year also plays a factor—holidays and festivals could delay delivery; and
- Shipping address and plan.
Normally, workers and machines load Priority Mail® onto trucks for distribution within a day (or within 24 hours) after arriving at a USPS regional facility. From there, they need to make deliveries to local post offices in the early morning or afternoon, depending on the mail volume.
USPS technically needs to make all deliveries to the shipping address within 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (local time), from Monday through Saturday. However, other people receive their mail later than 5 p.m.
Reasons for Delivery Delays
Some of the possible reasons for delivery delays include:
- Changes in postal carrier routes
- Extreme weather conditions
- Natural disasters
- Staffing problems
- Truck breakdowns
Again, what does the USPS Regional Facility – Arrived or Departed mean? Arrived at the USPS Regional Facility means that your parcel is at the USPS Regional Facility and will soon depart it. Its next destination is the distribution facility, then the post office near you.
Can You Pick Up Your Package from the USPS Regional Facility?
The straightforward answer is no. You can’t pick up a letter or package at the USPS regional facility or distribution center before they’ve initiated or completed delivery.
However, if you intend to intercept a letter or package, you can. They call this service the USPS Package Intercept®. Like what the name suggests, USPS Package Intercept® stops or redirects a shipment.
To Avail the USPS Package Intercept® Your Parcel Should Meet the Following Criteria:
- Doesn’t measure over 274.32 centimeters (108 inches) in length and circumference combined
- Going to be sent to a domestic address (except for APO/FPO/DPO addresses)
- Should be addressed from a sender with a domestic address
- Should either have an Extra Services barcode or a USPS Tracking® barcode
The USPS Package Intercept® fee is $15.25 plus postage cost (if applicable). USPS will only charge your credit card for every mail piece if they’ve successfully intercepted it.
How to File a Request for a USPS Package Intercept®?
1. Determine If Your Shipment Is Eligible
Determine if your shipment is eligible for the USPS Package Intercept®. This service is available for the following mail classes:
- Bound Printed Matter
- First-Class Mail®
- First-Class Package Service-Retail™
- First-Class Package Service-Commercial™
- Library Mail
- Media Mail®
- Parcel Select®
- Priority Mail Express®
- Priority Mail®
- USPS Retail Ground®
2. Submit an Online Request
Once you’ve verified your shipment is eligible, and you can now submit an online request using your USPS account.
3. USPS Will Give You an Estimate of the Total Cost
After receiving your request, they’ll give you an estimate of the total cost of their package intercept service, including the estimated postage fee (if applicable).
4. USPS Will Start the Process
Then, USPS will start the process of intercepting or redirecting your letter or package. If the attempt is successful, they’ll charge you the standard intercept fee plus other applicable fees.
5. USPS Will Redirect Your Shipment
USPS will then redirect your shipment to whoever sent it. You also have the option to have your local post office hold it for you for pickup. However, you might need to rent a post office (PO) box for that.
Packaging and Shipping Tips and Solutions
USPS is usually dependable. However, despite its extensive delivery options, it can’t guarantee there won’t be any delays. What should you do if your letter or package is delayed? How do you improve the chances your shipment arrives on time?
1. Be Patient and Wait Out
While it’s stress-inducing to wait for a day or more, chances are your letter or package is safe and on its way to you. It’s not unusual for some USPS first class mail pieces to arrive at regional facilities and get delivered to certain addresses more than a week.
If the proper amount of time has passed, try to do any of the following for failed or delayed deliveries:
- Use the USPS Tracking® tool to see its current status. Remember: It may take up to 24 hours for USPS to update the information on the tracking page.
- If a week or two has passed after the date of mailing, file a Missing Mail search request form for your missing mail piece then submit it using your desktop computer. This service is available for these mail classes: Priority Mail® Service, First-Class Mail® Service, USPS Tracking®, Domestic Registered Mail® Service, Signature Confirmation™, and Certified Mail® Services.
Note: There are times that USPS is unable to track down missing mail pieces.
2. Carefully Review the Address
Despite being the most important information on a mail piece, many people still don’t take the time to ensure the delivery address is correct and complete. To ensure USPS will process your letter or package smoothly, follow their standardized address format below:
- Name or attention line
- Delivery address
- City, state, and ZIP code
Why is it important to follow this USPS postal address format? It’s because their mail processing machines will read every address on mail pieces starting from the bottom, then they go up. If they can’t locate the last two lines (delivery address and city, state, and ZIP code), there’s a great possibility your mail piece would be delayed or misrouted.
Note: You can use the USPS address verification tool to see if your delivery address is valid.
3. Plan Ahead
Are you going on a trip for a few days? If you know you won’t be able to check your mail on the day you expect your letter or package to arrive, you can use the USPS Hold Mail® service. This allows you (or the recipient) to retrieve mail pieces at your local post office until you return.
Your local post office can safely hold your mail piece for you for up to 30 days. You can ask them to hold it longer or reroute it by signing up for the USPS forwarding service.
4. Avoid Reusing Mailing Boxes
Shipping boxes need to be strong enough to withstand constant rough handling during sorting and transportation. The problem with reusing old shipping boxes is that they can become weak and easily tear and puncture over time.
You don’t really need to recycle or reuse these boxes. You can order them from the postal store. USPS provides their customers with the supplies they need to send packages (boxes, forms, labels, stickers, etc.) for certain mail classes at no cost.
To be clear: It’s not illegal to reuse USPS boxes, as long as you are using them for the same class of mail specified on it (e.g., Priority Mail Express® service, Priority Mail® service, and Global Express Guaranteed®). However, misusing these packaging supplies could be a violation of federal law.
Conclusion: USPS Regional Facility – Arrived or Departed [What Does It Mean?]
I hope this article helped you understand what “Departed USPS Regional Facility” and “Arrived at USPS Regional Facility” are. Again, these tracking status descriptions tell you if mail pieces have arrived at a regional facility or have left the facility to go to the next distribution centers until they reach the local post office.