What does “Delivery Status not updated” mean with USPS tracking

- by

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 12.02.59A few months ago I ordered something from… I can’t actually remember from where, but the sender used USPS (United States Postal Service). He provided a tracking number, which usually works great, and you can keep an eye on where in the world your package is. I always find this really interesting, especially when the item travels across the US via all those destinations you didn’t even know existed.

The big day came when the status update read “Out for delivery”, which usually means it’s on my postman’s van, and I can expect the doorbell to ring any moment now.

To my surprise, said event didn’t happen, and in the evening the status had changed to “Delivery status not updated”. No package, no tracking information. What gives?

I did some investigating, and there’s a relatively simple explanation for this. Let me share it with you. First of all, here’s a screen grab of the tracking history:


The first thing that’s weird about this delivery was that the package was sent from Opa Locka (one of the airports around Fort Lauderdale) to Miami, rather than Miami Beach (which is where I live). On other deliveries that’s usually how it happens. But hey, the next day it appears to have arrived at my local post office, and it’s out for delivery. So far so good.

Now, and in an ideal world, the postman delivers the item, and does a scan when he either leaves the packages at your door, in your mailbox, or hands it to somebody. At that moment another status update will reflected that, and moments later you’re unwrapping your gift with a big smile on your face.

But with “Delivery status not updated” it’s not like that. Confusion, bepuzzlement, frustration and all those nasty emotions may arise. While understandable, here’s how this message came to be: it’s an automated update.  It’s not like I had to go to the Staples near me and get a stamp to communicate with them, why is it so hard for them to reply at a reasonable time?

The message is issued by the system when 12 hours after the last scan no further scan has happened. The system then assumes nobody has touched the item, and it’s kind enough to let us know this (in a very nondescript sort of way).

What has likely happened is that the package is still on the van and the postman didn’t have time to deliver it, or that the package has indeed been delivered and something didn’t work with the scanning device. Best to check the usual points around your property to make sure it really isn’t there.

If your package hasn’t arrived (like in my case), all you can do is wait for someone to check out that van and sees that there are some undelivered items, scans them and puts them back on track. At that point, the system will update again (with something like “Sorting complete” or “Out for delivery”) and you get another chance to see your parcel. Note that this can take a few days, this doesn’t necessarily happen the very next day.

You can ask at your local post office, and if you’re luckier than I am with the staff, they’ll probably help you or may even find the package on a shelf next door. I must admit that I’m scared to go to our local post office (the on on Washington and 13th St. in Miami Beach, 33139) because of the staff’s intimidating attitude… but that’s just me. I’m sure most USPS offices are not like ours.

So there you have it, that’s what this mysterious message means. If you find any others you’re not clear about, there’s a website that lists them all, straight from the horse’s mouth:

If you enjoy my content, please consider supporting me on Ko-fi. In return you can browse this whole site without any pesky ads! More details here.

17 thoughts on “What does “Delivery Status not updated” mean with USPS tracking”

  1. Hi, I am receiving the same status update as you. It has been 2 days and I the status has not changed at all. In your case how many days did it take for the usps to update/deliver your package? Thank you for your helpful post

    • Hi Jovvany,

      I remember this happened on a Saturday when it had changed to the “delivery status not updated” status. By Tuesday the package was delivered, and it had changed back to “out for delivery” on that morning.

  2. This is happening to me right now!!! I’m so frustrated and I live in NY. My local post office has the most disrespectful, impatient, and unhelpful employees. But thank you for this advice it helps.

  3. Sorry I forgot to ask you an important answer if your not sure it’s totally fine. But the same thing, “delivery status not updated” today 4/13/16 a Saturday. So does that mean my package is at the post office? Originally my package was suppose to come 4/10/16 a Wednesday. I’m pretty sure it’s not in the USPS van because they would of delivered it. Thank you.

  4. “The customer has requested that the Postal Service redeliver this item on an unknown date…” Which is completely bogus. It was supposed to be shipped to the Receiving Dept. at my business but after waiting for nearly a week, I finally requested to pick up the package in-person at the local P.O. Naturally, they couldn’t find it and the clerk told me that I shouldn’t have things shipped to an address where I don’t live. WTF? How does that affect the USPS’s ability to deliver my package correctly? Still don’t know where my package is.

  5. Chelsea Alabama here, I have the same status on a package. I can assure you that my local post office will make no attempt to keep me informed or help me find my package. They are some of the rudest people I have met.

  6. Thank you! My package was suppose to come today but I noticed that it was shipped to the county over. After checking two hours later for an update, USPS tracking said “status not available”. I’m pretty upset since I’ve been waiting for this package for about 2 weeks.

  7. It is what happening to me now. The status of my package was “out for delivery” in the morning of last Thursday (07/05/18), but it has been not changed since then. An alert “awaiting delivery scan” was showed online on 07/06/18, thus I immediately reported to the USPS website. But they only told me to wait for some time. After that, I went to the local post office, but the clerk did not find my package till now (07/11/18). A week has passed, I feel extremely angry for what happened. Do you konw are there any possibility that my package will come back to me in the future week? Thank you.

    • Hi Bob,

      that is a long time to wait for your package indeed. I’m no expert, but in all likelihood, packages are never really lost during transport. They may be delayed and spend a bit of time in a van or a warehouse, but ultimately they’re either delivered to you, or returned back to the sender. All I can suggest is that you wait and keep an eye on the tracking information. I remember back in the UK there was a procedure to escalate things with the post office, if you have reason to believe that your package has been lost. Perhaps there’s a similar procedure with the US Post Office too?

      Good luck, and I hope your package will reach you soon!

  8. I SHIPPED MINE A COUPLE DAYS AGO AND THIS IS WHAT I SEE!!! I have never seen this before. I can tell you that the USPS employee was RUDE and frigging obnoxious to the core.
    It makes be wonder if he just THREW IT AWAY IN THE GARBAGE…IS THAT POSSIBLE???
    Information Available Soon
    USPS doesn’t yet have a status update on this item shipped from the Post Office. Information is usually updated within the hour of your visit. Please check back soon.


Leave a Comment