What Does Tendered for Delivery Mean?

Tendered for delivery; what does this tracking notification mean for your package? Read more below.

Tracking information for packages and parcels these days is far more accurate and useful than ever before.


We have the ability to know (almost) exactly where our packages are at any one particular point in time, watching them move across the country (or even just across the state) right up until the moment that they reach our doorstep.


At the same time, though, there are so many different tracking updates and alerts we might get when we search our tracking info that sometimes it feels like reading Greek!


That’s especially true when we get messages like “Tendered for Delivery”, a message that isn’t all that common – but one that you’ll want to understand if it ever pops up in your tracking information for sure.


In the rest of this quick guide we are going to break down exactly what “Tendered for Delivery” means, why you might be seeing this message pop up in your tracking info, and what you should take away from seeing this message – and how it might influence how your package ends up getting to its ultimate destination.


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What Does Tendered for Delivery Mean?


Believe it or not, packages that are sent via FedEx, UPS, and DHL are going to be handed off to the USPS for “last mile delivery” – even if this isn’t disclosed to you upfront when you actually pay for shipping in the first place.


A lot of this has to do with the extensive delivery network that the USPS has built up over more than 150+ years of operation, but some of it has to do with the fact that FedEx, UPS, and DHL simply don’t have the resources, the manpower, or the infrastructure to deliver every single package sent through them to every single doorstep in America.


On the other hand, the USPS – with a fleet of more than 230,000 mail vehicles and the ability to deliver mail seven days a week – doesn’t have that limitation.


Instead they are able to deliver any package to pretty much any address under the sun in the United States, and have a number of business relationships and partnerships with companies like FedEx, UPS, and DHL to handle this kind of “last mile” handoff.


If you see “Tendered for Delivery” pop up in your tracking information it essentially means that your package has been moved from the FedEx, UPS, or DHL system to the USPS and they are going to be responsible for taking it the rest of the way.


Sometimes you’ll be able to track your package right up through to your doorstep using the same tracking code you were provided from the original shipping partner, but sometimes you’ll be provided a new tracking code directly from the USPS.


It varies on a case-by-case basis, but no matter what you’ll have access to all the information you need to follow that package until it gets where it is intended to go.




FedEx packages are (usually) going to be handled by FedEx 100% of the way and you might never have to worry about seeing this kind of message pop up in your tracking information no matter how often you use this shipping service.


At the same time, though, if you’re using FedEx Smartpost to get your package to its ultimate destination the chances are pretty good that it’s going to be handed off at the end of the line for the USPS to finish delivery.


In those situations you’ll probably see the “Tendered for Delivery” message pop up in your tracking information somewhere near it’s final delivery address. It may be the closest FedEx processing facility or the closest post office to its delivery address, but when this message pops up it means that your package has a pretty imminent ETA.


In some circumstances, though, you might also see a “Tendered to FedEx” message pop up.


This is usually going to happen if a company like DHL needs FedEx to handle the last mile of delivery for them. This is an even rarer message than seeing the one pop up for the USPS, though.




DHL very often works with the USPS (as well as FedEx) to get packages to customers when they don’t have the ability or the infrastructure to handle deliveries all on their own.


A big part of that is because of how unique the DHL shipping process flow is compared to some of the other shipping companies out there.


For example, when a customer places an order to be shipped through DHL it is first physically picked up by a DHL delivery driver, dropped off to a DHL service center, and then moved on to a DHL hub or gateway.


After that the packages then loaded onto DHL aircraft, transported to another hub and gateway facility, and then (if it’s an international package) has to go through customs.


Finally, the package moves through another DHL service center and is then handed off to third-party shipping partners (like FedEx) or the USPS for the “last mile” of delivery.


If you’re having packages shipped to you via DHL (or are using DHL often) you’re likely going to see “Tendered for Delivery pop up in your tracking information a lot more frequently than someone using FedEx, UPS, or USPS shipping services will.


That’s just the nature of the beast and how DHL is set up from an infrastructure standpoint. They take advantage of third-party and USPS shipping services more often than anybody else in the business, and this is the kind of message that lets you know your package has been safely and securely handed off and is going to be delivered shortly.




UPS generally handles every bit of their delivery load all on their own, with the main exception being their UPS SurePost services – services very similar to the FedEx Smartpost solutions we mentioned above.


UPS SurePost services take advantage of “last mile” delivery provided by the USPS and are (generally) a lot less expensive than using traditional UPS services.


You might wait a day or two longer to actually get your package with this kind of shipping option selected, but you’ll always know that your package is imminent when the “Tendered for Delivery” message pops up in your UPS tracking information.


That’s a great sign that your local post office has your package and is preparing it for delivery – if they haven’t loaded it up onto a vehicle and scheduled it to go out already!


Facility Partner


Every now and again you might see a tracking update say “Arrived at Facility Partner” followed by “Tendered for Delivery” – especially when you are using FedEx.


This basically means that your package has been taken by a third-party shipping partner (if you sent your package via FedEx a partner company now has possession of it and is moving it through the shipping infrastructure) and will be moving on to another facility in the near future.


Sometimes this happens near the “last mile” before your packages handed off to the USPS, but sometimes this third-party partner will simply bring your package from one partner facility to another, or even to a new FedEx hub where it will then rejoin the FedEx infrastructure and move closer to its ultimate destination.


Like we mentioned earlier, tracking information has definitely improved significantly over the last 20 years or so – but there are a lot of messages (and a lot of movements) that are a little bit harder to understand and discern.


This is one of them!


usps tracking

How Does This Message Impact Me?


Truth be told, this message in your tracking information – the “Tendered for Delivery” message – doesn’t really have a huge impact on you or your package.


This is simply an update to let you know that your package has been transferred from one service provider to another, and that someone else is now responsible for getting your package to its ultimate destination on time and on schedule.


Think of this more as a courtesy than anything else, but also understand that this message can be hugely important for you if you need to contact customer service and report problems with your package (like delays, damages, or missing packages).


If something happens to your package after you get the “Tendered for Delivery” notification you’ll need to know who to contact. Reaching out to FedEx that handed off your package to the USPS, for example, isn’t going to be all that helpful when you need to speak directly to the USPS that had your package for the “last mile”.


Keep that in mind when this message pops up in your tracking details.


taking a next step


What’s the Next Step?


More often than not the tracking info update you’re going to see following “Tendered for Delivery” is either going to be “Arrived at Facility” or “Out for Delivery”.


This is why seeing this specific tracking message pop up in your tracking info is such good news!


It really means that your package is closer to arriving than ever before, and you should be able to expect your package to arrive in the next few days – if not even sooner than that.


In fact, most often this message is going to pop up a day or two ahead of your package actually going out for delivery and arriving at your doorstep.


Do I Need to Do Anything Specific When I See This Message?


As highlighted above, you don’t have to do anything at all when you see this message.


It’s really more of an internal “marker” of sorts that lets you know that your package has been handed off to a new shipping partner, that everything is going smoothly, and that someone else is going to be bringing that package to your door.


clock melting



I’ve Seen “Tendered for Delivery” for Weeks – What Can I Do?


Unfortunately, sometimes people see “Tendered for Delivery” in their tracking information for a few days – or even a week or longer – and that usually means something’s gone wrong with the handoff or the transfer.


For starters, you’re going to want to give your package a couple of days to arrive at its ultimate destination after you see this message pop up.


Like we’ve talked about a couple of times already, this message means that delivery is imminent (the overwhelming majority of situations) and you don’t want to jump the gun.


If, on the other hand, you’ve seen this message in your tracking for a couple of days, a week, or even longer than that (some people report seeing this message for up to three weeks) it’s probably a good idea to reach out to the original shipping partner to see who the package was handed off to.


They may be able to provide you with some information and insight into what’s going on with your package, but at the very least they’ll be able to provide you with contact information to get a hold of the people that are going to have to track your package down.


More often than not that’s going to be the USPS.


It may even be worthwhile to pop down to your local post office and see if they can help you, even before you reach out to the original shipping partner.


Just make sure that you bring your tracking information and as many details about your package as possible. The more information you can provide the more likely the USPS is going to be able to find your package and hopefully jumpstart it on its journey.


Your package may even be tucked away in a corner at the post office (overlooked or forgotten) and you can walk right out with it!


virtual mailbox on desktop


US Global Mail Makes It Effortless to Manage Your Mail and Packages


Of course, if you’re looking for a simpler and more streamlined way to manage your mail and all of your packages – regardless of whether or not they are going to be tendered for delivery during last mile transport – you’ll want to check out all that US Global Mail has to offer.


The premier virtual mailbox service for more than 20+ years, US Global Mail really has it all when you want to modernize your mailbox to make receiving packages a whole lot easier!


You’ll get instant notifications about every package that you have sent to you when they arrive, digital scans of envelopes and boxes so that you can confirm delivery, and the ability to reroute or forward mail to any address on the planet at up to 80% off of shipping costs.


There are a whole host of other benefits you’ll get as a US Global Mail customer, too!


For more details and to sign up for your US Global Mail account, check out their website today.

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