It’s really frustrating to feel like your packages are getting sidelined.
Unfortunately, with the sheer volume of mail moving across the country these days more and more USPS customers are getting alerted by the “Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” message all the time.
Worse, the USPS is never really transparent about what this code means, why it’s happening with more frequency, and what customers can do to (hopefully) avoid this issue in the future.
Those are all things that we are going to go over in just a moment.
For starters, just know that you are definitely not alone if you’ve been getting “Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” messages from the USPS – especially lately.
It’s never fun to get that alert but hopefully we can clear some things up for you moving forward.
Let’s get right into it.
What Does the USPS Message “Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” Really Mean?
To put it simply, the tracking message “Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” basically means that the item or items that you are having shipped via the USPS have had tracking information created for them, have (usually) been scanned into the system, and that the originating post – the jump off point for those packages – is getting ready to move that shipment through the USPS infrastructure.
Unfortunately, though, sometimes the “Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” message is used as a bit of a catchall.
Frequently the post office will use this message for variety of different reasons, without disclosing any of those upfront, and often times not even cluing you into what’s going on at all.
In those situations you kind of just have to cross your fingers and hope for the best, waiting for your package to arrive, all the while wondering what exactly is going on at the USPS.
Below we do highlight a couple of the more common reasons that packages are listed as preparing for shipment, sometimes for extended amount of time, just to give you a little bit more peace of mind.
We also go over a couple of things you want to consider when it comes to reaching out to the USPS to get more concrete answers about what’s happening with your packages, where they are, and when they are set to arrive.
Why Is My Package Listed as Preparing for Shipment?
As we just mentioned above, there are a whole bunch of different reasons that your packages could be listed as preparing to ship from the origin location.
Right now we are going to dig into some of the most common issues you may be facing, issues that happen every day with the USPS, and issues that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with you or the people that have sent you your package in the first place.
Remember, each and every one of these reasons below are reasons that fall squarely on the shoulders of the folks at the USPS.
While the USPS does a great job at trying to make sure that everyone gets taken care of, that everyone gets their mail and packages on time, and that everything happens as quickly as possible sometimes things (inevitably) go a little sideways.
If you get the message “Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” for an extended amount of time when you track your packages here are some of the most common reasons for what’s likely happening behind the scenes.
Too Much Package Flow and Your Package was “Bumped”
Straight out of the gate, one of the most common reasons that people get this specific message when they track their package has to do completely with the amount of package flow the USPS is handling at any one particular point in time.
Recently (for the past year, really) the USPS has been dealing with unprecedented amounts of package flow. People are shopping online (for obvious reasons) and shipping centers and shipping infrastructure are absolutely overloaded.
Because transportation for your packages (usually flights) have to be booked well in advance it’s possible that the extra package flow has simply “bumped” your package from the flight it was intended to be on for a later flight.
Sometimes this means that your packages is sitting at a USPS facility for only a couple of hours, and other times it means that your package might sit there for a day or two.
It really all comes down to finding space for your packages on outbound flights or transportation that will move your package further along inside of the USPS transportation in the structure.
Problems with Transport Method
Secondly, you might get this message when issues having absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with you or the USPS negatively impact your package getting transported at that specific point in time.
Inclement weather that grounds aircraft (especially common during the holiday season) can certainly cause a lot more of these notifications to get sent out to USPS customers, that’s for sure.
Lightning storms, rainstorms, tropical storms and hurricanes, tornadoes warnings, and even issues with the aircraft themselves – maintenance problems, fueling shortages, etc. – can all result in you getting a message that delays your delivery via the “Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” designation.
The Package Pallet May Have Been Removed
Your package is (very rarely) maneuvered around all on its own, separate from everything else, just sort of floating free as it moves through the USPS shipping infrastructure.
No, instead the last time that your package was likely “free” and alone was when it was first received by the USPS postal worker or mail carrier that accepted it from you in the first place.
Almost immediately after sorting that packages then going to be packed up with other boxes, packages, and parcels barrel headed in the same general direction through the USPS shipping infrastructure.
Those packages and parcels are then shrink-wrapped together, bundled up tightly, and then placed on pallets so that they can be moved around USPS facilities quickly and efficiently.
Those bundles sometimes pop open and first, though, and that’s the situation that you are dealing with it’s likely that you are going to have your packages delayed. It may not even be your package that popped open or was negatively affected by this accident.
As long as you are part of that same pallet you’ll likely be removed from a flight log, set aside until things can be patched up, and them prepared for shipment at a later point in time.
USPS Forgot to Do an Arrival Scan
This one happens with less frequency than most of the other issues we highlighted above, but it’s not impossible to have happened, either.
Sometimes officials working at USPS facilities simply forget to scan packages or parcels upon arrival.
This would mean that your packages and parcels are already moving through the system, they just haven’t been updated as far as their tracking is concerned, and you won’t get any further updates until someone later down the line actually does update the scans.
Again, this doesn’t happen all that frequently (the process is pretty simple and straightforward on the USPS backend) but it does happen every now and again.
Someone along the line has this sort of slip their mind, was busy with something else and forgot a scan, or just missed a scan for one reason or another. Your package continues to move through the USPS system just like it would have if it was scanned, but you won’t know where it is until the next scheduled stop along the way – which is sometimes your doorstep.
How Long Will My Package Stay “Stuck”?
One of the biggest challenges with the “Origin Post is Preparing Shipment” message – and a big part of why it is so frustrating in the first place – is that it is so vague and so nondescriptive.
Unfortunately, it’s kind of impossible to know how long your packages going to stay “stuck” at the origin post.
A lot of this has to do the fact that sometimes the people at the USPS facilities (customer facing employees) don’t even know what’s going on with your packages or why they are being held up in the first place.
Most of the time you should expect this message to mean a day or two delay for your packages.
Sometimes, though, it can take five business days (or even longer) for your package to start to move.
It doesn’t look like there’s any real rhyme or reason behind this specific error message.
Contact USPS Customer Service Direct
If you want to get a little more clarity about your situation (as much clarity as possible, anyway) it might not be a bad idea to reach out to USPS customer service directly and see if they can shine a light on the subject.
You can reach them by 100% toll-free phone number here at:
Or you can use any of the online chat tools (including live chat and email tools) that USPS makes available directly on their website.
These customer service employees at the USPS are generally super helpful, very friendly, and definitely understanding of how frustrating this can be. They want to help you out and they want to make sure that you get your packages as quickly as possible.
You can also contact the Delivery Tracking hotline at the USPS directly as well.
Their phone number is 1-800-222-1811. It might be worth going down that road if customer service is able to help as much as you had hoped they could.
Contact the Person Shipping Your Package, Too
Lastly, you may want to reach out to the people that are shipping your package to see what could have happened as well.
Sometimes they are going to be totally in the dark, especially if they ship a lot of packages, but other times they may be able to contact the local USPS office for shipping partner that they do business with to see if there’s anything that can be done on their end.
This is usually super hit or miss and requires a lot of luck to get any remedy with this approach, but it’s well worth trying if nothing else is working.
Consider US Global Mail – The Modern Mailbox Solution
Maybe you are just tired of dealing with the USPS in general, especially when it comes to receiving mail and not being quite sure of when it’s coming in, what is coming in, or what you should expect in your mailbox on a day-to-day basis.
If you are looking for a more modern solution to getting your mail (your packages, your parcels, and your letters) it might not be a bad idea to have a closer look at everything that US Global Mail brings to the table.
For more than 20 years this premier virtual mailbox service has been an industry leader, providing innovative and exciting new mailing solutions that make life a whole lot easier.
So much more than a traditional mailbox service, not only do you get a legitimate street address when you sign up for a virtual mailbox with US Global Mail but you also get a whole host of other advantages, too – including the ability to have packages from every major shipping company accepted and received at your new street address!
Other benefits include full mail scanning and digitization of your mailbox records, complete with a digital record book of every piece of mail that you have sent to you through this address, and a world class mail forwarding solution that even works internationally.
Combine that with check depositing benefits, privacy and security benefits, and a number of other special features you won’t find with other virtual mailbox solutions and it’s not hard to see why so many people choose US Global Mail time and time again.
For more information about everything that makes US Global Mail so special, or for more details about the specific packages and services they provide that you may be interested in, head over to their homepage today or reach out to them directly when you get a chance.