Sometimes you find yourself in need of a certain package.
If you have tracking, then you may know that the package has arrived at the USPS office.
Because it can sometimes take the USPS a few days to sort and deliver everything, you may wonder if you can pick it up beforehand.
Doing so would allow you to get your hands on the package without having to wait a few more days.
Here’s what you need to know about whether you can pick up a package from the USPS before they attempt to deliver it.
Can I Pick Up A Package From USPS Before Delivery?
Yes, you can pick up a package from the USPS before it’s delivered.
The USPS understands that not everyone wants to wait for a package.
That’s why they have implemented two services to help their customers pick up packages before they’re delivered.
There are some restrictions on the type of package that can use these services.
You also need to pay a small fee.
There is one more thing you can do to get your package early that doesn’t cost anything at all.
Here are three ways you can pick up your package from the post office before it delivers to your home.
1. Package Intercept
One of the services that allow you to pick up a package early is Package Intercept.
This service allows you to tell the office to hold the package at a certain facility.
You then head to that facility and pick it up.
This service isn’t available for final deliveries.
This means that you have to intercept the package before it makes it to your local post office.
You’ll need to go to a sorting facility first.
If you’re lucky, then you won’t live too far from one.
Another restriction is on the size of the package.
The package has to be on the smaller side to qualify.
Finally, it has to be a domestic package.
You can’t use the service on packages or letters from international senders.
That said, Package Intercept is useful for telling the USPS to hold onto the package at a certain facility for you.
You can then drive to that facility, show identification, and pick up your package.
This method can save you a day or two of waiting since the package would still have to arrive at your local post office, then go on the truck when it’s time to deliver packages.
Keep in mind that this service does come with a small fee attached to it.
2. Package Hold
Another useful service that the USPS offers that can allow you to pick it up before it’s delivered is Package Hold.
Package Hold is similar to Package Intercept, except you can have the facility hold onto the package for a longer time.
You can also have your local post office hold onto it for you.
A great way to use this service is to first know what facilities are near you.
Then you can place a hold on the package at the facility nearest to you.
Once you’re able, you can drive to the facility, show your identification, then pick it up.
If you have them hold it at your local post office, then you can show up bright and early while they’re loading up the trucks and pick up your package.
Like Package Intercept, this service does have a few restrictions.
It also comes with a fee.
That said, it’s a useful service for picking up your package before it’s sent out for delivery.
3. Show Up Early
A final way to pick up your package at the USPS before it’s delivered does come with some risk.
There’s a chance that you might not arrive in time to pick up the package before it’s put on the truck for delivery.
However, if you show up early at the post office, there’s a chance that they might let you get your package before it goes on the truck.
You’ll need identification that matches the package to prove that it belongs to you.
You’ll also need to arrive very early.
Postal workers tend to start delivering mail as early as six in the morning.
They arrive at the office even earlier to load up the trucks.
The post office, itself, isn’t usually open until eight in the morning.
However, if you linger around, then someone might ask if they can help you.
It doesn’t hurt to know who your mail carrier is either.
If you can recognize them, then you might be able to ask them for your package while they’re in the lot.
If they know you, then they may be more willing to give it to you early.
While this option does come with the risk of failure, it also doesn’t come with any fees.
Why Does Package Intercept And Package Hold Have Fees?
If you choose to use the Package Intercept or Package Hold service with the USPS, you may wonder why you need to pay a fee.
After all, you’re doing their job for them.
It’s because you’re making their job a little harder.
In most cases, letters and packages pass through their sorting system, and they simply sort them according to their destinations.
If a package has a flag for intercepting or holding, then it takes more time and effort to track that package and keep an eye on it.
They need to make sure that they hold it and don’t put it on a truck to its final destination.
Since it costs them more time and energy, it makes them less efficient.
This means that they’re unable to generate as much money as they should be able to.
For the post office, which already struggles with its funding, that isn’t ideal.
A way to ensure they don’t enter the red just to help their customers out, they charge a small fee for the service.
The fee varies based on a few factors, but it’s usually cheap enough that most customers shouldn’t think twice about it.
In return, they’re able to easily pick up their package without waiting for the office to deliver it.
Can You Pick Up A Package From The USPS If They Missed A Delivery?
One situation that you might find yourself in is missing a delivery attempt from the post office.
In some cases, they’ll leave a slip at your door that tells you about the attempted delivery.
The slip usually includes information about who the package is for and what time they attempted the delivery.
It will also sometimes tell you the next step that the post office is going to take.
In most cases, they’ll attempt another delivery the next business day.
This helps you make plans to ensure you’re there or someone is there to accept the package on your behalf.
Another thing you can do is have the post office hold it.
In fact, you might see on the slip already that the post office requests you to pick up the package at the office.
This sometimes happens if the office is extremely busy or if there was some sort of challenge that prevented them from being able to make the delivery.
This indicates that they believe the challenge will remain the next day, so they still won’t be able to complete the delivery.
If you see that on your slip, then you’ll need to go to the post office, regardless, to pick up your package.
If you don’t see it, then you can still call the post office and request a package intercept or hold on the package.
With that in place, you can go to the office yourself and pick it up.
You’ll need to bring identification that matches the package to pick it up.
That said, if you miss a delivery, you’re still able to pick it up at the postal office.
Where Do You Pick Up Intercepted Packages?
If you chose the Package Intercept service, then you may wonder where you need to go to pick the package up.
That all depends on where they were able to stop it.
Some of the most common places include:
- Local post office
- USPS distribution center
- Rerouted address
The best and easiest option is your local post office.
If you were able to time your interception just right, then they may hold your package at the post office closest to you.
The service does let you write the address down on where you want it held, but because the USPS moves quickly, they might not be able to receive the notice in time.
That’s why you can’t always be 100% sure where the package is going to end up.
If you’re lucky, then your package will be held at your local post office.
The most challenging place to pick up your package is at a USPS distribution center.
This place is challenging because most distribution centers aren’t open to the public.
You can’t get inside.
If your package ends up there, then you’ll need to call the center directly.
They can then assist you and either reroute the package to a place where you can get it or have someone bring it out to you.
Distribution centers are essentially giant sorting and processing factories, so it’s unlikely that someone is going to stop that process just to bring out your package.
When writing out your Package Intercept request, it’s a good idea to ensure you’re not having them intercept it at a distribution center.
The final place is an address where you can have the package rerouted.
This might be a friend, a family member, or even a business that holds packages and mail for customers.
You can head to that address and pick up the package waiting for you.
Can The USPS Inform You About A Package’s Location Before Intercepting?
Before you put an intercept request on your package, you may want to know its location.
For example, you may discover that your package is out for delivery and your mail is due to arrive in a few hours.
In this example, it wouldn’t make sense to put in an intercept request.
However, if you discover that the package is making its way from a distribution center to your local post office, then it may be the ideal time for an interception.
To find out, you should call the USPS.
Because packages have tracking, they’ll be able to tell you the general location of it.
For example, they’ll be able to tell whether it left a distribution center and is on the way to them or if they put it on a truck today.
By finding out that information, you can then determine if you want to intercept the package or not.
In most cases, the best time to intercept a package is a day or two before its scheduled delivery.
The best time to call the post office to double-check on its location is probably a day before you want to put in your intercept request.
Calling the USPS can help you find out where your package is and help you determine whether you should intercept it or not.
Will The USPS Deliver The Package Somewhere That Isn’t On The Label?
You may wonder if you can change where the USPS delivers your package to.
For example, if you know that you’re going to be at a different address when the package arrives, you may wonder if they’ll send it to you there instead.
In most cases, the USPS won’t deliver a package that isn’t anywhere near the address on the shipping label.
That’s because it’d cost them time and money, which they can’t afford.
You can put in an intercept request which includes delivering it to a new address, but that will cost you a bit of money.
This is more acceptable since you’re covering the cost it takes the USPS worker to bring the package to the new address.
That said, there are two things that the USPS can do in this instance.
The first is that they can hold onto the package at the post office for you.
This allows you to drive over to the office and pick up the package yourself.
This is a great option for someone who has concerns over leaving packages on their porch for an extended number of hours while they’re gone.
Another option is to have the USPS worker put the package somewhere that isn’t at your front door.
For example, you might ask that they put it in the garage or at the side of the house, or behind a bush.
They’re willing to do this for you because the package is still going to the address that’s on the label.
It’s only when you ask them to deliver it to an address free of charge that you’re going to have problems.
Is Picking Up Your Packages At The USPS Office Worth It?
Considering that you need to pay a fee to use the Package Intercept and Package Hold services, you may wonder if it’s all worth it.
Here are a few reasons picking up your packages at the USPS before they’re delivered is worth it.
1. Fewer Lost Packages
One of the reasons that using Package Intercept and Package Hold is worth it is that you get fewer lost packages that way.
If you’re someone who has had their share of lost packages, then you’re probably tired of it.
Using either of those services puts a flag on your package.
There are more eyes on it, which means it’s less likely to become lost.
2. Fewer Stolen Packages
Another big reason the Package Intercept and Package Hold services are worth it is that it reduces the chances of having your packages stolen.
If you live in an area where porch pirates love to roam, this added security can really help.
You never have to worry about packages sitting at your front door unprotected.
Both of those services allow you to pick up your package at the office or a similar facility.
No one is going to steal it there.
3. Faster Packages
Finally, you can get your packages faster.
It can sometimes take a while for the USPS to send out packages.
Some offices may have a specific day that they devote to certain packages.
If you don’t want to wait that long, using those services allows you to pick up the package as soon as it arrives at the office.
You can bring it home, open it, and start using it immediately.
The post office makes it easy to pick up a package before a mail carrier delivers it.
In particular, the Package Intercept and Package Hold services can accomplish this.
There are several benefits of using these services even though both do cost a fee.