Can I Pick Up A Package From USPS Before Delivery (2022 Updated Guide)

Can I Pick Up A Package From USPS Before Delivery

Do you know what’s worse than waiting for your USPS package? Seeing a frozen tracking delivery status, this lowkey puts many in unconscious anxiety until it starts moving closer towards your doorstep, again.

If you’re one of those people who want to get their hands on packages ASAP, can’t sit back, and wait for the package for whatever reason.

We’ve got a pickup solution for a package from USPS before delivery by intercepting a package yourself – Yes, there is no need to be dependent on USPS!

In today’s blog, you’ll learn how not to worry about waiting for that package, and 2 possibilities you can use to get your parcels faster.

Let’s jump right in!

Can I Pick Up a Package from USPS Before It Gets Delivered?

The short answer is NO, it’s not only possible to pick up a package from USPS before delivery is initiated but it’s super simple to make it happen.

If you’re willing to drive down to the local USPS facility or post office bright and early in the morning to get a package before it gets loaded onto a truck and sent out for delivery.

It’s something that millions of people do all over the country each week, too!

Most of the time popping down to the post office and picking up a package before it goes out for delivery is an easy to pull off process.

The post office is filled with humans just like you, which means mistakes happen, meaning sometimes your package won’t get scanned along the way, or the tracking isn’t being updated on their site.

So, you can’t just rely on tracking information alone. The provided information isn’t as accurate or as useful as you hoped it would be.

And if you’re extra unlucky, and away from your house, signing for a package is another bump in the road.

Luckily, USPS provides an option to pick up the package from your USPS distribution facility (or from your local post office) rather than waiting for the package to get to you.

You can read more about how distribution centers and your local post offices work and coordinate with each other.

Tracking Package, And Knowing If It’s Eligible?

usps package intercept request online via postal service or post office

The first step would be to determine if your package is eligible to be picked up. Keep in mind, packages that have been released for delivery cannot be held for pickup.

You can know if your package is still in transit or eligible to be held for pickup by tracking your package.

Click here to visit the tracking page, put in your tracking code, and know it. Simple enough.

The second step would be to notify USPS that You will pick up your package. If you show up at a USPS office without first notifying, due to the volume of orders there is a good chance that USPS won’t give it to you.

2 Methods To Get Your Package Instead Of Waiting.

  1. USPS package intercept

  2. USPS hold mail

Before we jump into each method, first understand what each service does…

Package Intercept:

For a fee, package Intercept lets the sender or receiver stop or redirect delivery that is not yet out for delivery.

FYI: Most domestic mailings with a tracking or extra services barcode are eligible for Package Intercept.

Package Hold:

On the other hand, if you’re going away for some time (30 days max), just request hold mail service. They will be holding it at the next location along the delivery routes.

Hold mail service is absolutely free, and they’ll keep your mail safely at your nearest local post office until you pick it up yourself within 40 days.

We’ve covered this topic in detail, you can read about USPS hold mail service, and how you can take advantage of it.

#1 USPS Package Intercept: Tracking, Pickup, And Limitations

You need to know where your package is before you initiate an intercept. So, first, track your package. Above we’ve explained how to track, just follow and get to know your details.

And then reach out directly to your local post office and initiate a redirect or you can do most of this online, via mobile app, or through their website.

Keep in mind, this service is paid and only available on domestic deliveries, with packages that have not been sent out for final delivery, and have not yet been delivered.

Where To Pickup Packages That Have Been Intercepted?

post office, pickup service, usps location

On package intercept, most things are controlled from the receiver side to either hold the package for pickup at a specific location (mostly a local post office) or to redirect the delivery to a new destination.

One of the best things about USPS package Intercepting is that you only pay for the intercept shipping if only they were able to intercept the package in the first place.

If a package isn’t intercepted timely (usually because USPS wasn’t able to distinguish it before the package moved on to the next stop), you won’t be charged a dime as the “package Intercept fee”.

And if you’re wondering about fees, it completely relies on the parcel itself.

Important Things To Know:

  • They require you to pay any additional postage needed for the new delivery location

  • USPS won’t guarantee package interception

  • The package is redirected as Priority Mail, again, it requires you to pay its price too

While we’re talking about its benefits, we’ve come following cons to discuss:


  • A package larger than 108 inches in length or girth (combined) cannot be intercepted

  • Foreign packages (incoming or outgoing) cannot be redirected

  • You can’t intercept items to a commercial PO Box or address

  • The fee is nonrefundable

We’ll recommend you take your decision of package redirection at least a day or two before the delivery day. Any closer than that will always cause more headaches and hassle than anything else.

To know more, visit the USPS package intercept service page here.

#2 USPS Mail Hold Service: Eligibility, Pickup, Limitations?

domestic mail services hold on postal service or post office

Again, in this method, the very first thing you’ll want to do is use the tracking information to know where exactly is your package now.

By package tracking, you’ll get the current location and you will know whether or not that scan was an arrival scan, a departure scan, or an in-transit scan.

  1. Arrival scan – meaning your package has arrived at a specific USPS facility. This is a good chance to contact and directly ask them to hold back your package for intercept.

  2. A departure scan – meaning your package has already moved through that facility and is on its way to the next one. In this phase, you’ve to wait to reach another facility to make them hold it.

  3. In transit scan – means it’s in a way to you, and easily the widest hint to deal with as well. You can’t do anything. It happens when 3rd party carriers are involved or they aren’t updating parcel status.

To use hold mail service, you’ve to tell the USPS (via email or text message) to hold a package at an approved facility until someone arrives to pick it up.

Again, if you don’t even know where is your package (because you didn’t check to track it), how can you even start an argument?

After a successful hold on the desired post office, you have to visit and show an ID that matches the name on the package itself and then claim that package directly. Simple and free.

But again, before going recommended is to call ahead and make sure that your package is there. We recommend this method because it is great for travelers who won’t be home soon and well it’s free!

But this doesn’t mean it has no limits…

Hold For Pickup Eligibility:

Hold service works only on priority mail and express packages. Some items are listed below:

  • Items at the retail post office

  • Postage is paid through USPS click-N-ship

  • Commercial mailings

  • The registered end user of USPS-approved PC postage products

  • USPS approved information-based indicia (IBI) postage meters

But this service does not work on 1st class mail letters, flats, and others. So, if you’re going to receive letters and flats, you better go with intercept service.

How Do I Know If My Package Is At The Post Office?

USPS post office, usps before delivery, priority mail express items

To know whether your package is at the Post Office or not, follow the below steps:

  1. Click here and add your tracking number

  2. Avoid including any dashes or spaces while adding the tracking number

  3. Click on check status and you can easily see the status of your package.

This will let you know whether your package is at the post office or not. You also receive the mail that says Arrival at Unit – which means your package is at the local post office

FYI: If your package arrives at the post office before 9:30 AM then it will be delivered to you the same day if it shows up after 9:30 AM then it will be the next business day delivery.

Conclusion On “Can I Pick Up A Package From USPS Before Delivery”

Picking delivery up before everyone does sounds great but to be honest, it is a little tedious. At the end of the day, you’re just holding your packages in the local post office or sending to somewhere else.

One is free and the other is paid; it all comes down to how important it is to you. You can take advantage of these tips and tricks to minimize packages getting lost for no real reason whatsoever.

If this late delivery and alike shenanigans, the ability to either intercept or hold your usps package at a location is a game changer.

You can level up a bit, by buying a separate USPS virtual mail address to hold your mail there.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something. Please share it with your friends and on social media.