How to Track a Package

Enter your USPS tracking number below to get real-time, up-to-date information about your package’s location and estimated arrival. If you need help locating your tracking number, read below.


Mail doesn’t need to be complicated, and calculating a package’s arrival date doesn’t need to be a matter of guesswork. Tracking numbers exist to record a package’s progress in real time from its point of origin to its destination, meaning that it’s possible to keep a completely accurate account of where your mail is at any given time. Tracking numbers are an essential part of of the mail system, and to online businesses and e-commerce companies as well. Not only can you keep track of those holiday cookies that you’re sending your niece, but you can have peace of mind while watching the progress of your online orders right up until they arrive at your doorstep.

Using a Mail Tracking Number

The way that tracking numbers work can vary just a little bit between different mail carriers, but all of the fundamental aspects of tracking numbers are the same no matter which company is delivering your mail.

How to Track a Package with USPS

USPS provides what is most likely the simplest and easiest-to-use mail tracking system in the world. USPS does not charge extra to add a tracking number and it is printed on the shipping label of all priority mail. In order to track a package that’s been shipped via USPS, the first step is to locate your tracking number. USPS Tracking numbers usually are 20-22 digits long and do not contain letters. With USPS Express Mail, tracking numbers are normally 13 characters long, begin with two letters, and end with “US”.

Most commonly, your tracking number can be found on the receipt you received when you mailed your package out from your local Post Office.

Some Post Office receipts look differently, but they should all resemble something similar to this example:

USPS Receipt With Tracking Number

If you used USPS.com to ship out your package, you should have received an email confirmation that will have your tracking number contained within. Once you’ve located your tracking number from your e-mail, your Post Office receipt, or the shipping label itself, the next step is to use the number to track your package. This can be done several different ways.

The most direct method of tracking your package may be to enter your tracking number on the the USPS website. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the only method to tracking your package, and it’s also not necessarily the most convenient.

One alternative option is to use the Easy Shipping Tracker browser extension for Chrome. This tool allows you to simply highlight any tracking number within your browser, right click, and select the menu option for “Track My Package.” This can save time, especially when dealing with multiple tracking numbers or tracking numbers that have been delivered via e-mail or web browser.

Tracking Mail With Other Carriers

Tracking a DHL Package

DHL tracking numbers are generally 10 or 11 digits long, do not contain letters, and can provide you with full details about your shipment.

Track on DHL

Tracking a FedEx Package

A typical FedEx tracking number is 12 characters and can provide route history, estimated time of delivery, and additional details.

Track on FedEx

Tracking a UPS Package

Tracking numbers are automatically given to every package that UPS ships. A UPS tracking number can be found on your receipt and starts with the digits 1Z.

Track on UPS

Tracking International Carriers

Many international mail carriers in North America and Europe also provide mail tracking services. To track your package, follow the instructions on your shipping receipt or contact your carrier for further direction.

Other Places to Use Your Tracking Number

If you’re simply trying to track a single package, often the simplest method of doing so is by entering the tracking number directly on the mail carrier’s website. However, that’s not the only place your tracking number may come in handy. A number of other mail-related stores and websites can also accept your tracking number to present the route data in a customized way or to provide additional services with the information.

Just a few examples of places to use your tracking number are:

  • Stamps.com
  • Boxoh
  • PackageTrackr
  • TrackMyShipments
  • SimpleTracking
  • TrackThis
  • SmartPackage Tracker

Did Your Mail Get Lost?

If your tracking number isn’t working, there’s a chance that your mail mail have gotten lost. The modern mail tracking system is extremely accurate, but mail is still handled and delivered by human beings, and even the best of us are prone to making mistakes every now and then. It’s not common for mail to go missing altogether, but if it’s happened or your package has otherwise been lost, it’s important to stay calm and remember that there’s still hope and that lost mail can be recovered.

Once you’re done reading about all of the steps necessary to locate your lost package, proceed to submit a search request on the USPS website. There’s no guarantee that lost, misplaced, or stolen mail can be recovered, but there’s a good chance that your package is still sitting somewhere waiting to be claimed by its rightful recipient.