How To Recover A Package Lost In The Mail


The United States Postal Service (USPS) processes around 6,000 packages and envelopes every second and it uses a very precise system to process each piece. But when you process that much mail, something is bound to get lost. The mailing label might have fallen off, or the address is illegible and the post office computers cannot process it. If you lose a package, you can go through the process of recovering it depending on how your package was sent.

Mail Sent Using Standard Methods

If you took your package to the post office and had the clerk affix postage before shipping, then your package cannot be tracked. If your package does not arrive to its destination, then it has more than likely been shipped to one of the two Mail Recovery Centers. These centers are in Atlanta, GA and St. Paul, MN and their sole purpose is to collect lost packages and try to get them to their destinations.

The Criteria Used At The Mail Recovery Center

When a package arrives at the mail recovery center, it is scanned and then opened to determine the value of the contents. If the contents are valued at $25 or below, then the package is almost immediately destroyed. If the contents are worth $25 or more, then the postal workers will attempt to find a delivery address inside the package. If none can be found, then the package is held for six months. After six months, the contents are auctioned off.

Recovering Your Lost Package

If you want to try and recover your lost package, then you need to go to your local post office and ask to fill out a lost package form. You will need your address, the destination address, the recipient’s name and both phone numbers (if possible). Once you submit your form, the postal service will go to work manually looking through its two Mail Recovery Centers trying to find your package. It can sometimes take months to find your package, so patience is your best friend.

Finding A Tracked Package

Unfortunately, not all lost packages make it to the Mail Recovery Centers. Some packages get lost at the various regional sorting centers and, if they do not have a tracking number, they could be lost for good. But if you put a tracking number on your package or sent it using one of the postal service’s priority methods, then you can use that tracking number to find your package.

You can look up the shipping progress of your package online using the tracking number given to your package by the post office. That tracking system will tell you which regional sorting center had your package last. You can call that sorting center and start the process of searching for your package.

A lost package in the mail can be frustrating, but that package is not necessarily lost forever. Depending on how you sent your package, there are ways that you can ask the postal service to search for your package and hopefully send it on to its destination.