“Departed USPS Regional Facility” Meaning: The Full Guide

In our “Package Moving Through USPS Network” article, we mentioned that “Departed USPS Regional Facility” is one of the updates you will see under that status. 

What does it mean? Why does your package depart from several USPS regional facilities? Read on for more. 

What Does, “Departed USPS Regional Facility” Mean?

This status means that your package has left a USPS regional distribution center after successful processing and sorting, and it’s on the way toward getting delivered. 

Under the Latest Update tab, USPS tells you that, “Your item departed our USPS Facility. The item is currently in transit to the destination” to alert you that the delivery will happen soon. 

However, the tracking page can show that your package has departed the same regional facility several times. 

Again, the package can depart several USPS regional facilities, and all these can happen due to various reasons which we will see in a short while.

Why is My Package Stuck on “Departed USPS Regional Facility?”

The Package Missed a Scan

As USPS processes and delivers over 23 Million packages daily, hundreds of these also miss to be scanned. 

When a package misses a scan after the departed update, you can see the tracking page stuck on “departed a USPS facility” for several days, while in the real sense, it’s in transit. 

Weirdly, some of the package statuses jump from “departed” to “out for delivery” due to missed scans. So, your package might still be on the way to you even when you think it’s not moving. 

Again, USPS has to be more watchful here as recipients may always be under the assumption that their items are still on the way, while realistically, they have been stuck due to other reasons. 

The Package Missed Getting Picked Up

In some instances, USPS scans packages that are arranged to be loaded on a truck as “departed USPS facility”. 

Unfortunately, there might not be enough space for the last item(s) in the queue and while at it, some USPS staff might forget to update the tracking page. 

Surprisingly, some staff may knowingly leave the packages that have not been picked up under “departed a USPS regional facility” to keep the recipients hopeful. 

When there is no sufficient room on the departing truck, the next trip might sometimes take longer to happen, making the package delayed for another day. 

It would be best if USPS only scanned the packages that have already left their facilities as “departed” instead of some instances where they do so immediately after finalizing sorting and readying them for dispatch. 

Mechanical Problems

Trucks may develop mechanical problems while in transit to the destination facilities and when that happens, delays might happen. 

The problem is that there might be no available truck for the packages to be offloaded into on the day of the mechanical problems or the next one, making delays stretch further. 

Again, the mechanical problem might be more severe and since there could be no more available trucks meant to rescue the situation, it could take longer to solve the problem. 

In those scenarios, the tracking page will still show “Your item departed our USPS facility.”

Inclement Weather

While your package might have actually left a regional facility, bad weather may cause it to be delayed along the way. 

The problem at this point is that no one has control over the weather and unless it gets clear, the package Latest Update status will stay under, “Your item departed our USPS Facility.” 

Massive winter storms and especially around the Christmas season are bound to happen, and depending on your area, your package might get delayed for several days under the dreaded “departed USPS regional facility.” 

If only USPS let the recipient know the exact reason why the package is getting delayed instead of using the vague “departed” message, while there is actually a delay happening due to inclement weather conditions. 

Accidents

Accidents happen every other day and if the truck delivering your package was involved in one, it might take longer to clear the mess. 

Since the authorities have to process the scene and USPS staff have to work on the affected packages to reach their right destinations, it might take longer. 

In such a situation, the package status will stay stuck on “departed USPS regional facility” and it will only move when it has been re-processed and re-sorted. 

Short-staffing

A delivery truck carrying packages from the USPS regional facility to the destination facility might have reached the local post office, but due to being short-staffed, fail to work on all the packages. 

Again, they might already be undergoing package backlogs, making package movement slow. 

It might take longer for these packages to be scanned, which is why the status may stay under “departed a USPS regional facility” for a day or more. 

Why Does My Package Keep Departing From Different Regional Facilities?

Do you see your package saying, “Arrived at USPS Regional Facility” then “Departed USPS Regional Facility” and then oscillating between the two updates at different facilities? 

This is fairly common and there are various reasons why you see such updates. 

Scanning Problems 

Scanning problems happen frequently where the automated USPS sorting machines keep sending package updates back to different regional facilities. 

Again, due to scanning problems, a package may depart from the right regional facility, but end up in the wrong facility. 

Whenever it ends up in the wrong USPS facility, scanning will show “arrived at USPS regional facility”. Now, depending on how far the package is from the right regional facility, it may pass through many regional facilities until it goes to the original facility it had departed from. 

After reaching the original, right regional facility, the package will be sorted once more and it will show “departed USPS regional facility.” 

Scanning error is the leading cause for a package to depart from different regional facilities and then go back to the right hub, where it will be loaded onto the truck heading to the right destination facility. 

The Package was Sorted at a Distant Regional Facility

When the larger regional facilities are backed up, USPS sometimes takes the packages to the next regional facility for faster processing and sorting to avoid more delays.

When the next regional distribution center is also overwhelmed with packages, drivers keep taking the parcels on to the next until they find a distribution center that is not experiencing too much of a backlog. 

This is quite sensible instead of letting the package sit further until the staff has a more free schedule. 

Since the distribution center near your destination facility might be further from where your package was processed and sorted, USPS trucks will have to go through various regional facilities before they reach yours. 

Whenever they depart each facility, the package status will be updated to, “departed USPS regional facility.” The great thing is that they will let you know the exact facility where your package has departed from. 

How Long Does a Package Stay Under “Departed USPS Regional Facility?”

Packages stay stuck under “your item departed our USPS facility” for between 2 and 5 business days. 

In some rare occasions, though, we have had instances of recipients complaining that their packages took up to two weeks under that status to start moving. 

Those who use USPS for international packages and under the International Priority Mail tend to have the longest delays. So, if you are one of those, we urge you to be more patient as your package will still come, albeit late. 

What Do I Do When My Package is Stuck on “Departed USPS Regional Facility” for Long?

Open a Missing Mail Request

This is particularly helpful for time-sensitive packages. 

Before you open a Missing Mail Request, USPS recommends that you fill out the “Help Request Form” first using a desktop computer. 

If they have no update for you, then go ahead with opening the missing mail request following this procedure by providing the: 

  • Shipper’s mail address
  • Your mail address 
  • The type and size of the envelope or container that was used
  • Tracking Number, Mailing date, and/or Click-N-Ship label receipt
  • The contents’ description
  • Relevant images can make identifying how your package appears easier. 

Call USPS

Calling USPS via 1-800-275-8777 is also helpful to know where your package is stuck at. No one wishes to have their package sitting on a truck for several days without any real update about the reason for the delay.