Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport [USPS]: The Full Guide

While on a Visit to the UK, I was expecting my package to be sent from New York. 

On checking the USPS Tracking page, this is what the status of my parcel showed, “Your item departed a transfer airport in HEATHROW, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM on May 10, 2021, at 8:13 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination.”

These updates are nowadays more frequent and now that you are here, you could be wondering what it means and how you can go about it. 

Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport Meaning

This status means that USPS has handed over the package to US customs for inspection and then to the airport responsible for processing the package to be taken to the destination country. 

While USPS says that the package has departed the transfer airport, it’s not always the case. When the item clears the customs process and gets handed over to the airport staff, they assume that it has departed, which is way confusing to the recipient. 

When the tracking page shows this update, it would be best for you to know that USPS is no longer in possession of your package, and they might not be in a position to give any more details about the package. 

Before the delivery happens, there won’t be any package movement on the tracker. Instead, the status of your package will stay stuck on “Your item departed a transfer airport. The item is currently in transit to the destination” as they no longer have it. 

Why is my Package Stuck on, “Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport. The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination?”

Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport

Lack of Update

Since the United States Postal Service hands over the package to the receiving Postal Agency, they no longer have any more details about your package.  

The receiving postal agency should be responsible for updating the recipient on where their item is. 

Unfortunately, National Postal Agencies in some countries don’t offer any updates to the recipients. Recipients would be in a better position to know more about the status of their packages if only they had been updated. 

If there are delays caused by logistical issues, you will not be in the know and every time you look at the USPS tracking page, your package will always be stuck on the dreaded “The item is currently in transit to the destination.” 

So, if you have no update about your package, the delay could be a result of the other reasons we describe below, and the courier given the package by USPS is responsible for keeping you in the dark. 

Few Cargo Planes

There are still a few cargo planes, which adds up to package delivery delays. 

The situation is worse during the Holiday season when there are millions of packages to be carried, making air transport delays more rampant.

Multiple Consignments are Still Required

For economic sense to be achieved, couriers mostly ensure that they have multiple consignments for packages to move out of the States. 

When the consignments are few, recipients have to be more patient, which is why it may take even several months for packages to start moving. 

Inclement Weather

As you are perhaps aware, it’s impossible for aircraft to fly when we are experiencing bad weather. 

In such cases, it might take several days or weeks before the weather becomes clear once more, and until then, your package will be in the hands of the responsible consignor. 

Lengthy Customs Processes

While your package might have cleared the US Customs process faster, that might not always be the case in your country. 

Factors such as massive backlogs, especially during the holiday seasons, or understaffing at the moment when your package reaches your country could be a major contributor to the delay. 

Again, depending on the nature of your package, the customs process might be longer than normal in the destination country. 

What Do I Do When My Package is Stuck on “Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport?”

If the National Post Service in your country offers the Tracking Service, be sure to track your package there. If they don’t, your only choice is to be patient awaiting your package. 

Don’t bother contacting USPS at this point as they have no update about your package. Once more, they are not in possession of your item. 

If the delay goes on further and you are running out of patience, you can as well contact the shipper to start the claims process or send another parcel to you. 

How to Track International Packages in Different Countries

If you are expecting an International Package from the US, you can track and trace it from these countries from the links shared in the table below. (We will keep updating the table for more countries). 

It’s important for you to note that it might take a few days, weeks, or a month before your package reaches the National Postal Service in your country, which is why recommend that you keep checking the tracking details after a few days when it says incorrect tracking details

United KingdomRoyal Mail
PolandPolish Post
AustraliaAustralia Post
SwedenPostNord Sverige