Your Package will Arrive later than Expected: USPS 2023 Guide

One of the most common updates I have recently received in my previous months of using USPS is “Your package will arrive later than expected, but is still on its way. It is currently in transit to the next facility.” 

The problem is that USPS never bothers to elaborately explain what these notifications on their tracking pages really mean. However, I dug deeper and looked into what this notification really meant. 

If you look forward to understanding the meaning and when you can expect the final delivery to occur, be sure to read on. 

What does the USPS “Your package will arrive later than expected, but is still on its way. It is currently in transit to the next facility” Update mean?

This notification means that due to unprecedented conditions that are beyond USPS’s control, a package delivery delay will happen. As the recipient, you need to stay calm since the notification can stay for several days or weeks before the status gets updated. 

You shouldn’t ever worry that your package might have been lost, stolen, or misplaced, provided USPS has accepted your item. This is a simple delivery delay that happens every other time and below, we will look at the causes. 

What you need to know is that this is an automatic update for the active tracking numbers and the status will be updated in case a manual scanning happens. After the USPS team scans your package manually, you can be sure that the final delivery is happening sooner.

Basically, “Your package will arrive later than expected, but is still on its way. It is currently in transit to the next facility” status is the Latest Update you receive when your package is “In Transit to Next Facility, Arriving Late” under the Moving Through Network prompt.

Your package will arrive later than expected

Reasons for “your package will arrive later than expected, but is still on its way” notification

1. Adverse weather conditions

Inclement weather is one of the leading causes of that update. As you perhaps understand, it’s impossible for deliveries to happen when there are heavy downpours or storms.

For the first time I encountered this update, it was an issue to do with Memphis having had severe ice storms. 

I had a 3-day delay from the expected delivery time and to say that I was anxious and stressed is an understatement. 

2. Massive backlogs

Since USPS handles millions of packages, massive backlogs can lead to packages arriving later than expected. 

A common occurrence during the holiday season, it’s easy to freak out, especially when you had a package intended to be a holiday gift. 

I usually recommend that you order your packages well in advance as backlogs can lead to delivery delays running up to several weeks ahead. 

Unless your package is in your local facility, it may take longer than can be expected even when you have the priority mail option in place, owing to slow package clearance. 

3. Understaffing

At the height of Covid, USPS had humongous packages that it made it to the headlines. Due to Covid guidelines and more people doing more of online shopping, the available staff to necessitate deliveries was way lower than enough. 

The problem was that they couldn’t “borrow” more staff from other stations, there were those on their Covid leave, and those who tested positive for Covid had to quarantine. 

In such moments, the available staff was few, and making deliveries was a tall order. 

Similarly, during the peak shopping seasons, the available staff isn’t enough to make seamless deliveries. 

Due to USPS being short-staffed, there will always be “your package will arrive later than expected” notifications whenever a pandemic strikes or if there are voluminous goods to be handled. 

What to do when your USPS package delays

USPS Package will arrive later

If you receive the “package will arrive later” USPS update, there is no need to panic since your package isn’t stolen, lost, or misplaced. 

As such, we don’t really see the need for you to contact USPS as a measure to follow up on your parcel, unless necessary. 

Since we have already told you that the delay can happen for weeks depending on the reasons leading to the delay, it’s vital for you to stay prepared psychologically for this fact. 

However, we get it that there are incidences where one needs their packages to be delivered urgently, and especially those who have the ‘priority mail’ feature in place. 

If for whatever reason it’s proving daunting for you to wait any longer, you can then contact USPS and possibly ask for a refund or seek any other relevant information.