How Often Does USPS Lose Packages

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

Sometimes, the worst happens: Your delivery is lost in transportation and you never hear from them again. The Postal Service of the United States of America is an agency of the executive branch of government. What does that mean exactly? That there is no parcel ever lost?

To find out more, I did an extensive study on USPS. Does the United States Postal Service (USPS) lose packages? If you don’t want to miss out on the solution, keep reading!

Is the USPS Loosing Packages in 2022?

As of 2022, the USPS is expected to lose around 3% of the total mail it processes due to a variety of factors, the most prevalent of which being misplaced shipping labels.

At least seven days from the date of delivery, customers are advised to register a missing mail search request. Find out why the Postal Service loses a lot of shipments, what to do if the USPS has misplaced your item, and more by reading on!

Why Are USPS Packages Lost?

If a label fails to print properly, the United States Postal Service will frequently lose shipments. A parcel’s ability to get to its destination is largely dependent on the zip code on the label.

The printed numerical zip code is not what decides the success of the label, but rather the barcode section (as the zip code info is built into the barcode).

Because of this, it is possible for the computers that process and scan shipments to misplace items if the label on the package is smudged, ripped, or otherwise rendered unreadable.

Another reason to provide a readable return address is to ensure that if an item is lost in transit, it will be sent to a location other than Lost Mail.

Similarly, if the stated zip code and address or name do not match, some lost mail might be attributed to completely inaccurate addresses.

How Many USPS Packages Are Lost?

About 3% of all mail pieces that are sent by the United States Postal Service are lost or damaged. Furthermore, calculates that this equates to almost 146 billion mailpieces every year!

An annual loss of 4.38 billion pieces of mail is equal to three percent of all letters sent. It is possible, according to NatPay, that the three percent rate for missing parcels is an overestimate because the criteria used to calculate it are not flawless.

What Happens If Your Package Is Lost By USPS?

To assist you to locate a missing USPS package, the postal service has a tracking system in place. As a first step, make sure the package has been lost.

Therefore, your only option is to wait seven days for First-Class, First-Class Package, or Priority, if you want to go to this phase right away. The other option is to use Retail Ground, Parcel Select, or Media Mail, which will take 14 days.

The only exception is Priority Mail Express, which comes with a money-back guarantee once you’ve paid for it. Before 6 p.m. on any given, promised delivery date, Priority Express customers can file for a refund and file for a missing shipment if their product doesn’t come.

Let’s imagine you’ve been patiently waiting for a week or two and nothing has shown up. USPS tracking shows that the shipment has been stalled in transit.

On the USPS website, you can register a claim for lost mail at this stage. To assist the postal service to identify your parcel, you may fill out the Help Request form and send it to your local post office.

When submitting a Missing Mail Search Request, be sure to include as much detail as possible regarding the lost mail item. On the other hand, some examples of the information that you should have available for USPS include

  • Sender and recipient address
  • Size and shape of the package
  • Tracking info;
  • What the package contains (as specific as possible)
  • Any applicable photos

A recipient in this situation might have to enlist assistance from the sender in order to obtain this data.

Who Is Responsible If USPS Loses a Package?

In terms of item replacement or refund, the seller has the responsibility even if the USPS was to blame for the package’s disappearance. The item was dispatched by Priority Mail with an Insurance add-on, although it may have arrived via Priority Express.

It is automatically insured for $50 and $100 in the latter event (respectively). A claim can then be made for compensation if you have insurance.

How Do You Determine If USPS Has Lost a Package?

According to, if your First-Class or Priority Mail package has not arrived within seven days after mailing, you can consider it lost. Using Retail Ground, Parcel Select, or Media Mail for 14 days may lead you to believe it’s gone.

A one- to five-day turnaround time may be expected from first-class services. It is expected that the third group will be able to produce within eight days, if not sooner. In the Amazon app’s tracking area, I’ve also observed that parcels shipped by USPS may show up as “Package is Lost or Delayed.”.

For more information, check out our related articles on how fast USPS ground service is and whether or not you can reroute a USPS item.

Bottom Line

Bad news all around, and regrettably it can happen to billions of pieces of mail every year. The Postal Service has devised ways for detecting missing parcels in order to reduce occurrences to a minimum despite this.

Curated posts

Someone from Indianapolis, IN just viewed Best Online Colleges for Education Degrees