What Does USPS “Awaiting Delivery Scan” Mean?

Having issues decoding USPS tracking messages? I know it can be a bit overwhelming to try and understand the meaning of your package status updates. In this article, we’ll explain the meaning behind the overly cryptic and confusing tracking message that USPS displays, which is the “Awaiting Delivery Scan” message.

The whole point of providing status messages is for USPS to keep you updated on the progress of your package delivery. Though many messages have a clear delivery status, there are many confusing ones too, such as the In transit, arriving late message which we discussed recently.

I’ve seen a fair share of USPS customers getting confused about the Awaiting Delivery Scan message which is why I’ve decided to write this article to hopefully answer this question once and for all.

What Does the USPS Awaiting Delivery Scan Mean?

First of all, the “Awaiting delivery scan” status message doesn’t mean just one thing only. Here is a list of the reasons why you are seeing that message:

  • The package may be with a delivery person and if it the tracking status is “Awaiting Delivery Scan” or “Waiting delivery scan”, it means that the package has been sent out for delivery but that it hasn’t been scanned or marked as delivered yet.
  • In some cases, the carrier will deliver the package but may forget to scan it as “delivered”. As such, the tracking message will remain stuck at awaiting delivery scan even though the mail was delivered.
  • USPS may have forgotten to scan your package before sending it out for delivery.
  • The package could still be with the seller and they may not have sent it to USPS yet.
  • There is a possibility that your package may have gotten lost.
  • The scan can also be misattributed way before it should. Though improper delivery scans happen very rarely, everything is possible when you have a bad day, right? 

To understand the situation better, let’s closely look at the delivery process after you purchase any product online.

A Successful Delivery Process

Firstly, you select and pay for a product you like very much over the internet. 

The seller/supplier gets an order, prints the shipping label and sticks it onto the product, and sends the product to the delivery company. It can be either through the post office, regular mail, standard delivery mail, or using a 3rd-party courier such as DHL. In your case, the seller is using USPS.

Next, USPS receives the product from the seller and the package is scanned to be entered into their systems. It then goes into the warehouse where it gets grouped with other packages that are to be sent out at a scheduled date.

On the day of the delivery, the package is transferred from the warehouse into the vehicles and is off to the package shipment warehouse where it is regrouped into a smaller set, and start its final journey to reach you.

The delivery carrier now sets off to drop the package at your address. Once you receive the product, the carrier scans the package and the whole delivery process is complete. At this stage, the tracking message on the USPS website will display that the package was delivered.

Now, this whole process may take a couple of days to several weeks, depending on where the package is coming from.

What to Do When You Get the Awaiting Delivery Scan Message?

So what can you do when you keep seeing the “Awaiting delivery scan” message and don’t receive your product? As mentioned earlier, the delivery process is delicate and complex. More delays are to be expected in populated cities. That’s why it’s almost impossible for USPS to always display the most accurate tracking information. Unexpected accidents and issues may occur at any time during the delivery of your package.

So, what can you do? Well, you should wait until the expected delivery date to receive your package. If you don’t receive it by that time, hit up your local post office first to see if they have received your package. They’ll take your tracking number and do their own investigation. They have higher authority over the package’s whereabouts so you’ll get pretty accurate info from them. 

If the post office can’t help you, the last resort is to contact USPS customer service. Their domestic customer service number is 1-800-275-8777. Call them up, and you’ll get all the help you need to locate your package and find out what’s happening.

Wrapping Up

I know it can be pretty nerve-wracking to wait for your products without any clear sense of direction. But don’t lose hope. Most packages usually arrive on or before the allotted delivery date. If not, the best course of action is to first contact your local post office and if they can’t help you, escalate it to USPS customer service.

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Ali Mahdi

Ali Mahdi is the founder of CyberTips and a seasoned software developer. His expertise lies in programming, cryptocurrency trading, and social media marketing. In addition to CyberTips, Ali has written for other prominent blogs in the past for 5+ years, including iDrop News, Redmond Pie, iPhone Hacks, and iDownloadBlog.