Did you accidentally drop of a USPS package at Fedex, or are wondering if you are able to?
While USPS packages are supposed to be dropped at the post office (or a blue USPS bin), this sort of mixup happens surprisingly often.
So, does Fedex accept USPS packages? What happens if a USPS package is dropped off to them by mistake?
In this article, I’ll cover everything that you need to know!
Does Fedex Accept USPS Packages?
Generally speaking, Fedex will not accept USPS packages if you try to drop them off at the Fedex store.
That being said, if a USPS package is left inside of a Fedex bin, or it is indeed accepted while dropping it off, it will likely get its way to USPS eventually.
Of course, there are a few downsides to this. Between significant delays and the chance that the package can be lost with no recourse, it’s always a good idea to deliver to USPS directly when you are able.
Let’s look at exactly what might happen in a bit more detail.
What Happens If USPS Packages Are Left At Fedex?
The exact series of steps that will happen will depend on whether or not your Fedex store accepts the package, where the package is left, and how the package is handled.
Generally speaking, you can expect the following to happen if you try to give a USPS package to Fedex – either intentionally, or by accident.
1. You Will Not Receive A Receipt
As mentioned earlier, Fedex stores rarely, if ever accept USPS shipments directly if they can help it.
Even if they do end up taking your package in however, the first thing you’ll notice is that you don’t receive a receipt for the package.
Currently, Fedex can only provide receipts for Fedex packages dropped off with them. Packages that are supposed to be shipped with any other courier (like USPS, UPS or DHL) are not eligible to receive a receipt.
Unfortunately, this means that you have no proof that you ever dropped the package off with them. So in the event that something bad happens, you may have no recourse.
This is true even if the package was insured by USPS – until USPS actually receives it, no claims can be made.
2. Fedex Isn’t Liable For Anything That Happens To The Package
Technically speaking, Fedex is simply doing you a favor by making sure USPS receives your package.
However, they get nothing out of it, and this extra work costs them money for nothing in return. So, it’s reasonable that they aren’t to be held liable for anything that happens with your package.
Unfortunately, mistakes happen. Packages get lost, employees mishandle boxes, and items inside the packages break.
Even if this happens before the package ever makes it to Fedex, nothing can be done about it.
So, by leaving a USPS package with Fedex, you introduce a lot of unnecessary risk that could have been avoided by taking the USPS directly to your local post office branch.
3. If Dropped In A Fedex Bin, It May Be Placed In A Nearby USPS Bin
One of the most common reasons USPS packages get mixed up with Fedex packages, is that they’ve simply been dropped into the wrong bin.
Fedex and USPS often have dropoff boxes right next to each other, and it’s easy to put a package in the wrong bin by mistake.
This is especially true if you are shipping packages from both USPS and Fedex at the same time.
Thankfully, this sort of thing is incredibly common, and easy to remedy.
According to Fedex employees I’ve spoked to, they will commonly place the USPS package in the bin once they go to empty it.
Although this may cause a delay (especially if the USPS bin has already been emptied), ultimately there is little harm done.
4. It Will Be Separated From Fedex Packages
Regardless of how your USPS packages ends up in Fedex’s hands, you can be certain it will be separated from other Fedex packages once it does.
This is to ensure that all other USPS packages that have been dropped off with them are kept together, and they don’t accidentally mix your package up with others they are responsible for shipping out.
Eventually, they will bulk deliver all USPS packages to USPS themselves, or have USPS come and pick them up.
The exact length of time this can take can vary. If you’re lucky, your package will be handed off to USPS that same day. However, it’s possible that these exchanges of packages may only occur a couple of times per week
(Of course, there have been issues with people leaving Fedex packages at USPS too, so the two delivery services are both incentivized to sort this out.)
5. Ultimately, It May Arrive With Significant Delays
Finally, even in the best case scenario, there will be delays.
Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid this. Because Fedex has to first get the USPS package to USPS, there will always be this additional time before the United States Postal Service can actually begin moving your shipment throughout their network.
During that time, your USPS tracking number will show no updates, which can cause you to wonder where the package is. If you are an eCommerce seller shipping orders out to customers, this can also cause additional anxiety for them as well.
According to Fedex employees, these delays are often around 3-4 days long, over what it would’ve been if you had delivered to USPS directly.
For reference, here is a table of delivery times for various USPS package services. If your USPS package is in the possession of Fedex, you should add 3-4 days to your delivery estimate to account for the additional delay.
|Name:||Speed (Business Days):|
|USPS Marketing Mail||3-10 Days|
|Media Mail||2-8 Days|
|USPS Retail Ground||2-8 Days|
|Parcel Select Lightweight||2-8 Days|
|Parcel Select Ground||2-5 Days|
|First-Class Package Service||1-3 Days|
|Priority Mail||1-3 Days|
|Priority Mail Express||Next Day - 2 Days, Guaranteed|
It is generally not a good idea to drop off USPS packages at Fedex, if it can be avoided.
While Fedex will generally ensure that the package will get back to USPS, they do not appreciate it – and it may cause your package to be delayed by several days or more.
So, always make sure to separate your packages when shipping with different couriers, and deliver the packages that they are meant to go to. Note that UPS tend to be a bit more favorable towards receiving USPS packages, but it’s still best to avoid dropping USPS packages with them either.
I hope that this article has answered all of your questions. If you have any other questions about Fedex or USPS, please ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister