Are you tracking your package with USPS, and see a message that says ‘depart from transit office of exchange?’

To the average person, this message makes very little sense, and doesn’t really give any insight as to where the package is actually at.

So, what does this message mean, how long will it take your package to arrive after seeing it, and what should you do if USPS gets stuck here?

In this article, I’ll be covering everything that you need to know!

What Does ‘Depart From Transit Office Of Exchange’ Mean On USPS?

USPS Vehicles

If you see a message stating ‘depart from transit office of exchange’ on your USPS tracking page, this means that the package has departed from the office in which it was previously at.

As you might expect, USPS themselves do not have offices in every country in the world. After all, USPS stands for United States Postal Service, so while they can ship to most countries, they do not actually have a business presence in all of them.

Because of that, USPS will tender packages to local courier services in order to actually handle the transit of your package. If your package goes through multiple countries, it may be handled by the postal services residing in several different countries – which means it’s changing hands quite a bit!

When this happens, you may see the ‘depart from transit office of exchange’ appear on your tracking.

How Long Will It Be Until My Package Is Delivered?

In order to know how long it will be before your package likely arrives, it’s important to take a look at the details next to the ‘depart from transit office of exchange’ message.

More importantly, you’ll want to be looking at the country where the message appeared.

If the country that this message appeared in (or the message that appears afterwards) is based in the country it’s supposed to be delivered to, it won’t be long! At this point, the longest part of the process is over, and it will likely be only a few business days before the package actually ends up at your doorstep.

Unfortunately however, because this message can appear anytime a package goes through a new country, it may appear several times throughout the shipping process.

So if the message appears in a country other than the one it will ultimately be delivered to, it can be difficult to pinpoint how much longer the package will take before it arrives.

For the most accurate estimate, refer to the tracking estimate provided – ideally by the tool I’m about to mention!

Use This To Track Your Package Instead!

Did you know that you don’t have to track your package from USPS’ website – and in fact, there’s usually a better way to do it for international shipments?

It’s true!

Instead of using USPS tracking alone, I highly recommend plugging your tracking number into a universal package tracker like Parcels.

Parcels is completely free to use, both using the website I just linked to, as well as via their iPhone or Android app.

So, what makes Parcels great?

Parcels is a universal tracking solution, meaning it will attempt to pull tracking information from all couriers in its system – not just USPS directly.

For international shipments, USPS may hand off the package to the local postal system for the country it’s going through. Unfortunately, this means that they do not always show tracking updates that are pushed to USPS’ website.

By plugging your tracking number into a service like Parcels, you may be able to see more frequent and detailed updates than what is available on USPS’ website alone.

So, it’s certainly worth trying out!

My Package Is Stuck On ‘Depart From Transit Office Of Exchange.’ Why?

If your package appears to be stuck on the ‘depart from transit office of exchange’ message, this can be alarming.

But really, you shouldn’t worry!

When you see this message, the shipment has already cleared customs in that country. Unfortunately however, because it’s departing, you may not see any further tracking updates for several days while the package makes its journey towards wherever it’s going next.

If shipping a package to the United States, this may be a USPS sorting facility, or even your local post office (in which case, you’ll see a message that says ‘arrival at unit.’)

Otherwise, you’ll likely see it pop up in another country shortly.

If it’s been longer than a week however, it may be a good idea to contact the shipper who originally mailed the package to you.

This way, they can have it sorted out with the courier, and solve any issues that may be preventing the package from moving forward. Some merchants may also offer reimbursements or refunds for significant delays.


‘Depart from transit office of exchange’ appears when your package departs from one country’s transit office, and is handed off to continue its journey.

Therefore, you should only see it when shipping packages internationally.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and that it’s cleared up this message for you.

If you have any other questions about shipping internationally with USPS, please ask them using the comment form below and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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  1. Thank you so much for this information. My mom sent two packages to France, both to different places and one made it and the other one had issues. I kept trying to track the number on line through usps and it would tell me messages but it showed the package in Africa then Greece and I called the 800 number to find out more info and they couldn’t help me. So I researched on line and saw your article. I was able to track and see the package is on its way to the recipient! Mom will be happy when I tell her. Thank you for the info it really helped and gave me a sigh of some relieve.


    1. Hi Rebecca, thanks so much for your comment!

      I always really appreciate hearing stories like this. While I can view the number of people that read the articles, it’s easy to forget that there are real people, with real stories behind why they’re here reading them. I’m so happy to hear that everything looks like it’s going smoothly with her shipments and I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better about them now as well.

      If there is ever anything else I can help with, just let me know!


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