USPS Tracking: Understanding “Moving Through Network” Status

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Have you ever ordered a package that seems to get stuck in the USPS system? The tracking info says “In Transit, Moving Through Network” for days on end with no further updates. This ambiguous status can be frustrating when you’re eagerly awaiting an order. In this article, we’ll break down exactly what it means when a package is “moving through network” with USPS.

The “moving through network” status simply indicates your package is somewhere in the USPS system, still traveling to its intended destination. It has gone through an initial acceptance scan and is now making its way between postal facilities on the path towards being delivered.

While not the most helpful status, it at least confirms your package is in transit and hasn’t been lost or held up somewhere. However, with no indication of current location beyond a vague “network” description, the status leaves much to be desired. Keep reading to better understand why packages get stuck in this status limbo and what you can do about it.

Why Does “Moving Through Network” Happen?

There are a few key reasons why your package may remain in the moving through network status for an extended time:

The Package is Traveling a Long Distance

Shipments that have to cover a lot of ground through multiple postal facilities and distribution centers to reach their destination are more likely to sit in the moving through network status longer. Cross country shipments may take over a week just to cross the many hundreds of miles between origin and delivery.

There May be Limited Scans Along the Route

While USPS aims to scan packages at every stop through the postal network, sometimes items won’t get scanned if they are traveling by truck in between facilities. Lack of scans leads to lack of tracking updates beyond the initial “moving through network” scan.

High Package Volumes Can Cause Delays

During peak seasons like the holidays, USPS sees a major influx of packages in their system. With more volume, packages may sit longer between scans as they wait to be sorted and transported. This leads to packages getting “stuck” in the moving through network status if there are too many to process efficiently.

Weather or Other Transportation Issues

Severe weather events, trucking delays, and other transportation problems can sometimes slow down the flow of packages between postal facilities. Packages may miss their scheduled transportation due to these issues and have to wait, leading to minimal tracking updates.

How Long is Reasonable for “Moving Through Network?”

So when should you really start becoming concerned about a package stuck in the moving status? Here are some general guidelines:

  • Within the Same City: Should take 1-2 days max before another scan occurs if staying local.
  • Within the Same State: May stay in status up to 2-3 days depending on mail hub locations.
  • Cross Country: Can take 4-8 days to traverse long distances between multiple states.
  • To Alaska or Hawaii: Will understandably take even longer than cross country shipments given the air/sea transportation.

Of course, these are just general timeframes, and individual packages may vary. But in most cases, you can expect that mysterious “moving through network” status to last about a week at most for long distance shipments. If your package exceeds these timeframes, other issues may be holding it up.

What to Do If Your Package is Delayed Within The USPS Network

Here are some steps to take if you’re concerned about a package that seems stuck in the moving through network status for too long:

  • Wait a Full Week – Give adequate time for transportation between major hubs across long distances before worrying.
  • Check for Updates Daily – Packages sometimes get quick scans you might miss if not monitoring closely.
  • Confirm Address Accuracy – Make sure you didn’t mis-enter the delivery address, which could severely delay delivery.
  • Contact the Sender – The shipper may be able to provide tracking info you can’t see or start an inquiry.
  • Contact USPS – If it has truly been lost/delayed, file a claim so they can start searching for it.
  • Request a Refund – For an eBay or online retail order, you may be able to get refunded if the package is severely delayed.

Just remember that the moving through network status itself is not an indication of anything wrong. It simply means your package is still traveling between USPS facilities on the way towards being delivered.

Other Common USPS Tracking Statuses

Beyond moving through network, here are some other common tracking statuses and what they indicate:

  • Pre-Shipment Info Sent – The label has been created and tracking number assigned. Package not yet given to USPS.
  • Arrived at USPS Facility – Dropped off at local post office. Entered postal system.
  • In Transit to Next Facility – Traveling between USPS facilities on the way to destination.
  • Out for Delivery – On truck for delivery that day.
  • Delivered – Successfully delivered to address.
  • In Transit, Arriving Late – There is a delay, but package is still on the way.
  • Returned to Sender – Unsuccessful delivery, being returned to original shipper.

Common Reasons for USPS Post Delivery Delays

While moving through network is usually nothing to worry about, actual delays are understandably frustrating. Here are some top reasons your package could be delayed beyond the expected delivery date:

  • Inaccurate delivery address entered.
  • Extreme weather events or natural disasters.
  • Trucking transportation delays.
  • Peak holiday shipping overload.
  • Customs clearance holdups (international packages).
  • No one available to sign for signature confirmation.
  • Improper packaging leading to damage.
  • Wrong postage amount paid.
  • Getting lost or misrouted within the USPS system.

If a package is severely delayed beyond the expected transit time, you can file a claim with USPS so they can attempt to locate it within their system or determine if it is lost.

Tips for a Better USPS Shipping Experience

To avoid the stress of tracking down delayed packages, here are some tips to keep your shipments moving efficiently:

  • Double check the delivery address when entering online.
  • Bring items to the post office counter for scanning, don’t just drop off.
  • Choose express shipping methods like Priority or Overnight when needed quickly.
  • Properly package items to prevent damage according to USPS guidelines.
  • Print labels through USPS Click-N-Ship for accurate tracking.
  • Add insurance for high value items in case of loss.
  • Check upcoming weather issues along the delivery route.
  • Provide recipient phone # to assist with delivery if needed.

Key Takeaways: Decoding USPS “Moving Through Network”

If you see this vague status, don’t panic! Here’s what to remember:

  • It just means your package is traveling between USPS facilities to reach its destination.
  • Long distances or periods of high volume can increase time in status.
  • Wait at least a full week before worrying for long distance shipments.
  • Check tracking daily for missed updates.
  • Contact USPS if it has truly been lost or delayed.
  • The status itself is not an indication of a problem.

With hundreds of millions of packages shipped annually, some transit times are inevitable. But hopefully this breakdown demystifies the ambiguous “Moving Through Network” status so you know what to expect. Just show some patience and soon enough your package will arrive.

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