The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination Meaning

Before 2000, tracking information provided by the USPS was always a little bit spotty, a little bit unreliable, and not necessarily the most accurate or timely information.

Today, they provide incredibly accurate tracking details. Not only do customers using USPS get location information provided to them every time they use their tracking number, but they also get contextual information that lets them know what’s going on with their shipments. 

One of the messages that you might receive as a USPS customer is that the item is currently in transit to the destination. This message can be a little confusing, but we are here to help you understand what it means and what to do when you see such a notification.

What Is an Item Is Currently In Transit To The Destination Meaning?

An “item is currently in transit to the destination” means your shipment is en route. This could mean that the item is being shipped, transported by air, or sent through a mail system. In most cases, the item will arrive soon, but there is no guarantee that it will arrive on time. 

Other times, it means that your package is about to reach its final destination before being handed off to a local post office for actual delivery. The bottom line is that as soon as this message pops up in your tracking system, arrival at another facility is imminent.

SEE: What is Tracking Number?

Tracking Your Package As It Moves Through the Shipping Infrastructure

Tracking information may pop up at a couple of different times during the delivery of your package. In the following sections, we pinpoint possible meanings for what this digital tracking message could potentially mean depending on the context of where your package is.

Package Acceptance

When the package is accepted by USPS, which will happen fairly quickly if everything goes smoothly, there is a chance for an immediate “The item is currently in transit to destination” message to appear. Usually, this happens about a day after the acceptance update for your package. Or maybe just a few hours (to a day) after that message comes across your tracking info.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as your package must leave the initial post office or USPS acceptance facility before being rerouted to its ultimate destination.

This message tells you the package has already left one facility, so you should watch it closely. The following message, in many cases, is either “Package Arrived” or “Processed Through Facility,” letting you know that your packages are about to be delivered.

Transit Travels

Some people may get the idea that a package is in transit at any time; however, this isn’t the case. Most of the time, an “In Transit” means that the package has left one building and is on its way to another.

Depending on your package’s destination, this update may happen every time it moves from one USPS location to another or a few times before the final destination is reached. When you see the message “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination,” know that it’s just waiting for the ultimate destination to be reached before being handed off for delivery.


Generally, when you see the “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination” tracking message, it means one of two things: your package is one facility away from arriving at your local post office or fulfillment center. Or it’s going to be delivered within the next few days.

A higher likelihood is that this message means your package will be delivered in the upcoming few days if this message pops up after your package has already passed through a couple of other facilities or regional delivery hubs.

The context of the status message is vital because it defines the meaning. If you notice the last location for an update of this one is near you and within a day’s travel, it will probably arrive ASAP.


If your tracking code has the status “The Item is Currently in Transit to the Destination,” your package is about to travel much closer. You should expect an update that tells you your package will be delivered soon, maybe within the next day.

How Much Time Does USPS Take To Deliver The Package?

The time USPS takes to deliver the package is, on average, not confined. However, It usually takes 30 to 50 days to ship internationally. If you’re lucky enough to get your package sooner, consider yourself lucky! In some cases, it may take longer than expected. 

Domestic packages sometimes take 7 days to reach but occasionally have a delivery time of 3-7 days. There are also instances where the delivery has been delayed for no apparent reason. But you don’t have to worry about these frustrating delays as you will receive your package in 2 weeks except if it’s lost, damaged, or stolen. You might need Route Package Protection to mitigate such situations.


Is “In Transit” the Same As “Out For Delivery”?

Despite their misleading tracking status, “in transit” and “out for delivery” have different meanings.

If your shipment says “in transit,” it means it is on its way to you. But if the notification on your online shopping site shows “out for delivery,” that means the item has been collected by your local distribution center and is being dispatched by the delivery truck that will deliver it to you. 

Why Is USPS Tracking Failing to Update?

One of the most frequent reasons USPS tracking information hasn’t been updated is because bad weather has impeded logistical operations, stopping your mail or parcel from moving farther along the route until it reaches its ultimate destination.

How Long Does a Shipment Take To Be Considered Lost In Transit?

The USPS must first declare a piece of mail lost before you may request a search for it, and various categories of lost mail have varying time frames. For most mail classes, a mailpiece must be missing for at least 7 days after the date of mailing before you can ask the USPS to search for it.

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