USPS Package Forwarded: 3 Ways to Solve

Is your package forwarded to a different delivery address?

USPS forwarded mail is for customers who have recently moved to a new location. However, the service might malfunction at times since, like everyone else, USPS is sometimes allowed to commit mistakes.

Hence, while eagerly waiting for a parcel to arrive, you might find the message “Package Forwarded for Delivery” popping up on your delivery status.

So, what does “USPS Package Forwarded” mean? Let me explain like you are 5 years old. 


What is USPS Forwarded Mail?

USPS Forwarded Mail is for customers who have decided to relocate either temporarily or permanently. It allows the person the liberty to request a change of address with the USPS instead of notifying all the senders of their new address.

When a customer makes such a request, the USPS sets an automatic mail forwarding system into place. In this process USPS forward parcels to the new location instead of the former address. The system is far more convenient than having to inform all the individual senders.

Depending on the duration of the forwarding process, USPS offers three types of forwarding services:

1. Permanent Change of Address:

For changing their address permanently, one needs to visit the official website of USPS and request a change of address.

The customer will have to pay a nominal verification charge for the USPS to confirm their identity and ensure that this isn’t a fraudulent activity.

Once the process is completed, the customer will receive an email confirming that the address has been changed.  

2. Temporary Change of Address:

A temporary change of address allows emails to be forwarded to a different address for a period of 15 days to 6 months.

While requesting a temporary change of address, USPS requires the customers to mark the starting and ending dates on their calendars and inform them at least 7 days prior to the date from which the change needs to be applied.

3. Premium Mail Forwarding Service:

Premium mail forward service allows the customers to have more flexibility and control over receiving their mails.

They can choose when to keep their mails on hold and when to get them shipped, as well as choose to get a particular type of mail to be forwarded to a certain location, and so on.

What Does the Status “USPS Package Forwarded for Delivery” Mean?

Sometimes on entering your tracking ID on the USPS website, it might display the notification: “Forwarded for Delivery”.

This means that the parcel you were waiting for has been sent to a new address. The status is perfectly okay for the ones who had requested a USPS change of address.

But it can be a shock to the ones who haven’t. For, in that case, it will mean that your package has been forwarded to the wrong address.

Don’t panic, though. For, there is a way to fix this.

Why USPS Forward your Package to a New Address?

There can be two reasons why USPS forwarded your package to a new address:

Wrong Address on the Package:

This is by far the most common reason why USPS packages get forwarded to different locations. With all the streets that share a common name, it just needs a few misplaced numbers to get a parcel delivered to the wrong address.

One incorrect digit in the zip code or postal code can land you with the trouble of USPS Package Forwarded.

Applied for a Change of Address:

Even though you feel it’s unlikely, the USPS might have received the request for a change of address. If you are sure that you haven’t done it yourself, it might possibly be a family member who has done it on your behalf, or perhaps a friend or a resident who recently moved out might have accidentally changed your address.

What to do if your USPS Package gets Forwarded?

Here’s what you can do if your USPS package gets forwarded accidentally, even when you did not apply for a new address:

1. Wait for the Recipient to Take the First Step:

You can choose to wait for the person to receive your parcel and then report an error from their end. USPS will then take it upon themselves to pick up the package from there and keep it safely in their Lost and Found department. 

You will then have to contact their Mail Recovery Center and fetch your parcel.

This is a bit far-fetched process that can cause a series of communication hurdles between the customer, USPS, and the stranger who received the package. 

Moreover, it can get complicated if the recipient isn’t particularly honest and decides to secretly keep the parcel, simply denying to have received it. 

You will then have to go through the pain of opening a lost package case with USPS. But this would only lead to an extensive, time-consuming process with some added expense. 

2. Contact the Sender:

Instead of waiting for someone else to respond, you can quickly take the responsibility of solving the problem yourself. You can directly contact the sender as soon as you find the USPS Package Forwarded message as your status.

Check if the sender has the wrong address or made any mistake in the ZIP Code. If that’s the case, then usually, it’s the sender who would take the responsibility to solve the issue.

They can reach out to the Post Office, track the package and resend it to you. In certain cases, they can also offer a refund, especially if the package was insured.

However, if it’s you who is the defaulter here, then you might have to pay for the product again or at least repay the shipping fees. The process will thus cost you both your time and money.

3. Contact the Post Office Directly:

You can also contact the Post Office directly and have them track your package and get it sent back to your address.

The parcel might have been accidentally forwarded to the new address of a previous resident.

In that case, you can request USPS to track the package and resend it to you or at least bring them to the Post Office, from where you can pick it up at the Mail Recovery Center before they return it to the sender.

If it’s a mistake on the part of the Post Office, then be assured that they will take full responsibility for ensuring the parcel reaches you safely.

However, if you are at fault here, you might need to go the extra mile to retrieve your package. Whatever be the case, it will take some time to resolve.

How to Avoid Such Mistakes from Happening in the Future?

Whatever be the reason for such a mishap and whatever steps you decide to take to handle it, one thing is certain—it will end up being a time-consuming affair that can even cost you some extra bucks. So, it’s better to be more careful and shun the blunder altogether.

Here’s how you can avoid the mistake of having your package being forwarded to the wrong address:

  • Double-check the address before confirming to ensure that it’s correct and that your handwriting is legible.
  • Check with your family, friends, or any previous resident to see if they have requested a change of address with USPS on your behalf.
  • If you apply for the change of address with USPS, then ensure that you relocate before starting the mail forwarding process. Also, keep an eye on the old address to check if the package arrives there first.
  • Track your package regularly to keep a tap on its current location and take prompt action if you sense there’s something suspicious.
  • If possible, consider insuring your package against loss or damage.

There are certain mistakes over which you have no control. However, it’s always advisable to do your best to avoid making such mistakes that end up in unnecessary harassment.


Resolving the issue of USPS Package Forwarded isn’t that difficult. But still, there can be no substitute for prevention. So, you must always try to avoid any mistakes from your end.

And in case the mishap happens on the part of the sender or the courier company, you can always contact them directly and have the issue sorted with a little time and effort. 

Jacob Rice is a self-employed man with experience of more than a decade in courier services. The best part about him is that he has worked with some of the most reputed courier companies, such as DHL, FedEx, and USPS. Knowing a lot about how this entire courier system works, he is now all set to help people using this platform.

Leave a Comment