USPS Processing Exception: What to do?

USPS or United States Postal Service is the globally acclaimed shipping company that excels in its postal services, bringing the best courier services to its customers. However, a professional delivery does not always depend on the efficiency of the postal company alone. Certain mishaps take control of the process, and unforeseen circumstances on the road may lead to USPS Processing Exception.

There is no reason to believe that your parcel may never arrive, but it might just get delayed by a few days. And in some instances, you can extend your hand to fix the problem.

So, let us now explore the topic further to know what USPS Processing Exception is, why it occurs, and how you can handle it with the highest efficiency.


What is the USPS Processing Exception?

USPS Processing Exception is the notification that the recipient of a parcel receives from the company when they think that the delivery might suffer a temporary suspension. It is just a precautionary measure to keep the customer informed about the temporary obstacle that might prevent their package from getting delivered on time.

Encountering the USPS Processing Exception doesn’t necessarily mean that your package is bound to result in delivery delays. Still, it’s just a possibility that the company wants to warn its customers. 

It so happens that the package delivery continues as expected even after suffering the Processing Exception at some point in its journey. 

Reasons for the USPS Processing Exception

USPS Processing Exception occurs due to several reasons, some of which are given below:

Wrong Address or Damaged Label:

Incorrect address or damage label is the most common reason behind USPS Processing Exception. When something like this occurs, the delivery person fails to locate the place of delivery, and hence the parcel returns to the shipper who needs to resend it, causing a delay in delivery.


Holidays are a typical period for the company to encounter a Processing Exception since it’s the phase where they have a lot of deliveries to finish within a few days, and that too with limited resources. Hence, despite their best efforts during this time, holiday workloads cause the company to suffer processing exceptions.

Pickup and Delivery Issues: 

Another common cause for USPS Processing Exceptions is pickup and delivery issues that occur when the carrier fails to find the exact location from where they are to pick up the package or the address where the parcel is to be delivered.

Check: USPS Collect On Delivery: The Final Guide

Package Loss or Damaged Parcels:

Though uncommon in the history of the USPS services, package loss or damaged parcels due to transportation accidents despite all safety measures lead to the most unfortunate Processing Exceptions where the shipper needs to arrange for the shipment again, causing the delay in the delivery.

Customs Delay:

This is another rare, though not uncommon, reason for a package to suffer the USPS Processing Exception, especially if it lacks the proper documentation required at the customs for international shipping.

Weather Conditions:

Bad weather condition is another unforeseen circumstance that might lead to the USPS Processing Exception if the disaster falls under the delivery route and cause it to suffer a delay.

Missing Recipient:

Needless to say, if the courier company cannot find anyone to receive the parcel from them, it will be considered a failed delivery after repeated attempts at it. Then the package would have to encounter the USPS Processing Exception.

Consequences of Encountering the USPS Processing Exception

There are three consequences of encountering the USPS Processing Exception:

Package Gets Delivered as Expected:

If the USPS Processing Exception was just a false alarm acting as a proactive notification, then the package is sure to get delivered as expected without any delays whatsoever.

Package Suffers a Delay:

However, if it was not a false alarm and there was a real issue with the package, then USPS Processing Exception might make the delivery suffer a mild delay.

Package Returns to the Shipper:

In case of certain serious issues encountered in the delivery process of the package that has encountered USPS Processing Exception, the parcel may be returned to the shipper, who would then decide on the next steps.

How to Handle USPS Processing Exceptions?

Handling the mishap of USPS Processing Exception is not that difficult if you can keep a calm mind and cool head. Here are a few things that you can do to handle such a situation:

Understand Your Customer Expectations:

This is the first step towards handling a Processing Exception. Since the customers have a lot of hopes and expectations associated with their delivery, understanding them and acting accordingly will help you ease the tension and serve them better even with the mishap under your nose. 

Providing a delivery date, notifying them if there is any delivery issue, explaining the exact reason that caused the problem, allowing them to track their package, updating them regularly with the delivery status, and making some amends when such processing exceptions occur are some of the significant steps that can be taken to ensure customer satisfaction.

Quick Respond to Customer Queries:

The next step will be to respond quickly to customer queries and provide them with honest assurance. It is advisable to let your customer know the exact reason why their package has encountered the processing exception and inform them of the measures that are being taken to solve the issue.

Practicing the customer-first mentality even during the hour of crisis like a processing exception would determine your future relationships with your customers. If you can show a positive attitude even amid a negative situation, your customers will likely appreciate the effort and come back in the future.  

Immediate Measures to Solve the Issue:

The last step is to take immediate measures to solve the issue as soon as possible. Do whatever there is in your control to bring the delivery process right on track. 

You can contact the carrier to know precisely what caused the processing exception and then ask them how best to solve the issue. Contact the customer immediately if you think they can help you with solving the issue. In case of serious issues where the package couldn’t be delivered, make sure that you provide the customer with a certain compensation for the inconvenience caused, like some refund or discount, and then prepare to resend the parcel.


USPS Processing Exception isn’t something to panic over if you are quick and calm enough to take prompt steps to help solve the issue. So, whenever you encounter such a mishap, make sure that you understand the reason behind it and then take the necessary steps to handle the situation, with a cool head, of course!

Shipping guy at USPS, previously at Fedex.

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