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Only USPS Can Deliver To PO Boxes

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I guess I just never really thought about the logistics of delivery to a Post Office Box before but only the United States Post Office can deliver to PO Boxes. If you think about it, it makes sense because the only way someone can access the box is with a key (you) or through the back (the post office), UPS and FedEx can’t very well leave the package outside a bank of PO Boxes in the hopes that you, and not some enterprising thief, picks it up.

While I’ve never FedEx’d or UPS’d a package to a PO Box before, I bet that their software or their people would probably notify me that they couldn’t delivery… but what if they didn’t? What happens if you try to use UPS or FedEx to deliver? Return to sender? Anyone know?

{ 35 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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35 Responses to “Only USPS Can Deliver To PO Boxes”

  1. Kevin says:

    You can have a package delivered to your local UPS office for Will Call then you have the shipper put your Phone Number on the shipping tag so they can call you and notify you to pick up your package. Here in Hawaii some people live where no one will deliver so they have to get stuff shipped to a friend or to the UPS office. Even though these folks have a PO Box most of the folks want us to send UPS because out here for some reason the Post Office loses things easily….

  2. Ram Sharan Dhakal says:

    We have received shipment info in e-mail on 1st sep 09, unable to track shipment because it was given ups webpage address. On friday 04th Sep you have mentioned to check in usps and when i checked it I can see the shipment despatch details but to my curiosity how does it gets delivered? At our Post Office Box number or Courrier guys delivers it to our office? And how long it takes to arrive here in U.A.E because the item was critically urgent. Please reply me on my above e-mail ID.

  3. George Kim says:

    I am not sure about FEDEX but with UPS, they will try to contact the recipent and get an actual street address. If they canot, then it will get return to sender.

  4. mike says:

    if you get a FedEx package in your mailbox or PO box it’s because FedEx was contracted to move the shipment from origin city to destination city, and then it’s handed off to the USPS for the last leg of the journey. SmartPost, i think it’s called…

    you cannot under normal circumstances have a package delivered to a P.O. Box via FedEx. the shipping software at a FedEx staffed location will warn the employee if the zip code is a PO zip code and there’s no way to override it.

  5. Ed says:

    The post office does accept packages from UPS in rural areas. Please chek ure facts before posting….

  6. Joel says:

    It can sit in their terminal for a very long tome before someone lets you know that it couldn’t be delivered. And don’t even think about getting a refund.

  7. SeniorMoment says:

    This is no longer true, at least for box holders who sign the proper USPS form. If the form has been signed, at least at the Post Office I use, packages can be delivered even if the vendor says cannot be delivered to a PO Box. I find your site looking for the format to use. The service is a new free service that uses the physical address of the Post Office (but also needs to somehow include the PO Box Number). Then once the package has been delivered, which the customer can find out from the UPS or other tracking number, the customer can pick it up at the Post Office in one of their large package lockers. This is one of three new services available to PO Box holders.

  8. Jku says:

    I found out that they have this AWFUL service called smartpost. If you rode your bike to the place it’s coming from, picked it up, and then rode your bike back home, it’d be a similar amount of time compared to this service. Even factoring in hotels and sleep time. But it’d be WAY more expensive- this is one of FedEx’s cheapest services.

    Anyway, they use the USPS to deliver the package to its final destination- so that includes P.O. Boxes. It’s good I suppose for very rural areas that it isn’t economical for FedEx to send a dedicated truck to.

    Or that’s the theory. I’ve got a FedEx package coming to my P.O. Box right now- it’s already been handed to the USPS and it’s ready to be put in tomorrow! (Unless they drag their feet on putting it in for some reason..)

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