USPS Hold for Pickup is a service with a special intent of delivering your package to a USPS facility where you can go later and pick it up.
When your package gets to a USPS facility near you, a notice will be sent to your e-mail address letting you know that you have a package waiting for you at the USPS pickup location.
When you receive the message, you will also get the address of the facility where your package is along with the working hours so you can plan to pick it up accordingly.
To go and pick up your package, you should have a valid ID matching your name with the name on the shipping label.
Important note: Hold for Pickup can only be used with First-Class Package Service, Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail.
Printing the Hold for Pickup labels
If you’re the sender it is good to know how to print the Hold for Pickup labels. The Stamps.com website gives you the option to print Hold for Pickup labels from your own printer.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Click the “Packages” or “Batch” tab
- In the tab type in return and delivery information
- Select 4×6 shipping label with plain paper or SDC-1200 as the print media
- Select additional options in the packages tab ; for batch shipment select the order and click edit
- Select “Hold for pickup”
- Enter mailpiece, mail class and weight
- Enter the recipient address
The Stamps.com app will automatically select the pickup location based on the address of the recipient. There is no option to select the pickup location manually.
Times for Pickup
The Hold for Pickup service for Priority Mail Express has 31,000 locations that are available for pickup.
Depending on the Priority Express service standard, you can pick up your Hold for Pickup shipment by either 10 AM, 12 AM (noon) or 3 PM.
One of the Hold for Pickup locations can be a Post Office where you can pick up the shipment within five calendar days, so you can pick up your shipment at your convenience knowing that your shipment is securely stored at one of the designated USPS locations.
Important note: If you’d like to send Priority Mail Express to the members of the military in the APO/FPO destinations or the Diplomatic Post Office (DPO), unfortunately that will not be possible as Priority Mail Express Hold for Pickup is not available for those destinations.
These are the mail classes that the Hold for Pickup service is available for:
- Priority Mail Express
- Priority Mail®
- Priority Mail Express™
For commercial mailings it is available for:
- Priority Mail Express
- Priority Mail
- First-Class Package Service®
- Parcel Select® Ground
- Parcel Select Lightweight
- Bound Printed Matter
To be able to use commercial Hold for Pickup you need to put the Hold for Pickup label on the package and it needs to include the Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) with the designated Service Type Code (STC).
How to Request Hold for Pickup
There are several ways you can request Hold for Pickup Service.
The first is the Post Office location and it is only available for Priority Mail Express.
The second is the website, USPS.com. On USPS.com use Click-N-Ship for Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail.
The third are the online PC Postage Vendors like Stamps.com where you can register and then select the Hold for Pickup service from their website.
The fourth way you can request Hold for Pickup service is with USPS Webtools API but this is only for Commercial Customers. After you register you will receive the Hold for Pickup User Guide.
So now let’s see how you can use the service with the four ways described above.
1. Retail Location (Post Office)
For old school folks, the easiest way is to go to your local Post Office and ask your local Sales and Service Associate (SSA) at the counter to process your Hold for Pickup request.
This option is only available for Priority Mail Express and you need to have 11-HFPU label for this which you can order from the Postal Store and get a pack of 10.
To find out the available Hold for Pickup locations searching by city and state you can use an SSK or the Self-Service Kiosk which will also give you the times available for pickup on each location.
If you have a Click-N-Ship account you can request USPS Hold for Pickup from your account. The other way is to choose the Delivery Instruction or the Package Intercept features of the USPS.com website.
To see how you can actually do this visit USPS.com.
3. Online PC Postage Vendors
There are different USPS PC Postage Vendors like Stamps.com, Endicia, Pitney Bowes and EasyPost which have different shipping solutions you can use, one of which is the Hold for Pickup.
If you want to know how to use PC Postage to request Hold for Pickup you can contact your sales representative or you can visit this link: https://www.usps.com/business/postage-options.htm.
4. USPS Web Tools API for Commercial Customers
Here are the basic instructions for requesting USPS Hold for Pickup from the USPS Web Tools:
- Go to USPS.com and log into or register for an account
- On the top of the screen click on the Business Solutions tab
- Click “Manage Business Mail”
- Select the “Shipping for Business” option on left hand side
- Click get started on the very bottom the page (Web Tools section)
- Select “Register Now”
- Fill in the form and click on “Submit”
If you’re a commercial shipper and you ship something with Hold for Pickup service you will be automatically notified with an e-mail or text message if both of those are provided in the shipping services file.
When it comes to retail customers, they should provide the phone number of the recipient on the Priority Mail Express Label 11-HFPU.
Types of automated notifications
When the package arrives at the post office the receiver of the package will get a pickup reminder on day 3 for Priority Mail Express and day 5 for other mail classes.
If the package is being returned to the sender he will get a notification on day 5 for Priority Mail Express and on day 15 for other mail classes.
For other information, like the samples of hold for pickup labels, service type codes, addressing requirements and FAQ, visit this Hold for Pickup Onboarding User Guide.