What Does “Shipping Label Created USPS Awaiting Item” Mean?

Have you ever seen the status “shipping label created, USPS awaiting item” on a package and wondered what this means and when the package will arrive? It’s not the most explicit phrase, so let’s explore it!

Shipping label created, USPS awaiting item” means that the sender has purchased the shipping for the item from USPS, but they have not given the item to USPS yet. USPS is waiting to receive it, and the item will not be moving toward its destination until they do.

The shipping process can be confusing, and vague messages like this one don’t help. In this article, we’re going to look in more detail at what this means.

What Does It Mean When A Label Is Created For USPS?

When a label is created for USPS, the shipper has entered the shipping information, calculated the costs, and paid for the label.

This label will then be applied to the package, and – in the normal course of things – the package will be shipped.

Often, the package will not have been handled by USPS at this stage, and usually the label is created online.

Occasionally, the package might have been handed over at a desk, but put into a pile rather than being scanned straight away.

Either way, until the package has been scanned, the online tracking information will not be updated.

What Does It Mean For USPS To Be Awaiting An Item?

This means that USPS recognizes the item’s shipping has been paid for, but the company doesn’t yet have the item.

They are waiting for it to be dropped off by the sender, or picked up if pickup has been arranged.

Until USPS receives the item, this status will remain in place, because they cannot offer tracking updates on a package that they do not yet have.

Because many senders now purchase mailing labels online and then drop packages off later, USPS can recognize that the item exists but not have the item for several days.

How Long Does “Shipping Label Created USPS Awaiting Item” Take?

This stage should not take long, but it does depend upon the person sending the package. They need to pass the package into USPS’s care before it can progress, and that means it could be several days.

Usually, senders are prompt about dropping off packages that they have purchased labels for, as they have already paid the mailing fees and generally want to get items dispatched promptly.

However, if the sender has been delayed, it might be several days or even longer before the tracking information updates.

If this happens, you may wish to get in contact with the sender to check that they have dispatched the package, and it hasn’t been overlooked.

Why Is My Package Stuck On Label Created? (For 3-10 Days)

In some cases, USPS’s system doesn’t update properly. This usually occurs if the package does not get scanned properly when it first enters the system.

It may then get scanned as it travels, at which point the tracking should update. However, if further scans are missed, it could remain on “label created” for days.

Some people have even seen the “label created” status once the package has arrived at its destination, despite the fact that it should have been scanned several times during its journey from the sender.

If one of your packages is showing as “label created” day after day, your best option is to get in touch with the sender and find out if they have sent the package.

If they claim to have sent it, but it remains stuck on “label created,” they may wish to follow up with USPS themselves so that they can find out what’s causing the delay.

USPS can then take steps to try to locate the package and find out why it hasn’t been scanned into the system.

When Should I Get Worried?

It’s hard to say exactly when to get worried about this message because it depends on how quickly the item should have been dispatched. If the sender promised to mail it quickly, you might be concerned sooner.

However, after about 3 days, it is usually considered reasonable to follow up and find out what’s going on.

At this point, the sender should generally have had time to arrange for a pickup or dropped the item off at their local post office. It should then have been scanned, and had the tracking information updated.

Can I Speed Things Up? 

As the recipient of the package, there isn’t anything you can do beyond contacting the sender.

USPS does not recognize itself as having ownership of the package at this point (even if the sender claims they have dispatched it), so you will need to allow the sender to do the follow-up.

If you are the sender of a package, and it is not showing as dispatched yet, the best thing to do is get in contact with USPS and request that they take steps to locate the package.

You should also communicate with the intended recipient to let them know what you are doing. If you have proof of mailing, provide this to both parties.


The “shipping label created USPS awaiting item” message can be confusing, because it doesn’t tell you much about where the package is.

Usually, this message means that the sender has purchased a label and not yet dropped the package off, but sometimes, it means USPS has failed to scan it into the system properly.

It may still arrive, but it’s best to get in contact with the sender.