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Addresses And Tracking

How to Write an Address for Shipping

Entering your address correctly helps get your package to the correct destination on time. Many people don't realize that there's a "right" way to enter an address; if it arrives at the right place, you did it correctly... right? Unfortunately, this is not the case.

TYPE IN CAPITAL LETTERS:    It is not shouting when it's an address.  Computers read the font better and more accurately.

Write the name of the recipient on the first line. The first line should contain the name of the person who will be receiving the package. Be sure to enter a first and last name.

Place the package in care of someone else (optional). If you're sending someone a letter to an address where he or she does not regularly reside, it might be wise to include a "care of" or "courtesy of" line below the name. This is also where a business name

    • Write "c/o" before the name of the person who does live there, the hotel, the hostel, etc.
    • For instance, if your aunt Polly is staying with a cousin for a few weeks and you're sending her a packaage there, you might write "c/o Henry Roth" below her name.

Write the street address or post office box number on the second line. If the street address has an apartment or suite number enter it on the same line.

    • For example, if your friend lives on 50 Oakland Avenue in apartment #206, write, "50 Oakland Ave, #206."
    • You can use some abbreviations for the type of street it is, as long as you use them correctly. You can write blvd instead of boulevard, ctr instead of center, ct instead of court, dr instead of drive, ln instead of lane and so on.[1]
    • If you're address does not have direct mail deliver, enter the P.O. Box on the second line of the address. USPS deliver slightly less than half of all packages. They deliver almost all packages under a pound. Do not assume your purchase is coming UPS.

Write the city, state, and ZIP code on the third line. The state should be abbreviated with two letters, not spelled out.

    • You can use a 9-digit ZIP code, though you don't have to. Five digits should be enough.

Let’s review with information direct from USPS

Delivery Address

Use the following format for your delivery addresses:

  1. Name or attention line:                               JANE L MILLER
  2. Company:                                                 MILLER ASSOCIATES
  3. Delivery address:                                       1960 W CHELSEA AVE STE 2006R
  4. City, state, ZIP Code:                                 ALLENTOWN PA 18104                    

Automated mail processing machines read addresses on mailpieces from the bottom up and will first look for a city, state, and ZIP Code. Then the machines look for a delivery address. If the machines can't find either line, then your mailpiece could be delayed or misrouted. Any information below the delivery address line (a logo, a slogan, or an attention line) could confuse the machines and misdirect your mail

Use the following guidelines:

  • All capital letters.
  • No punctuation.
  • One space between city and state.
  • Two spaces between state and ZIP Code.
  • Always put the attention line on top -- never below the city and state or in the bottom corner of your mailpiece.
  • If you can't fit the suite or apartment number on the same line as the delivery address, put it on the line ABOVE the delivery address, NOT on the line below.
  • Words like "east" and "west" are called directionals and they are VERY important. A missing or a bad directional can prevent your mail from being delivered correctly.
  • Use the free ZIP Code Lookup and the ZIP+4 code to find the correct ZIP Codes and ZIP+4 codes for your addresses.
  • Almost 25% of all mailpieces have something wrong with the address -- for instance, a missing apartment number or a wrong ZIP Code. Can some of those mailpieces get delivered, in spite of the incorrect address? Yes. But it costs the Postal Service time and money to do that.

Tracking Your Shipment or Packages

Every purchase you make comes with tracking. Determine the proper carrier and use any of the following links:   A generic, all packages site



What to do when the item tracks delivered but I can’t find my delivery?

Family members or neighbors receive packages, on your behalf. My kids have gathered the mail and set it on shelves in the garage. Please check first around your house and with family and neighbors. I frequently have customers find the item on their desk sitting under papers.

Please look through magazines and "junk mail" received. Envelopes are sometimes placed inside and mistakenly disposed of. The postal employees often “nest” envelopes inside magazines or advertisement circulars.

If you live in an apartment complex, please contact your rental office to see if they are holding your package there. Some packages won’t fit in your mailbox so carriers will often leave packages at a manager’s office for safekeeping.

See if someone else accepted delivery.  I have received my neighbors mail.  I'm sure you have also.  If the neighbor does't walk it over they usually put it back in the mail and it takes a few days for redelivery.  Please talk to your neighbors.  Be patient, the package may show in a day or two.

If you still cannot locate it, please contact your local post office or carrier with the tracking number and ask them if they can assist you further. Sometimes they have more information than can be seen online. They may even have your package on hold for you. If they have a postmaster at your local post office, ask to speak with him/her first. Only you can describe your specifics of your delivery location. Often times they can get the item redirected to you quickly.

If necessary, you can file a loss/theft report with the US Postal Inspector. They can be very helpful in finding missing packages within the postal system due to theft/fraud/misdelivery.