Sometimes we get sent packages that do not fit in our mailbox. These may be packages sent by other people.
These may also be online orders that we, ourselves, placed.
How do we receive these packages when they do not fit in our mailbox? Different companies have different policies regarding this.
Here is How you Can Receive Packages Bigger than the Mailbox:
The carrier may deliver large packages to your front door, where you can receive them in person. If no signature is required and you are not home, they are allowed to leave it at your front door. Otherwise, you may have to pick it up or schedule a redelivery.
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Table of Contents
Will Companies Deliver To My Front Door Or My Porch?
Each company has its own policy regarding delivering items that do not fit in the mailbox.
Some companies deliver to the front door, and some do not.
Let us check the policies for each company:
The US Postal Service is generally required to use the mailbox as designated receptacles for incoming mail that is coursed through them.
If the item does not fit in the mailbox, they will try to deliver it to your front door. The mail carrier will knock on your door and try to deliver it.
If no one is at the delivery address to receive the package, they will leave a note saying you have a package for pick-up at the local post office. The USPS will not leave it on the front door or the porch, where it is usually deemed unsafe as it might get stolen.
Unlike the US Postal Service, UPS is a private company with different policies.
First, it is important to know that private companies always deliver to the front door as they are not allowed to use mailboxes. Mailboxes are for USPS use only.
For big packages that do not need a signature, the carrier can leave them anywhere they deem safe, out of sight, and out of the weather. This is to ensure that your shipment is not stolen or damaged.
These packages can be left on the front porch, side door, back porch, or even in the garage area – wherever they feel it is safe to leave them. They can also leave it with a neighbor and leave you with a yellow note indicating where they left your package.
If the package requires a signature, they will attempt to deliver it again on the next business day. If they are still unable to deliver the package, they will make a third delivery attempt.
If all else fails, they will contact you so you can pick it up at a UPS Access Point, where you will need to present a valid ID so you can claim your package.
FedEx is another private shipping company like UPS, with very similar policies regarding package deliveries.
Like UPS, FedEx cannot deliver to mailboxes as these boxes are only for the US Postal Service.
As part of the initial delivery attempt, the FedEx carrier will knock on your door to deliver a package and try to hand it over to you in person.
If you are not home and no signature is required for receiving a package, FedEx will leave it somewhere that is deemed safe. They can leave it at the front door, front porch, back porch, or garage area – as long as it is out of the weather and not easily visible to passersby.
If you are not home and an indirect signature is required, FedEx delivers the package to someone at the delivery address or someone nearby, like a neighbor. You, as the recipient, have the option to provide authorization for the package to be released and delivered without anyone present.
If you are not home and an adult signature is required, someone who lives at your address, as long as they are at least 21 years old, may receive and sign for the delivery. They would also need to present a valid government-issued ID.
If you are not home and a direct signature is required, someone at your address must sign for the delivery. Deliveries that require a direct signature are made to the address indicated on the mailing label, so anyone who lives at that address can sign on your behalf.
If you live alone or no one is at the address, FedEx may attempt to redeliver the package.
If a package requiring a signature was not delivered on the first delivery attempt, the FedEx driver would leave a door tag. They will also attempt to redeliver the package two more times.
If the package is still not delivered, it will be placed on hold at a FedEx location so you can pick it up.
How Do People Normally Receive Big Packages?
There are a few ways that people normally receive big packages, but this varies from one shipping company to another.
All shipping companies will attempt to deliver it personally by knocking on your front door. If you are at the delivery address during the time of delivery, then you can receive the package.
If you are not at the delivery address, but someone else is present to receive it, most carriers will deliver the package to them, who can sign on your behalf. If no one is at the address and there is no signature, then carriers can leave it somewhere they deem safe.
If the delivery for the big package needs to be signed, then the carrier will attempt to redeliver or inform you to pick it up at their location.
The policies above apply mostly to private shipping companies like UPS or FedEx, as these companies are allowed to leave packages as long as no signature is required.
For shipments made through the US Postal Service, you can only receive big packages in two ways: either you have to be at the address at the time of delivery so you can personally receive it, or you can pick it up at your local post office.
Will I Have To Pick Up Big Packages Myself?
Sometimes we are too busy to miss the delivery of our packages requiring a signature.
Most couriers will attempt to deliver three times. After three failed delivery attempts, you can only get your package by picking it up at a designated location.
When picking up a package, you must present a valid ID to confirm your ID.
However, you are not required to pick it up yourself. If, for some reason, you are still too busy to go to the location to pick up your package, you can authorize someone to do it on your behalf.
When authorizing someone to pick up your mail, you need to have authorization written on the delivery notice on the back of the PS Form 3849.
You can also have it written on a piece of paper.
The note needs to indicate the full name of your representative, and it needs to state that they are claiming your package. It also needs to have your signature.
Plus, the person claiming your package should bring their own valid ID.
If you need someone else to pick up your package at a UPS hub on your behalf, they will need to bring a valid government-issued photo ID. They must also present proof of connection to the named person or the address on the UPS label.
Proof of connection can be the named person’s valid ID or a photocopy.
Another proof of connection is an official notification indicating the package’s shipment details. You can print it out or get it on a smartphone.
If the shipper provides a release code for your package, your representative can present their valid government-issued ID and the code so they can pick up the package.
With FedEx, anyone can claim your package on your behalf as long as they live at your address.
They will need to present the tracking number and a government-issued photo ID. This proves that they live at the same address as the one indicated on the package label.
They can also use other documents to prove that they live with you. They can bring a utility bill or statement, credit card statement, health or auto insurance card, or property statement as proof.
Do I Have To Sign For All the Big Packages?
Not all big packages need to be signed for.
Many shipments made through UPS and FedEx do not require a signature from the recipient. This is why they can leave most deliveries on the porch if the recipient is not at home.
The shipper may require a signature for big packages of high value or importance. Before delivery, most shipping companies will email tracking information about the package, which indicates if a signature is required or not.
What Do Mailmen Do With a Big Package If I’m Not Home?
If you are not home and you have a big package for delivery, USPS mailmen will leave a notice on your mailbox to inform you that there is a failed delivery of a big package. This is so you can pick it up at your local post office.
Carriers from private shipping companies can leave big packages on the porch or wherever they think it is safe if the delivery does not require a signature.
Otherwise, they will not leave it and will make two more attempts to deliver your package in the next business days. If the delivery attempt fails, you will have to pick it up at their office.