While conducting site visits at the Chicago International Service Center (ISC) for our International Election Mail Observations for the 2020 General and 2021 Georgia Runoff Elections project, we found significant operational delays of international packages and safety and security risks that we believe warrant management’s immediate attention and corrective action.

The U.S. Postal Service processed over 729 million pieces of international mail and parcels in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and the Chicago ISC is one of five Postal Service facilities that are primarily responsible for processing international inbound and outbound volume. A key segment of these mailings are packages, such as those sent using International First-Class, Priority, or Express Mail service.

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Comments (1283)

  • anon

    Add me to the long list of disappointed users of international shipping via USPS. My package inbound to USA was received at the Chicago Customs facility for USPS within one month of it being sent from China. At least it had an inbound scan once it reached Chicago - that was positive. The extreme negative is that this receipt in Chicago Customs was 32 days ago. There have been no further updates via USPS tracking and my package is effectively lost. USPS will not share any further updates on its status. I paid for my product and shipping and effectively lost all my money due to USPS inability to deliver.

    Aug 03, 2021
  • anon

    International Express is not faster than USPS first class package. I ship a lot of packages and I just reviewed about 20 tracking numbers to Australia. International Epxress is not any faster and in many cases slower than usps first class package. I have had packages shipped to Australia, one express, one first class, and the first class package arrived a month earlier. This is not a one off experience. Numerous express packages are arriving later than first class. You cannot blame the receiving company either, the problem is in ISC Chicago. I understand you guys are busy, but I think it is a scam and maybe illegal you are taking more money for an express service that turns about to be as slow, or slower than a cheaper service.

    Aug 03, 2021
  • anon

    I have a package that got stuck in Chicago ICS on 7/22/2021, since then there is no movement. Shame on America, it feels like I am living in a third world country. Union sucks!!!!!

    Aug 03, 2021
  • anon

    Hi there, I sent my package to Thailand since Mar. 30 and the tracking system showed my package still at the custom in Chicago since Apr. 4. Until now no movement at all. I contacted my local post office to get my package back but they said they can not do anything for me only just make me to contact the Chicago custom and no one pick up the phone. I just need my package back safely. I am crying now!!! Why take too long ?!?!

    Aug 03, 2021
  • anon

    I just spoke with Canada Post about a package of mine that has been stuck in ISC Chicago since 6/16. Quite possibly the most pleasant customer service experience I've had in a long time, completely opposite of the USPS and ISC Chicago personnel, who are impossible to even get ahold of. I finally did speak with someone at ISC Chicago after weeks of trying to call, and they flat out told me they don't know where my package is, even though the last scan has it entering their facility. This is embarrassing on so many levels. At this point, I would love for Canada Post to take over all USPS operations. I had a package from the same shipper arrive within a week of leaving Canada, only difference being that it entered customs through New York. I have no idea what's going on in Chicago, but something absolutely needs to change. There is no excuse for this level of "service."

    Aug 03, 2021
  • anon

    Whilst I understand that your Chicago centre has been very busy with mail in voter fraud perhaps you could get back to working on your real job.

    Aug 03, 2021
  • anon

    I sent a package from Texas to Uk Jan 12 3021. It was never updated after Jan 17. It was in Chicago IDC. It has taken until July for USPS to declare it lost after me calling 20 times and getting 30 Different stories. I’m kind of worried it’s happening g again. I mailed a gift to the Uk July 22. I know that’s not long but why did my outgoing package go to customs. And why is it now bouncing in and out of Chicago ISC?

    Aug 02, 2021
  • anon

    Has anyone seen any progress with their packages? I have a package shipped from the UK and arrived at Chicago ICS on 7/24. The tracking number shows its still in Chicago.

    Aug 02, 2021
  • anon

    My package was mailed from Texas to the UK on 12th June. It arrived at Chicago isc on 16th June and spent 45 days there! With no updates. Thankfully it came out the other end. And has been delivered in the UK today

    Aug 04, 2021
  • anon

    Same! Ordered from the UK and Mine says it arrived in Chicago on 7/22 and till this day it still says the same thing:(.

    Aug 03, 2021
  • anon

    My package from the Netherlands arrived at ISC Chicago on June 7th. It's finally arrived at USPS regional destination facility today (Aug 2nd). Good luck to ya'll.

    Aug 02, 2021
  • anon

    I sent my package at a local USPS on April 24, 2021. It arrived at ISC Chicago on May 29, 2021. Since then, there is no movement. Shame on you, USPS.

    Aug 02, 2021
  • anon

    A letter from Denmark arrived on May 31 and no movement until this morning August 3 when it arrived again.

    Aug 03, 2021
  • anon

    Count me in as one more person who is affected by the black hole in ISC Chicago (from Denmark). I have a package that entered that facility on June 6th and has had no movement despite 3 other bottles entering the same day being delivered. The USPS has no organization within this area of delivery and does not provide any useful information for finding resolution.

    Aug 02, 2021
  • anon

    We sent a gift to Sao Carlos Brazil on June 30, 2021. We got a system notice today - August 1, 2021 - that it left the Chicago international sorting facility today. 30 days to send a package - a gift, no less - is absolutely ridiculous. And even if we had an address to send a complaint to, we don't expect we'd get an answer, let alone an honest / factual one. The US Postal Service seems to have lost sight of the concept of SERVICE. Pity, because it used to be so much better! And back then, we really liked it.

    Aug 01, 2021
  • anon

    I sent a package from Chicago to Serbia on May 12th. Last update was on May 16th. It says "In transit to next facility ". In which galaxy is that facility?

    Aug 01, 2021
  • anon

    Package hasn't moved since July 2nd 2021. Chicago hub has had package for 30 days, I paid for 3 to 5 day delivery to Costa Rica. Don't use this service very unreliable.

    Jul 31, 2021
  • anon

    I have an international package that's supposed to go through here, but have yet to have it scanned in their system since June 27th when it was shipped. No update yet. With so many complaints, and people going months without knowing where their package is, this place needs to be shut down asap. If they can't handle the work load, then move it elsewhere. This is unacceptable by all means.

    Jul 31, 2021
  • anon

    My ordered came from Scotland and as of July 28th, there was an “expected delivery” of July 29th. I look yesterday 7/29 and there is nothing; only states it has been processed through the facility. I’m only 3.5 hours away from Chicago, can I just com pick it up? I need these items for a trip I leave for on 8/3.

    Jul 30, 2021
  • anon

    I have A package sent from usa to Cyprus left usa on July 19 was last in Chicago on july 20th package has no more tracking and has not arrived in Cyprus SOMEONE NEEDS TO FIND MY PACKAGE IT IS INSURED FOR $200.00 I NEED NEED WANT WANT MY PACKAGE OR AN UPDATE A RESPONSE IMMEDIATELY. I PAID FOR 3 TO 5 DAY SHIPPING WHERE IS MY PACKAGE

    Jul 30, 2021
  • anon

    My package was said to have been processed at the Chicago International Distribution Center in April 4th and I have been unable to get any further notifications regarding my packages whereabouts since then. It has just been seemingly sitting at the CIDC for the past four months without any word or change to the tracking information and I have tried calling USPS, but there is never a live person I can speak to to try and gather any new information about my package's location other than that it was processed at Chicago in April and that's it. Is there anyway to find information about whether or not my package has been lost or not since it seems to me that would be the only logical explanation as to why it has taken this long and nothing has changed in the meanwhile.

    Jul 30, 2021
  • anon

    Sounds like someone needs to be fired at the Chicago Facility. When I worked at the USPS we would NEVER stand for this miss-management. This has got to be a joke this bad??? No longer a service>

    Aug 01, 2021
  • anon

    Just one person? I have had no movement on mine since july 11 and it was sent out june 4. This is a disgrace. Not one person, but EVERYONE needs to be fired and the place shut down!!!

    Aug 02, 2021
  • anon

    My package was sent from the UK on July 13, 2021 and I finally received it today. I know your pain and I feel like I was one of the lucky ones. My daughter is still waiting for hers and I believed it was sent earlier with no tracking (mine did have it). I don’t want to buy anything from overseas anymore just because of it going through Chicago’s International Package Operations. I’ve read their office document dated May 12, 2021 titled, “Issues Identified in International Package Operations - Chicago International Service Center.” I doubt that things have gotten much better in such a short time. The “second process” (phase?) is suppose to start Aug. 1st, whatever that entails.

    Jul 29, 2021
  • anon

    My first time ordering from the UK. My package has been sitting since 7-22-21. Delivery was 7-27-21. Still don't have it. I come here to find out what is holding it up and see all the complaints. Chicago USPS should be ashamed of themselves. If I lived there and worked at this place. I would be ashamed to wear the uniform and would not wear it til I got to work and changed for fear of a angry customer. I live in Texas and saying goes here. Don't mess with Texas.

    Jul 29, 2021
  • anon

    Totally agree with you. Mine stuck since 8th June without any movement. Did inquiry, escalated my case but no result. They don’t know how to manage it. Poor management at this facility

    Jul 29, 2021
  • anon

    Hi everone, I have had a package stuck there since April 2/2021. I shipped it from Toronto ontario Canada to Georgia. Canada post and usps said there was nothing they could do as customs is its own thing. My tracking number is still updated everyday but no movement. Very frustrating.

    Jul 29, 2021
  • anon

    I very curious as to why your company is one of the only company’s left that are having a hard time getting packages out still, I know people who have had packages sitting at your location for three months or better, now I’m trying to figure out how you all are still in business based on the fact I’m sure you have lost other companies tons of money. Now how do insure the packages I’ve order don’t sit any longer in you location because as of right now there late?

    Jul 29, 2021
  • anon

    I’ve had a package that cleared ISC Chicago on June 20 and is still not delivered July 27 now. Local PO says that takes months to get through customs and cannot advise when it will be delivered…though I’ve received three other packages from same sender in England in 10 days after shipment. I’m also being told that the zip code is incorrect, and that is holding it up…though shipper confirmed it was accurate. Local PO can provide no further assistance and appears no PO systems in place to locate and deliver.

    Jul 28, 2021
  • anon

    My package came from Sweden and was processed through ISC Chicago on May 31st. There's been no movement since then. Twice I've opened up a claim with the post office trying to get any info. Both times I've received quick and very courteous replies, but I've been told I just have to wait. There's nothing that can be done. It sounded like a two month wait time is pretty common. I'm hoping my order still shows up but this is so frustrating.

    Jul 28, 2021
  • anon

    I'm in the same boat (inbound on 27-May). The important thing to keep in mind is that US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is in possession of your package, not USPS. I spoke over the phone with the US Customs folks, and by law they have 45 *business* days to assess parcels. This generally works out to about ~70 calendar days, depending on the time of year the package is received. The Customs folks check not only for contraband, but also things like compliance with patent and trade laws (to prevent counterfeit goods from entering the country). If 45 business days have elapsed and there is no tracking movement, then CBP has decided to formally detain the parcel (or it could be lost/misplaced). If US CBP decides to detain a parcel, they have another 45 business-day period in which they are required to send the receiver a letter explaining the reason for detention, and what, if anything, you can do to get them to release it. Based on when CBP received your package, I would wait until 13-Aug. If your tracking hasn't been updated by then, try calling CBP customer service at 1-(877)-227-5511. Have your tracking number handy and maybe they'll be able to help, or at least provide some additional information. Good luck~

    Aug 01, 2021
  • anon

    Hi, thanks so much for the info! I'll give it another two weeks and then try this out. No progress since I posted last but we'll see. Good luck with your package as well!

    Aug 03, 2021
  • anon

    I am in the uk, I have been reading here messages losing hope my package will ever appear.. This is my first experience with Chicago ISC and never again! I ordered something from Texas on 12th June. It sat in Chicago since then!! I have never experienced such an awful postal system. The last scan showed it had arrived in Chicago ISC on 14 th June . Shockingly today (28h July) I had an email has it was in the UK. So had skipped all the other scans and finally made its way here. I hope you all get your packages soon too.

    Jul 28, 2021
  • anon

    You're giving me hope as well for mine. fingers crossed.

    Jul 30, 2021
  • anon

    Your comment gives me hope, I'm waiting for a package from Chicago to Australia, last update I received: Processed Through Regional Facility, CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER on the 19th of July, followed by the dreaded "In Transit to the Next Facility". Hoping that I will receive it in the next couple of weeks or so.

    Jul 29, 2021
  • anon

    I wire transfered money to a school in Korea for the application process. I needed to send them documents early between early June and mid July. I sent them and they arrived in Chicago on July 7th. They are still there 20 days later and haven't left. I spent a lot of time getting all the documents together and spent more than $100 dollars on the wire transfer. All for nothing. USPS won't give any refund for the 30 some dollar package I sent because I sent it priority mail which was supposed to be like 6-10 days. Yeah, you should really change that to 6 to maybe never and then you wouldn't be lying.

    Jul 27, 2021
  • anon

    I would ask for a refund but I don't trust USPS that they could deliver the check. I have 2 packages stuck in Chicago since late May.

    Jul 27, 2021
  • anon

    USPS and US Customs at Chicago. not sure what the problem is but it's a BIG PROBLEM. Our international customers have quit buying from our stores and it is nearly forced us out of business. It's really bad folks. really really bad. We have dozens of parcel lost at this Location and they are being lost, pilfered, mismanaged, ignored and neglected. Louis DeJoy should be brought up on Federal charges and thrown in Prison. This country does not tolerate crooks in the United States Postal Service.

    Jul 27, 2021
  • anon

    I have several packages sent from Mexico to the US and are delayed again at ISC CHICAGO IL, this keeps happening over and over again. I'm tired of having to refund clients for the months on end delays from ISC CHICAGO IL!!!!!!!! We pay for what is supposed to be a reliable service. The USA is not 3rd world yet USPS is operating like one. And don't bother trying to contact anyone you get NO help at all.

    Jul 27, 2021
  • anon

    Hello EdSandmac, Thank you for your comment. Regarding your concern, please contact Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at https://postalpro.usps.com/ppro-tools/consumer-affairs

    Aug 31, 2021
  • anon

    Misery loves company; I see that I am not alone in my frustration with ISC in Chicago. I ordered an item from the Netherlands on May 8th, it arrived at ISC on June 10th. Today is July 27th. 78 days since the package left the Netherlands and 47 days and counting at ISC. I filed a complaint with the Post Office on July 22nd; I immediately received a call back from our local PO and while courteous and sympathetic, they said there was nothing they could do. I find it utterly ridiculous that ISC is not being held accountable, even after the Inspector Generals report. The shipper attempted to put a trace on the package with no success and they won' t issue a refund because it's not lost. The birthday that the gift was for has long since come and gone; maybe with any luck it will arrive in December and become a Christmas gift.

    Jul 27, 2021
  • anon

    Update-96 days since my package left the Netherlands, 63 days since it arrived at ICS. No movement on my package at all since it arrived on 10 June in Chicago. The seller just refunded our money and said if the package ever does show up to refuse it and it will be sent back-if it ever arrives in the first place.

    Aug 12, 2021
  • anon

    I am in Australia & waiting on a parcel which has been at the Chicago international distribution centre since May the 4th ,last scan was July the 14th. Can anyone tell me what is happening there, are they on strike or something else going on? I have never had this issue before & I am now reluctant to buy from the US.

    Jul 27, 2021
  • anon

    Mailing Date: 05/05/2021. As of today (07/26/2021), my parcel struck the CHICAGO IL - INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER. I am unable get my parcel back to mailer or address. I could not receive the required information at my local post office, district and online customer care support. I am truly disappointed with the support that I received from USPS.

    Jul 26, 2021
  • anon

    My wedding ring was ordered March 25th. It arrived at ISC Chicago soon after mailing and has been stuck there for three months. I didn't have it for my wedding. Please help. I just want to get this over with. This is ridiculous.

    Jul 25, 2021
  • anon

    Yep I’m waiting on a ring that’s been in Chicago since March 21, and a collector stamp that’s been there since May 18. I believe it’s a combination of incompetence and a internal theft ring operating within isc usps Chicago and probably other cities. I have tracking numbers for both but that’s meaningless to them.

    Jul 28, 2021
  • anon

    I sent 3 envelopes in mid June containing documents from England to the US, using tracked/signed for service. All 3 left England within 2 days, one was cleared through NY and delivered another 4 days later. The other 2 arrived in Chicago ISC where they remained for 35 days before moving on for final delivery. Disgraceful service levels, even third world countries have more efficient mail service than this

    Jul 24, 2021
  • anon

    I have been waiting for a package from Japan for weeks tracking says is at the USPS International Service Center in Chicago. The only tracking info I have been given is that the tracking number is UN014343779JP. It shows arrival in Chicago was June 29, 2021 and it is now July 23, 2021. It was supposed to be delivered more than 3 weeks ago. It appears it has is lost or missing. How can I get an update on this package? Anything that goes to this location seems to never arrive.

    Jul 23, 2021
  • anon

    Well, I FINALLY got my package today! Processed through Chicago ISC on June 25th, delivered today July 23rd. Almost a month. Keep hope alive everyone!

    Jul 23, 2021
  • anon

    So been sitting no update on information about customs on my order from Germany, while so many other people have gotten theirs, yet I am still waiting for mine to clear customs what the heck is going on out there. I mean come on a person from New York already got their order. What about chickens run ISC NY because it seems like it. Been sitting in customs for 10 days, never had a package from overseas sit that long. Still says inbound to Customs for 10 days. USPS can't do anything because it's at customs.

    Jul 23, 2021

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