A Comprehensive Guide to Dropoff Locations
Dropoff locations can save you tedious trips to a delivery service or the post office. Here’s how they work.
It’s one of those annoying errands you can’t get around: dropping off a package to send.
If your nearest post office location or delivery hub — like a FedEx or UPS store — is way across town, it can be a big hassle.
Plus, you’ll likely have to wait in a long line.
Spending hours waiting just to send one package? No thanks.
Luckily, there’s a solution: Package dropoff locations.
These are designated locations where you can drop off a package.
Since most couriers have multiple dropoff points in a single city, you can likely find one near your home, work, or school.
Plus, you can skip the long lines at the post office.
I explain how package dropoff locations work and how to use them.
Where can you drop off packages?
When you have a package to drop off, you have a few options.
First, you can bring the package directly to the delivery service.
For the United States Postal Service (USPS), that means going to the good ol’ post office.
(Pro tip: Check the hours of operation first and consider holidays or special events).
For Amazon package returns, you can drop them off at Kohl’s, Whole Foods Market, Amazon, or a UPS store (or a dropoff location — more on that in the next section).
For FedEx, DHL, or UPS shipping, just head to a location near you (and double-check store hours).
You might even be able to drop off your packages at stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart.
Some couriers will also pick up packages from your home — but there are limits.
For example, USPS won’t pick up packages that are more than 70 pounds.
(Check whether you’re eligible for package pickup).
For Amazon, you can request UPS pickup if your items are eligible.
Start the returns process on the Amazon website and you’ll see an option for UPS pickup (if it’s an option for that order).
For UPS, you can request an on-demand pickup for ground, air, and international shipping.
It will cost extra depending on how large the package is and where you live.
How do you determine the shipping cost?
You create a shipment, enter details like package dimensions and weight, get the estimate, and pay for the shipment online.
You’ll get a shipping label to print.
Use this page to schedule a pickup.
The process is similar for FedEx. The courier even has a step-by-step guide on how to pay for and schedule a pickup.
DHL also uses a similar process.
Add the package details and get a shipping label for your return envelope, which you can print at home.
You can then schedule your pickup.
Finally, there’s a third option: using a dropoff location.
How to find package dropoff locations near you
If you don’t want to deal with going to a courier location in person or scheduling a pickup online, you can use a dropoff location.
Different couriers have different dropoff locations.
Here’s how to find the most convenient location near you.
USPS dropoff locations
You can find USPS locations online.
Under “Location Type,” pick what you’re looking for (“Collection Box,” in this case) and then narrow down the geographical location.
Note the restrictions of what you can and can’t drop off in the USPS mailbox.
For example, you must have the correct postage and fees, and mail can’t weigh more than 10 ounces.
Here’s a full list of restrictions when it comes to USPS services.
Once you’ve dropped off the package, use the US post office tracking tool to make sure it reaches its intended destination. Our guide explains more.
Forgot to note the tracking number? No problem. Find out how to track a USPS package without that info.
FedEx dropoff locations
FedEx has its own website for searching dropoff locations.
Simply type your city or ZIP code into the search bar to see a map view with drop box locations and a list view of addresses.
Again, consider restrictions when using drop boxes. FedEx has details.
For example, drop boxes accommodate packages with dimensions of 20 by 12 by 6 inches.
Want to make sure your package gets where it’s supposed to go? Try the FedEx package tracker. Learn how to use it.
UPS dropoff locations
You can find a UPS location near you on their website.
Tick the “Find a dropoff location” box to narrow your search. You can search by city name or ZIP code.
As with the other couriers, UPS has specifications that limit what you can and can’t drop off.
For example, the package must be less than 44 pounds and can’t exceed 118 inches in length and girth combined.
You probably want to keep an eye on your package to make sure it gets to the right place. Check out the UPS tracking tool.
Amazon dropoff locations
If you need to return an Amazon package, you can return it using a hub locker. Find a hub locker nearby.
You can search by landmark, ZIP code, or address to find the nearest locker.
Note that hub lockers have some restrictions.
For example, the shipment can’t weigh more than 10 pounds or have dimensions more than 16 by 12 by 14 inches. Learn more.
Keep an eye on your Amazon package’s progress.
DHL dropoff locations
You can search DHL dropoff locations online. The website includes a state-by-state overview of DHL service points where you can drop off packages.
As with any other package delivery or courier service, DHL restricts certain items like alcoholic beverages, perfumes, watches, jewelry, antiques, and dry ice (in case you were planning to ship dry ice!).
Just keep track of your DHL package’s tracking number when you drop it off so you can monitor it online.
How to use a package drop box
Dropoff locations depend on the courier or delivery service.
But the process for using a package drop box is pretty standard — regardless of who’s handling the shipping.
Here’s what you need to know.
How do you prepare a package for a dropoff?
You can’t just drop a package at a dropoff location and expect it to reach its intended destination.
It has to have the right shipping label and postage.
You can print out shipping labels at home with most couriers. To make it easier, here’s a quick roundup:
- Amazon (you’ll have the option to print a shipping label when completing the Amazon returns process online)
You can also figure out how much to pay for the package (and pay online) by entering details like measurements and weight.
The shipping label should have a barcode. Attach the label to the box and cover it with clear packing tape so it doesn’t get wet or smudged.
What package dimensions will fit in a drop box?
You also have to make sure that the package fits into the drop box. If it can’t fit in the box, it’s definitely not going anywhere.
Here’s a list of links for viewing package restrictions:
Are package drop boxes safe?
Package drop boxes protect against the elements. They’re usually made of a robust material like metal.
Some package drop boxes may also be inside shopping centers or community centers.
Package drop boxes are also designed to protect against theft.
For example, USPS boxes are designed so you can put in a package or envelope at the top, but it drops far enough so no one can reach it.
Another example: Amazon hub lockers open with a secure code. You must submit a return request through the returns center to drop off your package.
You’ll get a dropoff code to open the locker. Enter the code through the locker’s touch screen to open it.
People with accessibility needs can request a locker on a lower level.
Does the courier matter when you drop off packages?
You don’t always have to drop a package off at a specific dropoff location.
For example, if you have a FedEx Ground Package, you can drop it off at your local USPS post box or office.
You can also drop Amazon returns off at your local post office.
But you can’t drop off a FedEx package at UPS and expect them to ship it.
Your best bet is to check with the courier’s customer service department to find if you can drop another shipping service’s packages off at their dropoff locations.
What’s the best way to track your return packages?
Using a dropoff location can be a convenient way to send packages. You don’t have to go to a courier’s retail location or wait in line at the post office.
Plus, you don’t have to deal with the practicalities of scheduling a pickup from your home.
You can simply drop off the package when you want.
But when you drop off a package, you want to be confident that it reaches its intended destination. A tracking number can help you monitor the delivery’s progress.
This guide has more information about tracking packages and answers some FAQs about the topic.
You can also use a tracking app to keep an eye on all of your packages. Many free options are available.
Circuit Package Tracker app is one simple solution for package tracking. It works for most courier services worldwide, including the US, UK, Europe, Australia, Canada, and South America.
All you need is the courier’s tracking code to track your package’s status in real time using a handy map visualizer.
You can even set up notifications so you know about any delivery changes, bringing you greater peace of mind.
Best of all, you can download the package tracker app to have everything you need at your fingertips.
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