We get a lot of questions about what to expect when tracking packages sent via the different services so I think it's time to share some information for future reference. Your tracking results will vary by service level, destination country, and how you run your package labels (online, PC postage, shipping software, etc). Additionally, the percentage of packages that actually get a delivery scan will vary too - they should all be well over 90% but some countries are just plain better than others at this.
First, we'll look at the various USPS service levels ...........
First Class Package International (FCPI): Tracking can only be described as "limited" at best and is not to be relied upon. The USPS does claim on their website that "FCPI includes electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International when you ship online to select destinations". Safely put, your results will vary.
IMS "International Priority Airmail" (IPA): The IPA service does not offer door to door tracking. IMS customers using Endicia to print labels will however at least get an acceptance scan here in Kalamazoo. Additional scans from there are a bonus and again, not to be relied upon.
IMS "Commercial ePacket" (CeP): This is a fully trackable (door to door) service available now to 31 of the most popular countries (including the two news ones mentioned above). For about HALF the cost of FCPI, you won't get quite the visibility of a PMEI or PMI package, but you do get a delivery scan (scan rates are about 95%, some countries better, some a little lower). For an example, cut and paste the tracking number LX595336037US to USPS.com
IMS "PMEI and PMI" (both "Standard" and "Presort Drop Ship"): Fully trackable services to most countries with more visibility (scans). For an example, cut and paste the tracking number CY008968223US to USPS.com
Once in a while, you'll hear from customers that the package shows "Delivered" when actually it hasn't been or you'd just like some additional information on the whereabouts. For many countries, you can actually enter the USPS tracking number into the destination country's postal web site and get more information. The country specific links for some of the most popular countries are as follows: