What does processed through ISC New York mean on USPS tracking

What does processed through ISC New York mean on USPS tracking

What exactly does processed through ISC New York mean on USPS tracking?

ISC or International Service Center is a building where mail leaving the USA is sorted and containerized for dispatch to the nearby airport for flights all over the world.

The Postal Service established International Service Centers (ISCs) in 1996 to become more competitive in the international mail market. ISCs distribute and dispatch both incoming and outgoing international mail. The ISC network has facilities located in five major cities: New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

It is also a building where mail arriving in the USA is processed in conjunction with Customs Inspection, is then containerized for the rest of the USA, and sent on to transport to the final destination. Nothing mysterious goes on there.

People often wonder because when mail leaves there, tracking is not updated for days. That is because it is in a container where the barcodes can’t be read and no update can happen until it arrives in another city and removed from the container for sorting.

“ISC NEW YORK NY(USPS), Processed Through Facility.”

This means that it has been scanned by a robot as having arrived in NY.

The next message resulting from another scan by a robot should read:
“METRO NY DISTRIBUTION CENTER, Arrived at USPS Regional Facility.”

Followed by:
“In Transit to Next Facility.”
and so on to its destination

These tracking messages are all automated and based on remote scanning of the bar codes on the shipping documents.

If the document and bar code are lost during its rough handling by the automated sorting equipment, you will get no further tracking. And a parcel without a shipping document is done for unless the recipient’s address is placed in numerous locations on the box.

I have had two shipments processed by ISC NEW YORK which were never tracked to the METRO NY DISTRIBUTION CENTER, one of which was “lost.”

Only use registered mail if time is not a factor

Registered mail is protected in sealed containers, safes and cages, and held under lock and key. this extra level of security can cause delays and may require many more days for delivery.

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That’s an interesting choice of words, since “lost” implies it fell off a truck into the river or out of the plane into the ocean; most likely it was crushed and ground up by the conveyor belts and automated robotic handlers at ISC NEW YORK, discarded and destroyed.

I have had one more shipment which arrived in NY but was never scanned as processed by ISC NEW YORK. Maybe it is somewhere on the tarmac at JFK?

Don’t look to the USPS for much help. Most of their Customer Care personnel either don’t know or don’t care. They will routinely tell you “Customs has it” when that is not the case. Implementing a “search” (if you can find out how to do it) results in computer-generated assurances that “we are doing all we can to find your parcel” but with no evidence that any person actually did anything to help. Is anyone really listening?

There is a total lack of transparency as to what happens to international mail entering this country. I have made several FOIA requests for information on the processes used to handle incoming mail including the monthly quantity of successfully delivered parcels versus parcels “lost” or “destroyed.”

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What exactly does processed through ISC New York mean on USPS tracking?

Processed through ISC New York means indeed it is at JFK. As opposed to not having even gotten to this country!

I have one good (and much cheaper) delivery via Deutsche Post Registered Priority Mail ( a very light book I was told strictly speaking not allowed, service only for letters).

Arrived from Germany to JFK on Day 2. I spent just 3 hours in and out of customs. Day 3 in Queens Regional Facility.

The local post office of my zip code (called a distribution center) on Day 4 and delivered the same day.

Then I have a nightmare (and much more expensive) delivery via DHL Registered Priority Mail (two books sent as a parcel and not mail, granted it was insured – I can’t imagine how long it would take to get a refund). Arrived from Germany to JFK on Day 17.

In this infamous ISC black hole for another 7 days without going through customs. I went to Jersey City (now called a Foreign Center). I went through customs the same day after 2 hours.

Delivered to the local post office of my zip code on Day 25 and delivered the same day. What can I say, I was in a bigger black hole before the more well known black hole.

There was no help, no apologies, no one cares. Everyone was reading off the same screen and that’s all you get. You wait.

The only piece of seemingly useful info from that 800 number is that mine was a priority (what a joke) mail from Germany and are books so it should be much quicker in customs than valuables, drugs, and alcohol. Indeed they were.

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What exactly does processed through ISC New York mean on USPS tracking

If you are lucky, you get Inbound into Customs and Inbound out of Customs as markers in and out of the black hole. But that cannot be taken for granted.

Investigation can only be filed by the sender 12 biz days after leaving the foreign country and not having arrived and given to USPS. That’s DHL. Same deal or worse after it goes into the USC black hole.

You get a case number eventually I think. USPS apparently does have to account for it if in a black hole after 15 days. But all the rules are stacked against you and I am sure they won’t take it seriously. Life is good.

There is a website called Trackingmore where you can pick your carrier and the two locations and look at the stats.

My 25 days is just the higher end of average. All carriers are equally bad. And I think in small German towns you probably can’t get FedEx or UPS even if you try.


Guys ISC JFK is not the problem believe me. I am a Postal Worker that works at ISC/JFK as a ramp Clerk (I am out on the Field making sure the Airlines are Bringing the mail into the facility and making sure all outbound mail is going on the right flights ETC.

I been employed for almost 38 years at JFK, and believe me, there is major problems with the AirLines Ramp Personnel they are the guys or girls they when the plane lands at JFK they go into the bully of the plane and take out all MAILS and Luggage then they bring all the mail into the facility, now these Airlines Clerks DO NOT WORK FOR THE AIRLINES they are contracted workers only making $10-$12.00 an hour with little or no benefits. And these people are always trying to ROB and Take your packages and believe me it’s a big problem at JFK.

Years ago up to 1982, these airlines had their own people doing the ramp they were employed by the airlines making $25-$30.00 an hour with flying benefits do they were honest.

As far as postal workers are a concern we make a great salary $60,000 a year with overtime, we get 440 hours of vacation per year if employed over 12 years plus we get 4 hours of sick leave per check (2) paychecks per month.

So Postal Workers are not stealing your mail as they do not want to get fired. Postal inspectors try to catch these ramp clerks working for the airlines and they are doing the best they can.

Here is a phone number that will connect you with the Tour Desk at ISC/JFK…718-553-7286.

Good Luck to all…

What exactly does processed through ISC New York mean on USPS tracking

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What does processed through ISC New York mean on USPS tracking

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