Manifests FAQs

Parent Topic: All FAQs

What are the cutoff times for USPS shipments and manifests?

To include the current day’s date on a USPS® label, you must issue the Create Shipment request before 8 p.m. local time. After 8 p.m. local time, the label will get the next day’s date. (If shipping from a military-origin address, the cutoff time is different, as described further down.)

To include a shipment on the current day’s SCAN form, you must issue the Create Manifest request before 8 p.m. local time. If you issue the request after 8 p.m. local time, the API requires you to set the manifest’s submissionDate field to the next day or later. (The cutoff time is different for a military-origin address, as described further down.)

For both the Create Shipment and Create Manifest API requests, local time is based on the induction postal code specified in the request. If the induction postal code is absent, local time is based on the state listed in the sender’s address. For states with two time zones, local time is based on the part of the state with the larger population. For more information, see How is the local time zone determined for USPS shipments and manifests?

Note: Transaction Reports do not use local time for transactions but instead use UTC/GMT.

If an eligible shipment has not been added to a SCAN form by 6 a.m. UTC/GMT, Pitney Bowes auto-manifests the shipment. The following table shows the auto-manifest time in local time for each U.S. time zone:

Time Zone Cutoff Time for
Labels and Manifests
Auto-Manifest
Occurs At
Eastern 8 p.m. EST/EDT   1 a.m. EST / 2 a.m. EDT
Central 8 p.m. CST/CDT 12 a.m. CST / 1 a.m. CDT
Mountain 8 p.m. MST/MDT 11 p.m. MST / 12 a.m. MDT
Pacific 8 p.m. PST/PDT 10 p.m. PST / 11 p.m. PDT
Alaska 8 p.m. AKST/AKDT   9 p.m. AKST / 10 p.m. AKDT
Hawaii-Aleutian 8 p.m. HAST   8 p.m. HAST

Military-Origin Addresses: For military-origin addresses (APO/FPO/DPO), the cutoff times are in UTC/GMT, as show in the following table:

Origin Cutoff Time for
Labels and Manifests
Auto-Manifest
Occurs At
Armed Forces in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Canada (AE) 8:00 p.m. UTC   6 a.m. UTC the next calendar day
Armed Forces in the Pacific (AP) 8:00 p.m. UTC   6 a.m. UTC the next calendar day

When does the auto-manifest job run?

The auto-manifest job runs daily at 6 a.m. UTC/GMT and automatically manifests all eligible USPS shipments that have the previous day’s ship date but that have not yet been added to a SCAN form. For example, if an eligible USPS shipment has a ship date of May 1 and remains unmanifested at 6 a.m. UTC/GMT on May 2, the auto-manifest job will manifest the shipment.

Eligible shipments are shipments that were created with the ADD_TO_MANIFEST set to true.

How is the local time zone determined for USPS shipments and manifests?

For both the Create Shipment and Create Manifest API requests, local time is based on the induction postal code, if present, or otherwise based on the state specified in the sender’s address. For states with two time zones, local time is determined by the part of the state with the larger population, as shown in the following table. Note that Arizona is on Standard Time all year, unlike the other states listed, all of which observe Daylight Saving Time.

States with Two Time Zones
State Time Zone for Local Time
Arizona Mountain Standard Time
Idaho Mountain
Kansas Central
Kentucky Eastern
Nebraska Central
North Dakota Central
Oregon Pacific
South Dakota Central

What is included in a USPS SCAN form?

If you create a SCAN form with a submissionDate of day N and if you specify shipments by providing a list of tracking numbers, then you can include shipments with ship dates of day N-1, day N, and day N+1.

If create a SCAN form with a submissionDate of day N but you do not provide tracking numbers, then all eligible shipments with a ship date of day N-1 and day N are added to the SCAN form.

Can I exclude shipments from appearing in a USPS SCAN form?

Yes, you can exclude a shipment from appearing in a SCAN form by setting the ADD_TO_MANIFEST shipment option to false when creating the shipment. The shipment will not use a SCAN form, and Pitney Bowes will auto-manifest the shipment within 30 minutes of the Create Shipment request.

Note: The ADD_TO_MANIFEST shipment option is always considered true for PMOD labels. PMOD requires packages be added to PS Form 3152 using the POST manifests API. If you set the option to false, the PB Shipping APIs still consider the option to be true.

Can I choose to manifest a shipment at a later date?

For certain carriers, you can manifest a shipment at a later date by setting the FUTURE_SHIPMENT_DATE option in the shipmentOptions array. For a list of carriers that use the option, see FUTURE_SHIPMENT_DATE.

For USPS, you can extend the shipment date up to 7 days. Extending the date prevents the shipment from being picked up by the nightly auto-manifest job. When the shipment date arrives, you can either invoke the Create Manifest API or let the auto-manifest job pick up the shipment.

Note that if you create a shipment after 8 p.m. local time, the APIs automatically advance the shipment date to the next day. In that case, you would not need to set FUTURE_SHIPMENT_DATE to advance to the next day.

Can I remove shipments from a manifest after creating the manifest?

No, once you have created a manifest, you cannot remove tracking numbers from that manifest. You can, however, submit the package for a refund.

How long is a manifest URL available?

The URL is available as long as there is space in the server, which is roughly about 15 days. However, the GET /manifests/{manifestId} API call returns a valid response only until 24 hours after the first print.