How many numbers in a USPS tracking number?

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On August 24, 2008, I quietly sent ten bottles of prime northwest Oregon beer to a friend in Illinois. Each bottle was carefully wrapped in bubble-wrap and set into a box heavily laden with more bubble-wrap. Displayed in front of me were some additionals I could purchase to assist, if only in mind, my package's safe journey. I saw the offer of buying a tracking number for my package. Having used tracking numbers for many other packages, I jumped at the offer and paid an additional 75 cents. Had I been wise I should have walked to the door of the post office and tossed the 75 cents into the street. For over a week I've been going to the USPS website, inserting my tracking number into the "track a package" box and been given the same results all week; "there is no information on this item." Now, there's an answer for some real tracking. Finally, this morning I was able to reach a live-person with the USPS (United States Postal Service). It turns out that I did waste my 75 cents. The ...
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As you can see in the above link of a sample express mail form, the number will be similar to: EK225651436US more

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