Staffed by the hardest working in the house located people in the country, the United States Postal Service has a long and illustrious history in this country of doing everything it takes to get mail to its ultimate destination.
The USPS Creed perfectly embodies this attitude,
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”.
At the same time, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your USPS mail carrier is going to be out there doing the rounds until midnight or 1 AM just to make sure that junk mail ends up inside of your mailbox!
No, like every other major shipping company there is a (unofficial) “cut off time” at the end of the day that the USPS isn’t going to be dropping mail, packages, or parcels off at addresses any longer until the next morning.
We dig a little bit deeper into when that cutoff is in just a moment, and the odds are pretty good it’s going to surprise you a little bit.
We never knew that USPS mail carriers were out there (often in your neighborhood) delivering mail and packages way beyond the traditional closing time for most US Post Office locations – 4:30 PM to 5 PM.
Let’s dig right in!
How Late Does USPS Deliver Mail and Packages Each Day?
According to information available directly from the United States Postal Service, the “standard” delivery window of time for mail carried by USPS officials is going to be 8 AM each morning to 5 PM each evening.
In reality, though, that delivery window is a little more wide open.
For starters, a lot of local mail carriers are going to arrive at their post office or their mail distribution site significantly earlier than 8 AM.
Many of these mail carriers want to help load their trucks so that it is more efficient to deliver their packages and parcels, and a lot of those folks are going to be able to get a head start on the day – leaving the post office or mail distribution site half an hour (or more) earlier than 8 AM.
This means that mail and packages will often start going out anywhere between 7 AM and 8 AM in the morning, depending on a variety of different circumstances.
Now, obviously, some people that live a little bit further away from the post office for the start of the delivery route are going to have to wait a little longer and may not get their mail until the middle of the day.
But plenty of folks are going to get their packages, important mail pieces, and surprise parcels as they are getting ready for work themselves!
At the other end of the spectrum, the USPS is well known to deliver mail, packages, and parcels are past that 5 PM unofficial cut off time.
This is especially true during the busy seasons of the post office (anything around Thanksgiving straight on through the new year) where the post office really tries to deliver everything they can every single day, except for Sunday of course.
It’s not at all unusual for the USPS to drop pieces of mail off as late as 6 PM or 7 PM, with some mail deliveries showing up even later than that.
Some have reported that their mail and packages have arrived as late as 9 PM – straight from the hands of USPS mail carriers – though these situations are quite a bit rarer.
Now, at the end of the day, it’s likely that your mail carrier will begin delivering their route just before 8 AM and continue to deliver mail pieces throughout the day at least a little bit beyond the 5 PM window (sometimes quite a bit later than that, too).
When Will My Mail Arrive on the Weekends?
Weekend delivery windows from the USPS is pretty simple and straightforward, following the same structure as the weekday delivery windows – though usually you don’t have quite as early a start from mail carriers as you would during the work week.
This usually means that the first few pieces of mail going out on a Saturday are going to start rolling out around 8 AM, and maybe even just a little bit after that.
The odds of the first few people getting their mail around 7:30 AM in the morning on a Saturday are much slimmer than they are on a Wednesday!
The USPS has posted Saturday working hours for mail carriers straight out through 5 PM (local time) just like during the work week.
This is a little bit unique compared to post office hours on the weekend. A lot of post offices have significantly shorter Saturday hours, usually only being open between 9 AM and 12 PM or 12:30 PM (local time).
Still, it’s not at all unusual for mail carriers with the USPS to be out there on a Saturday beyond that 5 PM delivery window. This is definitely the case during the holiday season, where you might see USPS mail trucks in your neighborhood as late as 7 PM, 8 PM, or even later into the night!
As far as Sunday delivery goes, though, you (generally) aren’t going to get any mail from the USPS on Sunday.
With some exceptions, of course.
The first major exception is that Amazon packages (since 2013) are going to be delivered by the USPS on Sunday.
Originally that this deal was only limited to a handful of major metropolitan communities in the United States, but later grew to encompass a significant portion of the country.
Today, almost anyone that orders from Amazon stands a halfway decent chance of having their package delivered on Sunday – especially if they order later on in the week (Wednesday and Thursday).
On top of that, the USPS also delivers any Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express packages that they handle on Sundays, too.
Both of these premium USPS delivery services offer moneyback guarantees as well as guaranteed delivery timelines, and both of them are the fastest domestic delivery services that the USPS provides.
The USPS will go to great lengths to make sure that these mail pieces, packages, and parcels are delivered on a Sunday when necessary, though it’s difficult to know exactly when these pieces of mail might arrive at your doorstep on a Sunday.
They might show up anywhere after 8 AM and as late as 9 PM or even 10 PM, depending on a whole bunch of different factors (including mail volume, local weather, etc.).
At the end of the day, weekend deliveries from the USPS follow a similar delivery window timeline as standard weekday deliveries from the post office.
Why Doesn’t My Mail Show Up at the Same Time Each Day?
Though the odds are pretty good that your mail shows up at a similar time each day from the USPS, it’s unlikely that it shows up at exactly the same time day after day.
There are a couple of different reasons for this.
For starters, mail volume on a day-to-day basis is never identical.
Certain days are going to almost overwhelm the USPS, with your driver having to make significantly longer stops every step of the way – inevitably delaying persons individual daily delivery throughout the process.
Other days, however, are going to be incredibly light from a mail volume perspective.
Those are the days where your USPS driver is going to be able to really fly through their delivery route, and you are going to see your mail dropped off significantly earlier than you would have expected!
Then you have to add weather conditions into the mix, of course.
Early summertime mail deliveries are usually a breeze for your mail carrier, and often times you’ll see them walking their route (whenever possible) soaking up everything that is sunshine has to offer.
In the dead of winter, however, roads can be treacherous, piled with snow, with traffic moving at a standstill pace.
Your mail will still get to you no matter what the weather is like, but it’s realistic to assume that different weather conditions are going to have a big impact on your delivery schedule.
Finally, it’s important to remember that the USPS works on a 5/1 rotating schedule.
Five days a week you’ll have the exact same mail carrier (most circumstances, course), but that one extra day you’ll have a “rotating mail carrier” that probably isn’t quite as familiar with your route as your every day USPS delivery person is.
This usually means that the fifth day of the week with that rotating mail carrier is going to be a slightly more delayed delivery day. But that’s to be expected!
For some people this is the Saturday delivery window, though other mail carriers take their day off in the middle of the week and have the rotating carrier handle a Tuesday or a Wednesday (for example).
If you’ve ever noticed that there’s a “substitute” mail carrier delivering your stuff throughout the week – and it’s the same person on a consistent basis, on the same day on a consistent basis – you’ll have a better idea of how much your mail will be delayed (if at all) on those rotating days.
Want to Get a “Sneak Peek” at Your USPS Daily Delivery?
So now that you have a better idea of when mail is going to start to arrive at your doorstep from the USPS each day, wouldn’t it be nice to know what you were going to get in your mailbox every day, too?
Well, the post office has a (somewhat) reliable answer for that as well!
The USPS rolled out a relatively new service called Informed Delivery that is available 100% free of charge and basically gives you x-ray vision (limited x-ray vision, anyway) for your day’s delivery each and every day of the week.
What the USPS does is take quick photographs and scans of the envelopes that you are going to have delivered that day and send them to you in an email (or makes them available online) so that you have a more complete idea of what’s going to be in your mailbox that day.
This service is still in its infancy, though, and it’s not quite as accurate as it probably could or should be. Hopefully the USPS continues to upgrade the service moving forward, making it even more useful than it is today.
Still, having the ability to know what you’re going to get in your mailbox that day and a general idea of when your mail will arrive helps you better schedule and plan your day for sure.
US Global Mail – The Ultimate Modern Mailbox
Of course, the Informed Delivery service from the USPS only works with mail pieces that are coming through the post office directly – and even then it’s not nearly as accurate or as reliable as many expect.
You’ll still find different mail pieces in your mailbox that never got scanned as well as packages and parcels from other delivery companies (like FedEx and UPS) that never even had a chance to get scanned in the first place!
But that’s where US Global Mail comes into play.
The ultimate modern virtual mailbox, US Global Mail has been providing a much more modern mailbox solution to people in the United States for more than 20 years.
A top choice for those that want a lot more control over their mailbox, you not only get a “permanent” mailing address – a physical mailing address, no less – with this service but you also get complete digital mail scanning and record-keeping.
Every single piece of mail that comes through your US Global Mail mailbox (whether it’s from the USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, or anybody else) is going to get scanned or photographed and then immediately sent to your email address and your US Global Mail user dashboard.
Clients get to take advantage of a whole host of other advantages with this company as well, including mail forwarding at up to 80% off of standard delivery rates, check depositing services, and improved security features not available anywhere else.
For more information, check out the US Global Mail website today!