How Long Will Mail Take From Zip Code to Zip Code?

How long does it take the mailman to deliver mail when going from zip code to zip code? That and more about mail delivery times, covered in this blog!

The USPS (The United States Postal Service) is the biggest postal company throughout the whole United States. They work all day, every single day, to deliver and receive letters and packages of all shapes and sizes. It has been around for quite some time, and gone through several changes. Long are the years when they would deliver mail on a horse.


Their system is divided up into segments depending on the type of mail that you send and receive. This includes priority mail, priority mail express, marketing mail express, retail, and of course first-class mail (among others).


You won’t find a postal service more dedicated, more effective, or more popular. This state company really is the best in the business.


However, do you know what time the mail will deliver? Do you know how long it will take for your letter to arrive? And what about the US postal delivery times – do we know what they are? Does anyone actually know?


Well, we do!


We are going to be answering all of your burning questions. So get ready, and we will jump right into it!


usps driver loading mail to the truck


How Long Does USPS First Class Take?


It’s common for most of us to believe that our packages and letters that we’ve sent by first-class mail should arrive at their destination in just a single day. You would be forgiven for thinking that but I’m afraid this just isn’t the case (although wouldn’t it be great if it was?).


While we can only provide you with estimated mail delivery times, we can say with a fair amount of certainty that first-class USPS mail should generally arrive within one to three days.


Having said this, there are of course a number of factors that come into play here – including the distance, possible breakdowns, and ever unpopular system malfunctions. Federal holidays are also highly regarded by USPS, which means your mail will probably be subject to some rather long delays around these times. In addition to this, as it’s the biggest postal service in the United States of America, they do experience some backlogs from time to time (especially around the Thanksgiving and Christmas periods).


So, when you are trying to calculate the mailing time, it might be worth taking the distance (inter-state or across the country) into account. This will give you a far more accurate and reliable answer to your all-important question.


Alternatively, you can check on the useful USPS website to see the local mail delivery time in your specific area. This will provide you with a fully customized answer. Not to mention definitely the most accurate one.


How Long Does It Take For a Stamped Letter to Arrive?


To figure out when your stamped letter will arrive at the recipient’s door, why not check out this map. Of course, it is not super accurate, but it does represent an insight into the “service standards” of the United States Postal Service. OK, these do sound a bit confusing, and you’re probably wondering what they are? Well, they are a set of objectives that state and define how long it should take for your letter to get from A to B.


Once you are looking at the map, there are certain metrics you will need to change to increase its accuracy. These include the following:


  • Service — Here, you can pick from “Originating”, “Destinating”, and “Destination Entry”.
  • Mail Class — Ensure you know which class you sent it by first otherwise you will not experience the optimal level of accuracy. You can choose from “First-Class Mail”, “Package Services”, “Periodicals”, and “Standard Mail”.
  • Zip Code and City Name — You will definitely know the zip code and the city name of your recipient, so this part is a piece of cake.


One of the greatest things about the USPS map is that it actually updates while you are inputting all the details. There’s no unnecessary clicking; we are totally loving this.


Anyway, moving on. We’re really getting into the nitty-gritty details now!


usps truck


USPS Delivery Days


It is more than obvious that the United States Postal Service delivers mail on the weekdays, right? However, there always seems to be some major confusion when it comes to the weekends.


We hear these questions a lot: “when does the USPS deliver?” And “do they deliver on weekends?”. The answer is yes, partly.


Sundays are a major no-no for many professions, including the USPS. They will not deliver your mail on a Sunday since it is a rest day (and rightly so, we’re sure you’ll agree). Having said this, in some drastic situations where huge backlogs have occurred (over the Thanksgiving or Christmas period, for example), they have been known to deliver on Sunday. However, there is no way that we should expect this as a general rule!


The good news is that Saturdays are still a very big yes-yes! However, they do tend to deliver exclusively priority mail and priority mail express items on this day. This has proven to be a bit of a downer for those who have forgotten to mail their rent check. But for the majority of us, this is usually fine and dandy.


For an item to be delivered on a Saturday, you will be looking at spending upwards of $6.65. Yup, quite high if you are just trying to mail out a letter, right? We thought so! You are better off paying for the standard shipping costs if your package or letter isn’t super urgent.


a pen on a calendar


USPS Delivery Times


For super-accurate, zip-code-related times, the section below is definitely the one for you. However, if you are interested in USPS letter delivery times in general, you have come to the right place.


Priority Mail Express


Regardless of the zip code, your mail will be delivered by 10:30 am. The earliest delivery time slots are reserved for everything that has been shipped at a higher cost. Which of course makes sense, right?


Domestic Express Mail


The United States Postal Service’s commitments state that every piece of domestic express mail will be delivered before 12 pm. This is pretty standard and something that the average person has come to expect from most of the main postal companies.


All Mail (Domestic and International)


In general, all items due to be delivered will arrive by 5 pm. As we said earlier, this can be prolonged during serious backlogs that tend to occur during the key holiday periods.


clock on a desk


What Time Does The Mail Come in My Zip Code?


By now you might be thinking, “well, that is all wonderful but when does mail get delivered? Like, what exact time?”. Don’t stress, we would be pondering that question ourselves if we didn’t know the answer! So, we thought we should share it with you. Take a look.


To get an accurate mail time estimate, you really can’t go wrong with the Service Commitments form on the United States Postal Service’s website. This will offer you a pretty accurate picture of the precise time your package, parcel, or letter is expected to arrive in the arms of your happy recipient.


As with the mail “heat maps”, you will need to know a few details about your item, including:


  1. Mailing From
  2. Mailing To
  3. Date Mailed
  4. Time Mailed


This can be useful even if you are yet to ship your item! You can enter the date and time you are planning on posting your package or letter, and the form will show you when it’s likely to be received. It’s pretty nifty in our humble opinion (or maybe we’re just a bit odd).


Standard Mail Delivery Time From Zip Code To Zip Code


The internet is home to numerous calculators (we have talked about one already) that will assist you in figuring out the USPS mail delivery schedule by means of the zip code. However, the best (and actually the most accurate) one is the United States Postal Service’s own brand option.


Generally speaking, standard mail takes around 3 to 4 days for it to be delivered, priority mail takes 1 to 3 days, and priority express mail takes 1 to 2 days. This does all depend on your zip code and your recipient’s zip code (which is why the aforementioned online time calculators were invented).


If you know when you want your item to arrive, you can make use of these before shipping so you know exactly which option you will need to purchase.


You will be asked to enter the following information:


  • Destination Country
  • Mailing From (zip code only)
  • Mailing To (zip code only)
  • Date (if you haven’t sent it, enter the date you are planning on mailing the item)
  • Time (if you haven’t sent it, enter the time you are planning on mailing the item)
  • What’s The Item? There are a bunch of options to choose from should any apply.

Then, you can view the rates for postcards, envelopes, boxes, and custom-sized products!


usps truck driving down the street


Regular Mail Delivery From State to State


To fully understand USPS letter delivery time in its wonderful entirety, you must first realize what happens after you have put your letter in the mailbox. It isn’t quite as simple as you might think. It’s an interesting process …


Step One


Put your letter in the mailbox. Okay, we all know this one; it’s self-explanatory, let’s move on.


Step Two


Your item will be picked up by the mailman and taken to your city’s Sectional Center. If you don’t live in a city, your mail is transferred to the center in the closest city to you.


Step Three


It is then taken to an airport and carried by plane to its destination state. Your letter will arrive in your recipient’s city’s Sectional Center.


Step Four


Here, your letter will be sorted along with everything else that arrived and finally handed to the mailman.


Step Five


The mailman delivers your letter to the address specified on the envelope. Et voila!


So you see, it isn’t so straightforward, is it? There is a lot of room for error and delays to happen, which is why all of us have experienced late deliveries at some stage or another. However, the USPS gets it right most of the time, so we can’t really complain.


After all this, you might still be wondering the average mail delivery times. If you’re feeling this way, refer to the mail “heat maps” we mentioned earlier on — they’re valid and reliable as they are created by USPS themselves!


Alternatively, you can check out the stagnant first-class mail delivery time map or the standard mail map if you prefer a non-interactive, completely pictorial diagram for your referencing activities.



The Bottom Line


At the end of the day, pulling your hair out wondering, “how long does USPS take to delivery mail”, isn’t a fun thing to do. While you may feel that most of that stress has largely been taken away after you’ve read this today, we have an option that will stop you wondering about US mail travel time for good.


Oh, now your ears have pricked up. Excellent!


We’re talking about a virtual mailbox.


A virtual mailbox is the same as your physical mailbox, just more accessible and actually better for the environment. All your mail is sent to your digital mailbox’s address, scanned and then uploaded to your dashboard. From here, you can decide whether you want to scan, discard, shred, or have the physical letter mailed to you. It’s really that simple — but the benefits don’t stop there.


In addition to this, you have the power to look at the mail that arrived years ago! Instead of having binders full of mailed paper that you might need some time in the distant future, you can save everything in one easy-to-reach, paper-free application. Not only does this save you space in your home for the more important things in life, but it is also saving the planet.


It’s probably giving you more stress than it’s worth worrying about these postal times when you could be tracking it straight from your digital management system.


So, what are you waiting for?


Register here, and access all your mail virtually!

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