The United States Postal Service is staffed by some of the most hard-working employees out there. Come rain or shine, they are dedicated to going above and beyond to get your package delivered before the end of the day.
However, there are limitations to the service, but what are they? One common question is Does USPS Deliver At Night? And if so, when is their cut-off time?
So, let’s take a closer look to find out more. The answer may well surprise you…
- USPS Official Delivery Times
- Does USPS Deliver At Night? – USPS Unofficial Delivery Times
- How About Weekends?
- Why Does My Mail Show Up At Different Times Of The Day?
- The USPS 5/1 Rotating Staff Schedule
- Ever Thought Of Working For USPS?
- Does USPS Deliver At Night? – Final Thoughts
USPS Official Delivery Times
On their website, the USPS states that mail will be delivered anywhere from 8:00 am through to 5:00 pm, Monday to Saturday. Sunday is a little different, but I’ll touch on that later. The truth of the situation is a little different, with the window often starting a little earlier and extending into the evening if there is still work to be done.
Many USPS mail carriers like to get an early start and will arrive well before 8:00 am to help load up their trucks in the most efficient way possible. They know their routes and can streamline the operation more effectively. This means they are often out on the road by 7:30 am, sometimes earlier.
Location, location, location…
If you’re lucky enough to live near the sorting office, then you may even be used to receiving your mail before you’ve even left for work yourself. Those that live further on the route are not so lucky, and their normal delivery time will be dependent on how far away from the post office they live.
Does USPS Deliver At Night? – USPS Unofficial Delivery Times
Although the official cut-off point is 5:00 pm, it’s not uncommon in certain areas and at busier times of the year for USPS mailmen to deliver well past that time.
The busiest period for the USPS is from Thanksgiving through to the end of the year. They have a huge amount of mail and packages to deliver during this period and, consequently, try to get as much done daily as possible to avoid a backlog building up.
Special occasions count!
As a result, it’s far from unusual for USPS mail to be dropped off well past 5:00 pm. Deliveries as late as 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm are not uncommon and, on rarer occasions, even later still. It’s been known in some areas for mail to arrive as late as 9:00 pm, although this is generally considered exceptional.
How About Weekends?
Saturday delivery times are officially the same as weekdays, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. In reality, things don’t normally get off to quite as early a start, with mail starting to hit doorsteps half an hour to an hour later than during the week. The chances of delivery before 8:00 am on a Saturday are way less likely than Monday to Friday.
Once again, though, it’s not unusual during busier times to see the USPS delivery truck rolling around your neighborhood well after 5:00 pm on a Saturday. Particularly during the holiday season, a backlog can’t be allowed to build up as it will snowball into the next week.
And then comes Sundays…
Sunday is a different story. General mail deliveries don’t happen on this day, with a couple of notable exceptions. Since 2013, the USPS has had a deal with Amazon to deliver their packages on a Sunday. This was originally restricted to the larger metropolitan areas in the country but has since been extended countrywide.
If your Amazon package is due to arrive on a Sunday, the chances are that you’ll be getting a knock at the door from the USPS on that day.
Paying that extra is worth it…
The other exception to this rule is Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express packages, where customers have paid significantly more to have a speedier delivery.
USPS guarantees the delivery times on these packages, and if they fail to meet them, a money-back guarantee scheme is in place. It would be extremely costly to miss these deadlines, so Sunday delivery is a must, even if it means delivering on rare occasions, as late as 10:00 pm.
So now we’ve established that the USPS often delivers into the late evening; let’s answer another commonly asked question…
Why Does My Mail Show Up At Different Times Of The Day?
Generally, the USPS is pretty good at delivering most mail to individual addresses at a similar time each day, but sometimes this just isn’t possible.
The main factor is that the volume of mail on any given day is never the same. On certain days, the volume can increase dramatically, meaning significant delays throughout the delivery route. The further your address is on the route, the later you will receive your mail.
The opposite is true on those days when the volume of mail is at its lowest. On these days, you’ll receive your delivery much earlier than usual.
The other main factor is local weather conditions. The seasons really play a big part in the efficiency of the USPS delivery system. Nice sunny weather will speed things up a lot as there are fewer incidents on the road to slow things down.
Fast-forward to winter, however, and certain parts of the country can really grind to a halt. Roads are a far more dangerous place, and conditions can become treacherous, with snow and ice causing way more accidents than in the summertime.
Bad weather, but delivery is still guaranteed…
It takes longer for all road traffic to reach their destination at these times, and the same applies to your mail carrier. Even so, your faithful USPS delivery driver will still get your mail to you regardless of the weather, but it’s logical to assume that poor weather is going to significantly slow things down.
The USPS 5/1 Rotating Staff Schedule
Mail carriers at the USPS will work five days a week on the same route, and then on the extra day, a replacement will cover for them. In other words, once a week, your mail will be delivered by someone who isn’t as familiar with the route as your regular carrier.
This won’t always be the same person every week either. On these days, it’s reasonable to expect a slight delay in deliveries. This will often be on a Saturday as this is the most popular day off for USPS mail carriers.
Some choose a weekday off…
A minority prefer to take a day off in the middle of the week, so your affected day may well be a Tuesday or a Wednesday. Next time you see a different carrier on your route, make a mental note of when your mail arrived, and the odds are it will be slightly later than usual.
Ever Thought Of Working For USPS?
Well, if that’s the case, take a look at my USPS Application and my USPS Mail Processing Clerk Job Description, or maybe you’d want to apply to my UPS Application Online Jobs Career Info or check out my UPS Mission And Vision Statement Analysis, to see what they’re all about.
Of course, you might need to know Does UPS Drug Test Package Handlers, or perhaps Does UPS Do Background Checks, as well as Does USPS Hire Felons if you do have a criminal record before moving forward.
Lastly, you’ll have to pass your postal exams first! We recommend using the McGraw-Hill’s Postal Exams 473/473C, the Postal Exam Secrets Study Guide: Review and Practice Tests for the USPS Virtual Entry Assessment 474, 475, 476, and 477, the Postal Exam Book: for Test 473 and 473-C, and how about Post Office Jobs: The Ultimate 473 Postal Exam Study Guide all available online in 2023.
Does USPS Deliver At Night? – Final Thoughts
So as you can see, the USPS does extend its hours of operation beyond the officially stated delivery window of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. It’s rare, but in extreme circumstances, as late as 9:00 to 10:00 pm.
As admirable as this is, if they neglected to do so, the service would struggle to clear the backlog of mail and likely get overwhelmed quite quickly. They also face stiff competition from private delivery companies.
So they, therefore, need to maintain as solid a service as possible, all of which can only benefit us, the customer.
Good luck if you decide to become a USPS Mail Carrier!
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