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How Fast is USPS First-Class? (2023 Guide)

how fast is usps first class

In a world that relies on technology more than ever, it’s easy to assume that USPS has passed its prime. 

True, in these times of instant communication, it’s probably used less than in the past. However, don’t discount USPS entirely, my friend; you’ll be making a grave mistake! After all, you can’t send packages and parcels by email. Plus, many important government forms require proof of postage. And I’m sure your grandmother would love to receive a thoughtful, handwritten card in the mail once in a while!

Sure, it’s not as speedy as sending an email. But that doesn’t mean it’s slow either. So, let’s find out…

How Fast Is USPS First-Class?

First Class

On average, USPS first-class mail takes anything between 0ne and five business days to be delivered. However, it’s not as straightforward as all that. There are a few factors to consider.

Letter or parcel?

The time taken to deliver an item depends heavily on two things: size and weight. These factors can radically alter the speed of the mail. There are other considerations too, but these are the main aspects to think about.

USPS often uses the term ‘flats’ to refer to large envelopes and magazines like your TV Guide. Letters weighing under 3.5oz are included in the same category as these flats. It usually takes up to five working days for one of these items to reach its final destination.

Part and parcel…

If you wish to send a package or a parcel, then you’ll be using the USPS package service. This is also known as the USPS parcel service. Don’t worry! It’s just as easy to use as USPS first-class.

How fast is USPS First Class Package Service?

The weight of the parcel is very important. To use this service, it must weigh under 13oz. If that’s the case, you can expect to receive your parcel within three working days. Anything heavier cannot be sent by the USPS first-class package service. You’ll need to choose one of USPS’s different delivery options for that. Remember: it’s always better to travel light!

More About Using The USPS Package Service

More About Using The USPS Package Service

Take a peek at this section of the USPS website. It has everything you need to know and more. 

Whether it’s how to measure your package or a step-by-step guide on how to ship, USPS has you covered. And of course, you’ll need some packing materials as well. Amazon has an awesome selection available online. Not only can you buy boxes, but they also sell bubble wrap, Styrofoam, tape, and just about everything else you could ever need to ship anything to anywhere!

USPS Priority Mail

For bigger items, USPS first-class isn’t suitable. Luckily though, USPS has other options available. You need to check out USPS priority mail.

What is it?

USPS priority mail is a more expensive service, but it comes with a lot more benefits. It can handle packages and parcels up to a whopping 70lbs! The price is calculated by the size, shape, and weight of the package, as well as the distance it will travel.

And for frequent users, good news! Instead of paying per parcel, you can pay a flat rate instead. This means that as long as the parcel is under 70lbs, you’ll pay the same amount regardless of where it’s going. It also means that USPS will provide you with standard-size boxes for extra convenience.

Can I send a letter with priority mail?

Certainly! Though I wouldn’t recommend it for short distances due to the cost. Priority mail is generally better for long distances, whereas USPS first-class is a better option for local post.

But if you’re desperate to send something in a hurry, Priority Mail Express may be the choice for you. This service guarantees either next-day or two-day delivery. Like priority, it also offers a flat fee, and the price includes other extras such as free tracking and $100 of insurance.

How much is it?

You can find details on Priority Mail Express pricing here. To get an accurate cost, you’ll need to know the dimensions and weight of your package. And remember, it may look expensive at first, but as with everything in life, you get what you pay for.

How Fast Is First Class Mail? – Does USPS First-Class Ever Take Longer Than Five Days?

How Fast Is First Class Mail? – Does USPS First-Class Ever Take Longer Than Five Days?

Sure, it can. Some kinds of mail take longer than others. While most letters will be delivered within those five days, marketing materials and periodicals are likely to take up to ten days.

Back in 2021, USPS needed to do something about its budget deficit. To do this, it developed a little something called ‘Delivering for America.’ While this did the trick in saving money, it also meant that delivery times became a little slower due to staff reductions.

How Fast Is USPS First-Class? – Shipping Long Distance

Naturally, it’s quicker to send something locally than it is far away. It takes time to travel longer distances. So, while it’s fast to send a birthday card to a relative one town over, it’ll take a while for the same thing to reach the other side of the country.

So, how long will it take?

USPS groups distance into zones. It starts with zone one, which covers short distances, and ends with zone eight, the furthest domestic distance.

Following are some of the zones, so give you a rough idea of how long it will take your mail to be delivered?

  • Zone one, 0-50 miles: USPS First-Class – two days.
  • Zone three, 150–300 miles: USPS First-Class – three days.
  • Zone five, 600-1000 miles: USPS First-Class – three to four days.
  • Zone eight, over 1800 miles: USPS First-Class – up to five days.

These timings are not exact. Various local factors can affect the number of days it takes, as well as issues within USPS. But this should help you judge when you need to send your mail to make sure it arrives on time.

Can I send something internationally using USPS First Class?

Absolutely! The first-class service has no problem with sending mail overseas. You can expect to pay more than domestic services, but it’s unlikely that the cost will break the bank. However, USPS First-Class is not the fastest option for international shipping. The final destination matters here. While some may arrive within a week, it can take much longer.

This is because the first-class international service has no control over what happens when the mail reaches another country. It relies on the local postal service, which is sometimes great but is often lacking in less developed areas. If this is the case, expect to wait up to four weeks for delivery.

Are there any faster options?

Remember those priority services I mentioned earlier? They both offer international services too. Priority International Mail takes just ten days, whereas Priority Express International takes an impressive three to five business days.

Read more: How Many Stamps For A Manila Envelope?

Info On Parcel Delivery By USPS!

If you’re posting a package, then you might want to know Can I Drop A Package In A USPS Mailbox, what is the Departed USPS Destination Facility Meaning, as well as Does USPS Have First Class TrackingWhy Is USPS Tracking Not Updating, and Can You Track A USPS Package Without A Tracking Number.

Next, you might be the one expecting a delivery; for that, take a look at Does USPS Deliver At Night, or Does USPS Deliver On Sunday, along with What Does Delivered To An Agent Mean USPS, what to do when USPS Says Delivered But No Package, and How To Refuse A Package USPS if an unwanted parcel arrives in 2023.

Perhaps you weren’t home when your package arrived? In that case, find out How Long Does USPS Hold Packages and What Is A USPS Parcel Locker to avoid the same inconvenience for any future deliveries!

How Fast Is USPS First-Class? – Final Thoughts

While it isn’t always the fastest option, USPS First-Class remains the best all-around service for sending mail. Deliveries are always made in a very reasonable time frame, it’s well-priced, and its customers can have peace of mind, knowing that their mail will get to where it needs to go.

Is it perfect? No, but then again, what is? USPS is iconic. It’s an institution that has served us well and something that we, as Americans, should be proud of.

Enjoy posting your parcel with USPS First Class!

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