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What Time Does USPS Deliver?


Are you trying to work out when an important letter or parcel will arrive?

Waiting around for your mail to come when you have a busy day can be frustrating. However, it might not be worth the risk of being out when an important document or parcel arrives. Fortunately, the United States Postal Service operates a fairly consistent and reliable delivery schedule. This is intended to provide peace of mind so that you know roughly when your mail will come each day.

So, let’s find out, what time does USPS deliver?

Standard Delivery Hours 

The United States Postal Service schedules deliveries at roughly the same hours for each route. However, the timing can vary sometimes if there is a high volume of mail or a longer route. Delivery can also be delayed for several other reasons.

The standards delivery hours for USPS are as follows:

  • PO Box deliveries begin at 08:30
  • Priority Mail Express items are usually delivered daily by 10:30
  • Domestic express mail is usually delivered before 12:00
  • International mail usually arrives before 15:00
  • The latest delivery time each day is 17:00

Shipping Times by Class 

The mail class that is selected has an impact on when your post will be delivered. This is an important point to bear in mind when sending an important letter or parcel. Let’s take a look at the usual USPS shipping times for different mail classes.

Retail Ground

It takes between two and eight days for mail sent using this service to arrive. This is a cheaper way of sending oversized packages and other mail that is not urgent. The starting cost for this service is $6.65.

Media Mail

This service is designed for brochures and educational materials. Media Mail takes between two and eight days to reach its destination. The fee for using the Media Mail service starts at $2.63.

First-Class Mail

The estimated number of business days for First-Class Mail is between two and three. This is a fairly cheap way of sending single envelopes and other mail weighing up to 3.5 ounces. You can also send small packages and large envelopes, and the rate starts at $0.49. 

Priority Mail

The delivery schedule for this mail class is between one and three days. The fee for using this class starts at $6.65. 

Priority Mail

Priority Mail Express

One of the great things about choosing this service is that mail can be shipped overnight. As a result, mail sent using Priority Mail Express only takes between one and two business days to arrive. Mail can be delivered every day of the week, and fees start from $23.75. 

International Mail

It usually takes a few days extra for letters and parcels to reach international destinations. This is because of the distance covered and the extra steps involved. Here are the usual USPS shipping times for different classes of international mail

Priority Mail Express International

Mail sent using this service takes a maximum of five business days to arrive. In some cases, your letter or parcel will arrive in just three business days. 

Global Express Guaranteed

If you need international mail to reach its destination quickly, this is a good service to use. Mail sent with Global Express Guaranteed only takes between one and three business days to arrive. The exact amount of time the mail takes depends on the distance covered. 

Certain other international shipping classes do not come with a guaranteed shipping time. The amount of time it takes your mail to reach its destination can vary widely. It is a good idea to inquire about the estimated shipping time when choosing one of these services.

International shipping services with varied times include:

  • Airmail M-Bags
  • First-Class Mail International
  • First-Class Package International Service

The Latest Delivery Time

Delivery routes are arranged so that all mail is delivered by 17:00 at the latest. This ensures that you won’t have to wait around all evening for your mail to arrive. If you haven’t received your mail by 17:00, it should be with you the following day. 

How to modify delivery times?

If you are sending a parcel to a loved one, you may want it to arrive at a particular time. To ensure this, you need to reschedule the delivery on the United States Postal Service website. You will need to provide information like the current delivery date, address, and tracking number.

You can also reschedule a delivery time if an unsuccessful delivery attempt was made. In this case, you will receive a delivery notification that features an article number. You need to provide this article number when rescheduling the delivery time and date. 

Delivery Days

The United States Postal Service delivers all types of mail from Monday to Saturday. The class of mail dictates how long it will take to arrive. However, mail may not be delivered on certain major holidays that fall on a Saturday.

It is important to count the number of business days. While mail is usually delivered on a Saturday, this is not counted as a business day. Therefore, your mail will usually take longer to arrive if you send it on a Friday. 

Sunday deliveries 

Since 2013, the United States Postal Service has been delivering mail on Sundays. However, the Sunday service is mainly reserved for distributing Amazon parcels to customers. Priority Mail parcels can also be distributed on Sundays if this day has been specified when arranging the service. 

Sunday distribution times

Fewer mail carriers work on Sundays, which means that delivery times can vary slightly. However, delivery times are extended on this day to make sure that all mail is delivered. In the case of Amazon parcels, they could arrive as late as 22:00. However, the driver will contact you in advance to make sure you are ready to receive the parcel.

Priority Mail Express comes with a money-back guarantee. When you choose a specific delivery day, you can be sure your mail will be delivered on that day. As part of the guarantee, your mail has to be delivered by 18:00 at the latest. 

Reasons For Delays 

Now that you understand the general schedules for different services, you should have a good idea of when your mail will arrive. However, there may be times when mail takes a little longer than usual to reach its destination. Here are some of the main factors that can cause delays in USPS delivery times.

Reasons For Delays 

Altered delivery schedules

There are plans to gradually slow down the First-Class mail service over the next few years. Providing a slightly slower service will save the United States Postal Service a lot of money. However, most customers will hardly notice any difference in the speed.

In some cases, parcels may take a day or two longer to arrive once plans are fully implemented. In other cases, the delay may only be an hour or two. 

Rural locations

Delivering mail to locations in the countryside often takes longer than in the city. This is due to the quality of roads and a number of other factors. If there is not enough mail to deliver on your route, you may have to wait an extra day or two. 

International locations

It’s not unusual for parcels that are shipped internationally to take a little time to clear customs. This is because the parcel has to be carefully inspected to determine whether or not duty has to be paid. You can speed up the process a little by clearly stating on the declaration what’s in your parcel.

You also need to have a good understanding of what you can and can’t ship internationally. Certain permitted items also need to be packed in a specific way to prevent damage. Failing to do this means your parcel will either be delayed or confiscated. 

The chosen mail service

Various times and dates are specified for different mail classes. It is important to check out the timeframes for different services before making a selection. If your mail is taken longer to arrive than expected, it still may be within the timeframe for the service. 

Restricted delivery trucks

In another move to save money, the United States Postal Service is cutting back on late truck trips. The size of the delivery fleet is also being reduced to save money. This means that mail is likely to take a little longer to arrive at each stage of the journey. 

Bad weather conditions

Driving in extreme weather conditions can be difficult and even very dangerous. Major storms and floods can make it impossible to travel on certain routes for a few days. When this happens, the delivery timeframe is usually updated as soon as possible. This will be reflected when you enter the tracking number and will give you an indication of when the mail should be delivered. 

Bad weather conditions

Traffic accidents

When shipping times are calculated, they are based on certain routes. Major traffic accidents and other events can cause roads to be blocked or closed completely for a while. When this happens, alternative routes will have to be found. This naturally causes deliveries to be delayed by a few hours or even a full day at times. 

The day of the week

Unless you choose Priority Mail, your letters and parcels will not be delivered on a Sunday. Therefore, the mail will take an extra day or two to reach its destination. 

The time of day

If you send mail close to the end of the day, it will usually take an extra day or two to arrive. It takes a little time to process and sort your mail before it starts its journey. If you arrive just before a post office branch closes, the process won’t begin until the following day. 


A much larger volume of mail has to be processed on the days leading up to major holidays. This includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. As a result, your parcels are likely to take a little longer to arrive at these times of the year.

If you are planning to send a present to someone special, it’s best to plan in advance. Try to allow an extra few days or even a week to make sure that the gift arrives on time.

Read more: What Bank Is Open On Saturday?

Need More Info About USPS Delivery

No problem! Take a look at our more in-depth guides, starting with When Do USPS Trucks Go Out For Delivery and Does USPS Deliver At Night, as well as Does USPS Deliver On Saturdays and Does USPS Deliver On Sunday?

If you’d like to stay on top of your parcel, then you’ll want to check out Does USPS Have First Class TrackingWhy Is USPS Tracking Not Updating, or perhaps you need to find out Can You Track A USPS Package Without A Tracking Number in 2023?

Are you waiting on a package? Then, you might be interested to know What Does Delivered To An Agent Mean USPSHow Long Does USPS Hold Packages in case you weren’t home, along with what to do when your USPS Out For Delivery Never Came, when USPS Says Delivered But No Package, or even How To Refuse A Package USPS when the parcel is not addressed to you.

Final Thoughts 

Working out what time mail should arrive can be easier said than done. You need to take the area you live in, the service used, and the distance the package traveled into account. However, the United States Postal Service is known for being very reliable and operating a smooth delivery service. 

The best way to see when a parcel is due to arrive is by using the tracking function on the USPS website. After entering the tracking number, you will see the status of the parcel. If the status doesn’t change for a couple of days, it’s a good idea to reach out to the customer service team.

Hope your parcel arrives safely and on time!

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