How Late Does USPS Deliver Packages?

When dealing with more than 700 million parcels a day, you need to have your faculties in line to ensure timely delivery.

The USPS handles that many packages daily throughout its network. To effectively ensure that all these items get delivered on time and intact, they get split into service levels.

Service levels will determine the length of time that a package takes to get to you.

For the USPS to maintain its service level offering and distribute all the pieces flowing through their various facilities, they have implemented timelines.

For eCommerce clients, it is essential to know how the system works to maintain your clients’ expectations.

We are going to look at how this affects your delivery expectation.

How late does USPS Deliver Packages?

In general, the USPS will deliver parcels up to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday. Some service providers or carriers will go beyond that as late as 10 pm.

Post offices are known to deliver every parcel on that route for the day. This is why some of them will go as late as 10 pm.

If the mail load is large, you may expect to receive your delivery well into the evening. Understaffing can also contribute to later delivery times.

USPS Services and Delivery Times

Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail includes parcels that are up to 70 pounds in weight. Delivery will take place Monday to Sunday and even in some cases on holidays.

There is an insurance option for these parcels and overnight delivery can be arranged for the next day by 10.30 am.

Priority Mail

Delivery of a Priority Mail package is done Monday to Sunday and excludes holidays. You should expect delivery by 5 pm provided the area is not too far from the warehouse.

You can usually expect to receive a Priority parcel within 1 – 3 business days.

First-Class Mail

First Class mail gets delivered within 1 – 3 business days with no service guarantee. This type of mail is any envelope that is 13 ounces or less in weight.

The envelope must be rectangular with no external attachments or lumps from the inside as they pass through a machine that cannot take irregular sizes.

USPS Retail Ground

Retail Ground is the standard post that gets delivered within 2 – 8 business days. These parcels are limited to 130 inches in length and girth and 70 pounds in weight.

Delivery can take place Monday to Friday.

Media Mail

Although not guaranteed, delivery will take place between 2 – 8 business days. A maximum of 70 pounds is allowed for this service.

Delivery will take place Monday to Friday.

Saturday Deliveries

The USPS does make use of several carriers that will take parcels out on a Saturday for delivery. Most deliver from 9 am until 5 pm on Saturdays.

Priority Express Mail is delivered by 10.30 am.

Not all Post Offices themselves are open until 5 pm. You need to make a call to your local post office to see what time they close on a Saturday.

Almost all post offices have self-help kiosks that are open for extended periods that you can visit. Again, check with your local service provider to see when the self-help kiosk is open.

Sunday Deliveries

The USPS will only deliver Priority Express Mail on Sundays until 10.30 am. Delivery times may, in some cases, differ depending on the area.

Priority Mail

The USPS delivers Priority Mail Monday to Sunday every week. The time of delivery may vary depending on the area and the day delivery takes place.

The only exceptions are holidays when no parcels are delivered.

The difference between Domestic and International Deliveries

There are two classifications of parcels or letters sent through the postal service.

  • Domestic Parcels

Domestic delivery takes place through over 30 000 retail locations across the US. The number of facilities makes drop-offs easier and postal services more accessible to clients.

Merchants can utilize Priority Express services or standard delivery services.

Domestic Delivery Times

Mail ClassificationEstimated Time
Priority Mail ExpressOvernight delivery
Priority Mail1 – 3 business days
Priority Mail Flat Rate1 – 3 business days
Priority Mail Regional Rate1 – 3 business days
First-class Package Service1 – 3 business days
Parcel Select2 – 8 business days
USPS Retail Ground2 – 8 business days
First-Class Mail – Letters1 – 3 business days
First-Class Mail – Large Envelopes1 – 3 business days
  • International Parcels

Offering international delivery services allows clients the flexibility of sending postage globally.

Priority Mail and Global Express mailing options are also available, as are last-mile delivery options locally.

International Delivery Times

Mail ClassificationEstimated Time
Global Express Guaranteed1 – 3 business days
Priority Mail Express International3 – 5 business days
Priority Mail International6 – 10 business days
First-Class Package International Service6 – 20 business days
First Class Mail International – Letters6 – 20 days

Factors that determine if your parcel will be delivered late.

Some circumstances are going to make delivery of your package late or cause a delay. While this is not the norm, it is crucial to be aware of them.

  • Peak periods when volumes are high

During peak seasons such as Christmas, package volumes will increase, causing additional delays in delivery times.

  • Unforeseen weather conditions

Natural disasters and bad weather that make it unsafe for carriers to be out will cause extensive delays on all deliveries.

  • Extended distances between the warehouse and delivery point

Destination pints that are far out from the delivery warehouse will receive their parcels later in the evening.

The carrier has a route, and the furthest point gets serviced last.

  • The number of carriers currently working.

The number of carriers available to the USPS will have an impact on its service delivery. The more there are, the better the delivery times will be.

  • Traffic

Severe traffic jams will interrupt service delivery due to the long-standing times of the delivery vehicle.

In closing

The USPS goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure that you receive your packages promptly. They have successfully set up an infrastructure to handle more than 700 million pieces of mail a day.

With this infrastructure in mind, you can rest assured that you will receive your parcels within the specified amount of time, barring any unexpected delays.

The USPS is an efficient and time-sensitive organization that utilizes only the most reliable carriers to ensure service delivery.

Priority services get done within three business days. Standard services happen within eight business days.

Overall, your shipment is their priority.


1. Can I get insurance on my package?

Yes, the USPS does offer insurance on some parcels. The amount paid varies, as does the coverage. Insurance is limited to a certain amount.

2. Can I get a refund for my parcel?

Refunds are available from the USPS, but terms and conditions need to be adhered to.

A few criteria that will determine if you are eligible for a refund are:

  • You have not received your mail after 30 days from the mailing date
  • Certified mail that is listed as delivered but has not been received will be eligible for a refund
  • If the sender has paid for Return Receipt or Return Receipt Electronic and the USPS fails to provide a signature for the delivery, they can request a refund.

3. What mail gets delivered on holidays?

The only mail that is eligible for delivery on a holiday is Priority Mail.

4. What can Media Mail be used for?

The best use for Media mail is books and school materials. You cannot send computer drives, hard drives, or any video games through this service.

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