What time does USPS deliver? 15 things you should know

Tim Vickers

USPS has different mail services that allow users to choose their preferred delivery options.

Some shipping services are faster and take less time for items to arrive. Others can take longer depending on your location, price, type of package you want delivering, and when you want them delivered.

Ideally, USPS’ fastest domestic shipping service delivers seven days a week, 365 days a year but with limited exceptions. But what time does USPS deliver locally?

USPS cannot determine when a carrier or driver will arrive at your exact location. In most cases, it depends on the volume of mail, which fluctuates every day. As a result, USPS cannot tell you when exactly your items will arrive at your doorstep.

However, USPS strives to make deliveries by 5.00 pm local time. But your goods may arrive later after 5.00 pm because of barriers like traffic, natural disasters, severe weather, changes in delivery routes, staffing challenges, and more.

What you should know about USPS delivery times

The standard practice for USPS is to have all customer items delivered on time. That is why the company has set procedures and introduced services that reduce delayed deliveries.

Here is everything you should know about USPS delivery times.

1. What time does USPS start delivering?

USPS starts delivering at 7.00 am. Ideally, parcels arrive the previous day and overnight at the local offices.

Clerks then sort them out to individual routes. When careers sign in at their offices in the morning, they case their mail by putting everything for delivery.

USPS truck

After the casing, they are ready in one hour. Then, they spend the hour loading their trucks and leaving for the streets to tackle the traffic.

By 9.00 am, the careers start delivering to businesses or homes. If your home is on the route, expect your item to arrive early by 9.30 am.

2. What time does USPS deliver on Sunday?

The USPS does not do deliveries on Sunday. Sunday is a day off for most of its carriers.

However, there are exceptions to this policy. For example, if you use services like Priority Mail Express or Amazon package, the USPS will push the items through its system for delivery on Sunday.

Furthermore, the USPS may extend its delivery hours to Sunday during the holidays by first paying its carriers extra money and overtime.

If this is the case, expect your goods to arrive from 10.30 am.

3. What time does USPS deliver on Saturday?

Saturday is a typical working day for USPS. That means the company will start delivering your item by 9.30 am on a Saturday and expect the close time to be around 5.00 pm.

However, some unforeseen circumstances may force the company to delay its delivery time, meaning your shipment may arrive after 5.00 pm or around 8.00 pm.

4. What time does USPS deliver Priority Mail?

Priority Mail gives USPS customers the chance to send their mail faster than any other service offered. The service guarantees that your mail will reach your doorstep or any other destination within 2-3 business days.

USPS Priority Mail is delivered during the standard USPS business hours between 9.00 am and 7.00 pm nationwide.

Although it is rare for items to arrive late through Priority Mail, USPS may push the delivery to Saturday or Sunday if the goods do not arrive within 2-3 business days (Monday to Friday).

5. Does USPS deliver packages at 8 pm?

The USPS tries as much as possible to avoid delivering packages at or after 8.00 pm. Generally, your package should arrive by 5.00 pm on a working day.

But because of some exceptional circumstances, your items may reach the doorstep at or even after 8.00 pm. For example, mail and parcel volume at USPS is not the same every day.

If the office does not have a lot to process, your goods should arrive by 5.00 pm. But if the company is working on many deliveries, especially door-to-door deliveries, expect your items to arrive late.

6. What days do the USPS not deliver mail?

The USPS does not deliver goods on Sundays and during deferral days. Therefore, you should not expect your items to arrive on:

  • New Year’s Day, January 1.
  • Martin Luther King’s birthday, 3rd Monday of January.
  • Washington’s Birthday or Presidents’ Day, 3rd Monday of February.
  • Memorial Day, 4th Monday of May.
  • Independence Day, July 4.
  • Labour Day, 1st Monday of September.
  • Columbus Day, 2nd Monday of October.
  • Veterans Day, November 11.
  • Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday of November.
  • Christmas Day, December 25.

If you ship out an item during the listed holidays, expect the USPS to skip a day over.

But Sunday is sometimes a unique case. That is because it depends on the shipment service you initially chose, including Amazon Mail and Priority Mail Express.

7. Can I track my mailman?

A mailman
Image: MBusinessImages

You can track your USPS mailman through a service known as Informed Delivery. The service will allow you to manage your packages even before they arrive.

For example, you will receive USPS Tracking updates for your item, give delivery instructions to the carrier, and schedule redelivery.

In addition, the USPS Tracking service will allow you to track incoming packages anywhere, anytime, on your phone, laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.

8. What time does mail come in Texas?

Any mail going to Texas using the USPS should arrive by 5.00 pm on a working business day. Typically, it takes at least three business days for packages to arrive in Texas.

So even if you are in New York and want to send a parcel to Texas, it will take 2-3 business days for the item to reach the destination.

The carrier will arrive by 5.00 pm or after, depending on unforeseen circumstances. But it can take up to ten days, depending on the service you choose.

9. What time does USPS deliver in New York?

The standard USPS delivery time for mail (including all deliveries in New York) is between 8.00 am each morning and 5.00 pm each evening.

Therefore, if the item arrives late, it will be around 8.00 pm.

10. What time does USPS deliver in California?

People living in California should expect their items to arrive at their doorstep by 5.00 pm since the USPS has a standard delivery window for all its mail between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm Monday to Saturday.

However, if there are issues like natural disasters, unusual traffic, or extreme weather, the items may arrive after 5.00 pm.

Furthermore, unforeseen circumstances may force the carrier to deliver the package the next day if the driver cannot deliver it late at night.

Thankfully, the USPS offers tracking services that allow you to track your parcels and get updates on the estimated delivery time in California.

11. What time does USPS deliver on Friday?

The USPS makes all deliveries on Friday by 5.00 pm local time.

But if there are unusual circumstances like changes in carrier route or staff fluctuations, the delivery will be late. USPS may even push it to the following day, but highly unlikely.

12. Why is my mail taking so long to be delivered?

Delayed mail and packages are ordinary in the shipping business. Generally, delays can happen because of weather, holiday rush, lost packages, incorrect addresses, and nobody to pick up your item when it arrived, forcing the carrier to return it.

Also, if you are using USPS, your mail may be taking a long time to reach the destination because delivery time varies from one mail class to another.

Your item may still be in transit and not necessarily delayed or lost, depending on your mail class.

The following mail classes can explain why it is taking long for USPS to deliver your parcel:

First-Class Mail

First-Class Mail takes 1-5 business days for the item to arrive. However, USPS does not guarantee this delivery window.

The good news is that you can contact the company if your item has not reached its destination after five days from the date of mailing.

First-Class Package Service

The item should arrive within five business days.

However, you should note that this is not a guarantee.

Priority Mail

USPS package
Photo: USPS

Priority Mail takes 1-3 business days.

Although not a guarantee, contact support services if the delay is more than five days.

Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail Express takes 1-2 guaranteed calendar days (including Sundays).

However, you should contact USPS if the carrier misses the guaranteed delivery time or date.

USPS Retail Ground

USPS Retail Ground takes 2-8 days to deliver items.

But the delay should not be more than 14 days from the date of mailing.

Package Services

USPS also offers Package Services that include Media Mail, Bound Printed Matter, and Library Mail.

These services take 2-8 business days but not more than 14 days.

Parcel Select and Parcel Select Lightweight

Parcel Select and Parcel Select Lightweight take 2-9 days to deliver packages.

However, this should not be more than 14 days from the date of mailing.


Periodicals take 3-9 business days before a customer can see their item.

Although it is not guaranteed, it should not take more than 14 days for a package to arrive.

USPS Marketing Mail

USPS Marketing Mail takes 3-10 business days for deliveries to occur. But if it takes more than 14 days, you have to contact the company for further assistance.

Generally, the only service that guarantees your package will arrive without delays is Priority Mail Express.

13. Can I call USPS to see where my package is?

The USPS offers a service called Text Tracking. It allows you to get notifications on the status of your package.

That means you can use Text Tracking to make a request, including determining the location of your package.

You can send a request from your phone by texting 28777 (2USPS) with your tracking number or keyword, or both. The purpose of the keyword is to allow you to get specific details about the shipment.

When the USPS responds to your request, the information you get will be the latest tracking data from the carrier.

14. What happens if USPS doesn’t deliver on the scheduled date?

Generally, the USPS does not guarantee that your package will arrive on the scheduled date. That is why it offers a delivery window of between 1-3, 2-5, or 3-10 days.

But if this has not happened, expect the item to arrive within five days from the date of mailing. That can happen because of unforeseen circumstances, or the parcel is in transit but not delivered.

If it takes longer than five days, or fourteen days for other services, you should contact USPS for further assistance.

15. Is it illegal for the post office to not deliver your mail?

It is not illegal for the post office to fail to deliver your mail. However, the service also does not have to deliver your mail either.

For the USPS, the company is within its rights to refuse to deliver mail because of several reasons, including:

  • Blocked mailbox
  • Non-approved or damaged mailbox
  • Safety of the carrier
  • Icy conditions
  • Loose dogs
  • Accumulation of unclaimed mail
  • Proximity to a post office
  • No mail receptacle
  • Travel obstructions

Depending on the circumstances, the post office can request you to get a post office box and use it to pick up your mail.

The company can delay or curtail the delivery of your package whenever there is a hazardous condition or natural disaster that poses a threat to the carrier or the post office property.

But regardless of the reason, it is not illegal for the post office to not deliver your mail.


The USPS strives to deliver all packages between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm, Monday to Saturday

However, unforeseen circumstances can delay the deliveries, including extreme weather, traffic, holiday rush, incorrect address, or lost packages.

Understand that the USPS does not work on Sunday and during federal holidays, except for parcels delivered through Priority Mail Express. And depending on your mail class, it may take up to ten days for your items to arrive.

But you should contact USPS if it is more than five days from the date of mailing. Also, it is not illegal for the USPS to not deliver your package, and the company may choose not to do it altogether.

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