The United States Postal Service, also known as USPS, is an independent agency that is responsible for providing postal services in the United States. Prior to the 1950s, the company was known to provide deliveries twice a day.

This meant that people who did not receive their mail or package during the initial delivery would typically receive it in the second run. However, over time, various factors came into play which prompted USPS to change its delivery schedule.

The main reasons for this change include increases in operational costs, as well as mail and package consolidation. In this article, we’ll go into more detail about why USPS opted to discontinue twice-a-day delivery and also share some additional tips when receiving mail.

Does USPS Deliver Mail & Packages Twice a Day?

USPS does not deliver mail or packages twice a day. While delivering twice a day used to be practiced before the 1950s (even 4 times a day to businesses), it has since been discontinued due to an annual deficit or simply as part of a shift in policies. 

Today, USPS consolidates mail and packages, only making one delivery to both residential and business locations per day. This policy remains consistent regardless of public holidays, festive celebrations, weekdays, or weekends.

Reasons Why USPS Doesn’t Delivery Twice a Day

One of the main reasons that USPS no longer delivers twice a day is because of the decline in mail volume over the years. The need for physical mail has decreased due to the widespread adoption of digital communication.

USPS delivering mail in snow
USPS Mail Delivery © Elvert Barnes

Furthermore, the convenience of digital alternatives like email, text messages, and other forms has contributed to the decline in traditional mail usage, prompting USPS to consolidate mail deliveries.

However, there are also other reasons that contribute to USPS’ change in policy, which we will take a closer look at below.

Increased Operating Costs

In addition to maintaining a reasonable expenditure, increased operating cost is another factor that drove the decision for single-day deliveries. When multiple deliveries are arranged in a single day, USPS incurs additional expenses.

They would be required to pay extra for fuel, wages, overtime, and maintenance of delivery vehicles, just to name a few. These costs can quickly add up and lower the profit margins.

To ensure profitability and sustainability, USPS has strategically decided to adopt the practice of delivering once a day. By reducing unnecessary expenditures, they can better manage their resources and maintain a financially stable position.

Mail & Package Consolidation

With advanced systems and tools that help plan, schedule, and optimize dispatches USPS is able to consolidate mail and packages into a single delivery. This approach allows for a more streamlined dispatch and delivery process and even maximizes efficiency. Let’s dive deeper into how these tools help optimize the entire process.

  • Streamlining Operations – USPS uses inventory management and delivery systems to simplify operational workflows and processes. This allows them to keep track of mail and packages.
  • Planning Systems & Tools – There are also planning systems that assign routes for drivers, which ensure that packages are delivered efficiently and timely. Tools that also calculate high traffic hours and detour drivers when needed assist in reducing traveling time by avoiding congested areas. 
  • Proper Schedule For Delivery Drivers – By providing each driver with a designated schedule, delivering all mail and parcels once a day is possible. With a proper timetable, drivers are able to know which parcel to drop off first and what route they should take.

Different Service Offerings

Another reason why USPS has phased out the need to deliver twice a day is because they have different service offerings that focus on expedited shipping. In other words, recipients who would like to receive their mail or parcel earlier can instead opt for premium services such as first-class mail or priority mail express.

What Time Does USPS Deliver?

When it comes to delivery time frames, it can vary depending on the specific service chosen by the sender. This means that the estimated time of arrival can range from same-day delivery to up to 5 days.

However, it’s important to note that mail and small packages from USPS are typically delivered between 9am and 5pm. This means that you can generally expect to receive your package by 5pm on any weekday or Saturday.

However, there may be instances when deliveries continue until 10pm, especially if USPS is dealing with a higher-than-usual volume of mail or in peak seasons.

What If USPS Doesn’t Deliver My Mail Today as Stated?

If you’re in a situation where USPS doesn’t deliver your mail according to the estimated delivery date, there could be a few reasons for this. One possibility is that there was an unforeseen delay in the delivery process. 

This could be due to factors beyond the control of USPS, such as severe weather conditions or traffic and infrastructure-related issues. Other possibilities include errors in the tracking information and operational challenges, to name a few.

In situations like these, it’s always a good idea to reach out to USPS directly for more information about the status of your mail or package. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your delivery. 

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Gerrit Poel

Co-Founder & Writer
at freightcourse

About the Author

Gerrit is a certified international supply chain management professional with 16 years of industry experience, having worked for one of the largest global freight forwarders.

As the co-founder of freightcourse, he’s committed to his passion for serving as a source of education and information on various supply chain topics.