Recently updated on April 26th, 2023 at 04:39 am

Many of us wonder how long mail takes from zip code to zip code. This is because we’re curious to know how soon our package or mail will arrive, and we also want to know the average USPS delivery times for mail-in in our areas.

Fun fact – USPS is the largest postal company in the United States. They work with many mails and packages of different sizes every day, and they try as much as possible to provide good service to their customers. However, that doesn’t dispense this question in the mind of the sender or receiver “how Long will mail take From Zip Code To Zip Code?

If you’ve been burning with questions like what time the mail will deliver? How long will my letter take to arrive? What are the postal delivery times of USPS and other questions? Then you’re at the right place? 

We’ll answer all your questions here and even more! So dive in, let’s start!

How Long will Mail Take From Zip Code To Zip Code?

The time taken for a mail to be delivered from zip code to zip code depends on the type of mail the sender choose and other factors. Generally, two factors affect this: the size of the mail or package and the distance between the two locations. 

When talking about Zip code to Zip code delivery time, you’ve to consider the different types of Zip codes, how they work, and why the delivery time varies from zip code to zip code. So follow this guide to know: Types of USPS mail, understand zip code, and how it affects mail delivery time. 


USPS Mail Types

The United States Postal service classifies mails and packages into different classes depending on their delivery speed. There are five significant segments used in direct mailing, they’re: 

  •         First-Class Mail:1-3 business days
  •         Priority Mail: 1-3 business days
  •         Priority Mail Express: 1-2 Days Guaranteed
  •         Marketing Mail Express: 2-10 days 
  •         USPS Retail Ground:  2-8 business days

Let’s look at each of these classes of mails separately


What is a First-Class Mail?

The USPS first class mail offers the highest delivery services for direct mail pieces such as letters, postcards, and packages in the US. Although the standard delivery time of first-class mail is between 1-5 business days, smaller packages are primarily delivered within 3 days. It is used for shipping cards, letters, and parcels equal to or less than 13 ounces. In addition, first-class mail offers lower pricing and free automatic return and mail forwarding


What is a Priority Mail?

The USPS priority mail is a convenient and fast way of shipping items at a pocket-friendly price. Its straightforward processes make it the ideal mailing address service for small businesses. Packages shipped through priority mail deliver more immediate than that first-class mail and can weigh up to 70 pounds. 

Priority mails are also insured depending on how much you purchased the label and also give you the option to pay postage by stamp or by meters. The delivery time of priority mails typically takes between 1-3 days. You can go for priority mail express if you want a faster option.


What is a Priority Mail Express?

Priority mail express is USPS’s fastest mail delivery service, offering even overnight delivery. The highest mail shipped on this class will take 1-3 days. 

The rate of this mail class is based on the weight of a package, dimension, distance, and rate class. Also, postage codes increase as the distance increases. The maximum weight of a package that can be shipped using priority mail express is 70 lbs. 


What is Marketing Mail Express?

Earlier known as standard mail, this postal service allows businesses and commercial mailers to send marketing materials to prospects and customers. Only mails prepared in bulk can be sent via marketing mail. In exchange, USPS offers bulk prices that are much lower than single mail prices. 

The delivery of marketing mail express takes between 2 to 10 business days, and it can be used to send pieces like circulars, bulletins, flyers, catalogs, newsletters, e.t.c. 


What is USPS Retail Ground?

USPS retail ground is one of the most popular and cheapest postal services of USPS. Delivery packages sent via this postal service take between 2-8 business days to get delivered. 

Ground retail service takes longer than other postal services like First mail and priority mail because USPS uses base (trucks and buses) transportation to deliver packages. 


Read More about Informed Delivery by USPS [Ultimate Guide]


How Long Does USPS First Class Take?

Most individuals think mail and packages shipped via first-class mail will be delivered overnight. We’re sorry, but you’re sorry for thinking so. But who wouldn’t want it to be like that? Not me or you, I guess. 

According to the estimated delivery time of USPS, first-class mail will arrive within one to three days. 

The range of days depends on several factors like distance between two locations, possible breakdowns, minor accidents, weather conditions, and other unavoidable excuses. Federal holidays observed by USPS can also make your mail or package linger a little longer than usual. See USPS holidays 2022.

So when you’re trying to estimate the delivery time of your first class mail, consider the distance between the two locations and unavoidable excuses that can come up. 

Also, you can check the official USPS website to see the local delivery time in your area. This will provide you with a more accurate answer. 


Zip code: What is the Zip Code, and What are the Types of Zip Codes?

In this section, we’ll look at Zip codes and their types. 

What is a Zip Code?

A Zip code is a postal code system used by the United States Postal Service for addresses within the US.

USPS introduced Zip codes in 1963 with a basic format consisting of five digits. Twenty years later, in 1983, an extended format of zipping code-named Zip-4 was introduced. It includes the first 4 digits of a zip code, a hyphen then another four digits specifying a location. 

A zip code alone explains which state, locality, and city a mail is directed to when considering a package. Mail pieces with the Zip-4 code are earlier and easier to sort, thereby enhancing delivery to their locations. 

The first digit of a zip code signifies a specific state or group of States in the United States. For example, zip codes starting with 3 could belong to a particular state or group of states. Hence, any mail piece with an address starting with 3 is going to one of the states in that group. Also, the second and third digits signify a district in a particular state, and the fourth and fifth digits further down the address to a specific street or region. 


What are the Types of Zip Code?

Generally, USPS delivers to 4 types of zip codes. The delivery time of mail from zip code to zip code depends on the locality you’re sending the mail. This makes it essential to understand the types of zip codes. 

1.    Standard Zip Code

This is the most common type of zip code used for most direct mail. Almost all addresses except the ones to be mentioned below are using the standard zip code.


2.    Post Office Zip Code

As the name suggests, this type of zip code is used for PO boxes. Each PO box has its unique Zip-4 code


3.    Military Zip Code

These zip codes are used to indicate military bases that are scattered around the US and its borders. This covers stationary military bases and those that move. Also, there’s a chance that these zip codes overlap with other geographical zip codes. 


4.    Unique Zip Code

These are the least common zip code. They’re usually assigned to high-end addresses like big companies and businesses. However, in some cases, higher institutions and government agencies are also given unique zip codes. 


How Zip Codes Affect USPS Delivery Time?

Zip codes affect the delivery times of mail and packages in many ways. One of the most common ways is distance – when the interval between two zip codes is vast, it will take longer to deliver mail, especially if you’re using the USPS ground retail postal service. 

Breakdowns and system malfunctions also affect mail delivery between two zip codes. For example, maybe the mailman is sick, the vehicle breaks down, or there’s a lot of traffic – all these factors cause a delay in the delivery of mail between two zip codes. 

Another way zip codes can affect your mail delivery is when your sender mistakenly puts a wrong digit in a zip code. A single number digit is enough to make your package go to the incorrect address. You must check a zip code and ensure it’s correct before taking mails or packages to the post office. 


What Are Other Factors Affecting the Estimating Mail Delivery Time From Zip Code To Zip Code?

Apart from the mentioned factors, others can affect the delivery of mails from zip code to zip code. However, unlike the above factors, most elements here are predictable and can be avoided with proper planning.


Federal Holidays

The USPS staff are usually overwhelmed with work during federal holidays, especially Christmas and New Year. With their offices filled up with mail pieces and packages, these are their busiest time of the year. 

Therefore it isn’t surprising that there’s usually delayed mail delivery during peak seasons and holidays. However, this delay can be avoided if you’re mindful enough. For example, you can simply schedule and send cards and packages to your loved ones early so they can receive them on time. 



One of the main factors affecting Mail delivery is the distance between the sender and the receiver. Distance and inaccessibility to remote areas jeopardize the delivery of many mails, causing delays and frustrations. 

To avoid this, you can check the delivery time of a local area through the USPS website. Since this data is directly from USPS, then it’s likely going to predict to you when your mail will be delivered. 


Direct Mail Backlogs

USPS is the largest postal service provider in the United States, dealing with thousands of mails and packages daily. Hence it’s not surprising when USPS experience backlogs at times. 

However, these backlogs are usually experienced during peak seasons and holidays, when they’re, are too many mails. Therefore, you can avoid this by minimizing direct mail sent during this period.



Another reason for delayed mail delivery time between zip code to zip code is extreme weather conditions. For example, when there’s a heavy downpour, storm, or hurricane, USPS staff won’t be able to deliver to that area on time. 

Weather conditions are usually unavoidable because the weather can change at any time. But you can still minimize the delay by choosing to send a mail or package when the forecast shows the weather will likely be friendly that day.


Refer to the following for more information about U.S. Postal Service Holidays in 2022: Is the Post Office Open?


USPS Mail Delivery Time

Generally, all domestic and international mail have a USPS delivery time of 5 PM. However, this can be affected by factors beyond the USPS’s control, such as weather conditions, vehicle breaking down, or backlogs.

For Domestic Express Mail, the USPS is committed to delivering it before noon, irrespective of your zip code. This is standard practice, and almost every postal company adheres to the same. But, again, unforeseen circumstances can delay this.

For Priority Mail Express, which costs higher than other mail services of the USPS, the usual expected delivery time is 10:30 AM. Also, the earliest deliveries are made to packages shipped at a higher cost. This can also be affected by unavoidable factors. 


General USPS Mail Delivery Days

This might sound surprising, but the USPS delivers on Saturdays and sometimes Sundays. It is essential to know that the availability of mail delivery services depends mainly on the local post office’s work schedule.

Mostly, they follow a six-day week pattern wherein deliveries are made from Monday to Saturday, with Sunday as an off day. However, there are some exceptions in certain parts of America where they have five days of work followed by two days for rest. Also, during peak seasons, when there’s a drastic backlog, USPS tends to deliver on Sundays. 

However, since Sunday is generally a rest day, we can’t call this a general rule. Therefore we aren’t saying that USPS will consistently deliver on Sundays during busy seasons. Instead, they do this to facilitate their customers when it’s possible for them by paying the staff for extra hours.

Generally, all post offices across the country operate 5 days a week. On Saturdays, they deliver Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express packages.


What Time Does Usps Deliver To My Zip Code?

To know the time that USPS delivers to your zip code, simply use the USPS standard mail delivery time calculator. It is a handy tool provided by the USPS, and it’s called the Service Commitments. It provides you with information on the exact standard mail delivery time from zip code to zip code. However, you need to fill in the info before the tool provides you with your delivery time:

  •         Zip code the letter was mailed from
  •         Zip code the letter was mailed to
  •         Date the letter was mailed
  •         Time the letter was mailed


This tool isn’t only valid when you’re receiving mail. You can also use it before sending out a parcel or mail to give your receiver the exact time they’re expecting their mail. 


Further Reading about What Time Does Mail Get Delivered By USPS


How Long Does It Take USPS To Deliver Mail Within The Same Zip Code?

Most mails sent and delivered in the same zip code take nothing more than 24 hours, depending on when you drop the mail or package at the post office. If you’re sharp enough to drop off the mail before noon, it will be delivered the next day, while if it’s afternoon, it will likely be delivered within 2 days. 


How Long Does It Take USPS To Deliver Mail from One Zip Code to Another Within The Same City?

Mails within the same city but with different zip codes are considered local mail. Generally, these mails take between 2-3 days to be delivered. 

These include single-piece first-class mails like bill invoices, letters, greeting cards, and others. Therefore, if your granny is having her birthday in the next three days, send the package today as it won’t arrive tomorrow or even next.


How Long Does It Take for a Stamped Letter to Arrive?

By checking this map, you can quickly figure out when your stamped letter will arrive by checking this map. Though it’s not that accurate, it will give you an insight into the service standards of the USPS. 

Okay, this might confuse a novice, but it’s simple. 

The maps show you some objectives that define how long it takes for a letter to arrive from one destination to another. 

Once you open the map, you’ll need to change some metrics to get accurate results. 


  •     Service: Here, you choose from originating, destination, or destination entry
  •     Mail Class: Here, you’ll be required to put the type of mail you’re shipping. Whether it’s first-class, periodicals, package services, or standard mail. Not choosing the suitable mail class will give you an inaccurate result.
  •     Zip code and City Name: You’ll input your recipient’s zip code and city in this part. 


Regular Mail Delivery Time from State to State

A common question asked by individuals is how long does regular mail take from state to state? The only possible way for you to find out exactly when your mail will arrive at its destination is by purchasing the tracking information. This may be viable if you receive mails frequently and want to track your postal mails.

However, if you are running a small business that sends and receives regular direct mail, then this is not the right option. Printing and sending mailers is already expensive, and spending more money tracking can lower your ROI.

Many companies use mailers to send marketing materials, so spending more money tracking them is unnecessary.

In effect, there is no way for you to track the delivery time of your direct mail, especially if they are sent in bulk. So then, how long does regular mail take from state to state? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think.

Similar to the first-class mail we have discussed above, several factors come into play here. 

These factors include distance, destination, delivery routes, and much more. Ideally, regular mail takes 3-5 business days to reach its goal, even if it is in a different state. This can be affected by weather conditions, breakdowns, and other unavoidable issues. 


How long Does Regular Mail Take from State to State?

Many factors affect the regular mail delivery from state to state. They include the type of mails you send, your city, the receiver’s city, mailing date, time, and option. 

To accurately know when your mail will arrive, you’ll have to purchase a USPS tracking system to track the delivery status of your mails and packages. You can also consider using a mailing option that offers free tracking or use the USPS delivery standard to roughly estimate your mail arrival time. 


Why Not Try a Virtual Mailbox?

You can save yourself from the stress of trying to know the time USPS will deliver your mails by signing up for a virtual mailbox with PostScan mail

A virtual mailbox provides you with a PO box or an actual street address where you can receive your mail items. They’re referred to as virtual because all their options are carried out virtually using your mobile phone, tablet, MacBook, or laptop. 

An advantage of the virtual mailbox is irrespective of where you’re. You’ll still receive your mail and can even request that it be forwarded to you. 

Once your mail is received, our mail experts will scan the exterior and send it to you electronically. From there, you can request for opening, shedding, recycling, or forwarding the mail, all from the comfort of your room.

Please contact us for all the information about our company and how we can help your needs.


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