How Late Does USPS Deliver?

Last update on May 25th, 2022 at 05:36 pm

Are you sitting up late into the night impatiently waiting for your mail? Are you wondering if you can still get your package from the United States Postal Service by 10 PM or if you just have to wait till the next day? How long should you wait before filing a complaint? How late does USPS deliver mail?

Many people ask questions significantly when a critical mail delivery has been delayed for hours.

There is so much to learn about the USPS delivery timeline, and we cover it all here.

How Late Does USPS Deliver Mail on Weekdays?

According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), the standard delivery window is 8 AM till 5 PM each day. That means you can receive mail in the evening if it doesn’t arrive in the morning.

However, unexpected circumstances such as inclement weather can disrupt this official window, causing some mail delays. So you may get your USPS mail by 6 PM or even much later.

The USPS personnel are hardworking and do everything necessary to get mail to their ultimate destinations daily. The USPS Creed embodies that core value:

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

So they often work after official post office hours just to get your mail to you, even though it takes up to 8 PM to reach your address. Some people have reported that they received their packages directly from the USPS mail carrier as late as 9 PM.

Late deliveries are rare, but they do occur.

But that doesn’t mean your mail carrier will be out there until midnight just to ensure some junk mail ends up in your mailbox.

How Late Does USPS Deliver on Weekends?

Weekend deliveries aren’t much different from workdays. However, it’s infrequent to receive USPS packages before 8 AM on weekends.

That means you’ll have to wait till 8 AM or later to get your mail on a Saturday.

The USPS has stated that Saturday working hours run till 5 PM. This is much later than other services whose Saturday work hours are between 9 AM and 12 PM local time.

Nevertheless, your mail can occasionally experience some delay and arrive later than 5 PM on a Saturday.

How Late Does USPS Deliver on Sundays?

Note that the US postal service does not deliver mail on Sundays. But there are two exceptions. The first is Amazon parcels.

Since 2013, the United States Postal Service has been delivering Amazon mail and packages on Sundays. This special delivery was first limited to certain parts of the United States but now encompasses many parts of the country.

If you order from Amazon late in the week, such as on a Wednesday or Thursday, your mail stands a chance of arriving on Sunday.

The second Sunday exception is Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express packages. These two first-class mail services offer a full refund and a guaranteed delivery timeline.

They are the fastest USPS service, and they are so sure of their promptness that they allow customers to request a refund when things go awry. So regardless of how much you pay for your packages, you may be able to get a full refund when issues arise.

The USPS treats such priority mail as a first-class package service and will deliver it to you any day of the week, including Sundays.

Depending on several factors, priority mail might show up in your mailbox as early as 8 AM or as late as 10 PM on a Sunday.

How Late Does USPS Deliver on Holidays?

Holidays are special seasons where the United States Postal Service sees higher mail volumes. Perhaps, you ordered a gift for someone, so that you may be worried, “when will the mail arrive?”

If there are staffing shortages or bad weather conditions during a holiday season, you can expect to get your packages late at night, even up to 9 PM. But you’ll likely get it that same day.

Can You Receive Mail before 8 AM?

Many local mail carriers will arrive at the post office before 8 AM, the official resumption hour. Some go very early so they can quickly load their delivery trucks.

That means they may be able to leave the post office before 8 AM, and home addresses closest to the distribution site may receive their packages pretty early.

People living far from the local post office will have to wait a bit, as their mail may be delivered towards the middle of the day. So if you don’t receive your postal service mail while preparing for work, you’ll likely find it waiting in your mailbox when you return.

Why Does My Mail Show up at Different Times Daily?

While the delivery person may be at your doorstep at 9:30 AM today, they may arrive by 6 PM tomorrow. But it’s the same local post office, so why does it sometimes delay reaching you?

Many factors affect how late USPS will deliver your mail.

Factors influencing mail delivery times

Factors that may cause your mail to be delayed:

  • Mail volume

One crucial factor influencing USPS deliveries is mail volume. Mail volumes per day are never the same. So when the postal carriers are overwhelmed by packages at the post office, such as during holidays, it will take time to sort them and deliver yours to you.

This is one reason why your mail may be delayed.

When volume is light, you can expect your mail to be delivered on time.

  • Inclement weather

It may be challenging for your mail courier to reach your address on rainy or foggy days. You’ll often see postal carriers marching through the snow in the dead of winter as they go about delivering mail.

They can’t drive under such conditions. So you shouldn’t be surprised if your mail arrives later than usual.

On more apparent days, your USPS will literally be able to fly through their route, and you’ll get your mail much earlier than you ever expected. That’s why summertime mail deliveries are often significantly faster for mail carriers.

  • Natural disasters

Floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes can also disrupt your mail delivery. They can also cause severe power outages that disrupt the mail delivery service. Nevertheless, these are very rare cases.

  • Postal carriers

We have to note that USPS operates a 5/1 rotation schedule. For five days a week, you’ll have the same delivery person. On the sixth day, you’ll have a different person, known as a “rotating mail carrier.”

This person will likely not be very familiar with your route. Therefore, your package may be delivered later than usual.

Can You Receive USPS Mail as Late as 10 PM?

Is it possible to get a USPS package delivered by 10 at night? Well, the answer is a definite yes. If something terrible and unexpected happens, there is a considerable chance that your USPS package will be delivered very late, even past 10 PM.

These are sporadic cases, so people think they never happen. But they do. So if you’ve heard there has been a problem, such as a natural disaster, weather challenge, highway accident, or power outage, your mail can reach you by 10 PM.

The post office will need some time to deal with the situation and deliver your package. Major holidays like Christmas are also a period known for very late deliveries.

When Does USPS Stop Delivering?

If you’re asking how late USPS deliver, you probably also want to know when they finally stop delivering for the day.

The general rule and the official statement from USPS are that mail deliveries will take place between 8 AM and 5 PM every day except Sunday. But we know that, in reality, the time window is much broader.

We have mentioned how you can receive first-class mail even on Sunday and very late into the night. We have also said that you can see your package after 5 PM due to unusual circumstances, such as catastrophic events.

In general, USPS officially stops delivering by 5 PM daily. Late deliveries are carried out during unofficial hours due to unexpected events or high volumes.

If you have waited for too long and it’s getting dark, it’s best to visit the USPS Service Alerts page to find out if something has happened.

How Does USPS Handle Overnight Deliveries?

Shipping takes time, so if a parcel is sent to you overnight, it will likely not reach you as soon as you expected.

Furthermore, when a package reaches your local post office in the evening, you will likely not receive it that night. It will be kept and then dispatched the following day.

It’s always important to have your tracking number to monitor your parcels from the point of shipping until it gets to you always to know where it is.

How Long Does It Take for USPS to Deliver Packages?

Different mail classes have different timelines for delivery. We have listed USPS time windows according to mail classes below:

  • First-Class Mail — 1–3 business days
  • Priority Mail — 1, 2, or 3 business days
  • Priority Mail Express — 1–2 calendar days
  • USPS Retail Ground — 2–8 business days
  • Media Mail — 2–8 business days
  • Bound Printed Matter — 2–8 business days
  • Parcel Select parcels — 2–9 business days

When Should You Call USPS Customer Support?

If you have waited longer than the allotted number of days, it is appropriate to call USPS customer support to know the cause of the delay.

Do not assume even when there have been a disaster or power outages, do not assume. The reason could be something else.

You can contact the US postal service by calling their support line at 1-800-275-8777 or visiting your local post office.

If the representative says your parcel has been delivered, but you received nothing, you can file a claim.

Your claim must be for a damaged or missing package and not for late delivery because USPS does not accept claims for late deliveries.

Why Do USPS Deliveries Seem to Take Longer These Days?

You’re not alone if you’ve noticed deliveries taking longer than before. It’s due to the new changes made on Oct. 1, 2021.

The new service standards for first-class mail and packages lengthen the delivery time by about 30% of its volume. This means that parcels, magazine subscriptions, and letter envelopes will now take up to five days to arrive rather than 3 days at most.

It all boils down to how the COVID-19 worsened the situation as staffing shortages collided with increased online shopping and shipping volumes. The USPS is working to reduce costs by using fewer airplanes and more trucks.

This will undoubtedly save cost but consume more time for long-distance deliveries.


So, there you have it! A USPS delivery service can get as late as 10 PM, howbeit, on infrequent occasions due to unexpected circumstances.

However, the official USPS delivery time is between 8 AM and 5 PM daily, except on Sundays when only special packages are delivered.

If your USPS package takes longer than expected, do not hesitate to call customer support.

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