Over a time of years, these offices are relied upon to supplant Processing and Distribution Centers, Customer Service Facilities, Bulk Mail Centers, Logistic and Distribution Centers, attaches, the Hub and Spoke Program, Air Mail Centers, and International Service Centers.

The progressions are an aftereffect of the declining volumes of single-piece First-Class Mail, populace moves, the expansion in drop shipments by promoting mailers at destinating postal offices, headways in gear and innovation, redundancies in the current system, and the requirement for operational adaptability.

Aircraft and rail division

A former United States Postal Service Boeing 727-200 aircraft at Miami International Airport in 1999
The United States Postal Service does not directly own or operate any aircraft or trains, although both were formerly operated. The mail and packages are flown on airlines with which the Postal Service has a contractual agreement. The contracts change periodically. Contract airlines have included: UPS, Emery Worldwide, Ryan International Airlines, FedEx Express, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Express One International. The Postal Service also contracts with Amtrak to carry some mail between certain cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis – Saint Paul.[180]

The last air delivery route in the continental U.S., to residents in the Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness, was scheduled to be ended in June 2009. The weekly bush plane route, contracted out to an air taxi company, had in its final year an annual cost of $46,000, or $2400/year per residence, over ten times the average cost of delivering mail to a residence in the United States.[181] This decision has been reversed by the U.S. Postmaster General.[182]

Parcel forwarding and private interchange
Private US parcel forwarding or US mail forwarding companies focusing on personal shopper, relocation, Ex-pat and mail box services often interface with the United States Postal Service for transporting of mail and packages for their customers.[183]

Delivery timing

USPS contractor-driven semi-trailer truck seen near Mendota, California

1998 United States Postal Service Ford Windstar, showing the larger driver’s side door
Delivery days
From 1810, mail was delivered seven days a week. In 1828, local religious leaders noticed a decline in Sunday-morning church attendance because of local post offices’ doubling as gathering places. These leaders appealed to the government to intervene and close post offices on Sundays. The government, however, declined, and mail was delivered 7 days a week until 1912.[184][185]

Today, U.S. Mail (with the exception of Express Mail)[186] is not delivered on Sunday.

Saturday delivery was temporarily suspended in April 1957, because of lack of funds, but quickly restored.[187][188]

Budget problems prompted consideration of dropping Saturday delivery starting around 2009. This culminated in a 2013 announcement that regular mail services would be cut to five days a week, which was reversed by Congress before it could take effect. (See the section Revenue decline and planned cuts.)

Direct delivery vs. customer pickup
Originally, mail was not delivered to homes and businesses, but to post offices. In 1863, “city delivery” began in urban areas with enough customers to make this economical. This required streets to be named, houses to be numbered, with sidewalks and lighting provided, and these street addresses to be added to envelopes.[189] The number of routes served expanded over time. In 1891, the first experiments with Rural Free Delivery began in less densely populated areas. There is currently an effort to reduce direct delivery in favor of mailbox clusters.

To compensate for high mail volume and slow long-distance transportation which saw mail arrive at post offices throughout the day, deliveries were made multiple times a day. This ranged from twice for residential areas to up to seven times for the central business district of Brooklyn, New York.[190] In the late 19th century, mail boxes were encouraged, saving carriers the time it took to deliver directly to the addressee in person; in the 1910s and 1920s, they were phased in as a requirement for service.[189] In the 1940s, multiple daily deliveries began to be reduced, especially on Saturdays. By 1990, the last twice-daily deliveries in New York City were eliminated.

Today, mail is delivered once a day on-site to most private homes and businesses. The USPS still distinguishes between city delivery (where carriers generally walk and deliver to mailboxes hung on exterior walls or porches, or to commercial reception areas) and rural delivery (where carriers generally drive).[191] With “curbside delivery”, mailboxes are at the ends of driveways, on the nearest convenient road. “Central point delivery” is used in some locations, where several nearby residences share a “cluster” of individual mailboxes in a single housing.

Some customers choose to use post office boxes for an additional fee, for privacy or convenience. This provides a locked box at the post office to which mail is addressed and delivered (usually earlier in the day than home delivery). Customers in less densely populated areas where there is no city delivery and who do not qualify for rural delivery may receive mail only through post office boxes. High-volume business customers can also arrange for special pick-up.[192][193]



A helper arranging office (ASF) is a focal mail office that forms mass rate distributes spokes in a center point and talked organize.

A remote encoding focus (REC) is an office at which assistants get pictures of issue mail pieces (those with difficult to-peruse addresses, and so forth.) by means of secure Internet-type nourishes and physically type the addresses they can disentangle, utilizing an uncommon encoding convention. The mail pieces are then showered with the right locations or are arranged for further taking care of as indicated by the guidelines given through encoding. The aggregate number of RECs is down from 55 out of 1998 to only 1 focus in December 2016. The last REC is in Salt Lake City, Utah.[173]

While regular use alludes to a wide range of postal offices as “substations”, the USPS Glossary of Postal Terms does not characterize or even rundown that word.[169] Post Offices frequently share offices with other legislative associations situated inside a city’s focal business area. In those areas, frequently Courthouses and Federal Buildings, the building is claimed by the General Services Administration while the U.S. Postal Services works as a tenant.[174] The USPS retail framework has around 36,000 post workplaces, stations, and branches.[175]

Mechanized Postal Centers

A 24-hour Automated Postal Center stand inside the Webster, Texas primary mail station

In the year 2004, the USPS started sending Automated Postal Centers (APCs).[176] APCs are unattended booths that are fit for gauging, franking, and putting away bundles for later pickup and in addition offering household and worldwide postage stamps. Since its presentation, APCs don’t take money installments – they just acknowledge credit or charge cards. Essentially, conventional candy machines are accessible at many post workplaces to buy stamps, however these are being eliminated in numerous areas.[177] Due to expanding utilization of Internet administrations, as of June 2009, no retail post office windows are open 24 hours; medium-term administrations are restricted to those given by an Automated Postal Center.[178]

Transformative Network Development (END) program

In February 2006, the USPS reported that they intend to supplant the nine existing office types with five handling office types:[179]

Territorial Distribution Centers (RDCs), which will process all classes of packages and packages and fill in as Surface Transfer Centers;

Nearby Processing Centers (LPCs), which will process single-piece letters and pads and drop mail;

Goal Processing Centers (DPC), sort the mail for individual mail transporters;

Airplane terminal Transfer Centers (ATCs), which will fill in as exchange focuses just; and

Remote Encoding Centers (RECs).
Residential customers can fill out a form to forward mail to a new address, and can also send pre-printed forms to any of their frequent correspondents. They can also put their mail on “hold”, for example, while on vacation. The Post Office will store mail during the hold, instead of letting it overflow in the mailbox. These services are not available to large buildings and customers of a commercial mail receiving agency,[202] where mail is subsorted by non-Post Office employees into individual mailboxes.