How Does USPS Work?

Updated on May 11, 2021

The U. S postal service is huge. With more than 600,000 employees, it has the biggest number of employers in America. And its delivery service reaches 160 million residencies, businesses, and all other delivery points including P.O. boxes. The USPS is a self-funding agency.

They do not receive any tax revenues to support their operations and it’s 100% relies on the sale of the postage, postal products, and services.

The USPS in Facts and Figures

The USPS has more than 34,000 retail locations and one of the most visited sites in the USA ( It is annual operating revenue equals $71 billion. They have independent appointed by a president board of directors (known as governors). The Board choose the Postmaster General, who acts as their CEO.How the USPS works

The U.S. postal office has a legal monopoly over different kinds of mail. That means that entrepreneurs, small businesses cannot compete in the postal market trying to improve quality and reduce the cost for consumer’s benefits. The main USPS competitors for delivering packages are FedEx and UPS. But because of this legal postal monopoly they are not allowed to deliver non-urgent letters and cannot ship directly to U.S. mailboxes at commercial, residential addresses.

PO Box

USPS offers another great service to safely receive your mail-postal office box (also known as PO box). They offer different locations around the US and most of them have 24/7 access. Plus, with premium service you can receive notifications on your phone for mail delivery. PO box is a great alternative to virtual mailboxes which have gained lost of popularity in past years.

USPS Shipping Options

The United States Postal Service offers different level of mail and shipping services. You can choose the right delivery option that fits your needs. You select the service based on how fast you want your mail to be delivered and how much you’re willing to pay.

    1. Priority Mail Express. Overnight to two days delivery. It is the fastest domestic delivering service. To almost all U.S. addresses and P.O. boxes overnight delivery is available. You can send letters, large envelopes, packages, and tubes. Prices starts at $26.35.
    2. Priority Mail. It offers domestic shipping in 1 to 3 days. Insurance and tracking are included while shipping boxes and envelopes also free. It is the most popular mail service due to quick shipment and low cost. Prices start at $7.70.
    3. First-Class Mail. It is an affordable mail service with mail delivery in 1-3 business days, but this service doesn’t guarantee the delivery within a specific period. This service usually used for standard size envelopes for personal or business correspondence. Prices start from $0.55 at a Post Office.
    4. Media Mail. It is the least expensive way to mail media, manuscripts, sound-recording, educational material, etc. However, this service has some limitation on the type of media that can be sent. The delivery is usually within two to eight business days. Prices start at $2.89.
    5. USPS Retail Ground. It is a reliable and affordable way to send small and large packages. Domestic shipping is within 2-8 business days. Prices start $7.70. The service includes USPS tracking and its good for those items that are big for Priority mail or Priority mail express.

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