Postal Facts tells the Postal Service story — from size and scope to fun facts, from the 10-year trend of figures to postage stamps, from innovation in the mail to innovative technologies — in an
interesting and visually creative way.
Plain and simple, the U.S. Postal Service delivers for America. In an increasingly digital world, the Postal Service remains part of the bedrock infrastructure of the American economy, serving its
people and businesses, and connecting the nation together. The core function of the Postal Service is to provide the secure, reliable and affordable delivery of mail and packages to every address in
the United States, its territories and its military installations worldwide.
The Postal Service delivers more mail to more addresses in a larger geographical area than any other post in the world. Delivering to more than 157 million addresses in every state, city and town
in the country, everyone in the U.S. and its territories has access postal products and services and pays the same for a First-Class postage stamp regardless of location.
By bridging physical to digital, the Postal Service remains a very relevant and necessary provider of communications to this nation for more than 240 years after Benjamin Franklin became the first
Unless otherwise noted, all figures are based on the Postal Service’s fiscal year.
Learn more about shipping options through the US Postal Service!
Priority Mail Express is our fastest domestic service, with limited exceptions, available 365 days a year, with a
money-back guarantee and overnight scheduled delivery to most U.S. addresses, including PO Boxes.
Get more for your money with fast domestic service in 1, 2, or 3 business days, based on where your package starts and
where it’s being sent. Plus, discounts off retail prices may be available when you buy the service online. No surcharges for fuel or residential, rural, and regular Saturday
The Postal Service offers flat rates for customers who use Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes, along with free Package Pickup,
online label printing, tracking, free insurance on packages up to $50 and more.If It Fits, It Ships®
There's no need to weigh a shipment when you use our Flat Rate boxes and envelopes. If It Fits, It Ships® anywhere in the U.S. for mailable items up to 70 lbs.
The Postal Service also offers Regional Rates for customers who use Priority Mail Regional Rate
boxes.-A low-cost shipping alternative for commercial and online customers who are currently using Priority Mail
or Merchandise Return Service. With more than one size to choose from, the boxes combine the speed and convenience of Priority Mail shipping with zone pricing to reduce costs. Regional Rate boxes are
best used for small, dense packages being shipped short distances.
Improved USPS Tracking™
We're always working to improve our tracking. Here are some of the ways we're making package tracking
- View End-to-End tracking with up to 11 scan events on shipments - from pick up to final delivery - with
more frequent updates.
- Receive Text alerts to get status updates sent right to your phone. Choose between receiving alerts for
all activity or just for delivery status. You can also text your tracking number to 28777 (2USPS™) to get the latest status when you're on the go.
- Provide Delivery Instructions for your carrier if you will not be home to accept a
The Postal Service also offers package return services. Business customers can use Priority Mail Returns Service,
First-Class Package Return Service, or Ground Return Service to help their customers make returns easier.
Retail customers also can use Click-N-Ship to print return labels, pay for postage with a discount and schedule a package
pickup without going to the Post Office.
For more information about the Postal Service’s impressive operations, check out the “Systems at Work” video at npm.si.edu/systemsatwork/exhibit.html
The service provided daily by the Postal Service depends on an astonishing network of people and
technology that collect, transport, process and deliver the nation’s mail.
•The Postal Service is the world leader in optical character recognition technology with machines
reading nearly 98 percent of all hand-addressed letter mail and 99.5 percent of machine-printed mail.
•The Postal Service uses more than 8,500 pieces of automated processing equipment to sort nearly
half the world’s mail.
•The Postal Service has one of the largest material-handling systems in the world for moving mail.
There are more than 200 miles of conveyors within postal processing facilities.
•Tray sorting machines sort more than 18 million trays per day through the conveyor
•The Postal Service has the largest gantry robotic fleet in the world using 174 robotics systems to
move 314,000 mail trays per day.
•The Flats Sequencing System (FSS) sorts “flat mail” (large envelopes, magazines, etc.) in carrier
walk sequence up to 12,000 pieces per hour.
•The Advanced Facer Canceller System (AFCS) positions letter mail and cancels stamps at 36,000
pieces per hour.
•The Delivery Barcode Sorter (DBCS) reads the barcode on letters and sorts them at 36,000 pieces
•The Automated Flat Sorting Machine (AFSM) sorts flat mail at 17,000 pieces per
•The Automated Package Processing System (APPS) sorts packages and bundles of mail at 9,500 pieces
•The Automated Parcel and Bundle Sorter (APBS) sorts packages and bundles of mail at 6,000 pieces
•The Mail Transport Equipment Ordering (MTEOR) system was introduced in 2012. MTEOR standardizes
the ordering process for mail transport equipment (MTE), allowing mailers to order MTE online and improve equipment management efficiency.
•Intelligent Mail increases the value of mail for both the Postal Service and its customers. The
Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) identifies individual pieces of mail, trays, sacks and containers of mail and tracks them through the processing system.
•All packages with tracking barcodes are scanned throughout the postal system. In the past year,
the APBSs have been upgraded with improved camera technology and increased barcode read rates.
•The PostalOne! system processed more than 10 million transactions in 2013, accounting for $35
billion in commercial revenue at business mail entry units across the country.
For more information about the Postal Service’s impressive operations, check out the “Systems at
Work” video at npm.si.edu/systemsatwork/exhibit.html
Change of address update
Effective May 31, the Postal Service will no longer accept change of address orders from customers who call 1-800-ASK-USPS. The Call
Center change of address functionality will be retired.
Customers may continue to submit their change of address orders by visiting usps.com and accessing the “Change of Address” link found in the Manage Your Mail section, or by using PS Form 3575, found in the
Mover’s Guide available in Post Offices.
Call Center agents will continue to service customer inquiries for existing change of address orders on file. Customers who want to modify their existing change of
address requests also may call the center.
Last year, more than 38 million customers moved and changed their address with the Postal Service.
*The Real Solutions video series is created and produced by industry members of the Fairfield County PCC. The US Postal Service has not endorsed these clips and recommends you
follow the Domestic Mail Manual or contact your local BMEU for postal questions.