How Late Does USPS Deliver?

USPS is supposed to stop delivering at 5pm local time Monday through Saturday, but letter carriers often work overtime to complete routes
How Late Does USPS Deliver
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If you’ve received mail in the later hours of the evening before, you’re not alone. USPS letter carriers often work overtime to complete their routes, ensuring that we all receive our mail and packages in the most timely manner possible. Of course, delivery times can vary due to a variety of factors. Some days you’ll get your mail earlier than expected; some days are the opposite. However, have you ever found yourself wondering just how late USPS delivers?

USPS Typically Stops Delivering No Later Than 5 pm Local Time

The fact that USPS is technically supposed to stop delivering at 5 pm may come as a surprise to you. Many Americans receive their mail well into the later hours of the evening. Even my local letter carrier sometimes drops off mail long after 6 pm. That said, these overtime hours may soon be a thing of the past for the Postal Service.

Louis DeJoy Has Attempted to Put a Stop to Overtime Delivery

USPS got a new Postmaster General in the beginning of 2020, a former shipping executive named Louis DeJoy. DeJoy promised to steer USPS back to financial health, and one way he aimed to do so was to eliminate unnecessary costs. As a result, he declared to put a stop to overtime hours, which would save USPS an estimated $200 million every year in overhead.

Since DeJoy’s order, a good amount of USPS letter carriers have still worked to deliver later than the 5 pm cutoff time. However, some regions in the country have experimented with adhering to the strict new overtime regulations. When letter carriers in these regions complete their routes at 5 pm, all the extra packages on their trucks then go back to the USPS facilities, which eventually creates a package pileup. These pileups, along with rising COVID-19 cases and historic shipping volumes, has arguably contributed to the worst backlog in USPS history.

In fact, because of this backlog, millions of gift packages arrived later than Christmas during the 2020 holiday season.

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7 Comments

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  1. Mary

    I ordered a cookware set from Amazon and it was sent through USPS for some reason. It was scheduled to be delivered on Sunday February 13, 2022 which I thought was odd because USPS typically doesn’t work on Sundays. I was home all evening hoping my package would come, then I get a notification at 6:32pm that “delivery was attempted but carrier could not access building” … hmm, well I was home all evening and I never saw or heard a mail carrier anywhere. I had my blinds open specifically so I could see when it got delivered and my dogs sit in that window waiting to see the mailman when he usually comes around 4-5pm. (I live in a 4 unit building that has a secure main door, but our mailboxes are outside and they have never hesitated to deliver packages on our porch before, so I’m not sure what happened.) Monday morning when I left for work, I wrote a letter, put it in an envelope and had it sticking outside of my mailbox so the carrier knew how to enter the building. I got home from work, and no package or mail had arrived, and my letter was still sticking outside of my mailbox – I left it there until 11pm at which point I knew no mail was going to be coming that late. My package tracking number was updated on Monday, February 14, 2022 night around 11:30pm saying my package was back at the post office and they will try again in a day or two. When I left for work at 7:00am Tuesday, February 15, I put my delivery instructions envelope back in my mailbox, once again hanging out so the carrier had no option but to see it. I finally got a notification that my package had been delivered at 10:32am. When I got off work I was pleased to see my package had been put inside the main building door and my mail was delivered to my mailbox as well. I’m not sure what happened on Sunday or Monday, but it seems like maybe the carrier was not able to finish their route in time on Monday, so he had to start where he left off when he began his shift on Tuesday. There have been countless complaints around my city that mail is not being delivered consistently, packages are showing delivered when they haven’t been, etc.

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  2. Matthew

    I live in a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee about 45 minutes north in another county to be exact. With recent changes to Amazon and USPS here handling all there deliveries once again we have been getting our mail at crazy hours. I kid you not, just the other night I heard what I thought was the sound of the USPS mail truck and I thought to myself wow that’s awfully late. I look up and it’s 9:30pm. I know this was the case as I have USPS Informed Delivery and was waiting on a package(as I have had known my mail lady since high school). Just yesterday we got the previous days mail at 6:25am and then that days mail a 6 that night. By no means am I complaining, and very thankful to still be getting my mail. Just thought man it has to be awfully hard on them dealing with their normal routes plus delivering the endless packages for Amazon(which I know USPS is getting a hefty paycheck for) Also to note that I usually get my mail by no later than 2pm.

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    • Rockwell Sands

      Wow Matthew, that’s wild! Thanks for sharing your story here. Glad you’re still getting all your mail and packages, even though the timeframes are sporadic!

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  3. Carla

    Did you ever get your medicines? If so how late was it. I had a mail lady deliver my medicine to the wrong house. I told her I just got the confirmation you scanned because now she is at my door. She told me she didn’t scan anything which was a lie, it was left a couple doors down. Good thing I checked it out and went and looked at my neighbors packages. My package was left there. I conveniently found out that was her last day.

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  4. Carla

    Our mail was delivered at 6:50pm the other night, but at least we got it.

    Reply  
  5. Marie

    First I was notified that my pkg. Would be delivered on August 30th. That date came and went, nothing on the 31st. Then this morning I received an email saying it was out for delivery today. It is now 7:20 pm and it has not been delivered. This is my medication so I am very concerned.

    Reply  
  6. Melissatift

    I’m waiting on my transcript to get here.

    Reply  

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