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.