It is crucially important to understand when your mail piece will reach homes or businesses, so you can prepare. The USPS has a set of “service standards” for delivering mail, which basically just state how long it should take them to deliver the different classes of mail.
As you probably know, USPS has the following classes of mail, and they all have service standards:
- Priority Mail
- First Class Mail
- Standard Mail
Naturally, the service standard also depends on how far the mail is traveling. Mail that is being mailed to destinations within that city will be delivered faster than if it is being sent across the country.
The service standards are updated every quarter, so to find out the most recent standard for a particular class of mail:
- Go to https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=modernservice
- Download one of the “Origin Entry Service Standards” spreadsheet files
- Look up a service standard
- Find the “Origin ZIP Code” (where you are mailing from)
- Find the “Dest ZIP Code” (where your mail is going)
Once you’ve done that, you will be able to see the service standards — how many days for delivery — for each class of mail.
There are no guarantees with service standards. If your mail does not meet these standards, you will not get your money back. They will not even say sorry. Use them as a guideline but keep a close eye on your mail to see how it performs. Tracking your mail is the best way to see how it goes in the real world and the surest method for predicting what will happen in the future.