Does USPS Deliver On Saturdays?

26 Aug, 2020

The United States Postal Service delivers countless numbers of mail each day during the business week (Monday-Friday). But does the USPS deliver mail on Saturday? We’ll answer that question shortly. 

When it comes to business, the USPS is reliable in terms of delivering mail and packages from one place to the next. If you are in the eCommerce business, you’ll know that a lot of customers will opt for USPS delivery unless they instruct otherwise. Often, it is considered to be the default choice for eCommerce businesses to ship items and customers to receive them. 

E-Commerce businesses like yours want to keep track of who is getting their items on time, every time. That’s where the IO Scout’s personal assistant comes into play. They will keep track of most of your simple business tasks including the tracking of shipped packages. 

Before we answer the question of whether or not the USPS delivers on Saturdays, let’s explain in detail what the USPS is and what they typically do for businesses like yours?

What is the USPS?

The USPS stands for the United States Postal Service. They are responsible for delivering mail, packages, and anything that can be received in a mailbox or post office box on a regular basis. The USPS is an independent agency of the United States Government that was founded in 1971 (although there have been different versions of the USPS prior to the formation of the agency). 

The past roots of the USPS can be dated back as far as 1775, the year before the United States of America was incepted. Benjamin Franklin was installed as the first postmaster, although the country at the time was still under British rule. The Post Office Department was later created in 1792 and was elevated to a cabinet-level office 80 years later. 

However, the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 would soon pave the way to create the agency in its current form today. The goal of the USPS is to provide the best service possible to all American citizens in the 50 states and the territories under its jurisdiction (Guam, Puerto Rico, etc.). Today, the agency employs over 600,000 and boasts the world’s largest civilian fleet of over 200,000 vehicles. 

Whether customers live in remote areas of Alaska or American Samoa located far away from the rest of the country, the USPS serves those who reside in the US no matter where they live. 

Does the USPS Deliver on Saturday?

The short answer: yes. In fact, it’s the only day of the weekend where the USPS can be able to deliver mail and packages. Although the USPS typically does not operate on Sundays, they may arrange for a pickup for Priority Express packages. 

As for what kind of mail that can be delivered on Saturdays, it will depend on the class. Priority and priority express mail will have higher importance above all else. First-class mail and other levels are not known in terms of Saturday delivery.  

As priority or first-class mail is delivered much quicker than normal, the price will also be higher. If you are an ECom store owner, it would make sense to charge your customers extra since it will be you that pays that extra fee when shipping out the items. IO Scout will make sure how much you exactly need to pay when the time comes to ship out an ordered product. 

After all, this personal assistant knows that if someone chooses the priority mail option, it’s an additional $6.67 tacked onto the total price. So it’s nice to be reminded about what you need to pay at the post office in order to get something shipped out to the customer. And it justifies the reason why Amazon stores like yours should always charge more for faster shipping options. 

Priority and priority express also have free package pickup to your place of business or your home. And you can also get insurance coverage in the event of something happening beyond your control during the process. This insurance covers up to $50. 

The timing of when your package can be delivered will depend on certain factors. Geographical location is one example. For example, it can take longer for a package to ship from California to Maine as it would from California to Texas. 

Some eCommerce businesses will specify the estimated timing based on “zone maps”. 

image

Zone map for USPS shipping (excluding Priority and Priority Express) ; Credit: ShipBob

Zone maps include different color codes that will estimate the time between shipment and arrival depending on the location of where the package originates from. Take this zone map above for example. What you notice is the yellow color code indicates that a package will be shipped to any area within the coverage zone in one day max. 

Assuming this is a business based in Boston, Massachusetts, let’s consider another example. If you live in Los Angeles, California, and order something online from the business, it will take 4 days max to ship it from Boston. One of these days can potentially land on a Saturday.

Let’s take a look at a list of examples so you get a good idea of the average transit time between two locations:

Transit times to US cities based on the example zone map above (Origin: Boston, MA):  

  • To New York, NY: 1 day
  • To Cleveland, OH: 2 days
  • To Miami, FL: 3 days
  • To Houston, TX: 4 days
  • To San Francisco, CA: 5 days
  • To Southern OR or Parts of ID: 6 days

As you probably notice, parts of Southern Oregon and Idaho will have the longest shipping times. Some of the various regions in larger states like Texas and California may see a difference in timing. This can be due to which warehouses and distribution facilities that the packages may be going through en route to the destination address. 

The problem that most eCommerce businesses face is when customers cancel the order or no longer do business due to “slow shipping times”. On average, an eCommerce customer would find a four-day time window to be more acceptable when ordering something online. That’s a major difference compared to what customers have preferred in the past decade (where 5 days was long enough).

One thing to note is that the zones will change depending on the location of where the item is being shipped. It can be a fulfillment center or a single location. The times will apply depending on how geographically close the origin is from the destination. 

An Amazon store will always give you a good estimate of where the item will be shipped from. Along with it will be an estimated time of arrival. Sometimes, because of your geographical location you may miss out on those sales because a customer would want it in their hands faster. 

That’s why Amazon has so many fulfillment centers located throughout the country. If you sell on Amazon, you can have these items shipped to various fulfillment centers so your customers have the product in their hands much faster. Plus, you’ll have more satisfied customers who will order from you again and again. 

Of course, it will also come down to you being able to strategize where the items will be sent (in terms of fulfillment). IO Scout has an inventory management feature that will let you know what products you have on hand and where they are located. That way, you’ll be able to know what to send out and where it will actually originate from. 

What Time Does USPS Deliver on Saturdays?

This will depend on several factors such as the volume of mail and how far the distribution warehouse is to the destination address. For those that deliver the mail in their local area, delivering on Saturday is no different than any other business day. The timing may be earlier than expected if the volume of mail is lower than usual. 

However, the hours of operation may be longer if there is bulk mail. If we haven’t mentioned it already, we’ll say it again: the USPS can also deliver on Sundays but under a special condition. If you have priority express mail or an Amazon package being delivered, then it can be received by the customer on Sunday by 10:30 AM local time. 

Note that Priority Express mail delivered by the USPS guarantees overnight delivery. So it will be likely that you can receive your package the following day, even on a Sunday. Some eCommerce businesses may not even have this option due to financial implications. 

Sunday delivery of Amazon packages puts Amazon sellers like you at a unique advantage compared to those who run traditional eCommerce stores. While you still may need to pay extra fees (if applicable), you will also increase the likelihood of customer satisfaction since the USPS makes exceptions for Amazon packages to be delivered on a day when normal USPS mail will not be delivered. 

In 2013, Amazon and the USPS agreed to make this exception a reality, despite the USPS losing an upwards of $50 billion total in the years prior. However, with the agency charging extra for delivery on Sundays by way of Priority Express, it may have likely saved their skins from what could otherwise be considered total financial disaster. 

The quickest way to ship is often the most expensive. And at any given point, the business owner or the customer wouldn’t care to pay the extra money anyway so long as the product was shipped or delivered on time. What the customer wants (even if they are willing to pay extra), may just help the postal service in the long run. 

While the hours do vary on the weekends, there are some guarantees in place depending on the type of mail that is being delivered. Other mail not considered priority express will take a back seat in terms of timing. But if you are an eCommerce business and willing to offer Priority Express delivery, be prepared to have the financial resources to make it feasible. 

Which USPS Services Can I Use on Weekends? 

Believe it or not, there are plenty of USPS Services that you can use on the weekends. Even though the hours may vary depending on your location, you can take advantage of USPS services while you still can. Remember, some services are not available for weekend use.

With that said, you can be able to choose from the following options:

  • First class mail
  • Priority Express Mail
  • First-Class packages
  • USPS Retail Ground

How Much Does Saturday and Sunday Delivery Cost?

Also, it’s important to know what the prices are for using some of these services. Here are some of the following prices for both Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express:

  • Priority Mail: $6.40 for packages up to 70 pound. There are no extra costs if delivered between Monday through Saturday. Estimated delivery time will be 1 to 3 business days
  • Priority Mail Express: $22.95 for up to 70 pounds. Operates every day year-round at no extra cost. Estimated delivery will be 1 to 2 business days (with overnight delivery guaranteed in most cases). 

So what you’ll notice is that there are no additional costs regardless of which Priority service that you use. The only differences are the prices and the timing of delivery. Keep in mind though that there may be some changes in price depending on some of the measurements like weight, dimensions, and so on. 

Types of Delivery Services Offered by the USPS

The USPS offers various types of delivery services. As mentioned before, some of them are available on the weekends while others may only be available during the business week. Now, let’s take a look at the full list of delivery services:

Priority Mail

Priority mail will typically be delivered between one to three business days (depending on some factors). If you are shipping an item that weighs less than 70 pounds, then there will be no need to weigh the package. A 50 pound item can cost you the same as if you were sending out something that weighs 10 pounds. 

You will need to pay a rate of $7.35. This service can be ordered online or at a post office near you. It is highly recommended that you use the Priority Mail option if the item you ship weighs 13 ounces or more and want it delivered in a timely manner. 

What’s included:

  • 1 to 3 days shipping time
  • Free package pickup
  • Tracking included
  • Maximum insurance of $50
  • No fuel surcharges
  • Saturday delivery available

Please note that while the flat rate for most dimensions and weights are listed at $7.35 at the post office or online, it can also cost you $6.95 for a commercial base. Also, the rates will differ depending on the types of envelopes you send. 

Here is a list of envelopes that you can send via Priority Mail and their respective rates (based on online and retail). We’ll also include example products of what will be suitable for a specific envelope or box. Here are the following:

  • Legal Flat Rate Envelopes: $7.95 (online or retail) -- For legal documents
  • Padded Flat Rate Envelope: $8 -- For boxed jewelry, clothing, books, etc.
  • Small Flat Rate Box: $7.90 -- For small electronics
  • Large Flat Rate Box: $19.95 -- For large electronics, laptops, and other large sized gifts
  • Medium Flat Rate Box (Types 1 and 2): $14.35 -- For shoes, office supplies, etc.
  • Large Flat Rate Board Game Box: $19.95 -- For board games

Restrictions for Priority Mail:

  • No items over 70 pounds
  • Max combined girth/length of 108 inches
  • Use the flaps available to secure the box or envelope

Priority Mail Express

If you want a package delivered in the fastest way possible (even on Sundays), then Priority Mail Express is your only option. It’s available year-round (365 days a year) and has a money-back guarantee. You can deliver Priority Mail Express to any address or PO box.

At the outset, the rate for Priority Mail Express is $25.50. This rate is available online and at post office locations. However, the price will also increase depending on the type of envelope you’ll be using (which we will list shortly). 

This is by far the best option if you want something sent from one place to the next in the fastest way possible (even overnight). If you don’t mind paying the extra rate, then this is the clear option. 

What’s Included:

  • Free package pickup from your business or home
  • Digital signature and tracking
  • Insurance coverage of $100
  • Overnight delivery; but will have an additional fee if done on Sundays or Holidays

Priority Mail Express Flat Rates

For Priority Mail Express, there are three different envelopes to choose from:

  • Legal Flat Rate Envelope: $25.70
  • Flat Rate Envelope: $25.50
  • Padded Flat Rate Envelope: $26.20

Restrictions

  • Same as Priority Mail

First Class Mail

If you are looking for another affordable option, First Class Mail might be one of the best of the bunch. It’s affordable if you are planning on sending out lightweight items by way of a box or an envelope. Even better, First Class stamps never expire regardless if the price of the stamps increases. 

This is one of the best options for mail that weighs 13 ounces or above and you don’t want to ship it overnight. This is also available for single-piece standard mail that weighs 3.5 ounces or less and uses a regular envelope. It can also be a viable option for large envelopes and small packages that weigh up to 13 ounces.

You can expect the timing of First Class Mail to be delivered on an average of three business days. The starting rate is $0.55. 

What’s Included:

  • No rate change due to distance
  • No surcharges for fuel or home delivery
  • Delivery in 1 to 3 business days
  • Insurance up to $5000 (for retail merchandise only)
  • Max weight of 13 ounces
  • Free for packages weighing up to 3.5 ounces

Stamp Prices:

Note: Prices listed are for one stamp.

Postcards

  • Rectangular postcards: $0.35
  • Oversized postcard stamps: $0.55

Letters

  • Rectangular envelope: $0.55
  • Unusual shapes, oversized or square envelopes: $0.70

Restrictions:

  • Max weight of first class letters is 3.5 ounces
  • Max weight of large first class packages and envelopes is 13 ounces
  • All envelopes and packages must be rectangular in order to qualify for regular rates

Media Mail

This is only made available if you are mailing types of media such as books, CDs, records, and so on. There are some restrictions that will be in place for sending this type of mail. One would be to only send these items in the form of a padded envelope so it further protects the item you send from any kind of damage that can occur. 

If you are looking to send something for an affordable price and not worry about the timing of it, this will be a good option. The starting rate will be $2.75 and can be purchased only at the Post Office. 

What’s Included:

  • No surcharges for fuel or home delivery
  • Max weight of 70 pounds
  • Allows for media that can be read on a computer (i.e -- CD-Roms)
  • Price based on weight
  • Deliverable in 2 to 8 business days

Restrictions:

  • No items over 70 pounds
  • Excludes video games, computer drives, digital drives, etc.

USPS Ground Retail

If you are looking for an option that is economically viable for those looking to ship oversized packages. Not to mention, this is the best option to go with if timing isn’t really an issue. As long as the item weighs 70 pounds or less, you should be able to choose this service without any additional issues. 

If you are sending something that is considered “oversized” by Priority Mail standards, this option is what you’ll want to choose. 

What’s included:

  • Accepts packages that weigh more than 70 pounds and/or 130 inches in length or girth
  • USPS tracking
  • Delivers in 2 to 8 business days
  • Available at USPS office locations

Restrictions

  • Not for any mail under 70 pounds or smaller than 130 inches in length/girth

If you can’t seem to keep track of everything in terms of pricing, not to worry. IO Scout will make sure that you are charging the right prices for shipping so you can pay for it before sending it out to your customer. In fact, your personal assistant will access the prices for you and give you any specific information you may need. 

While your personal assistant can quickly access the numbers, you can be able to prepare the items to be shipped. That way you can get in the post office, out of it, and on with the next task on your to-do list. And you can get that and a whole lot more at a price that you can afford. 

One thing to be aware of is that your items from Amazon should be light in weight anyway. Especially when you are starting out. That’s because you may be subject to paying more in fulfillment fees if you are holding inventory at an Amazon fulfillment center. 

You probably know about the fees that come into play when you are holding inventory through Amazon. It will cost you a lot less if it weighed less and is considered small in size. Unless you intend to pay extra in fulfillment fees, you can save a bit more money if you only restrict the items that you sell to anything less than the recommended restrictions for most mail types (70 pounds/108 inches in girth/length).

Can You Pick Up Packages From USPS? 

Yes. you can pick up packages from the USPS. You can even pick it up prior to the scheduled delivery time. However, you must confirm this with the post office beforehand so they know to leave it there rather than be taken by the mail carrier who delivers the mail to your part of the community. 

You may also need to provide some additional information so you can be able to make it easier for you to pick up. This can include the tracking number, which can confirm that the address is indeed yours. The customer can also have the ability to redirect their undelivered package thanks to the USPS Package Intercept Program. 

The package intercept service can be made available for packages and envelopes including envelopes, flats, and packages with additional barcodes and tracking.

Facts About USPS Pick Up Package

Even though the USPS works hard to make sure that every piece of mail is delivered on time, it’s important to know some of the facts that will make the process work for you better. Sometimes, you may need the package sooner rather than later (or when the expected delivery time is near). So long as you have the tracking number on hand, you can pick up the package early under the following conditions:

Urgent Need

If the sense of urgency is important, you can pick up the package at the post office. You may be dealing with a very busy schedule or you’re tending to an emergency of some kind. This can be done so long as the reason is valid. In this case, you may opt to pick up the package in lieu of it being delivered to your home address. 

Third-Party Pickup (Authorized By You)

You can have someone else pick up the package for you on your behalf. It is highly recommended that it should be someone you trust like an employee (if you are a business owner) or a family member. You will need to inform the post office of where your package is located ahead of time to make them aware of who will pick it up for you.

Nine times out of ten, the person picking it up will need to procure a valid form of identification to ensure that they are the real person. If you opt for home delivery, then odds are a family member will be able to receive the package itself. However, the mail carrier may need to ask for additional verification or authorization. 

If all else fails, then the package will return to the post office where you can pick it up at a time of your choosing (during business hours). For further confirmation of an authorized third-party, a slip and ID may be needed. 

The “Hold Upon Request” Option

The USPS Package Intercept Program is by far one of the greatest advantages you can take when it comes to your package. There are also some awesome features that are included with it. One of them is known as “Hold Upon Request”. 

How this works is this: let’s say that you are sending out a package and it gets lost. Or maybe the item isn’t delivered yet. You can request to have it sent back to you at an additional fee. 

Sometimes things can happen to where the package can be veered off course and go to a wrong destination. You can catch it just in time using the tracking features so you can be able to have it sent back to you and delivered some other way (if needed). 

As someone who is in eCommerce, it might be a good option to use this if and when it is necessary. The last thing you want to deal with is a package going to the wrong place. IO Scout will be able to help you track your packages being sent out to your customers so you know it’s going in the right direction or not. 

From there, you can be able to issue a hold upon request and make it right with your customer. Sure, they may not be happy. But they will certainly understand once you tell them that it was an issue that was beyond both you and the customer’s control. 

Tips On USPS Packages

Are there things that can happen to your package that are easily avoidable? Yes. We’ll discuss how to prevent any issues and other tips about USPS Packages. 

However, some of them may be impossible to avoid due to emergency purposes. Here are some tips to know about so you can keep mailing issues to a minimum:

  • If you are sending your mail, you can schedule a pickup or take your mail to the post office in a blue collection box. Alternatively, you can place any outgoing mail in your home mailbox if you have home delivery 
  • If you are sending an item that weighs 13 ounces or more, then you will need to go to the retail desk of your local post office. A postage stamp must be attached before it is sent out
  • When scheduling a pickup, it would be easy to schedule it online. You will need the required items handy prior to your mail carrier’s arrival
  • Keep in mind that you have the option of having your mail held for up to 30 days. You will need to fill out and submit a “Hold Mail” form. You have the option to have it picked up from the post office or delivered to your home
  • If you are moving, be sure to update your shipping address. You will also need to inform the post office at least a month in advance so your delivery service can continue without interruption. You can make this change online for a small price. Any Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, or the like can be sent to your changed address at no cost to you
  • If you have newspaper or magazine subscriptions, they will be forwarded to your new shipping address for 60 days
  • You can print postage stamps online and save yourself a trip to your local post office. That will make the process go much faster. The quicker you send out your mail, the better
  • Your signature will play an important role in your mail delivery. You will need to sign something in order to acknowledge that it has been picked up or delivered (if necessary). Not only is this done for security purposes, but it will also indicate that once a signature is received, the Post Office is not liable for any damages post-delivery

Final Thoughts

The USPS is committed to providing you with the best service possible. If you are an Amazon store owner who sells and ships items constantly, then the USPS will likely be your best friend. 

That’s because you’ll be using the service often (except when the customer may request their package to be delivered through UPS, FedEx, etc.). But a majority of the time, most of the Amazon deliveries will go through the USPS considering that the items are lightweight and are of a specific size that can be sent in a box or an envelope. 

As a store owner, you may have a hard time keeping track of what’s being shipped and what’s already been delivered. Thankfully, you have a program that will make things easier on you. IO Scout is the only program for Amazon store owners that has a personal assistant. 

This personal assistant is no “smart robot”. But it is someone who is on the other end that will help you out with anything you may need to keep your Amazon business up and running. 

Aside from checking on the delivery process and seeing whether or not if the package you sent out is en route, this assistant can do other tasks as well. You can work with this assistant in terms of increasing ad spend so more traffic comes to your product page (and get more sales). It is a program built by Amazon experts who know a thing or two about selling on the behemoth platform. 

If you have questions, your personal assistant will have the answers. They will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through live chat. Try finding that with a competitor of IO Scout. 

If you have used programs like Amz Scout or Helium10, you will notice that a handful of the features are quite similar to them. The only difference is that you will have more freedom to use such features rather than not. 

Simply put, IO Scout is one of the most powerful tools that you can put to good use when running your business. So if you want to make sure that your items are being delivered on Saturdays or even Sundays, you can check on their shipping statuses through IO Scout. While the USPS continues to keep on working, IO Scout will do the same. 

With all these tools that you get, here’s some even better news. If you think the USPS delivering Priority Mail Express on Sundays is good news, we’ll go you one better. The price for all these tools you get are quite affordable?

How affordable? Try $14 a month (when you choose to be billed annually) or $29 a month. You also have the option of trying it risk free for 5 days. 

If you are not satisfied with IO Scout at all, you can get your money back guaranteed. But we are very confident that it will work wonders for your Amazon business so everything stays up and running. Plus, we are not like any other app or program that claims to do great things for your Amazon business. 

If you are looking for a program that will save you a ton of money, time, and frustration then IO Scout will be your best friend in running an Amazon business. Not to worry, the USPS won’t be jealous of you. In fact, they’ll be working together to make sure that your Amazon business is as successful as it gets. 

Do you want your Amazon business to run as smoothly as possible? What are you waiting for? Check out IO Scout for yourself now so you can make sure that all of your items are delivered to your customers via USPS, even on Saturdays and Sundays.