Is It Faster to Drop Mail at the Post Office or Mailbox?

We’ve all been there: you’re rushing to get out the door, and you remember that you need to mail a package.

Do you take the time to drive to the post office or drop it in the mailbox on your way out?

We’ll compare the two methods and help you decide which is the fastest for you.

Here’s Why Post Offices Move Mail Faster:

Depending on when you drop it off and when the mailman picks it up, they will process your mail faster if you drop it off at the post office rather than the mailbox. Cutting out the time it takes your mailman to pick up and deliver your mail to a sorting post office can speed up the mailing process.

Is It Faster to Drop Mail at the Post Office or Mailbox?

If you’re near a post office, dropping off your mail will probably be faster.

Depending on when you drop it off and when the mailman picks it up, they will process your mail faster if you drop it off at the post office rather than the mailbox. 

Remember that the mailman only comes to your mailbox once a day. Therefore, if you miss them that day, your mail will not be picked up and processed by the post office until the next day.

So, while dropping off mail at your mailbox is faster for you during your day, if you have mail that needs to be shipped quickly, it may be better to drop it off at the post office.

Will My Mail Ship Faster Directly from the Post Office?

The U.S. Postal Service will ship your mail and packages faster when you send them directly from the post office.

You can bring your packages to any Post Office location, and the employees will handle your package so that it goes out on the day of processing. You can also drop off packages at one of the self-service kiosks, which are available at many locations, and we’ll make sure your package gets out on the next business day.

If you want to get your mail even faster, you can use Click-N-Ship, which lets you create a secure account online and print shipping labels immediately. No need to wait in line at the post office.

Can I Ship Faster From My Home Mailbox?

Although it is more convenient to drop off mail and ship from your home mailbox, shipping from your home mailbox is not as fast as the post office.

When you ship from your mailbox, you will have to wait for the mailman to pick up your package. In most cases, the mailman usually does not bring your package to the post office for processing until towards the end of his shift.

In that case, your package may not get processed until the following business day.

So if it’s a Saturday, it may not get processed until Monday when the post office is opened again.

What Packaging Ships the Fastest?

The USPS offers five different shipping options:

  1. Priority Mail Express (1-3 days)
  2. Priority Mail (2-3 days)
  3. First-Class Package Service (2-9 days)
  4. Parcel Select Lightweight (5-10 days)
  5. Parcel Select Ground (7-14 days)

However, only Priority Mail Express guarantees a delivery date. The other four options have no guaranteed delivery date. 

Priority Mail Express is your best option if you need your mail or package to arrive at its destination quickly. This service guarantees 1- or 2-day expedited delivery by 3 p.m. local time and includes $100 in insurance coverage as standard for mailable items.

In many places, Priority Mail Express delivery is available around the clock, 365 days a year.

Envelopes, boxes, and tubes for Priority Mail Express are free at your local Post Office. Also, Priority Mail Express is the fastest option if you have important documents and need your mail to arrive the next day. 

How Long Does it Usually Take for Mail to Arrive?

While mail service can be a bit inconsistent, you should receive your mail within a few days of dropping it off at the post office or mailbox.

Of course, the time it takes depends on where your package is going and what type of delivery service you are paying for.

You’ll probably receive packages sooner if they are shipped by Priority Mail or Express Mail, which offer overnight delivery options that bring your mail to its destination in one day, if not sooner. These services use airmail transportation and will get packages to their destination quickly.

However, these services also cost more than other types of shipment options. For example, if you choose an economy shipping option with USPS, expect it to take longer for your item(s) to arrive at their destination because economy shipping means using standard ground transport instead of airmail transportation.

Will the Post Office Ship Mail on Saturdays?

Yes, in a nutshell, but it all boils down to what kind of service you’re looking for.

For instance, Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express packages have been known to make it to their destinations on Saturdays—but first-class mail, media mail, and standard postal services are not guaranteed to be delivered on Saturdays.

If you need your package in hand by Saturday and can’t wait for Monday delivery from UPS or FedEx, we recommend using Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express.

If you need your package in hand by Monday or Tuesday and can wait until then for delivery from UPS or FedEx, we recommend choosing regular shipping service instead of priority or express.

Final Thoughts

The U.S. Postal Service delivers your mail in about 24 hours, so don’t worry too much about the difference between dropping your mail in a mailbox or at the post office.

However, if you want to ensure that it arrives on time and isn’t lost in transit, you should drop it off yourself at a USPS Post Office location rather than putting it in one of their blue boxes around town.


Priority Mail Express – The Official Website of USPS®