How Often Do Mailboxes Get Emptied? (Explained)

Besides mail delivery, mail collection is another major service that the US Postal Service offers. The USPS generally does mail deliveries from Mondays through Saturdays every week across the United States.

As for outgoing mail, the schedule for emptying the mailbox varies depending on the type of mailbox.

Here Is How Often Mailboxes Get Emptied:

Blue USPS mailboxes get emptied at least once daily from Monday through Saturday. They can get emptied as early as noon, but the latest time for emptying USPS mailboxes is 5:00 pm. Residential mailboxes get emptied on the day you will have mail delivery unless you schedule a mail pick-up.

What Time Are Mailboxes Usually Emptied?

The schedule for emptying mailboxes varies depending on the type of mailbox.

Here is how it works for each type of mailbox:

Residential Curbside Mailboxes

If you have a residential curbside mailbox that is a full-service mailbox, it has an outgoing mail receptacle. The compartment for outgoing mail gets emptied when you have mail delivery.

This means that when a mail carrier is delivering your incoming mail, that is when your outgoing mail will be picked up. Just raise the carrier signal flag to inform the carrier that there is outgoing mail for pick-up.

There is no exact time as this depends on when your incoming mail will be delivered. Mail delivery times vary from one location to another, depending on the mail carrier’s route.

Factors like inclement weather, heavy traffic, and road obstruction can also affect the delivery time.

If you are not anticipating any incoming mail but have mail to send, then you can schedule a pick-up through the USPS website. Getting your outgoing mail picked up is free of charge.

It will not be emptied if you have a limited service mailbox. If you want to send mail to someone, you must drop it off at a USPS mailbox or your local post office.

Cluster Mailboxes

Cluster mailboxes are mailboxes that you normally see in apartment buildings or condominiums.

Cluster mailboxes also have an outgoing mail receptacle where residents can drop off any mail that they want to send.

Like curbside mailboxes, cluster mailboxes get emptied whenever there is a delivery. Since mail carriers practically have daily deliveries to apartment buildings, cluster mailboxes can get emptied daily.

USPS Drop Boxes

USPS Drop Boxes are public mailboxes that are used only for sending mail. These drop boxes serve as a drop-off point for mail and packages, as long as they meet certain guidelines.

In big cities, these drop boxes can be found every two blocks. You will rarely see one in rural areas.

To use these mailboxes, you have to drop your outgoing mail inside, which will be delivered to the recipient. The delivery date and time may vary depending on the recipient’s location.

USPS Drop Boxes are emptied daily from Mondays through Fridays, but the exact times of emptying them may vary. Some Drop Boxes are emptied on Saturdays.

The exact schedule is usually posted on the box itself.

These drop boxes can be emptied as early as noon, but they are usually emptied between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm in your local time.

Some drop boxes have a very high volume of mail, so they are being emptied twice a day on weekdays.

How Often Does Mail Get Picked up?

For residential mailboxes such as the curbside and cluster mailboxes, mail gets picked up whenever there is a delivery. Mail pick-up happens when you have regular mail being delivered.

When the mail carrier has incoming mail to deliver to your address, that is when they will also pick up your outgoing mail. This is why it is important to raise the carrier signal flag – so the mailman knows that there is mail in the receptacle ready for pick up.

If you have no incoming mail for a few days, it can also take a few days for the mail carrier to pick up your mail. You can schedule a pick-up through the USPS website if you have outgoing mail that needs to be sent as soon as possible.

It is a convenient service, so you do not need to go to your local post office to send mail.

Here is how you can avail of the USPS pick-up service:

  1. Go to and follow the prompts. This service is free regardless of the number of mail you send.
  2. Through the website, you can arrange a next-day pick-up. You can also schedule a pick-up for up to three months in advance.
  3. The request must be made by 2:00 am Central Time on the date you requested for the free mail pick-up. If your request was made after this cut-off time, your mail would be picked up on the next pick-up date.
  4. Once you have made your request, ensure that your mail or packages are ready before the carrier arrives.

This free mail pick-up service by the USPS is available for packages sent by domestic Express Mail and Priority Mail. This is also available for returning mail and for international mail.

You can send as many packages as you want through this pick-up service, but the maximum weight for a package is 70 lbs. Make sure that proper postage is applied.

Apart from the free pick-up, the USPS also offers services to help you prepare your mail and packages for pick-up. The USPS website allows you to buy postage, print proper shipping labels, calculate shipping, and get insurance for your packages.

When Doesn’t The Mail Get Picked up?

Whether it is a regular or scheduled mail pick-up, you can expect your mail to get picked up on weekdays.

However, the mail is not picked up on weekends and federal holidays.

This is because the US Postal Service, being an agency of the executive branch of the US federal government, has a skeletal workforce on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays and federal holidays.

There are 11 federal holidays that the USPS observes:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth National Independence Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

If you have any outgoing mail dropped off at a USPS drop box on the weekend, you can expect it to be collected on the next business day, which is Monday.

Does Amazon Pick Up Packages On Weekends?

Amazon is a private company that provides a venue for vendors to sell items through its website.

Unlike the US Postal Service, Amazon operates every day of the week, including Saturdays and Sundays.

Amazon picks up and delivers packages from Mondays through Sundays every week. As long as services are available, packages can be picked up and delivered even on Sundays, regardless of whether the customer is an Amazon Prime member or not.

Does UPS Pick Up Packages On Weekends?

UPS is another private entity that offers shipping services throughout the United States. Because it is privately owned, UPS operates on all days of the week, including Saturdays and Sundays.

UPS is a good shipping solution if you have mail or packages that you want to be picked up immediately and delivered to a domestic location. UPS has the best rates for domestic shipping compared to other privately-owned couriers.

UPS can pick up your mail or packages any day of the week, including Sundays.

The pick-up time is from any time from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm on the collection date that you specified.

Does Fed-Ex Pick Up Packages On Weekends?

Just like UPS, Fed-Ex is another privately-owned company that offers shipping services.

While UPS specializes in domestic shipments, Fed-Ex specializes in international ones. Fed-Ex is known for having the best rates for international shipping.

Fed-Ex operates every day, including Saturdays and Sundays. If you have important mail or packages to be sent out right away, Fed-Ex can pick it up, whether it is to be sent within the US or outside of the US.

When arranging pick-up with Fed-Ex, you need to provide a time when the package would be ready and the latest available time that the Fed-Ex driver can collect your package. Your package must be ready for pick-up within the times you indicated.


Carrier Pick-Up: Free Pick-Up Saves A Trip To The Post Office

Outgoing Mail Pick-Up

USPS Drop Box: What Is It & How To Use It