Q:

How to Calculate Mail Delivery Time

A:

Quick Answer

Calculate mail delivery time by using the online shipping calculators for the major shipping companies. Flat-rate delivery time can be calculated by understanding the zones through which the package or letter will be traveling.

Continue Reading
How to Calculate Mail Delivery Time
Credit: Paul Bradbury OJO Images Getty Images

Full Answer

It is possible to calculate the estimated delivery time for letters and packages for United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) shipments by using tools available on their respective websites. Additionally, when shipping an item with the help of a customer service representative, he or she can provide estimated delivery times.

USPS

For mail that weighs less than 13 ounces, the USPS can deliver the item in about one to three business days. Upgrade the service with a tracking number, which allows senders and receivers to check the mail's progress through the USPS system. Add a signature confirmation, which ensures a successful delivery. Another option is to add a return receipt, which requires the receiver to sign a postcard, which is then mailed back to the sender as proof of delivery. All of these upgrades are available with every USPS mail service.

Customers can use USPS-supplied packaging and pay flat-rate fees. These flat-rate packages are sent out through the USPS Priority Mail shipping option, which takes one to three business days. For even faster shipping, opt for the flat-rate USPS Priority Mail Express package options. These flat-rate packages arrive overnight. Both Priority Mail options include insurance up to $50 along with a tracking number. Only the USPS Express Mail package options come with a money-back guarantee, which means that if the package arrives after the promised delivery time, the sender can get a refund on the delivery charges.

To get precise delivery times for first-class mail, USPS Priority Mail, USPS Priority Mail Express or other self-prepared packages, go to the USPS website and calculate a price for the package. This calculator will also estimates arrival times. The required pieces of information for this calculator are the origin ZIP code, destination ZIP code, package size and weight.

FedEx and UPS

Both FedEx and UPS offer various shipping options that range from the most time-consuming (FedEx Ground and UPS Ground) to the quickest (FedEx SameDay and UPS Overnight Delivery). Package options include self-prepared packages and flat-rate packages. Flat-rate options are ideal for highly time-sensitive materials.

To calculate delivery times, check the website and use the online calculators. Similar to USPS, the basic information required to generate an estimate includes the origin ZIP code, destination ZIP code, package size and weight. To best track a package, use a tracking number and ensure delivery with a signature confirmation option.

Utilizing Online Resources

For any carrier, if a package has a tracking number, it's possible to sign up for text or email alerts. These can be as frequent as each time the package leaves and arrives at a new sorting center or as infrequent as a single notification after package delivery. Simply go to the carrier's website to sign up. Additionally, one can enter the tracking number into the USPS, FedEx or UPS website and see the estimated arrival date and its current status. This information is available after a tracking number is generated.

Utilizing In-person Resources

For people who would like to ensure exact delivery times and dates, the best thing to do is to visit the post office or private mailing center in person and get help from the representatives there. They can help explain all of the available options.

Learn more about Postal Services
Related Videos

Related Questions

Explore