How Long Does Regular USPS Mail Take?


The United States Postal Service (USPS) was first established in 1775. 

Modeled after the Britsh system, it allowed immigrants who came to the New World to stay in contact with loved ones left behind. The postal service also gave people the ability to communicate as others moved on to different locations. Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first Postmaster General. He was responsible for laying the foundation for the US Postal Service.

Today, the US Postal Service delivers more than 200 billion pieces of mail every year. This includes everything from letters to large parcel packages shipped from around the world. This federal government service is one of the only such national agencies protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Types of Regular Mailing Services

Establishing an organization system for the US Postal Service was necessary due to the amount of mail it handled every day. One way to do this was to offer different types of mailing services. The services needed to align with the various types of letters and packages that were being sent.

There are five different types of regular mailing services offered by the US Postal Service. These options include:

  • Priority Mail Express
  • Priority Mail
  • First Class Mail / First Class Package Service / Retail
  • USPS Retail Ground
  • Media Mail

Each type of mail service covers a specific level of weight and size for the package being delivered. The postage needed for sending the package will also vary by the type of service selected. The type of mail service determines the specific amount of time it takes for mail to arrive at its destination.

Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail Express is covered by a money-back guarantee. Choosing this type of delivery service ensures a package will arrive at its destination in one or two days. The service covers packages that weigh 70 pounds or less. The postage for Priority Mail Express delivery is based on the weight and distance it must travel to arrive at its intended destination.

Priority Mail

Priority Mail can also handle packages that weigh up to 70 pounds. The estimated delivery time can range from one to three days. The cost for postage to cover the delivery fees is based on the package weight and shape as well as the distance it will travel.

First Class Mail / First Class Package Service / Retail

With First Class Mail, First Class Package, and Retail mail services you are able to send packages that weigh up to 13 ounces or letters weighing 3.5 ounces or less. The estimated delivery time is one to three days. The cost for postage is based on the weight and shape of the package being sent.

USPS Retail Ground

If you’re planning to send a larger size package weighing up to 70 pounds and don’t need it to arrive quickly, the USPS Retail Ground delivery options may be right for you. This service takes two to eight days for delivery, and it’s available to all locations except offshore addresses. The cost for postage will be based on the weight and shape of your package, as well as the distance it needs to travel to reach its destination

Media Mail

Media Mail delivery service was once known as Book Rate mail. This type of service covers small and large packages up to 70 pounds. This type of mail cannot be shipped to international addresses and cannot contain things such as advertisements. Media Mail delivery services do take two to eight days for expected arrival. Postage is based solely on the weight of the package being shipped.