Postal Facts - U.S. Postal Service
Read interesting facts about the United States Postal Service.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Some kids love the idea of bringing people greetings cards and packages! The U.S. Mail carrier kids costume gets them interested early.
So doggone cute!The officially licensed USPS dog costume, introduced in 2018, is a very popular item. Thousands have been sold on the Postal Store alone and at other retailers.
This Post Office floats! The Halibut Cove Post Office (99603) in Homer, AK, floats. The office is a small houseboat that is permanently tied to a dock.
We can still read it!
Chicken scratch. The Postal Service has an entire operation dedicated to deciphering poor penmanship.
No high-flying flag here. The B. Free Franklin Post Office in Philadelphia is the only Post Office in the country that doesn’t fly the American flag — because in 1775 when Benjamin Franklin was appointed Postmaster General there was no flag.
The Postal Service ordered more than 276 million square feet of bubble wrap to safely deliver COVID-19 test kits to the American public. At 12 inches wide, this is enough bubble wrap material to circle the globe more than twice.
serving two states
Twice as nice. Texarkana, TX (77501) and Texarkana, AR (71854) share a Post Office that straddles the state line. Bristol, TN (37620) and Bristol, VA (24203) share a Post Office in Tennessee. Each office has two ZIP Codes and employees serve the customers in their respective states out of the same office.
PO made of straw
In Corrales, NM, in 1999, a new Post Office was built with more than 900 bales of straw as insulation. The Post Office is still standing strong and saving energy — a proud testament to the Postal Service’s longstanding history of sustainable practices.
The Zoning Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code was launched in 1963 to better process and deliver increasing volumes of U.S. Mail. The first number in the five-digit ZIP Code represents a general geographic area of the nation, “0” in the east, moving to “9” in the west. The next two numbers represent regional areas, and the final two identify specific Post Offices.
BRICK IN THE MAIL
Individual bricks can be shipped in the U.S. Mail. Get a permanent marker, write the address and your return address, get it weighed and add the postage. Send that special someone a brick of affection.
Do not try to ship your kids!! In the early days of Parcel Post, a few parents managed to mail their children to relatives. In 1913, an 8-month-old baby in Ohio was mailed by his parents to his grandmother, who lived a few miles away. The baby was safely delivered! Regulations were quickly established to prevent any additional mailing of children through the U.S. Mail.
gold in the mail
Under the watchful security of the Postal Inspection Service, Railway Mail Service clerks transferred some of the $9 billion in gold bullion shipped as registered mail from the New York City Assay Office to the depository at Fort Knox, KY, in 1941.
Hope in the mail. In 1958 Harry Winston donated the Hope diamond to the Smithsonian Institution. With his years of experience in shipping jewelry all over the world, Winston sent the diamond via registered mail with the Post Office Department.
potatoes in the mail
It's SPUDTACULAR! As with coconuts, potatoes can be mailed without a box. Simply write the address it's going to and your return addresses on the spud, have it weighed for appropriate postage, and it can be shipped as-is. Let someone know they are special. Send a tater!
If it clucks, it ships. The Postal Service has been working with hatcheries for more than 100 years to safely transport mail-order chicks during the spring and summer months.
Coconuts can be mailed without a box. Simply address the coconut and add your return addresses on the husk, have it weighed for appropriate postage, and it is shipped as-is.
Photo: Coconuts ready for mailing at the Molokai, HI, Post Office.
The Postal Service moves mail by planes, hovercraft, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, bicycles, mules and feet. #WeDeliverForYou
in Contiguous US
The largest ZIP Code in the contiguous U.S. is 89049, Tonopah, NV, at 10,821 square miles.
in continental US
The largest ZIP Code in the continental U.S. is 99734, Prudhoe Bay, AK, at 30,683 square miles.
Heads of industry. Hollywood legends. Sports heroes. Singers. Painters. Writers. And a couple presidents. All were postal employees before they became household names! Twelve have even been featured on stamps.
© is for creative. The Postal Service has more than 500 copyright registrations, many of them to protect artwork on postage stamps.
delivered by mail
The farm-to-table concept isn’t new. From 1914 to 1920, the farm-to-table program was a novel initiative that allowed farmers to arrange prices with people in urban areas and then mail them fresh meats, eggs, dairy products, produce, honey, jelly, and more. This was a way to give farmers more customers and city dwellers greater and cheaper access to fresh goods.
unstaffed Post Office
One of a kind. There is a 24-hour, unstaffed, self-service Post Office in Northern Virginia that allows customers to conduct most shipping and mailing transactions quickly and easily themselves. The Self-Service Post Office provides round-the-clock accessibility to PO Boxes, as well as self-service kiosks and an automated package drop. In 2022, nearly 9,000 customers used this convenient office.
John Prine, singer and songwriter, was a letter carrier in Maywood, IL, 1964-1969.
mail pieces processed daily
The Postal Service processed and delivered an average of 421.4 M mail pieces daily in 2022.
JUST 1 DAY
in the Postal Service
Each day the Postal Service picks up, processes and delivers millions of letters and packages. No single operation in the world comes close to this level of connectivity for so many households and businesses.
On an autumn day in 1888, a shaggy pup took his first steps toward becoming a postal legend when he crept into the Albany, New York, Post Office. Postal employees allowed him to stay and named him Owney.
Ship Ahoy! The JW Westcott is a 45-foot contract mail boat out of Detroit that delivers mail to passing ships on the Detroit River. The JW Westcott has its own ZIP Code — 48222.
with walk-in freezers
The Peach Springs, AZ, Post Office has walk-in freezers for food destined for delivery by mule train to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
No troglodytes here! The Stamp Fulfillment Service facility, located in Kansas City, MO, is located in a limestone cave 150 feet beneath the ground. It is the Postal Service’s only facility located underground.
Mr. ZIP, who has no first name, appeared in many public service announcements and advertisements urging postal customers to use the five-digit ZIP Code that was initiated on July 1, 1963. Within four years of his appearance, eight out of ten Americans knew who Mr. ZIP was and what he stood for.
bicycle delivery routes
The Postal Service delivers mail by bicycle on 51 routes in Arizona and Florida - reducing emissions, saving fuel and the carriers can ride a bike all day!
The Postal Service is the original social network, but that doesn't mean we aren't represented on the other, newer social networks. You can find the Postal Service on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Patently the best. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued more than 500 patents to the United States Postal Service.
Leaving a mark! The Postal Service has 385 domestic and 1,000 foreign trademark registrations.
Master of our domains. The Postal Service owns 1,958 internet domains.
On time. Every time. The Postal Bulletin, a nationally distributed biweekly publication, serves as a source for official policy, procedure updates and departmental news for all USPS functions. It has never missed a deadline since its inception in 1880.
blue collection boxes
Iconically ours. Today there are 139,409 blue mail boxes in use across the nation.
addresses added daily
The Postal Service added an average of 5,844 addresses to its delivery network every day in 2022.
162 M pieces
of mail processed daily
On average, the Postal Service processes and delivers 162.1 million pieces of First-Class Mail each day.
17.6 M mail
pieces processed each hour
On average, the Postal Service processes 421.4 million mail pieces each day, 17.6 million each hour, 292,628 each minute and 4,877 each second.
Although it was against postal regulations, in the early days of Parcel Post, a few parents managed to mail their children to relatives. In 1913, an 8-month-old baby in Ohio was mailed by his parents to his grandmother who lived a few miles away.
rubber bands purchased
BOING! The Postal Service ordered 7.8 million rubber bands in 2022, totaling about 42,918 miles of material.
Out of this world! A postage stamp was inside the New Horizons spacecraft that made a flyby of Pluto in July 2015. That's the farthest distance traveled by a postage stamp - more than 3 billion miles. So noted by the Guinness World Records.
The most unusual delivery method used by the Postal Service is a mule train in Arizona. The mules carry mail, food and supplies down a 9-mile trail to the Havasupai Indians at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
Ben, this one’s for you! Franklin is the most common city name — 28 of them — with Clinton, Madison and Washington tied for second (27 each) and Chester, Greenville, Marion and Springfield at third (25). The most common Post Office name is Clinton, with 26 locations, followed by Madison at second (25) and Franklin and Washington tied for third (24).
The longest Main Street in the country is located in Island Park, ID, and is 33 miles long.
Main Street America is here and here and…
The most common street name in the country is Main —21,569 of them — followed by Second with 17,196, Third with 16,002 and First with 14,963.
There are 41,704 ZIP Codes in the country.
During 2022, Postal Service employees traveled 1.2 billion miles to deliver your mail, equivalent to 48,191 laps around Earth, 5,023 trips to the moon or 13 trips to the sun.
*Based on the average moon and sun distance.
The ZIP Code with the most street deliveries is Cathedral Station, NY, 10025, with 50,605!
Our Post Office in Utqiagvik, North Slope of Alaska -- formerly Barrow (99723) and Wainwright (99782) -- experiences the coldest temperatures.
The shortest rural delivery route is route 015 in Ball Ground, GA — 1.04 miles daily, delivering to 78 boxes.
The longest rural delivery route is in Bloomfield, IA. The carrier travels 187.5 miles daily and delivers to 247 boxes.
easiest to remember
The easiest to remember ZIP Code is 12345, a unique ZIP Code for General Electric in Schenectady, NY.
The highest ZIP Code number is 99950 in Ketchikan, AK.
The lowest ZIP Code number is 00501, unique for the Internal Revenue Service in Holtsville, NY.
Dock-to-dock delivery on the Magnolia River in Alabama. A 15-foot contract mail boat delivers to 176 dock-side mailboxes on a 31-mile stretch of the river.
most needing a bridge
The Post Office in most need of a bridge is in Point Roberts, WA. It can be reached by car only by driving through British Columbia, Canada. Only a boat or float plane can travel directly there.
The second oldest Post Office location is in Castine, ME, from 1833.
The Hinsdale, NH, Post Office (03451) has been located in the same building since 1816.
The largest U.S. Postal Service retail space is the James A. Farley Post Office in New York, NY (10001), at 33,100 square feet.
The smallest Post Office is located in Ochopee, FL (34141) and is 61.3 square feet. The building used to be a storage facility for irrigation pipes of an adjacent tomato farm. It was converted into a Post Office in 1953, after a fire that destroyed a previous Post Office and general store.
The highest Post Office in the United States is located in Alma, CO (80420), at 10,578 feet above sea level.
The Postal Service generates, on average, $260.3 million in revenue per day
The Pony Express was in operation only from April 3, 1860, to Oct. 26, 1861. It was never part of the U.S. Postal Service.
The Eagle Logo, the trade dress of USPS packaging, the Letter Carrier Uniform and the Postal Truck and the following marks are among the many trademarks owned by the United States Postal Service: Click-N-Ship®, Deliver The Win®, EDDM®, ePostage®, Every Door Direct Mail®, Express Mail®, First-Class™, First-Class Mail®, First-Class Package International Service®, Forever®, Global Express Guaranteed®, IMb®, Informed Delivery®, Intelligent Mail®, Label Broker™, Parcel Select®, P.O. Box™, Post Office®, Pony Express®, Postal Inspection Service™, PostalOne!®, Postal Police®, #PostalProud®, Priority Mail Express International®, Priority Mail Flat Rate®, Priority Mail International®, Priority: You®, Registered Mail™, Standard Mail®, The Postal Store®, United States Postal Inspection Service®, United States Postal Service®, U.S. Mail®, U.S. Postal Inspector™, U.S. Postal Service®, USPS®, USPS BlueEarth®, USPS Mobile®, USPS Operation Santa®, USPS Tracking®, usps.com®, We are people delivering to people™, ZIP+4® and ZIP Code™. This is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service trademarks.
Dollar General®, Forest Stewardship Council®, How2Recycle®, McDonald’s®, National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, Starbucks®, Subway®, Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, The Climate Registry®, Vans®.
Postal Facts 2023 provides the public with information about the U.S. Postal Service. The facts in this publication may be reproduced for the purpose of stating the fact itself, in a business, informational or academic context and the like, and in the body of text discussing factual subject matter relevant to the fact being presented. However, these facts may become outdated after publication and seeking the latest information is advised.
Produced by U.S. Postal Service Corporate Communications
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