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Introduction to Postal Facts

The United States Postal Service has a storied history, familiar to many. It began with the Second Continental Congress and Benjamin Franklin in 1775. It continued when the U.S. Constitution empowered Congress to establish Post Offices and post roads in 1787. Congress exercised those powers with the passage of the Post Office Act of 1792, which made postal services a permanent fixture of the federal government.

The act included provisions to facilitate freedom of the press, ensure the privacy of personal correspondence, and expand the nation’s physical infrastructure, all vital to the nation’s growth and prosperity. These principles and objectives endure. While email, the internet and social channels have forever altered information-gathering habits, postal correspondence remains a highly secure and resilient form of communication, providing the American people with a delivery infrastructure vital to national security.

The Postal Service’s status is unique: It is an independent agency of the executive branch, yet it is required to operate like a business. It generally does not receive tax revenues to support its operations and must compete for customers. The success of the Postal Service depends on a culture of operational precision, world-class performance, outstanding service and innovation.

The Postal Service retains the largest physical and logistical infrastructure of any non-military government institution, providing an indispensable foundation supporting an ever-changing and evolving nationwide communication network.

The Postal Service delivers more mail and packages than any other post in the world. We serve nearly 167 million addresses in this country — covering every state, city and town. Everyone living in the United States and its territories has access to postal products and services and pays the same for a First-Class Mail postage stamp, regardless of location.

We make the connections with friends and families and businesses and customers. We deliver to every community in America, from the biggest cities to the smallest villages. This is our public service mandate — to bind the nation together by providing secure, reliable, affordable delivery of mail and packages. It’s what we do!

About Postal Facts

The Postal Service delivers for America. In fact, it’s been delivering for America for nearly 250 years. You know we deliver, but do you know exactly how much we deliver? Each year? Every day? Did you know there are postal programs designed to help the customers and communities we serve? That we are a seriously high-tech company but that we also have a Fleet of Feet and use mules to deliver, too? And did you know that the “ZIP” in ZIP Code is an acronym? You can find answers to these questions and so many more on this website.

Our history goes all the way back to the founding of the nation. On July 26, 1775, the U.S. postal system was established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) put in place the foundation for many aspects of today’s mail system.

We’re proud to provide secure, reliable and affordable service to every address in the United States, its territories and its military and diplomatic installations worldwide. And consider this very important fact: Everyone in the United States and its territories has access to postal products and services and pays the same for a First-Class Mail postage stamp regardless of location.

Want even more information? We’re very social. You can connect with us in many ways, including:

Facebook | X | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | Podcast

 #POSTALPROUD

 Unless otherwise noted, all figures are based on the Postal Service’s 2023 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2022 through Sept. 30, 2023). Trademarks

Social Awareness

Serving communities from coast to coast

The Postal Service is part of the fabric of the nation and postal employees make a difference in every community across the country. We’re committed to protecting customers, recognizing heroes, educating consumers about fraud, collecting food and helping children have a happier holiday

Honoring

service men and women

Honoring service members. The Postal Service proudly partners with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide burial flags to families of deceased veterans. In 2023, the Postal Service provided 374,790 burial flags.

* | Tags: Common good History Fact #890 | Updated: April 15, 2024

39,000

pounds of batteries

The Postal Service recycled 39,000 pounds of small lead-acid and dry cell batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, which are found in cellphones, laptops, scanners and other small electronics.

* | Tags: Common good Fact #719 | Updated: April 16, 2024
394,000

gallons of oil recycled

In 2023, the Postal Service recycled 394,000 gallons of used oil — equivalent to saving more than 16 million gallons of crude oil.

* | Tags: Common good Fact #718 | Updated: April 16, 2024
50

bicycle delivery routes

The Postal Service delivers mail by bicycle on 50 routes in Arizona and Florida - reducing emissions, saving fuel and the carriers can ride a bike all day!

* | Tags: Common good Fun facts Fact #717 | Updated: April 16, 2024
Stamp Out

Hunger Food Drive

Every year, the Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers hold the largest one-day food drive in the nation. The program has collected more than 1.9 billion pounds of food since the campaign began in 1993.

* | Tags: Common good Fact #683 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Dog Bite

Awareness Week

National Dog Bite Awareness Week. Thousands of carriers deliver to homes with dogs every day. The Postal Service promotes safety initiatives and shares prevention tips to protect employees and customers from dog bites. In 2023, 5,822 postal employees were bitten by dogs.

* | Tags: Common good Fact #681 | Updated: April 17, 2024

National Dog Bite Prevention Week addresses aggressive dog behaviors that pose serious threats to Postal Service employees delivering mail and how communities they serve can play a part in their safety.

 

CARRIER

ALERT program

As one of the few points of human contact for some home-bound customers, letter carriers are particularly attuned to signs that could indicate an accident or illness. If carriers notice something unusual, such as uncollected mail, at an at-risk customer’s home, the employee will alert emergency personnel. Carrier Alert began in 1982.

* | Tags: Common good Fact #680 | Updated: April 17, 2024
POSTAL BLUE

is getting greener

The Postal Service is working hard to put its stamp on a greener tomorrow for the many communities we serve. Postal carriers deliver mail using alternative fuel vehicles, on foot and even on bicycles. Mail is delivered by bicycle on 50 routes in Florida and Arizona and more than 6,500 carriers deliver mail solely on foot.

* | Tags: Common good Fact #655 | Updated: April 17, 2024

The Postal Service’s Sustainability brochure – Building a Brighter, Greener Future

Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at the U.S. Postal Service.

recycled

39,000 pounds of batteries

In 2023, the Postal Service recycled 39,000 pounds of small lead-acid and dry cell batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, which are found in cellphones, laptops, scanners and other small electronics.

* | Tags: Common good Fact #534 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Environmental Management: Putting our Stamp on a Greener Tomorrow

Compliance with environmental requirements provides a foundation for healthier air and waterways and sustainability success.

25,755

solar panels

Sunny times ahead. The Postal Service has a solar power generation system consisting of more than 25,755 solar panels at its Los Angeles mail processing facility. This expands the Postal Service's use of alternative energy and makes the processing facility one of the largest buildings generating electricity through solar energy in the city.

* | Tags: Common good Fact #376 | Updated: April 19, 2024

Also, the Postal Service’s Curseen Morris Processing and Distribution Center in Washington, DC has more than 14,305 solar panels, with a capacity of 5.8 megawatts (MW). It is expected to generate 7,356,000 kilowatt hours annually, which is enough electricity to power 1,014 homes each year.

25% less

by 2030

The Postal Service has a goal to reduce energy used per square foot of building space by 25 percent by 2030.

* | Tags: Common good Fact #372 | Updated: April 19, 2024
USPS

Operation Santa

USPS Operation Santa. This 111-year-old program relies solely on random acts of kindness and the generosity of strangers. In 2023, millions of people visited USPSOperationSanta.com. Generous customers adopted letters written to Santa and fulfilled wishes, helping families and children experience the magic of the season when they might not have otherwise, one letter to Santa at a time.

* | Tags: Common good History Fact #284 | Updated: April 22, 2024

For more information, go to USPSOperationSanta.com.

In 2020, the program expanded nationwide for the first time. More than 1 million people visited USPSOperationSanta.com. Generous customers shipped more than 21,000 packages to the families and children who wrote to Santa to help them have a happier holiday.

In 2019, the digital program continued to expand. Letters were accepted letters from 17 locations, and the letters could be adopted by anyone in the country. Gifts could be shipped from more than 19,000 post offices.

In 2018, the Postal Service expanded the 2017 pilot test to include 6 additional cities (Austin, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Washington DC – and Puerto Rico and Chico, CA (site of wildfires). Letters from those locations populated the website and people in those locations only could adopt them and ship from one dedicated post office per city.

In 2017, the Postal Service launched a pilot test of a digital Operation Santa option for residents of New York City. People living in New York City, within proximity of the James A. Farley building could adopt letters online and ship gifts from JAF. Puerto Rico was also added after the hurricanes that year.


HISTORY

In 1912, Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to respond to letters addressed to Santa Claus and the program came to be known as Operation Santa.

In the 1940s, mail volume increased to the point where the Post Office Department invited charitable organizations and corporations to participate for philanthropic purposes —providing written responses and small gifts.

Through the years, the program has taken on a life of its own and today cities around the country have established successful programs with recognized charitable organizations, major corporations, local businesses and postal employees making a major difference in the lives of the children from coast to coast.

we are

greener than you think

We're greener than you think. The Postal Service is working hard to put its stamp on a greener tomorrow for the organization and the communities we serve.

* | Tags: Common good Top facts Fact #599 | Updated: April 22, 2024

For more information on the Postal Service’s sustainability efforts and initiatives, go to Sustainability – What We Do – About.usps.com

 

6,500

fleet of feet

More than 74,000 letter carriers drive to neighborhoods and then deliver the mail on foot. More than 6,500 carriers deliver mail entirely on foot -- the USPS Fleet of Feet. Mail is also delivered by bicycle on select routes in Arizona and Florida, reducing emissions and saving fuel.

* | Tags: Common good People Fact #72 | Updated: April 22, 2024
30,673

alternative fuel vehicles

The Postal Service operates a fleet of 30,673 alternative fuel-capable vehicles, most of which are equipped to use ethanol. Electric, hybrid, compressed natural gas and liquid propane gas vehicles are in the fleet as well. There are electric, hybrid, compressed natural gas and liquid propane gas vehicles in the fleet as well. The Postal Service has 100 hybrid 2-ton vehicles. Fifty are electric hybrid and fifty are hydraulic hybrid.

* | Tags: Common good Fact #40 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Social Awareness

Serving communities from coast to coast

The Postal Service is part of the fabric of the nation and postal employees make a difference in every community across the country. We’re committed to protecting customers, recognizing heroes, educating consumers about fraud, collecting food and helping children have a happier holiday

447 million

rubber bands

Boing! The Postal Service ordered more than 447 million rubber bands in 2023, which totals 24,518 miles of material, or one trip around the world.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1239 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Mini

mail carriers

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1204 | Updated: April 3, 2024

You can purchase the uniform here.

This was the first official costume for the Postal Service. The second was the U.S. Mail carrier dog costume.

The costumes for kids and dogs are among an ever-growing portfolio of USPS licensed products that create royalty revenue for the organization without the expense of manufacturing and marketing.

So

doggone cute!

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. 

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1198 | Updated: April 15, 2024

You can purchase the uniform here.

It’s only the second official costume in USPS history, following in the footsteps of the U.S. Mail carrier kids costume that’s been available for years.

The costumes for dogs and kids are among an ever-growing portfolio of USPS licensed products that create royalty revenue for the organization without the expense of manufacturing and marketing.

Floating

Post Office

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1147 | Updated: April 15, 2024
Floating Post Office – Halibut Cove – in Homer, AK
Write badly?

We can still read it!

Chicken scratch. The Postal Service has an entire operation dedicated to deciphering poor penmanship.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1105 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Letter mail at a processing plant that cannot be read by the automated equipment has an image taken and transmitted to the Remote Encoding Center (REC). At the REC, employees look at the image and type in address information. The information is matched up with a valid address, the data is transmitted back to the equipment at the plant, and a barcode is printed on the letter. That barcode can be read by any letter processing machine in the Postal Service, keeping the letter within the automated stream of mail in the postal network.

No Flag

Flies Here

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1103 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Franklin used to own the building and there is a small museum on the second floor.

Pop! Pop!

Pop! Pop! Pop!

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1100 | Updated: March 20, 2023
Offices

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1098 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Corrales NM

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1097 | Updated: April 15, 2024
Window inside office shows the straw

Corrales NM Post Office

Decoding

the ZIP Code

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1096 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Decoding the code.  In 1983, the ZIP+4 Code was introduced. The extra four numbers enable mail to be sorted to a specific street. In 1991, two more numbers were added so that mail could be sorted directly to a residence or business. Today, the use of ZIP Codes extends far beyond the mailing industry, including being a fundamental component in the nation’s 911 emergency system.

There are 41,704 ZIP Codes in the country. They range from 00501, belonging to the Internal Revenue Service in Holtsville, NY, to 99950 in Ketchikan, AK. Easiest to remember? How about 12345, a unique ZIP Code for General Electric in Schenectady, NY.

Mr. ZIP helped promote the new ZIP Code concept in 1963.

just another

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1082 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Just don’t think you can send enough bricks to build a house or, perhaps a bank. Been there. Done that. You can read about the bank of Vernal, UT, here.

a brick of affection

Kids

in the mail??

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1081 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Fort Knox

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1080 | Updated: April 15, 2024

The Inspection Service provided security and management in the cooperative effort between the Post Office Department, local law enforcement, U.S. Army and U.S. Treasury Department.

Hope

in the mail

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1079 | Updated: April 15, 2024

The diamond was placed in a box, wrapped in brown paper, and sent by registered mail from New York in a Railway Post Office train car. In Washington, it was picked up by a postal carrier and driven to the National Museum of Natural History. The price paid for shipping the gem, valued at $1 million at the time, was $145.29, most of that for package insurance.

SPUDTACULAR!

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!

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1077 | Updated: April 15, 2024
SPUDTACULAR!
If it clucks

IT SHIPS

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1075 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Chicks can be safely transported without food or water within 72 hours of hatching. In fact, placing food and water inside the hatchery box could jeopardize the integrity of the box and could endanger the health and safety of the animals inside. Thousands of chicks are transported through the U.S. Mail seamlessly every year. This is a legacy operation we take very seriously as lives are literally at stake.

chicks in the mail
chicks in the mail
That's

JUST NUTS!

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #1057 | Updated: April 15, 2024

WE

deliver!

The Postal Service moves mail by planes, hovercraft, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, bicycles, mules and feet. #WeDeliverForYou

* | Tags: Fun facts Marketing/Retail Fact #641 | Updated: April 15, 2024
Largest ZIP

in Contiguous US

The largest ZIP Code in the contiguous U.S. is 89049, Tonopah, NV, at 10,821 square miles.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #971 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Twenty-four of the top 25 largest ZIP Codes in the country are located in Alaska – ranging from the largest, 99734, at more than 30,000 square miles to 99741 at 7,600 square miles. The 14th spot goes to Nevada, 89049.

Largest ZIP

in continental US

The largest ZIP Code in the continental U.S. is 99734, Prudhoe Bay, AK, at 30,683 square miles.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #969 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Twenty-four of the top 25 largest ZIP Codes in the country are located in Alaska – ranging from the largest, 99734, at more than 30,000 square miles to 99741 at 7,600 square miles. The 14th spot goes to Nevada, 89049.

Famous

postal employees

Heads of industry. Hollywood legends. Sports heroes. Singers. Painters. Writers. And a couple presidents. All were postal employees before they became household names! Thirteen have even been featured on stamps.

* | Tags: Fun facts People Fact #869 | Updated: April 15, 2024

 

© is for

CREATIVE

© is for creative. The Postal Service has more than 500 copyright registrations, many of them to protect artwork on postage stamps.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #884 | Updated: April 15, 2024
Farm Goods

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #879 | Updated: April 15, 2024
24-hour

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 2023, nearly 8,000 customers used this convenient office.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #875 | Updated: April 15, 2024
Singing

mailman

John Prine, singer and songwriter, was a letter carrier in Maywood, IL, 1964-1969.

* | Tags: Fun facts People Fact #746 | Updated: April 15, 2024

318 million

mail pieces processed daily

The Postal Service processed and delivered an average of 318 million mail pieces daily in 2023.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #844 | Updated: April 15, 2024
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.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #840 | Updated: April 15, 2024

OWNEY

the postal dog

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts History Fact #776 | Updated: April 16, 2024

At first, Owney stayed close to the Post Office, but he soon began riding mail wagons to the train depot and then rode the railway mail car down to New York City and back to Albany. As Owney traveled farther, his friends at the Albany Post Office feared he might wander too far away to find his way home again, so they purchased a leather collar with a tag reading “Owney, Post Office, Albany, N.Y.” Railway mail clerks recorded Owney’s travels by attaching metal baggage tags to his collar to identify the rail lines he traveled on. He was soon weighed down by his collection of tags. Postmaster General John Wanamaker presented Owney with a little jacket to distribute their weight more evenly.

Owney took to traveling farther and staying away longer, eventually visiting Mexico, Canada, Japan, China, Singapore, Suez, Algiers, and the Azores. While being shown off to an Ohio newspaper reporter, Owney bit the clerk who was handling him. The Postmaster had Owney put down on June 11, 1897. Railway mail clerks chipped in money to have a taxidermist preserve Owney’s body, which then was sent to postal headquarters in Washington, D.C., for exhibit. In 1911, the Post Office Department entrusted Owney to the Smithsonian Institution. Since 1993, Owney has been part of the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Owney was honored on a commemorative U.S. postage stamp.

   

SHIP

mail delivery

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #772 | Updated: April 16, 2024

This is the J.W. Westcott II approaching a Canadian freighter on the Detroit River

Post Office

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #770 | Updated: April 16, 2024

STAMPS

in caves

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Stamps Fact #768 | Updated: April 16, 2024

The consistent, year-round temperatures and humidity levels in the caves allow the stamps to be maintained in mint-quality condition. The underground facility also keeps the inventory and employees safe from snow, flooding, winds and tornadic activity common in the Midwest.

Mr.

ZIP

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts History Fact #754 | Updated: April 16, 2024

With the introduction of the nine-digit ZIP Code, or ZIP+4, in 1983, Mr. ZIP went into partial retirement. His image still was printed on the selvage of some sheets of stamps, but that practice ended in January 1986. Mr. ZIP still is used occasionally by the Postal Service.

50

bicycle delivery routes

The Postal Service delivers mail by bicycle on 50 routes in Arizona and Florida - reducing emissions, saving fuel and the carriers can ride a bike all day!

* | Tags: Common good Fun facts Fact #717 | Updated: April 16, 2024
The ORIGINAL

social network

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #661 | Updated: April 17, 2024
Facebook — facebook.com/usps
Twitter — twitter.com/usps
Instagram — instagram.com/uspostalservice
LinkedIn — linkedin.com/company/usps
YouTube — youtube.com/usps
PATENTLY

the best

Patently the best. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued more than 500 patents to the United States Postal Service.

* | Tags: Fun facts Innovation Fact #647 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Leaving

our mark

Leaving a mark! The Postal Service has 385 domestic and 1,000 foreign trademark registrations.

* | Tags: Fun facts Innovation Fact #646 | Updated: April 17, 2024
MASTER

of our domains

Master of our domains. The Postal Service owns 1,958 internet domains.

* | Tags: Fun facts Innovation Fact #645 | Updated: April 17, 2024
POSTAL

BULLETIN

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 Postal Service functions. It has never missed a deadline since its inception in 1880.

* | Tags: Fun facts History Fact #637 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Go to https://about.usps.com/resources/postal-bulletin.htm to browse past issues.

139,409

blue collection boxes

Iconically ours. There are 139,409 iconic blue collection boxes in use on street corners across the nation.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #536 | Updated: April 17, 2024

About those iconic blue boxes…

They weren’t always blue. Before 1970, they were green, then red, then white, then green again, and finally — beginning in 1955 — red, white and blue.

5,629

addresses added daily

The Postal Service added an average of 5,629 addresses to its delivery network every day in 2023.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #524 | Updated: April 17, 2024
152 M pieces

of mail processed daily

On average, the Postal Service processes and delivers 152.3 million pieces of First-Class Mail each day.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #523 | Updated: April 17, 2024
13.3 million

pieces processed each hour

On average, the Postal Service processes 318 million mail pieces each day, 13.3 million each hour, 221,000 each minute and 3,684 each second.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #522 | Updated: April 17, 2024

383.3 M       —    number of mail pieces processed and delivered each day.

16 M              —    average number of mail pieces processed each hour.

226,000      —    average number of mail pieces processed each minute.

4,437            —    average number of mail pieces processed each second.

Very Special

delivery

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #386 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Grandma, can you babysit?

Just a few weeks after Parcel Post began, Jesse and Mathilda Beagle “mailed” their 8-month-old son James to his grandmother, who lived a few miles away near Batavia, Ohio. Baby Beagle was just under the initial 11-pound limit for parcels. Rural Carrier Vernon Lytle picked up the baby from his parents’ house and carried him in his mail wagon to his grandmother’s house. The postage was fifteen cents, and the “parcel” was insured for $50. Although it was against postal regulations, several children traveled via U.S. Mail in the early years of Parcel Post. Initially the only animals that were allowed in the mail were bees and bugs. In 1918, day-old chicks were allowed in the mail. In 1919, some additional “harmless live animals” were permitted, but children did not fall into this category.

447 million

rubber bands

Boing! The Postal Service ordered more than 447 million rubber bands in 2023, which totals 24,518 miles of material, or one trip around the world.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #379 | Updated: April 17, 2024

OUTER SPACE

postage stamp

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Innovation Stamps Fact #332 | Updated: April 19, 2024

The “PlutoNot Yet Explored” 29-cent stamp was part of a set of solar system stamps that were issued in 1991.

MULE TRAIN

delivery

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #310 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Got mules? The most unusual mode of delivery used by the Postal Service is the mule train.

Since the 1930s, mules have been carrying mail and goods to the Havasupai people located inside the Grand Canyon.

Most common

city names

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).

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #309 | Updated: April 22, 2024

33 mile long

Main Street

The longest Main Street in the country is located in Island Park, ID, and is 33 miles long.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #308 | Updated: April 22, 2024

21,569

Main streets

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. The longest Main Street, located in Island Park, ID, is 33 miles long.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #307 | Updated: April 22, 2024
41,642

ZIP Codes

There are 41,642 ZIP Codes in the country. They range from 00501, belonging to the Internal Revenue Service in Holtsville, NY, to 99950 in Ketchikan, AK. Easiest to remember? How about 12345, a unique ZIP Code for General Electric in Schenectady, NY.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #306 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Quick! What’s that ZIP Code?

The ZIP Code was introduced in 1963. The first number represents a general geographic area of the nation, “0” in the East moving to “9” in the West. The next two numbers indicate regional areas and the final two, specific Post Offices or postal zones in larger cities. Make it a ZIP+4 Code, introduced in 1983, and mail can be sorted to specific streets, buildings, houses and businesses. Today, ZIP Codes are important parts of the nation’s 911 emergency system. ZIP = Zone or Zoning Improvement Plan.

1.2 billion

miles traveled

Stellar performance! During 2023, Postal Service employees traveled more than 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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #305 | Updated: April 22, 2024

116,628

deliveries from one office

The Post Office location with the most possible street deliveries is Heritage Station in San Antonio, TX (78245, 78250, 78251, 78253) — with 116,628 deliveries.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #279 | Updated: April 22, 2024
Coldest

Post Office

Our Post Office in Utqiagvik, North Slope of Alaska -- formerly Barrow (99723) and Wainwright (99782) -- experiences the coldest temperatures.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #276 | Updated: April 22, 2024
shortest

delivery route

The shortest delivery route is rural route 012 in Woodinville, WA (98072) — 2.45 miles daily, delivering to 1,147 boxes.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #151 | Updated: April 22, 2024
longest

delivery route

The longest delivery route is rural route 001 in Sidney, MT (59270) — 195.2 miles daily, delivering to 305 boxes.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #150 | Updated: April 22, 2024
12345

easiest to remember

The easiest to remember ZIP Code is 12345, a unique ZIP Code for General Electric in Schenectady, NY.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #149 | Updated: April 22, 2024
HIGHEST

ZIP Code

The highest numbered ZIP Code is 99950 in Ketchikan, AK.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #148 | Updated: April 22, 2024
LOWEST

ZIP Code number

The lowest ZIP Code number is 00501, unique for the Internal Revenue Service in Holtsville, NY.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #147 | Updated: April 22, 2024
dock-to-dock

delivery

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #146 | Updated: April 22, 2024
Post Office

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #143 | Updated: April 22, 2024

2ND OLDEST

Post Office

The second oldest Post Office location is in Castine, ME, from 1833.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #141 | Updated: April 22, 2024
Oldest

Post Office

The Hinsdale, NH, Post Office (03451) has been located in the same building since 1816.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #140 | Updated: April 22, 2024
LARGEST

retail space

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Marketing/Retail Fact #139 | Updated: April 22, 2024
smallest

POST OFFICE

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #138 | Updated: April 22, 2024

There is a sign beside the office that reads:

OCHOPEE POST OFFICE

Considered to be the smallest post office in the United States, this building was formerly an irrigation pipe shed belonging to the J.T. Gaunt Company tomato farm. It was hurriedly pressed into service by postmaster Sidney Brown after a disastrous night fire in 1953 burned Ochopee’s general store and post office. The present structure has been in continuous use ever since – as both a post office and ticket station for Trailway’s bus lines – and still services residents in a three-county area, including deliveries to Seminole and Miccosukee Indians living in the region. Daily business often includes requests from tourists and stamp collectors the world over for the famed Ochopee postmark. The property was acquired by the Wooten Family in 1992.

— Collier County Board of County Commissioners

HIGHEST

U.S. Post Office

The highest Post Office in the United States is located in Alma, CO (80420), at 10,578 feet above sea level.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #125 | Updated: April 22, 2024
$258.9

million in revenue daily

The Postal Service receives, on average, $258.9 million in revenue each day.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #47 | Updated: April 22, 2024
WHOA!

Pony Express

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Fact #385 | Updated: April 22, 2024

That’s no pony, that’s a big horse

The official name for the “Pony Express” was the Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express Co. Before they were hired, riders had to swear on a Bible not to curse, fight or abuse their animals. Orphans were preferred. The service was in operation only from April 3, 1860, to Oct. 26, 1861. It operated as a U.S. Mail route during its final 4 months.

On April 3, 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Ten days later, on April 13, the westbound rider and mail packet completed the 1,800-mile journey and arrived in Sacramento, beating the eastbound packet’s arrival in St. Joseph by two days and setting a new standard for speedy mail delivery. The Pony Express was by far the most effective way to communicate cross-country—until the telegraph came along. After 18 months in operation, the system was shuttered on October 26, 1861, and the last remaining mail was delivered.

The Pony Express National Historic Trail was designated to preserve the story and routes of this nationally significant trail and to support the associated sites that preserve its history. Learn more at https://www.nps.gov/poex

Social Awareness

Serving communities from coast to coast

The Postal Service is part of the fabric of the nation and postal employees make a difference in every community across the country. We’re committed to protecting customers, recognizing heroes, educating consumers about fraud, collecting food and helping children have a happier holiday

Serving

Those Who Serve

It’s not just any letter or package. It’s a picture of the kids. It’s a handmade scarf. It’s a favorite candy bar. It’s a piece of home. The Postal Service helps make sure these very special letters and packages make it to those who serve in the military — and their families with them — wherever they are around the globe. It's our honor to serve those who serve!

* | Tags: History People Fact #1106 | Updated: April 15, 2024
ELECTION

MAIL

The U.S. Postal Service upholds its promise to deliver the nation’s Election Mail securely and on time, consistent with the organization’s non-partisan public service mission.

* | Tags: History Fact #941 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Election Mail consists of mail to or from election officials, including ballots, ballot applications, registration forms and other items that enable citizens to participate in the voting process. The U.S. Postal Service is committed to delivering the nation’s Election Mail securely and on time, consistent with the organization’s non-partisan public service mission.

During the election period of Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, 2023, there were nearly 62 million pieces of Election Mail dispatched.

The Postal Service supports voters choosing to use the U.S. Mail to return their ballots, whether it’s for a seat on the local school board or for the president of the United States — and everything in between.

Honoring

service men and women

Honoring service members. The Postal Service proudly partners with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide burial flags to families of deceased veterans. In 2023, the Postal Service provided 374,790 burial flags.

* | Tags: Common good History Fact #890 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Newspapers

and the U.S. Mail

Extra! Extra! American newspapers largely owe their existence to Post Offices. As part of the Post Office Act of 1792, newspapers were permitted to be mailed at extremely low rates. By the start of the 19th century, newspapers made up the bulk of the U.S. Mail.

* | Tags: History Fact #878 | Updated: April 15, 2024
1639

first post office

The first Post Office in America was established in a tavern in Boston in 1639.

* | Tags: History Fact #877 | Updated: April 15, 2024
1993

National Postal Museum Opens

In 1993, the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum opened. This museum is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history and philately.

* | Tags: History Fact #740 | Updated: April 15, 2024

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum offers exhibits tracing the history of the postal system in the United States. It houses nearly six million postal-related items — mostly stamps, but also postal stationery, greeting cards, covers and letters, mailboxes, postal vehicles, handstamps, metering machines, patent models, uniforms, badges, and other objects related to postal history and philately. The museum’s library, with more than 40,000 volumes and manuscripts, is open to the public by appointment. In 2013, the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery — the largest in the world — opened at the museum.

For more information, go to postalmuseum.si.edu.

BOLGER

center

Located in Maryland, the William F. Bolger Center is a premier leadership development and conference center servicing both Postal Service and external clients. It is the only hotel in the country featuring an on-site Smithsonian Institution exhibit.

* | Tags: History Fact #817 | Updated: April 15, 2024

The William F. Bolger Center is a Postal Service-owned state of the art training facility located on 83 beautiful acres in Potomac, Maryland. It was built in the 1930’s as a Catholic convent by the Sisters of Mercy.

In the 1980’s, it was purchased by the U.S. Postal Service as a training center.

Named for William F. Bolger (March 13, 1923 – August 21, 1989), the 65th Postmaster General of the United States from March 15, 1978 to January 1, 1985.

USPS

Headquarters

The U.S. Postal Service Headquarters building is located in Washington, D.C., just a few blocks south of the National Mall.

* | Tags: History Map facts Fact #800 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Postal Service Headquarters, 1973–Present

Vlastimil Koubek designed the present Postal Service Headquarters building, which is located in Washington, D.C., just a few blocks south of the National Mall.

Post Office Department Headquarters, 1899–1934

This granite building on Pennsylvania Avenue, not far from the White House, was the last to simultaneously house both postal headquarters and the Washington, D.C., Post Office. Horse-drawn wagons brought mail to the building in its early years. By the time postal Headquarters moved to a larger building, almost all mail was carried by motor vehicles.

1863

free city delivery

An Act of Congress of March 3, 1863, effective July 1, 1863, provided that free city delivery be established at Post Offices where income from local postage was more than sufficient to pay all expenses of the service. For the first time, Americans had to put street addresses on their letters.

* | Tags: History Fact #779 | Updated: April 16, 2024

In the late 19th century, free home delivery of mail was introduced — first in cities, then in rural areas — and letter carriers became familiar, trusted visitors to homes and businesses across the country.

Before 1863, postage paid only for the delivery of mail from Post Office to Post Office. Citizens picked up their mail, although in some cities they could pay an extra one- or two-cent fee for letter delivery or use private delivery firms. Among the postal reforms suggested by Postmaster General Montgomery Blair in his 1862 report to the President was free delivery of mail by salaried letter carriers, which he felt would “greatly accelerate deliveries, and promote the public convenience.” He reasoned that if the system of mailing and receiving letters was more convenient, people would use it more often, and pointed to increasing postal revenues in England, which already had adopted free city delivery.

Congress agreed. An Act of Congress of March 3, 1863, effective July 1, 1863, provided that free city delivery be established at Post Offices where income from local postage was more than sufficient to pay all expenses of the service. For the first time, Americans had to put street addresses on their letters.

OWNEY

the postal dog

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts History Fact #776 | Updated: April 16, 2024

At first, Owney stayed close to the Post Office, but he soon began riding mail wagons to the train depot and then rode the railway mail car down to New York City and back to Albany. As Owney traveled farther, his friends at the Albany Post Office feared he might wander too far away to find his way home again, so they purchased a leather collar with a tag reading “Owney, Post Office, Albany, N.Y.” Railway mail clerks recorded Owney’s travels by attaching metal baggage tags to his collar to identify the rail lines he traveled on. He was soon weighed down by his collection of tags. Postmaster General John Wanamaker presented Owney with a little jacket to distribute their weight more evenly.

Owney took to traveling farther and staying away longer, eventually visiting Mexico, Canada, Japan, China, Singapore, Suez, Algiers, and the Azores. While being shown off to an Ohio newspaper reporter, Owney bit the clerk who was handling him. The Postmaster had Owney put down on June 11, 1897. Railway mail clerks chipped in money to have a taxidermist preserve Owney’s body, which then was sent to postal headquarters in Washington, D.C., for exhibit. In 1911, the Post Office Department entrusted Owney to the Smithsonian Institution. Since 1993, Owney has been part of the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Owney was honored on a commemorative U.S. postage stamp.

   

Postmaster

LINCOLN

On May 7, 1833, 24-year-old Abraham Lincoln was appointed Postmaster of New Salem, Illinois. Lincoln served until the office was closed May 30, 1836.

* | Tags: History Map facts Fact #774 | Updated: April 16, 2024

Two postmasters became U.S. Presidents later in their careers — Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman. Truman held the title and signed papers but immediately turned the position and its pay over to an assistant. Lincoln was the only President who served as a Postmaster.

On May 7, 1833, 24-year-old Lincoln was appointed Postmaster of New Salem, Illinois. Lincoln served until the office was closed May 30, 1836. Postal records show that Lincoln earned $55.70 as Postmaster in fiscal year 1835 and $19.48 for one quarter’s work in fiscal year 1837. Besides his pay, Lincoln, as Postmaster, could send and receive personal letters free and get one daily newspaper delivered free. Mail arrived once a week. If an addressee did not collect the mail, as was the custom, Lincoln delivered it personally — usually carrying the mail in his hat. Even then, Lincoln was “Honest Abe.”

Reportedly, when the New Salem Post Office was discontinued, Lincoln had a balance of $16 or $18, which he took with him to Springfield, Illinois. Months later, while his close friend Dr. A. G. Henry was visiting, a Post Office agent called on Lincoln to collect the funds. Henry knew that Lincoln had been in financial straits and feared that he might not have the money. Henry recalled that just as he was about to offer Lincoln a loan, the future President:

“. . . went over to his trunk at his boarding house, and returned with an old blue sock with a quantity of silver and copper coin tied up in it. Untying the sock, he poured the contents on the table and proceeded to count the coin, which consisted of such silver and copper pieces as the country-people were then in the habit of using in paying postage. On counting it up there was found the exact amount, to a cent, of the draft, and in the identical coin which had been received. He never used, under any circumstances, trust funds.”

Mr.

ZIP

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts History Fact #754 | Updated: April 16, 2024

With the introduction of the nine-digit ZIP Code, or ZIP+4, in 1983, Mr. ZIP went into partial retirement. His image still was printed on the selvage of some sheets of stamps, but that practice ended in January 1986. Mr. ZIP still is used occasionally by the Postal Service.

1994

launched usps.com

The Postal Service launched usps.com in 1994.

* | Tags: History Fact #738 | Updated: April 16, 2024
1847

First Stamps

1847 - U.S. postage stamps issued

* | Tags: History Fact #733 | Updated: April 16, 2024

The Post Office Department issued its first postage stamps on July 1, 1847. Previously, letters were taken to a Post Office, where the postmaster would note the postage in the upper right corner. The postage rate was based on the number of sheets in the letter and the distance it would travel. Postage could be paid in advance by the writer, collected from the addressee on delivery, or paid partially in advance and partially upon delivery.

On March 3, 1847, Congress authorized United States postage stamps. The first general issue postage stamps went on sale in New York City, July 1, 1847. One, priced at five cents, depicted Benjamin Franklin. The other, a ten-cent stamp, pictured George Washington. Clerks used scissors to cut the stamps from pregummed, nonperforated sheets. Only Franklin and Washington appeared on stamps until 1856, when a five-cent stamp honoring Thomas Jefferson was issued. A two-cent Andrew Jackson stamp was added in 1863. George Washington has appeared on more U.S. postage stamps than any other person.

1775

First PMG

1775 - Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress

* | Tags: History Fact #732 | Updated: April 16, 2024
FIRST

female PMG

The first female Postmaster General was Megan J. Brennan, Washington, DC, 2015.

* | Tags: History People Fact #704 | Updated: April 16, 2024

FIRST

African American on stamp

The first African American on a stamp was Booker T. Washington, 1940.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #702 | Updated: April 16, 2024

FIRST

Native American on a stamp

The first Native American on a stamp was Pocahontas, 1907.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #700 | Updated: April 16, 2024

FIRST

Hispanic American on a stamp

The first Hispanic American on a stamp was Adm. David Farragut, 1903.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #699 | Updated: April 16, 2024

FIRST

African American Inspector

The first known African American postal inspector was Isaac Myers, Baltimore, MD, 1870.

* | Tags: History Inspection service People Fact #697 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Isaac Myers served from 1870 until 1879.  During his employment he helped solve a number of notorious cases.

1st AMERICAN

woman on a stamp

The first American woman on a U.S. postage stamp was Martha Washington, 1902.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #696 | Updated: April 17, 2024
FIRST

African American Carrier

The first known African American mail carrier was James B. Christian, Richmond, VA, 1869.

* | Tags: History People Fact #695 | Updated: April 17, 2024
FIRST KNOWN

African American Postmaster

The first known African American Postmaster was James W. Mason, Sunny Side, AR, 1867.

* | Tags: History People Fact #692 | Updated: April 17, 2024
FIRST KNOWN

female mail carrier

The first known female mail carrier was Sarah Black, mail messenger, Charlestown, MD, 1845.

* | Tags: History People Fact #689 | Updated: April 17, 2024
First Female

postmaster

The first known female Postmaster in the United Colonies was Mary Katherine Goddard, Baltimore, MD, 1775.

* | Tags: History People Fact #688 | Updated: April 17, 2024
USPS

An American History

The United States Postal Service has a storied history, familiar to many. Our history is the history of America. Detailed information about the Postal Service and its history can be found in "The United States Postal Service: An American History" at https://about.usps.com/who/profile/history/.

* | Tags: History Fact #687 | Updated: April 17, 2024

https://about.usps.com/who/profile/history/ 

1860

African American Postmasters

African Americans worked as Postmasters, clerks and carriers beginning in the 1860s — 100 years before the Civil Rights era brought wider opportunity in the American workplace.

* | Tags: History People Fact #686 | Updated: April 17, 2024
WOMEN

postmasters

Women served as Postmasters in this country more than a century before they won the right to vote.

* | Tags: History People Fact #685 | Updated: April 17, 2024
Flags

at Post Offices

Post Offices were first required to display the American flag in 1885 to comply with Treasury Department instructions. On Nov. 7, 2019, Post Offices were required to fly the Prisoner of War (POW)-Missing In Action (MIA) flag on the same days that the American flag is flown.

* | Tags: History Fact #639 | Updated: April 17, 2024

In 2023, the Postal Service replaced 36,998 U.S. flags and 43,199 POW-MIA flags.

 

 

History

of the USPS

The history of the Postal Service is a large story set on a broad canvas. It is intertwined with the history of America, and it provides a lens from which to observe the evolution of the United States. This story is told beautifully in The United States Postal Service: An American History (also known as Pub. 100).

* | Tags: History Fact #638 | Updated: April 17, 2024

You can find the publication at about.usps.com/publications/pub100.pdf.

 

POSTAL

BULLETIN

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 Postal Service functions. It has never missed a deadline since its inception in 1880.

* | Tags: Fun facts History Fact #637 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Go to https://about.usps.com/resources/postal-bulletin.htm to browse past issues.

PREPAID

postage stamps

People once had to pay for the postage on the letters they received. That resulted in a lot of mail being returned because the recipient didn't want to spend the money. Prepaid postage stamps, introduced in 1847, solved this problem.

* | Tags: History Stamps Fact #378 | Updated: April 19, 2024
1,400

historic buildings

More than 1,400 postal-owned buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

* | Tags: History Marketing/Retail Fact #345 | Updated: April 19, 2024

Our History is the History of America

They are treasures. But they’re not hidden. Many of our buildings are historical properties. Inside -and outside – many of our Post Offices, you’ll find impressive works of art that reflect the stories of our people and our nation.

1893

first woman on stamp

The first woman to appear on a U.S. postage stamp was Queen Isabella in 1893. The first American woman honored on stamp was Martha Washington in 1902.

* | Tags: History Stamps Fact #337 | Updated: April 19, 2024

The support of Queen Isabella was essential to Columbus’s expedition. Though the subject of the 1-dollar stamp suggests that Queen Isabella sold her jewels to fund Columbus’s expedition, in reality the Queen offered limited financial support. However, her decision to endorse Columbus’s voyage in the name of Spain made the discovery of the “New World” possible.

The portrait of Queen Isabella on the 4-dollar stamp is the first portrait of a woman to appear on a US postage stamp.

First Female

Postal Inspectors, 1971

In 1971, the Postal Inspection Service became one of the first federal law enforcement organizations to hire female agents.

* | Tags: History Inspection service Fact #327 | Updated: April 19, 2024

 

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service enforces federal laws, prevents crimes and keeps customers, employees and the mail safe. It’s one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the nation. These days our Inspectors remain on the heels of the criminals — targeting theft, disrupting drug traffickers, warning about fraud scams and more.

The Inspection Service does this with approximately 2,400 employees, including nearly 1,300 Postal Inspectors, roughly 500 uniformed Postal Police Officers and 600 professional, technical and administrative support personnel ensuring America’s confidence in the U.S. Mail.

 

 

 

USPS

Operation Santa

USPS Operation Santa. This 111-year-old program relies solely on random acts of kindness and the generosity of strangers. In 2023, millions of people visited USPSOperationSanta.com. Generous customers adopted letters written to Santa and fulfilled wishes, helping families and children experience the magic of the season when they might not have otherwise, one letter to Santa at a time.

* | Tags: Common good History Fact #284 | Updated: April 22, 2024

For more information, go to USPSOperationSanta.com.

In 2020, the program expanded nationwide for the first time. More than 1 million people visited USPSOperationSanta.com. Generous customers shipped more than 21,000 packages to the families and children who wrote to Santa to help them have a happier holiday.

In 2019, the digital program continued to expand. Letters were accepted letters from 17 locations, and the letters could be adopted by anyone in the country. Gifts could be shipped from more than 19,000 post offices.

In 2018, the Postal Service expanded the 2017 pilot test to include 6 additional cities (Austin, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Washington DC – and Puerto Rico and Chico, CA (site of wildfires). Letters from those locations populated the website and people in those locations only could adopt them and ship from one dedicated post office per city.

In 2017, the Postal Service launched a pilot test of a digital Operation Santa option for residents of New York City. People living in New York City, within proximity of the James A. Farley building could adopt letters online and ship gifts from JAF. Puerto Rico was also added after the hurricanes that year.


HISTORY

In 1912, Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to respond to letters addressed to Santa Claus and the program came to be known as Operation Santa.

In the 1940s, mail volume increased to the point where the Post Office Department invited charitable organizations and corporations to participate for philanthropic purposes —providing written responses and small gifts.

Through the years, the program has taken on a life of its own and today cities around the country have established successful programs with recognized charitable organizations, major corporations, local businesses and postal employees making a major difference in the lives of the children from coast to coast.

Innovation

in the mail

The Postal Service is always striving to increase the impact, excitement and value of mail. We’ve always embraced new technologies and innovation. We’re firmly focused on improving the mailing experience.

People, machines, vehicles, technology — it’s an impressive feat to get that card from grandma or that package from your favorite online store to your doorstep.

Postal

Vehicle Service Operations

Postal Vehicle Service (PVS) operations includes more than 10,000 uniformed motor vehicle and tractor trailer operators. The PVS fleet includes 2,202 cargo vans, 1,880 tractors and nearly 3,200 trailers. Commuting within a 170-mile radius of their facility, PVS drivers travel more than 167 million miles each year.

* | Tags: Innovation People Fact #1107 | Updated: April 15, 2024
EPPS

25,000 packages/hour

The Enhanced Package Processing System (EPPS) sorts 25,000 packages per hour.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #831 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Automated

delivery unit sorter

The Automated Delivery Unit Sorter (ADUS) automates the sorting of smaller packages - up to 30 pounds - at a rate of 3,400 pieces per hour with a sort accuracy of 99.95 percent.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #824 | Updated: April 15, 2024

 

daily news

LINK

Link, a daily news site for Postal Service employees, is available on any computer with internet access. The content is produced by a team of writers and editors based at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. Additional contributions come from postal employees across the nation. The site is updated with new articles, photos, graphics and videos each weekday.

* | Tags: Innovation People Fact #803 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Regular features include “Heroes’ Corner,” a column about employees who perform heroic deeds, and “On the Move,” a weekly roundup of employees who’ve received new appointments or recognition.

Employees with postal email addresses receive a Link email each weekday with links to the most recent stories. The team also produces an end-of-week Link Recap email with stories readers might have missed, along with Link Extra emails for breaking news.

Link mobile is a mobile-friendly version of the Link site. Link mobile has all the news you’ll find on the desktop version of Link, except it’s formatted for easy reading on handheld smart devices. Employees and others can receive a weekly Link mobile email by subscribing at www.usps.link.

LABEL

BROKER

This service solves the ever-increasing problem of customers conducting business online and not being able to print shipping labels.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #725 | Updated: April 16, 2024

With Label Broker, customers can get a shipping label on their mobile device, in the form of a matrix barcode, directly from the merchant. The customer uses the code to print a label at a Post Office or on a printer connected to usps.com. Label Broker is also the foundational technology that has enabled USPS Operation Santa to expand and evolve in a digital format.

For more information, go to www.usps.com/business/label-broker.htm

6 million

pounds of mail fly each day

The Postal Service uses 140 domestic airports to fly six million pounds of mail each day.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail One day Fact #708 | Updated: April 16, 2024
$1.6 billion

International Mail revenue

International Mail is a $1.6 billion business for the Postal Service.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #707 | Updated: April 16, 2024
1.9 billion

miles driven in 2023

To move mail using surface transportation, the Postal Service drove more than 1.9 billion miles in 2023 — more than 23.8 million trips in more than 25,000 box trucks and tractor-trailers daily.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #701 | Updated: April 16, 2024

 

 

12.5 BILLION

external email messages

In 2023, the Postal Service email gateway system delivered more than 12.5 billion external email messages to postal customers and business partners. Roughly 82 percent of these were automated messages from Informed Delivery. The Postal Service also delivered 107 million notification emails related to COVID-19 test kits.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #698 | Updated: April 16, 2024
5 MILLION

emails blocked monthly

On average, more than 5 million emails from external senders are blocked each month to protect the Postal Service network.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #694 | Updated: April 17, 2024

With one of the largest corporate email systems, the Postal Service handled more than 3.6 million legitimate emails a day in 2023, delivered to more than 195,000 email accounts. But some emails are blocked due to:

110

petabytes of storage

The Postal Service has 110 petabytes of storage capacity — equivalent to playing more than 244,000 years of songs on an MP3 player, with no repeats.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #690 | Updated: April 17, 2024
DATA

driven

The Postal Service uses data not only to ensure its operations run smoothly, but also to help businesses make better use of the mail. Its mission is to provide the right information to the right people in real time using advanced technology.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #654 | Updated: April 17, 2024
TECHNOLOGY

enabled

The Postal Service uses a vast network of people and advanced technologies to collect, process, transport and accurately deliver the nation’s mail in an increasingly digital world.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #653 | Updated: April 17, 2024
PATENTLY

the best

Patently the best. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued more than 500 patents to the United States Postal Service.

* | Tags: Fun facts Innovation Fact #647 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Leaving

our mark

Leaving a mark! The Postal Service has 385 domestic and 1,000 foreign trademark registrations.

* | Tags: Fun facts Innovation Fact #646 | Updated: April 17, 2024
MASTER

of our domains

Master of our domains. The Postal Service owns 1,958 internet domains.

* | Tags: Fun facts Innovation Fact #645 | Updated: April 17, 2024
75.9 billion

seamless mail pieces

The Seamless Acceptance program automates the payment verification of commercial mailings by leveraging electronic documentation (eDoc), Intelligent Mail barcodes and information collected from both handheld sampling devices and mail processing equipment scans. In 2023, the Seamless Acceptance program accepted 75.9 billion mail pieces from 2,511 mailers.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #545 | Updated: April 17, 2024
1,121

eInduction mailers

The eInduction process simplifies mail induction by using eDoc, Intelligent Mail container barcodes and handheld scanner technologies to verify the payment and preparation of commercial mail containers. In 2023, 1,121 mailers took advantage of eInduction.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #544 | Updated: April 17, 2024
44.1 billion

in EPS revenue

The Enterprise Payment System (EPS) allows customers to pay for and manage their use of Postal Service products and services online, using an integrated single payment account. In 2023, EPS collected $44.1 billion in revenue, which is a 4.5 percent increase over 2022.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #543 | Updated: April 17, 2024
$16.6 B

in eVS revenue

The Electronic Verification System (eVS) allows high-volume package mailers and package consolidators to document and pay for postage, including extra service fees, using electronic manifest files. In 2023, eVS processed 4.8 billion packages from 3,225 customers and collected $16.6 billion in revenue, representing an 8 percent increase in revenue from 2022.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #541 | Updated: April 17, 2024
$114 million

in short-paid revenue

The Automated Package Verification (APV) program automates the detection and collection of postage due for mail pieces with insufficient postage using automated package processing equipment. The APV program collected $114.2 million in short-paid revenue in 2023.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #540 | Updated: April 17, 2024
STAMP

printing technology

The Postal Service releases several stamps each year that highlight innovative stamp printing technologies.

* | Tags: Innovation Stamps Fact #512 | Updated: April 17, 2024

In 2023, those stamps were:

 

Systems

At Work

The daily operations performed by the Postal Service depend on an astonishing network of people and technologies that collect, transport, process and deliver the nation’s mail.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #396 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Systems at Work

The daily operations performed by the Postal Service depend on an astonishing network of people and technologies that collect, transport, process and deliver the nation’s mail. The Postal Service operates hundreds of mail processing and distribution centers across the country. The employees in these facilities accept, sort and dispatch the nation’s mail.

The Postal Service operates more than 8,500 pieces of automated equipment that process and sort U.S. Mail.

10

million trays

Tray sorting machines sort more than 10 million trays per day through conveyor systems.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #394 | Updated: April 17, 2024
8,500 Pieces

of processing equipment

The Postal Service operates more than 8,500 pieces of automated equipment that processes and sorts nearly half the world’s mail.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #384 | Updated: April 17, 2024
285,000

Mobile Delivery Devices

Mobile Delivery Devices (MDDs) provide real-time scanning for daily delivery operations. There are more than 285,000 MDDs in use nationwide.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #374 | Updated: April 19, 2024
48,000

point-of-sale terminals

Retail Systems Software (RSS point-of-sale software) is used to serve customers with their mailing and shipping needs at 20,459 locations. RSS is currently installed on 48,223 window service, military, business partner and self-service kiosk systems.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #365 | Updated: April 19, 2024
3.6 million

corporate emails daily

With one of the largest corporate email systems, the Postal Service handled more than 3.6 million legitimate emails a day in 2023, delivered to more than 195,000 email accounts.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #338 | Updated: April 19, 2024
OUTER SPACE

postage stamp

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Innovation Stamps Fact #332 | Updated: April 19, 2024

The “PlutoNot Yet Explored” 29-cent stamp was part of a set of solar system stamps that were issued in 1991.

Connecting

USPS and mailers

Postal Customer Councils (PCCs). These Postal Service-affiliated networks connect business mailers with local Post Office leadership to develop more effective and profitable mailings through training and information sharing. Since the 1960s, PCCs have been the go-to local resource for helping mailers learn, innovate and build their business. More information can be found at postalpro.usps.com/pcc.

* | Tags: Innovation People Fact #324 | Updated: April 19, 2024

Find more information at postalpro.usps.com/pcc.

Mailers

providing technical advice

Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC). Representing select mailing associations, this group works to enhance the value of mail by providing technical advice and recommendations to the Postal Service. More information can be found at postalpro.usps.com/mtac.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail People Fact #323 | Updated: April 19, 2024
36,000

stamps postmarked per hour

The Advanced Facer Canceller System positions letter mail and postmarks stamps at 36,000 pieces per hour.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #314 | Updated: April 22, 2024

The daily operations performed by the Postal Service depend on an astonishing network of people and technologies that collect, transport, process and deliver the nation’s mail.

200

miles of conveyors

The Postal Service is one of the largest material-handling systems in the world for moving mail. There are more than 200 miles of conveyors within postal facilities.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #313 | Updated: April 22, 2024
Optical

character recognition

The Postal Service is the world leader in optical character recognition technology, with machines reading nearly 98 percent of all hand-addressed letters and 99.5 percent of machine-printed mail.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #312 | Updated: April 22, 2024
TRACKING

Intelligent Mail

A unique Intelligent Mail barcode identifies individual pieces of mail, trays, sacks and containers to track them through the postal processing system from induction to delivery.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #292 | Updated: April 22, 2024
EDDM

more than $5B in revenue

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). This online service began in 2011 and is designed to help business mailers direct their Marketing Mail pieces to customers in a select neighborhood, city or ZIP Code. Since 2011, more than 33 billion pieces of EDDM have been sent, resulting in $5 billion in revenue. Nearly 3 billion pieces were sent in 2023, equating to $700 million in revenue.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #291 | Updated: April 22, 2024

The USPS Printer Directory provides customers free access to local print, design and mail preparation services for Every Door Direct Mail and other direct mail products through a searchable database and mapping program. More than 700 listings populate the directory that serves small and medium-size businesses nationwide.

60 MILLION

Informed Delivery Customers

With Informed Delivery service, you can digitally preview your incoming mail and manage your packages from a computer, tablet or mobile device. More than 60 million customers have enrolled since it was launched in 2017.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #203 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Informed Delivery provides eligible residential customers with a digital preview of their household’s incoming mail scheduled to arrive soon. Users can view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of incoming letter-sized mail pieces (not the inside contents) via email or an online dashboard.

Informed Delivery also allows customers to track packages delivered by the Postal Service and see when they will be delivered.

For more information and to sign up, go to usps.com/informeddelivery.

443,700

handheld scanners

The Postal Service communications network supports and maintains more than 157,681 workstations, 41,000 server computers, 52,689 printers, 27,909 smartphones, 640 tablets and 443,700 handheld scanners.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #38 | Updated: April 22, 2024

The Postal Service communications network contains more than 249,000 provisioned subnets that connect more than 2 million devices

165

robotics systems

The Postal Service has the largest gantry robotic fleet in the world using 165 robotics systems to move 300,000 mail trays per day.

* | Tags: Innovation Fact #36 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Security.

Law Enforcement. Preserving the Trust.

We protect you and your mail.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the federal law enforcement, crime prevention, and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service. Founded by Benjamin Franklin and established on August 7, 1775, the Inspection Service is one of the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agencies.

POSTAL

INSPECTION SERVICE

Enforcing the law. Established Aug. 7, 1775. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service enforces federal laws, prevents crimes and keeps customers, employees and the mail safe.

* | Tags: Inspection service Fact #815 | Updated: April 15, 2024

It’s one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the nation. Postal Inspectors remain on the heels of the criminals — targeting theft, disrupting drug traffickers, warning about fraud scams and more.

The Inspection Service does this with approximately 2,400 employees — including nearly 1,300 Postal Inspectors, roughly 500 uniformed Postal Police Officers and 600 professional, technical and administrative support personnel — all working to ensure America’s confidence in the U.S. Mail.

FIRST

African American Inspector

The first known African American postal inspector was Isaac Myers, Baltimore, MD, 1870.

* | Tags: History Inspection service People Fact #697 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Isaac Myers served from 1870 until 1879.  During his employment he helped solve a number of notorious cases.

Delivering

Justice to Opioid Dealers

The Inspection Service is committed to using the most advanced technology to stop fentanyl traffickers.

* | Tags: Inspection service Fact #684 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Delivering Justice to Opioid Dealers

The Inspection Service is committed to using the most advanced technology to stop fentanyl traffickers. Postal inspectors use data, forensics and citizens’ tips to protect Americans and apprehend opioid dealers who send illegal drugs through the mail.

2,001

arrests

In 2023, the Inspection Service reported 2,001 arrests pertaining to illegal narcotics-related cases.

* | Tags: Inspection service Fact #674 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Keeping America’s postal system secure — 2023 stats

Operation

Protect Veterans

In 2023, Postal Inspectors continued their partnership with AARP through Operation Protect Veterans to raise awareness of scams that target military veterans.

* | Tags: Inspection service Fact #330 | Updated: April 19, 2024

Additional information on Operation Protect Veterans

1,566

assets seized

The Inspection Service seized 1,566 assets worth $402 million.

* | Tags: Inspection service Fact #329 | Updated: April 19, 2024
First Female

Postal Inspectors, 1971

In 1971, the Postal Inspection Service became one of the first federal law enforcement organizations to hire female agents.

* | Tags: History Inspection service Fact #327 | Updated: April 19, 2024

 

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service enforces federal laws, prevents crimes and keeps customers, employees and the mail safe. It’s one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the nation. These days our Inspectors remain on the heels of the criminals — targeting theft, disrupting drug traffickers, warning about fraud scams and more.

The Inspection Service does this with approximately 2,400 employees, including nearly 1,300 Postal Inspectors, roughly 500 uniformed Postal Police Officers and 600 professional, technical and administrative support personnel ensuring America’s confidence in the U.S. Mail.

 

 

 

1 million

items examined

In 2023, more than 1 million items, including 378 terabytes of data, were examined by forensic scientists and specialists in the Postal Inspection Service’s Forensic Laboratory Services. 2,262 suspects identified.

* | Tags: Inspection service Fact #326 | Updated: April 19, 2024
Emmy Award

winning TV show

The Inspection Service uses various media platforms to educate the American public about scams and how to avoid them. A weekly TV series, The Inspectors, was based on real-life Postal Inspection Service cases. 104 episodes of the Emmy Award-winning scripted drama ran for four seasons on network television, reaching more than 200 million viewers.

* | Tags: Inspection service Fact #325 | Updated: April 19, 2024
EDUCATION

for consumers

National Consumer Protection Week. During the Federal Trade Commission’s annual awareness campaign, the Postal Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service provide customers with education, tools and information to combat identity theft and mail fraud.

* | Tags: Inspection service People Fact #317 | Updated: April 22, 2024

More information can be found at

Sanctity

and Security of the US Mail

The Postal Inspection Service works aggressively and takes all practicable measures to ensure the sanctity and security of the U.S. Mail.

* | Tags: Inspection service Fact #301 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Keeping America’s postal system secure — 2023 stats

 

 

1,804

suspicious mail incidents

Postal Inspectors responded to and investigated 1,804 suspicious mail incidents in 2023.

* | Tags: Inspection service Fact #299 | Updated: April 22, 2024
$600,000

recovered

In 2023, Postal Inspectors recovered more than $600,000 in misappropriated or stolen mail transport equipment.

* | Tags: Inspection service Fact #298 | Updated: April 22, 2024
we're

secure

We're secure. U.S. Mail is protected by more than 200 federal laws enforced by the Postal Inspection Service, one of the nation's oldest law enforcement agencies.

* | Tags: Inspection service Top facts Fact #88 | Updated: April 22, 2024
4,728

arrests

In 2023 Postal Inspectors reported 4,728 arrests and 4,103 convictions related to postal crimes, primarily those involving mail theft, assaults and robberies of employees, mail fraud and prohibited mailings.

* | Tags: Inspection service Fact #41 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Keeping America’s postal system secure — 2023 stats

Map facts

Discover fun and interesting geographic facts about the U.S. Postal Service!

Largest ZIP

in Contiguous US

The largest ZIP Code in the contiguous U.S. is 89049, Tonopah, NV, at 10,821 square miles.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #971 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Twenty-four of the top 25 largest ZIP Codes in the country are located in Alaska – ranging from the largest, 99734, at more than 30,000 square miles to 99741 at 7,600 square miles. The 14th spot goes to Nevada, 89049.

Largest ZIP

in continental US

The largest ZIP Code in the continental U.S. is 99734, Prudhoe Bay, AK, at 30,683 square miles.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #969 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Twenty-four of the top 25 largest ZIP Codes in the country are located in Alaska – ranging from the largest, 99734, at more than 30,000 square miles to 99741 at 7,600 square miles. The 14th spot goes to Nevada, 89049.

USPS

Headquarters

The U.S. Postal Service Headquarters building is located in Washington, D.C., just a few blocks south of the National Mall.

* | Tags: History Map facts Fact #800 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Postal Service Headquarters, 1973–Present

Vlastimil Koubek designed the present Postal Service Headquarters building, which is located in Washington, D.C., just a few blocks south of the National Mall.

Post Office Department Headquarters, 1899–1934

This granite building on Pennsylvania Avenue, not far from the White House, was the last to simultaneously house both postal headquarters and the Washington, D.C., Post Office. Horse-drawn wagons brought mail to the building in its early years. By the time postal Headquarters moved to a larger building, almost all mail was carried by motor vehicles.

Postmaster

LINCOLN

On May 7, 1833, 24-year-old Abraham Lincoln was appointed Postmaster of New Salem, Illinois. Lincoln served until the office was closed May 30, 1836.

* | Tags: History Map facts Fact #774 | Updated: April 16, 2024

Two postmasters became U.S. Presidents later in their careers — Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman. Truman held the title and signed papers but immediately turned the position and its pay over to an assistant. Lincoln was the only President who served as a Postmaster.

On May 7, 1833, 24-year-old Lincoln was appointed Postmaster of New Salem, Illinois. Lincoln served until the office was closed May 30, 1836. Postal records show that Lincoln earned $55.70 as Postmaster in fiscal year 1835 and $19.48 for one quarter’s work in fiscal year 1837. Besides his pay, Lincoln, as Postmaster, could send and receive personal letters free and get one daily newspaper delivered free. Mail arrived once a week. If an addressee did not collect the mail, as was the custom, Lincoln delivered it personally — usually carrying the mail in his hat. Even then, Lincoln was “Honest Abe.”

Reportedly, when the New Salem Post Office was discontinued, Lincoln had a balance of $16 or $18, which he took with him to Springfield, Illinois. Months later, while his close friend Dr. A. G. Henry was visiting, a Post Office agent called on Lincoln to collect the funds. Henry knew that Lincoln had been in financial straits and feared that he might not have the money. Henry recalled that just as he was about to offer Lincoln a loan, the future President:

“. . . went over to his trunk at his boarding house, and returned with an old blue sock with a quantity of silver and copper coin tied up in it. Untying the sock, he poured the contents on the table and proceeded to count the coin, which consisted of such silver and copper pieces as the country-people were then in the habit of using in paying postage. On counting it up there was found the exact amount, to a cent, of the draft, and in the identical coin which had been received. He never used, under any circumstances, trust funds.”

SHIP

mail delivery

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #772 | Updated: April 16, 2024

This is the J.W. Westcott II approaching a Canadian freighter on the Detroit River

Post Office

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #770 | Updated: April 16, 2024

STAMPS

in caves

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Stamps Fact #768 | Updated: April 16, 2024

The consistent, year-round temperatures and humidity levels in the caves allow the stamps to be maintained in mint-quality condition. The underground facility also keeps the inventory and employees safe from snow, flooding, winds and tornadic activity common in the Midwest.

MULE TRAIN

delivery

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #310 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Got mules? The most unusual mode of delivery used by the Postal Service is the mule train.

Since the 1930s, mules have been carrying mail and goods to the Havasupai people located inside the Grand Canyon.

Most common

city names

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).

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #309 | Updated: April 22, 2024

33 mile long

Main Street

The longest Main Street in the country is located in Island Park, ID, and is 33 miles long.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #308 | Updated: April 22, 2024

21,569

Main streets

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. The longest Main Street, located in Island Park, ID, is 33 miles long.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #307 | Updated: April 22, 2024
116,628

deliveries from one office

The Post Office location with the most possible street deliveries is Heritage Station in San Antonio, TX (78245, 78250, 78251, 78253) — with 116,628 deliveries.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #279 | Updated: April 22, 2024
Coldest

Post Office

Our Post Office in Utqiagvik, North Slope of Alaska -- formerly Barrow (99723) and Wainwright (99782) -- experiences the coldest temperatures.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #276 | Updated: April 22, 2024
shortest

delivery route

The shortest delivery route is rural route 012 in Woodinville, WA (98072) — 2.45 miles daily, delivering to 1,147 boxes.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #151 | Updated: April 22, 2024
longest

delivery route

The longest delivery route is rural route 001 in Sidney, MT (59270) — 195.2 miles daily, delivering to 305 boxes.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #150 | Updated: April 22, 2024
12345

easiest to remember

The easiest to remember ZIP Code is 12345, a unique ZIP Code for General Electric in Schenectady, NY.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #149 | Updated: April 22, 2024
HIGHEST

ZIP Code

The highest numbered ZIP Code is 99950 in Ketchikan, AK.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #148 | Updated: April 22, 2024
LOWEST

ZIP Code number

The lowest ZIP Code number is 00501, unique for the Internal Revenue Service in Holtsville, NY.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #147 | Updated: April 22, 2024
dock-to-dock

delivery

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #146 | Updated: April 22, 2024
Post Office

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #143 | Updated: April 22, 2024

2ND OLDEST

Post Office

The second oldest Post Office location is in Castine, ME, from 1833.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #141 | Updated: April 22, 2024
Oldest

Post Office

The Hinsdale, NH, Post Office (03451) has been located in the same building since 1816.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #140 | Updated: April 22, 2024
LARGEST

retail space

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Marketing/Retail Fact #139 | Updated: April 22, 2024
smallest

POST OFFICE

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #138 | Updated: April 22, 2024

There is a sign beside the office that reads:

OCHOPEE POST OFFICE

Considered to be the smallest post office in the United States, this building was formerly an irrigation pipe shed belonging to the J.T. Gaunt Company tomato farm. It was hurriedly pressed into service by postmaster Sidney Brown after a disastrous night fire in 1953 burned Ochopee’s general store and post office. The present structure has been in continuous use ever since – as both a post office and ticket station for Trailway’s bus lines – and still services residents in a three-county area, including deliveries to Seminole and Miccosukee Indians living in the region. Daily business often includes requests from tourists and stamp collectors the world over for the famed Ochopee postmark. The property was acquired by the Wooten Family in 1992.

— Collier County Board of County Commissioners

Stuck

in the middle

The most centered Post Office within the 48 contiguous states is located in Lebanon, KS.

* | Tags: Map facts Fact #137 | Updated: April 22, 2024
MOST CENTRAL

Post Office of them all

The most centered Post Office within all 50 states is located in Belle Fourche, SD.

* | Tags: Map facts Fact #136 | Updated: April 22, 2024
Northmost

Utqiagvik, AK

The northernmost post office location within the 50 states is in Utqiagvik, AK (formerly Barrow).

* | Tags: Map facts Fact #134 | Updated: April 22, 2024
NORTHERNMOST

within 48 states

The northernmost Post Office location within the 48 contiguous states is in Angle Inlet, MN.

* | Tags: Map facts Fact #133 | Updated: April 22, 2024
SOUTHMOST

within the 50 states

The southernmost Post Office location within the 50 states is located in Naalehu, HI.

* | Tags: Map facts Fact #132 | Updated: April 22, 2024
SOUTHMOST

within 48 states

The southernmost Post Office location within the 48 contiguous states is located in Key West, FL.

* | Tags: Map facts Fact #131 | Updated: April 22, 2024
EASTMOST

within the 50 states

The easternmost Post Office location in the 50 states is in Lubec, ME.

* | Tags: Map facts Fact #130 | Updated: April 22, 2024
WESTMOST

within the 50 states

The westernmost Post Office location in the 50 states is in Adak, AK.

* | Tags: Map facts Fact #129 | Updated: April 22, 2024
WESTERNMOST

in the 48 contiguous states

The westernmost Post Office location in the 48 contiguous states is in La Push, WA.

* | Tags: Map facts Fact #128 | Updated: April 22, 2024
WETTEST

U.S. Post Office

The wettest Post Office is at Mt. Waialeale, near the Kapaa Post Office in Hawaii.

* | Tags: Map facts Fact #127 | Updated: April 22, 2024
LOWEST

U.S. Post Office

The lowest U.S. Post Office is located in Death Valley, CA (92328), at 282 feet below sea level. This is also the driest and hottest Post Office location.

* | Tags: Map facts Fact #126 | Updated: April 22, 2024
HIGHEST

U.S. Post Office

The highest Post Office in the United States is located in Alma, CO (80420), at 10,578 feet above sea level.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Fact #125 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Priority: YOU

Our priority is and always will be delivering great service that’s affordable and dependable. When you ship with Priority Mail, you get free shipping supplies, flat-rate options, insurance included, USPS Tracking and easy online tools. It all adds up to one of the best values in the shipping business!

 

Ride-on

Postal vehicle

KID FUN. A USPS-licensed ride-on vehicle from Kid Trax was honored in 2021 as one of the best toys of the year by Good Housekeeping and Parents magazines, as well as Toy Insider.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #1095 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Fashion

Collaboration

The Postal Service is routinely ranked among the most admired and trusted brands in the nation, so it’s no surprise that businesses want to incorporate postal images and logos into their products.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #1094 | Updated: April 15, 2024

In 2022, the skateboarding shoe and apparel company Vans unveiled a collection of licensed clothing, including sneakers, a cuffed beanie and a pullover hoodie.

Finger

printing services

The Postal Service is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to offer fingerprinting services at more than 80 locations nationwide.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #1093 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Fingerprinting services are offered to customers applying for an identity history summary check, which is required for adoptions, visas and other purposes. After fingerprints are taken, the information is sent to the FBI for processing.

fingerprinting services
fingerprinting services
DMV

kiosks in CA

Californians can now complete many tasks that would normally require a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles by using self-service kiosks at four Postal Service locations throughout the state.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #1092 | Updated: April 15, 2024

With just a few taps, customers can complete many common DMV tasks through the kiosks, including renewing vehicle registration, receiving a replacement registration card or sticker, and obtaining a vehicle record.

Informed

GREETINGS

Informed Greetings blends the traditional “mail moment” with a modern digital experience by integrating a personalized digital message into the recipient’s Informed Delivery email when they send a physical greeting card.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #1091 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Customers can also select artwork that complements their card from hundreds of designs in six different categories.

New

Vehicles

NGDVs. Next Generation Delivery Vehicles. The Postal Service has placed an order for 106,000 vehicles with Oshkosh Defense. The order includes 66,000 electric vehicles, making it one of the largest electric fleets in the nation.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #1089 | Updated: April 15, 2024

NGDV with safety features

WE

deliver!

The Postal Service moves mail by planes, hovercraft, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, bicycles, mules and feet. #WeDeliverForYou

* | Tags: Fun facts Marketing/Retail Fact #641 | Updated: April 15, 2024
LABEL

BROKER

This service solves the ever-increasing problem of customers conducting business online and not being able to print shipping labels.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #725 | Updated: April 16, 2024

With Label Broker, customers can get a shipping label on their mobile device, in the form of a matrix barcode, directly from the merchant. The customer uses the code to print a label at a Post Office or on a printer connected to usps.com. Label Broker is also the foundational technology that has enabled USPS Operation Santa to expand and evolve in a digital format.

For more information, go to www.usps.com/business/label-broker.htm

GLOBAL

bargain

The price of a First-Class postage stamp is a global bargain.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #714 | Updated: April 16, 2024

.POST

Group

The Postal Service is one of 37 members of the .POST Group. The UPU’s .POST Group, created in 2013, is a trusted internet domain, established exclusively for the global postal sector and sponsored by the UPU.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #713 | Updated: April 16, 2024

The mission of the .POST Group is to support posts in providing their customers with reliable and secure web services.

Express Mail

Service Cooperative

The Postal Service is a member of the Express Mail Service (EMS) Cooperative. The EMS Cooperative was created by the UPU in 1999 and consists of 174 postal operators. It allows access to more than 180-member countries to provide EMS — the UPU’s fastest cross-border international postal product.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #712 | Updated: April 16, 2024

The Postal Service is a member of the Express Mail Service (EMS) Cooperative.

 

Kahala

Post Group

The Postal Service is one of 11 members of the Kahala Post Group (KPG).

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #711 | Updated: April 16, 2024

The Postal Service is one of 11 members of the Kahala Posts Group (KPG).

INT'L

post corporation

The Postal Service is one of 25 members of the International Post Corporation (IPC). The IPC is a cooperative association of posts in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #710 | Updated: April 16, 2024

The Postal Service is one of 25 members of the International Post Corporation (IPC). The IPC is a cooperative association of posts in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

UNIVERSAL

Postal Union

The Postal Service is a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a United Nations' organization.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #709 | Updated: April 16, 2024

The Postal Service is a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a United Nations’ organization.

6 million

pounds of mail fly each day

The Postal Service uses 140 domestic airports to fly six million pounds of mail each day.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail One day Fact #708 | Updated: April 16, 2024
$1.6 billion

International Mail revenue

International Mail is a $1.6 billion business for the Postal Service.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #707 | Updated: April 16, 2024
known

GLOBALLY

The Postal Service works closely with posts around the world to improve service and increase its annual share of the international shipping market.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #706 | Updated: April 16, 2024
Post Office

in a shipping container

The Power, MT (59468) Post Office, built in 2019, is the first Post Office built using a shipping container.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #666 | Updated: April 17, 2024
Unstaffed

24/7 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.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #640 | Updated: April 17, 2024

In 2023, nearly 8,000 customers used this convenient office.

$114 million

in short-paid revenue

The Automated Package Verification (APV) program automates the detection and collection of postage due for mail pieces with insufficient postage using automated package processing equipment. The APV program collected $114.2 million in short-paid revenue in 2023.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #540 | Updated: April 17, 2024
Top 5

usps.com pages

The top five pages, on usps.com in 2023, in order of popularity, were USPS Tracking, Informed Delivery, The Postal Store, COVID-19 tests and Post Office Locator.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #514 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Top five pages on com, in order of popularity, in 2023:

  1. USPS Tracking — 944 million users
  2. Informed Delivery — 110 million users
  3. The Postal Store — 40 million users
  4. COVID-19 tests — 32 million users          
  5. Post Office Locator — 31 million users
Sunday

package delivery

Our Sunday best. The Postal Service continues to expand Sunday package delivery to meet the shipping needs of customers shopping online.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #402 | Updated: April 17, 2024
Priority

YOU!

Priority: YOU! The Postal Service priority is and always will be serving you. With free shipping supplies, flat-rate options, $50 worth of free insurance, improved tracking and easy online tools, Priority Mail offers you one of the best values in the shipping business.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #400 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Here’s more you should know:

Priority Mail Express offers you overnight delivery to many U.S. locations with up to $100 of insurance coverage included with most shipments.

With Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and envelopes, there’s no need to weigh or calculate postage of packages up to 70 pounds.

Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes, envelopes and labels, as well as customs pouches for international mailing products are available at no charge. They can be ordered at usps.com and delivered to your door or picked up at a local Post Office.

Priority Mail is the environmental choice — boxes are recyclable!

 

 

28.6 million

Click-N-Ship labels

Click-N-Ship allows customers to print shipping labels with postage for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail International, Priority Mail Express International and First-Class Package International Service. Click-N-Ship customers created more than 28.6 million labels, which generated nearly $400 million in sales in 2023.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #397 | Updated: April 17, 2024
3.1 billion

visits to USPS mobile site

The USPS Mobile app was downloaded more than 5.9 million times from the Apple App and Google Play stores.  In 2023, there were more than 3.1 billion visits to usps.com from a mobile device.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #380 | Updated: April 17, 2024

The Post Office on your phone. The Postal Service app — USPS Mobile — is available on Apple and Android platforms. Some of the most popular functions currently available on usps.com — USPS Tracking, Informed Delivery, Post Office Locator, ZIP Code Lookup, The Postal Store, calculating postage, holding mail, requesting Package Pickup and ordering shipping supplies — are now available on most smartphones.

6 million

USPS mobile app downloads

There's a Post Office on your phone. In 2023, the Postal Service app -- USPS Mobile -- was downloaded nearly 6 million times from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #377 | Updated: April 19, 2024

The free usps.com iPhone app was launched in 2009.

Some of the most popular functions currently available on usps.com — Informed Delivery, USPS Tracking, Post Office Locator, ZIP Code Lookup, calculating postage, holding mail, requesting Package Pickup and ordering shipping supplies — are now available on most smart phones.

In 2023, there were more than 3.1 billion visits to usps.com from a mobile device.

48,000

point-of-sale terminals

Retail Systems Software (RSS point-of-sale software) is used to serve customers with their mailing and shipping needs at 20,459 locations. RSS is currently installed on 48,223 window service, military, business partner and self-service kiosk systems.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #365 | Updated: April 19, 2024
$268 million

in SSK revenue

In 2023, the Postal Service received $267.9 million in revenue from 2,788 postal self-service kiosks (SSK).

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Fact #364 | Updated: April 19, 2024
8.6 million

passport applications

The Postal Service accepted 8.6 million passport applications in 2023.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Fact #346 | Updated: April 19, 2024

Postal Service revenue from passport applications in 2023 was $387.2 million.

 

1,400

historic buildings

More than 1,400 postal-owned buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

* | Tags: History Marketing/Retail Fact #345 | Updated: April 19, 2024

Our History is the History of America

They are treasures. But they’re not hidden. Many of our buildings are historical properties. Inside -and outside – many of our Post Offices, you’ll find impressive works of art that reflect the stories of our people and our nation.

Ranked 52nd

if a private sector company

If it were a private sector company, the Postal Service would rank 52nd in the 2023 Fortune 500. In the 2023 Global Fortune 500 list, the Postal Service ranked 159th.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #344 | Updated: April 19, 2024
Mailers

providing technical advice

Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC). Representing select mailing associations, this group works to enhance the value of mail by providing technical advice and recommendations to the Postal Service. More information can be found at postalpro.usps.com/mtac.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail People Fact #323 | Updated: April 19, 2024
NPF

annual industry conference

National Postal Forum (NPF). The annual mailing industry conference provides educational and networking opportunities for thousands of business customers. Attendees learn about the latest mail trends and innovations through more than 100 workshops and seminars. More information can be found at npf.org.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #322 | Updated: April 19, 2024

More information can be found at npf.org.

Military

Care Kit

The Postal Service is the best way to ship directly to APO, FPO and DPO locations. The Military Care Kit contains six Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes — two large-sized and four medium-sized — six address labels, one roll of tape and six customs forms, and can be ordered at no charge at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-610-8734.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail People Fact #318 | Updated: April 22, 2024

The Military Care Kit — and the special pricing offered for APO, FPO and DPO destinations — makes it easy to send care packages to loved ones stationed overseas.

usps.com/shop

BRANDED

mailpieces

With Picture Permit Indicia, commercial mailers can modify the permit imprint indicia on First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail with a corporate logo, brand image or trademark to raise brand awareness and market products and services.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #294 | Updated: April 22, 2024
EDDM

more than $5B in revenue

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). This online service began in 2011 and is designed to help business mailers direct their Marketing Mail pieces to customers in a select neighborhood, city or ZIP Code. Since 2011, more than 33 billion pieces of EDDM have been sent, resulting in $5 billion in revenue. Nearly 3 billion pieces were sent in 2023, equating to $700 million in revenue.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #291 | Updated: April 22, 2024

The USPS Printer Directory provides customers free access to local print, design and mail preparation services for Every Door Direct Mail and other direct mail products through a searchable database and mapping program. More than 700 listings populate the directory that serves small and medium-size businesses nationwide.

33,904

total retail offices

The Postal Service has 33,904 retail offices across the United States. This number includes contract locations. The Postal Service has 31,123 postal-managed retail offices.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Yearly facts Fact #223 | Updated: April 23, 2024
31,123

Post Offices

There are 31,123 Postal Service-managed retail offices in the United States. Including contract offices, there are 33,904 offices.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #226 | Updated: April 23, 2024
665.3 M

customer visits

The Postal Service had 665.3 million customer visits in 2023.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #221 | Updated: April 23, 2024
60 MILLION

Informed Delivery Customers

With Informed Delivery service, you can digitally preview your incoming mail and manage your packages from a computer, tablet or mobile device. More than 60 million customers have enrolled since it was launched in 2017.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail Fact #203 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Informed Delivery provides eligible residential customers with a digital preview of their household’s incoming mail scheduled to arrive soon. Users can view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of incoming letter-sized mail pieces (not the inside contents) via email or an online dashboard.

Informed Delivery also allows customers to track packages delivered by the Postal Service and see when they will be delivered.

For more information and to sign up, go to usps.com/informeddelivery.

LARGEST

retail space

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Marketing/Retail Fact #139 | Updated: April 22, 2024
we are

a retail giant

We’re a retail giant. The Postal Service has the nation’s largest retail network (33,904) — larger than Subway (20,603), Dollar General (19,572), Starbucks (16,370) and McDonald’s (13,541).

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Top facts Fact #98 | Updated: April 22, 2024
Postal

money orders

In 2023, the Postal Service issued 63.3 million money orders, which equates to roughly more than 209,000 money orders each day.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Fact #81 | Updated: April 22, 2024

During 2022, the Postal Service issued 66.4 million money orders.

$1.1 million

online sales

In 2023, stamp and retail sales at The Postal Store, the official online Post Office, totaled nearly $403 million.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #78 | Updated: April 22, 2024
9.9

million visits

usps.com is one of the most frequently visited government sites with 1.3 billion visits in 2023 — averaging more than 7.3 million visitors each day.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #73 | Updated: April 22, 2024
FREE

package pickup

With Package Pickup, you can go online to request Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail packages be picked up at your home or offices as part of your mail carrier’s regular route — for free.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Fact #34 | Updated: April 22, 2024
1.3 billion

usps.com visits

In 2023, usps.com recorded 1.3 billion visits -- averaging more than 7 million visitors each day. It's one of the most frequently visited government sites.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Fact #28 | Updated: April 22, 2024
$412 million

online sales

In 2023, stamp and retail sales at The Postal Store, the official online Post Office, totaled nearly $403 million.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Fact #29 | Updated: April 22, 2024

One Day

in the Postal Service

Just One Day in the Life of the U.S. Postal Service . . . by the Numbers

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.

 

 

7 million

people visit usps.com daily

On average, 7 million people visit usps.com each day.

* | Tags: One day Fact #1053 | Updated: April 15, 2024
93,709

address changes daily

On average, the Postal Service processes more than 93,000 address changes each day.

* | Tags: One day Fact #1052 | Updated: April 15, 2024
6,600

USPS Fleet of Feet

There are 6,600 carriers who deliver mail entirely on foot. These carriers are our Fleet of Feet.

* | Tags: One day Fact #1051 | Updated: April 15, 2024
23.5 million

packages processed daily

On average, the Postal Service processes and delivers 23.5 million packages each day.

* | Tags: One day Fact #1050 | Updated: April 15, 2024
3,684

mail pieces per second

On average, the Postal Service processes 3,684 pieces of mail each second.

* | Tags: One day Fact #1049 | Updated: April 15, 2024
221,000

mail pieces per minute

The Postal Service processes an average of 221,000 pieces of mail each minute.

* | Tags: One day Fact #1048 | Updated: April 15, 2024
318 million

mail pieces processed daily

The Postal Service processed and delivered an average of 318 million mail pieces daily in 2023.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #844 | Updated: April 15, 2024
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.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #840 | Updated: April 15, 2024

6 million

pounds of mail fly each day

The Postal Service uses 140 domestic airports to fly six million pounds of mail each day.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail One day Fact #708 | Updated: April 16, 2024
5,629

addresses added daily

The Postal Service added an average of 5,629 addresses to its delivery network every day in 2023.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #524 | Updated: April 17, 2024
152 M pieces

of mail processed daily

On average, the Postal Service processes and delivers 152.3 million pieces of First-Class Mail each day.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #523 | Updated: April 17, 2024
13.3 million

pieces processed each hour

On average, the Postal Service processes 318 million mail pieces each day, 13.3 million each hour, 221,000 each minute and 3,684 each second.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #522 | Updated: April 17, 2024

383.3 M       —    number of mail pieces processed and delivered each day.

16 M              —    average number of mail pieces processed each hour.

226,000      —    average number of mail pieces processed each minute.

4,437            —    average number of mail pieces processed each second.

$5.8 million

per day

In 2023, the Postal Service paid $2.03 billion in salaries and benefits every two-week pay period. On average, the Postal Service pays $5.8 million in salaries and benefits daily.

* | Tags: One day Fact #69 | Updated: April 22, 2024
$258.9

million in revenue daily

The Postal Service receives, on average, $258.9 million in revenue each day.

* | Tags: Fun facts One day Fact #47 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Serving

communities.

The Postal Service is part of the fabric of the nation with employees making a difference in every community across the country. Here’s a look at some of the programs and causes our organization supports.

 

Famous Postal Employees – PDF

Postal

Vehicle Service Operations

Postal Vehicle Service (PVS) operations includes more than 10,000 uniformed motor vehicle and tractor trailer operators. The PVS fleet includes 2,202 cargo vans, 1,880 tractors and nearly 3,200 trailers. Commuting within a 170-mile radius of their facility, PVS drivers travel more than 167 million miles each year.

* | Tags: Innovation People Fact #1107 | Updated: April 15, 2024
Serving

Those Who Serve

It’s not just any letter or package. It’s a picture of the kids. It’s a handmade scarf. It’s a favorite candy bar. It’s a piece of home. The Postal Service helps make sure these very special letters and packages make it to those who serve in the military — and their families with them — wherever they are around the globe. It's our honor to serve those who serve!

* | Tags: History People Fact #1106 | Updated: April 15, 2024
Postal

Proud!

We are Postal Proud! The Postal Proud program provides individuals at every level of the organization with an opportunity to share why they are proud to be a postal employee.

* | Tags: People Top facts Fact #662 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Thousands of employees in nearly 400 unique jobs have been recognized since its inception in 2018. #PostalProud

Famous

postal employees

Heads of industry. Hollywood legends. Sports heroes. Singers. Painters. Writers. And a couple presidents. All were postal employees before they became household names! Thirteen have even been featured on stamps.

* | Tags: Fun facts People Fact #869 | Updated: April 15, 2024

 

Singing

mailman

John Prine, singer and songwriter, was a letter carrier in Maywood, IL, 1964-1969.

* | Tags: Fun facts People Fact #746 | Updated: April 15, 2024

daily news

LINK

Link, a daily news site for Postal Service employees, is available on any computer with internet access. The content is produced by a team of writers and editors based at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. Additional contributions come from postal employees across the nation. The site is updated with new articles, photos, graphics and videos each weekday.

* | Tags: Innovation People Fact #803 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Regular features include “Heroes’ Corner,” a column about employees who perform heroic deeds, and “On the Move,” a weekly roundup of employees who’ve received new appointments or recognition.

Employees with postal email addresses receive a Link email each weekday with links to the most recent stories. The team also produces an end-of-week Link Recap email with stories readers might have missed, along with Link Extra emails for breaking news.

Link mobile is a mobile-friendly version of the Link site. Link mobile has all the news you’ll find on the desktop version of Link, except it’s formatted for easy reading on handheld smart devices. Employees and others can receive a weekly Link mobile email by subscribing at www.usps.link.

POSTAL

diversity

The Postal Service workforce is one of the most diverse in the nation. We look like America. That is our strength.

* | Tags: People Fact #705 | Updated: April 16, 2024

The Postal Service is one of the most diverse organizations in the nation.

FIRST

female PMG

The first female Postmaster General was Megan J. Brennan, Washington, DC, 2015.

* | Tags: History People Fact #704 | Updated: April 16, 2024

FIRST

African American on stamp

The first African American on a stamp was Booker T. Washington, 1940.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #702 | Updated: April 16, 2024

FIRST

Native American on a stamp

The first Native American on a stamp was Pocahontas, 1907.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #700 | Updated: April 16, 2024

FIRST

Hispanic American on a stamp

The first Hispanic American on a stamp was Adm. David Farragut, 1903.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #699 | Updated: April 16, 2024

FIRST

African American Inspector

The first known African American postal inspector was Isaac Myers, Baltimore, MD, 1870.

* | Tags: History Inspection service People Fact #697 | Updated: April 17, 2024

Isaac Myers served from 1870 until 1879.  During his employment he helped solve a number of notorious cases.

1st AMERICAN

woman on a stamp

The first American woman on a U.S. postage stamp was Martha Washington, 1902.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #696 | Updated: April 17, 2024
FIRST

African American Carrier

The first known African American mail carrier was James B. Christian, Richmond, VA, 1869.

* | Tags: History People Fact #695 | Updated: April 17, 2024
FIRST KNOWN

African American Postmaster

The first known African American Postmaster was James W. Mason, Sunny Side, AR, 1867.

* | Tags: History People Fact #692 | Updated: April 17, 2024
FIRST KNOWN

female mail carrier

The first known female mail carrier was Sarah Black, mail messenger, Charlestown, MD, 1845.

* | Tags: History People Fact #689 | Updated: April 17, 2024
First Female

postmaster

The first known female Postmaster in the United Colonies was Mary Katherine Goddard, Baltimore, MD, 1775.

* | Tags: History People Fact #688 | Updated: April 17, 2024
1860

African American Postmasters

African Americans worked as Postmasters, clerks and carriers beginning in the 1860s — 100 years before the Civil Rights era brought wider opportunity in the American workplace.

* | Tags: History People Fact #686 | Updated: April 17, 2024
WOMEN

postmasters

Women served as Postmasters in this country more than a century before they won the right to vote.

* | Tags: History People Fact #685 | Updated: April 17, 2024
73,000

Veterans

We're patriotic. The Postal Service employs nearly 73,000 military veterans, making it one of the largest employers of veterans in the country.

* | Tags: People Top facts Fact #660 | Updated: April 17, 2024

The Postal Service has also issued more than 140 stamps honoring the nation’s military history, including the Service Cross Medals stamps.

EMPOWERED

workforce

The Postal Service encourages employees to take advantage of self-paced career development by offering 24,000 online courses and 28 educational partnerships offering discounts towards degree and certification programs.

* | Tags: People Fact #652 | Updated: April 17, 2024
we're

DIVERSE

The Postal Service is diverse. The strength of the Postal Service lies in its amazing diversity. Historically underrepresented racial groups account for 53 percent of the workforce.

* | Tags: People Top facts Fact #580 | Updated: April 17, 2024

we're

socially responsible

We're socially responsible. The Postal Service supports communities nationwide. These efforts include facilitating the nation’s largest one-day food drive, working with customers to prevent dog bites, educating customers on consumer protection, and delivering holiday magic through USPS Operation Santa.

* | Tags: People Top facts Fact #563 | Updated: April 17, 2024
$2 billion

every 2 weeks

In 2023, the Postal Service paid $2.03 billion every two weeks in salaries and benefits.

* | Tags: People Size & scope Fact #363 | Updated: April 19, 2024
75th

Postmaster General

Louis DeJoy is the 75th Postmaster General of the United States.

* | Tags: People Size & scope Fact #348 | Updated: April 19, 2024

JUDICIOUS

resolving disputes

The Postal Service's Judicial Officer Department is a court system that conducts hearings and neutrally resolves a wide variety of disputes involving postal matters. Its independent decisions involve contract disputes, employee debt disputes, mail disputes and mail fraud, among many other areas.

* | Tags: People Fact #340 | Updated: April 19, 2024

 

 

Connecting

USPS and mailers

Postal Customer Councils (PCCs). These Postal Service-affiliated networks connect business mailers with local Post Office leadership to develop more effective and profitable mailings through training and information sharing. Since the 1960s, PCCs have been the go-to local resource for helping mailers learn, innovate and build their business. More information can be found at postalpro.usps.com/pcc.

* | Tags: Innovation People Fact #324 | Updated: April 19, 2024

Find more information at postalpro.usps.com/pcc.

Mailers

providing technical advice

Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC). Representing select mailing associations, this group works to enhance the value of mail by providing technical advice and recommendations to the Postal Service. More information can be found at postalpro.usps.com/mtac.

* | Tags: Innovation Marketing/Retail People Fact #323 | Updated: April 19, 2024
About

that motto

The U.S. Postal Service has no official motto. Nope, it’s not this: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” But we certainly appreciate the sentiment.

* | Tags: People Fact #321 | Updated: April 19, 2024

About that motto…

Those words are engraved on the front of the James A. Farley Post Office in NYC, set in stone by the architectural firm that built it. The phrase is taken from an ancient book by the Greek historian Herodotus and refers to messengers in the Persian Empire.

The phrase comes from book 8, paragraph 98, of The Persian Wars by Herodotus, a Greek historian. During the wars between the Greeks and Persians (500-449 B.C.), the Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers who served with great fidelity.

The popular belief that Herodotus’s description of the Persian postal service is about the U.S. Postal Service is a tribute to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have delivered the mail reliably and dependably, through all conditions, for centuries.

FIRST

Postmaster General

The Post Office Department was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. His annual salary was $1,000. Before 1971, the PMG was a Cabinet member.

* | Tags: People Fact #320 | Updated: April 19, 2024
1980

MPSA formed

The Military Postal Service Agency was formed in 1980, consolidating the postal operations of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The Department of Defense designated the Secretary of the Army as the single military mail manager.

* | Tags: People Fact #319 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Military and Diplomatic Mail in brief.

Military

Care Kit

The Postal Service is the best way to ship directly to APO, FPO and DPO locations. The Military Care Kit contains six Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes — two large-sized and four medium-sized — six address labels, one roll of tape and six customs forms, and can be ordered at no charge at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-610-8734.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail People Fact #318 | Updated: April 22, 2024

The Military Care Kit — and the special pricing offered for APO, FPO and DPO destinations — makes it easy to send care packages to loved ones stationed overseas.

usps.com/shop

EDUCATION

for consumers

National Consumer Protection Week. During the Federal Trade Commission’s annual awareness campaign, the Postal Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service provide customers with education, tools and information to combat identity theft and mail fraud.

* | Tags: Inspection service People Fact #317 | Updated: April 22, 2024

More information can be found at

56

countries

The Military Postal Service (MPS) provides service in 56 countries. The MPS operates 1,624 military postal operations comprised of 386 land- and sea-based military Post Offices, 328 land- and sea-based unit mailrooms, 291 mobile units, 591 official mail centers and 28 mail processing facilities worldwide.

* | Tags: People Fact #296 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Military and Diplomatic Mail in brief

73,000

military veterans

We’re patriotic. The Postal Service employs nearly 73,000 military veterans, making it one of the largest employers of veterans in the country.

* | Tags: People Stamps Fact #288 | Updated: April 22, 2024

The organization has also issued more than 140 stamps honoring the nation’s military history, including the Service Cross Medals stamps.

Mail is

BIG business

The U.S. Postal Service is the core of the nation’s $1.6 trillion mailing industry, which employs more than 7.3 million people.

* | Tags: People Size & scope Fact #108 | Updated: April 22, 2024

The U.S. Postal Service is the core of the nation’s $1.58 trillion mailing industry, which employs more than 7.3 million people.*

These types of mail brought in most of the $78.2 billion in postal operating revenue in 2023:

We have

heroes among us

We have heroes among us. Postal employees regularly go beyond the call of duty to protect the lives of the people they serve, including elderly or disabled customers through the Carrier Alert Program.

* | Tags: People Top facts Fact #97 | Updated: April 22, 2024

In 2023, the Postal Service recognized 128 heroic employees.

6,500

fleet of feet

More than 74,000 letter carriers drive to neighborhoods and then deliver the mail on foot. More than 6,500 carriers deliver mail entirely on foot -- the USPS Fleet of Feet. Mail is also delivered by bicycle on select routes in Arizona and Florida, reducing emissions and saving fuel.

* | Tags: Common good People Fact #72 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Size and Scope

The U.S. Postal Service delivers more mail than any other post in the world, serving nearly 167 million addresses in the country — covering every state, city and town. Everyone living the United States and its territories has access to postal products and services and pays the same for a First-Class Mail postage stamp, regardless of location.

12.6 million

business delivery points

In 2023, the Postal Service delivered to 12.6 million business addresses.

* | Tags: Size & scope Fact #1056 | Updated: April 15, 2024
154 million

residential delivery points

In 2023, the Postal Service delivered to 154 million residential addresses.

* | Tags: Size & scope Fact #1055 | Updated: April 15, 2024
1.7 million

new delivery points added

In 2023, 1.7 million new delivery points were added in the country.

* | Tags: Size & scope Fact #1054 | Updated: April 15, 2024
22,873

leased properties

The Postal Service has 22,873 leased properties.

* | Tags: Size & scope Fact #664 | Updated: April 17, 2024
8,500

owned properties

The Postal Service owns 8,500 properties around the country.

* | Tags: Size & scope Fact #663 | Updated: April 17, 2024
$268 million

in SSK revenue

In 2023, the Postal Service received $267.9 million in revenue from 2,788 postal self-service kiosks (SSK).

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Fact #364 | Updated: April 19, 2024
$2 billion

every 2 weeks

In 2023, the Postal Service paid $2.03 billion every two weeks in salaries and benefits.

* | Tags: People Size & scope Fact #363 | Updated: April 19, 2024
44%

of the world's mail

Forty-four percent of the world's mail volume is processed and delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

* | Tags: Size & scope Fact #362 | Updated: April 19, 2024
75th

Postmaster General

Louis DeJoy is the 75th Postmaster General of the United States.

* | Tags: People Size & scope Fact #348 | Updated: April 19, 2024

8.6 million

passport applications

The Postal Service accepted 8.6 million passport applications in 2023.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Fact #346 | Updated: April 19, 2024

Postal Service revenue from passport applications in 2023 was $387.2 million.

 

$78.2 B

operating revenue

The Postal Service had $78.2 billion in operating revenue in 2023.

* | Tags: Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #190 | Updated: April 22, 2024
525,469

career employees

There were 525,469 career employees in 2023. The number of non-career employees was 115,000.

* | Tags: Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #238 | Updated: April 24, 2024
116.2 B

total mail volume

Total mail volume in 2023 was 116.2 billion.

* | Tags: Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #236 | Updated: April 22, 2024
11.8 billion

First-Class single piece

In 2023, the Postal Service recorded 11.8 billion in First-Class single piece mail volume. First-Class single piece mail is mail bearing postage stamps — bill payments, personal correspondence, cards and letters, etc.

* | Tags: Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #234 | Updated: April 23, 2024
166.6 M

delivery points

The Postal Service prides itself on going the last mile to deliver the US Mail. In 2023, the Postal Service delivered mail and packages to 166.6 million delivery points nationwide.

* | Tags: Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #227 | Updated: April 23, 2024
28.3 million

address changes

In 2023, the Postal Service processed 28.3 million address changes.

* | Tags: Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #225 | Updated: April 23, 2024
31,123

Post Offices

There are 31,123 Postal Service-managed retail offices in the United States. Including contract offices, there are 33,904 offices.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #226 | Updated: April 23, 2024
665.3 M

customer visits

The Postal Service had 665.3 million customer visits in 2023.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #221 | Updated: April 23, 2024
$11.6 B

retail revenue

In 2023, Postal Service retail revenue totaled $11.6 billion.

* | Tags: Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #219 | Updated: April 23, 2024
Mail is

BIG business

The U.S. Postal Service is the core of the nation’s $1.6 trillion mailing industry, which employs more than 7.3 million people.

* | Tags: People Size & scope Fact #108 | Updated: April 22, 2024

The U.S. Postal Service is the core of the nation’s $1.58 trillion mailing industry, which employs more than 7.3 million people.*

These types of mail brought in most of the $78.2 billion in postal operating revenue in 2023:

246,503

postal vehicles

The Postal Service has more than 246,503 vehicles, one of the largest civilian fleets in the world.

* | Tags: Size & scope Yearly facts Fact #93 | Updated: April 23, 2024
Postal

money orders

In 2023, the Postal Service issued 63.3 million money orders, which equates to roughly more than 209,000 money orders each day.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Fact #81 | Updated: April 22, 2024

During 2022, the Postal Service issued 66.4 million money orders.

1.3 billion

usps.com visits

In 2023, usps.com recorded 1.3 billion visits -- averaging more than 7 million visitors each day. It's one of the most frequently visited government sites.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Fact #28 | Updated: April 22, 2024
$412 million

online sales

In 2023, stamp and retail sales at The Postal Store, the official online Post Office, totaled nearly $403 million.

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Size & scope Fact #29 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Postage

stamps

PEOPLE, PLACES, POSTAGE

Postage stamps are miniature works of art designed to reflect the American experience. Stamps highlight heroes, history, milestones, achievements and natural wonders. There’s a story behind every stamp.

Learn more.

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, includes the world’s largest gallery dedicated to philately. For more information, go to postalmuseum.si.edu.

50 States

on Stamps

All 50 states have been commemorated on postage stamps. They are each honored in 50 year increments from their inception date.

* | Tags: Stamps Fact #861 | Updated: April 15, 2024

STAMPS

in caves

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Map facts Stamps Fact #768 | Updated: April 16, 2024

The consistent, year-round temperatures and humidity levels in the caves allow the stamps to be maintained in mint-quality condition. The underground facility also keeps the inventory and employees safe from snow, flooding, winds and tornadic activity common in the Midwest.

FIRST

African American on stamp

The first African American on a stamp was Booker T. Washington, 1940.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #702 | Updated: April 16, 2024

FIRST

Native American on a stamp

The first Native American on a stamp was Pocahontas, 1907.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #700 | Updated: April 16, 2024

FIRST

Hispanic American on a stamp

The first Hispanic American on a stamp was Adm. David Farragut, 1903.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #699 | Updated: April 16, 2024

1st AMERICAN

woman on a stamp

The first American woman on a U.S. postage stamp was Martha Washington, 1902.

* | Tags: History People Stamps Fact #696 | Updated: April 17, 2024
1907

first Native American stamp

The first Native American featured on a U.S. postage stamp was Pocahontas in 1907.

* | Tags: Stamps Fact #623 | Updated: April 17, 2024

STAMP

printing technology

The Postal Service releases several stamps each year that highlight innovative stamp printing technologies.

* | Tags: Innovation Stamps Fact #512 | Updated: April 17, 2024

In 2023, those stamps were:

 

PREPAID

postage stamps

People once had to pay for the postage on the letters they received. That resulted in a lot of mail being returned because the recipient didn't want to spend the money. Prepaid postage stamps, introduced in 1847, solved this problem.

* | Tags: History Stamps Fact #378 | Updated: April 19, 2024
1893

first woman on stamp

The first woman to appear on a U.S. postage stamp was Queen Isabella in 1893. The first American woman honored on stamp was Martha Washington in 1902.

* | Tags: History Stamps Fact #337 | Updated: April 19, 2024

The support of Queen Isabella was essential to Columbus’s expedition. Though the subject of the 1-dollar stamp suggests that Queen Isabella sold her jewels to fund Columbus’s expedition, in reality the Queen offered limited financial support. However, her decision to endorse Columbus’s voyage in the name of Spain made the discovery of the “New World” possible.

The portrait of Queen Isabella on the 4-dollar stamp is the first portrait of a woman to appear on a US postage stamp.

LICK

no more

Stick the landing! In 1992, pressure-sensitive self-adhesive stamps rolled out nationally. By 2005, 98 percent of all stamps were this type. Today, all stamps are sticky.

* | Tags: Stamps Fact #336 | Updated: April 19, 2024
ALWAYS

and forever

The Postal Service’s first Forever stamp — the Liberty Bell — was issued on April 12, 2007, dedicated at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. By July of that year, 1.2 billion stamps had been sold.

* | Tags: Stamps Fact #335 | Updated: April 19, 2024

Forever stamps are purchased at the current First-Class Mail postage price and remain valid for full postage no matter how prices change.

STAMPS

supporting causes

Semipostal stamps are First-Class Mail stamps sold at a price above the cost of a regular stamp to raise funds for designated causes. The dollar amounts below represent the funds we have transferred to the causes listed.

* | Tags: Stamps Fact #334 | Updated: April 19, 2024

Supporting causes in the public interest.

Semipostal stamps are First-Class Mail stamps sold at a price above the cost of a regular stamp to raise funds for designated causes. The dollar amounts below represent the funds the Postal Service has transferred to the causes listed.

13.7 billion

postage stamps printed

In 2023, 13.68 billion U.S. postage stamps were printed, and $3.96 billion in stamps and stamp product orders were received by mail, telephone at 1-800-STAMP-24 and online at usps.com/stamps.

* | Tags: Stamps Fact #333 | Updated: April 19, 2024

Postage stamps are miniature works of art designed to reflect the American experience. Stamps highlight heroes, history, milestones, achievements, and natural wonders. There’s a story behind every stamp.

OUTER SPACE

postage stamp

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.

* | Tags: Fun facts Innovation Stamps Fact #332 | Updated: April 19, 2024

The “PlutoNot Yet Explored” 29-cent stamp was part of a set of solar system stamps that were issued in 1991.

73,000

military veterans

We’re patriotic. The Postal Service employs nearly 73,000 military veterans, making it one of the largest employers of veterans in the country.

* | Tags: People Stamps Fact #288 | Updated: April 22, 2024

The organization has also issued more than 140 stamps honoring the nation’s military history, including the Service Cross Medals stamps.

68

CENTS

For 68 cents, anyone can send a letter, regardless of geographic location, to anywhere in the United States and its territories.

* | Tags: Stamps Fact #90 | Updated: April 17, 2024
$95 million

breast cancer research

The Breast Cancer Research semipostal has raised $95 million since 1998. More than 1 billion Breast Cancer Research stamps have been sold.

* | Tags: Stamps Fact #32 | Updated: April 22, 2024

Supporting causes in the public interest.

Semipostal stamps are First-Class Mail stamps sold at a price above the cost of a regular stamp to raise funds for designated causes. The dollar amounts below represent the funds the Postal Service has transferred to the causes listed.

Top Facts

you should know about the U.S. Postal Service

THE TOP FACTS TO KNOW ABOUT THE POSTAL SERVICE

18

We're tech-savvy. The Postal Service uses a vast network of people and advanced technologies to collect, process, transport and accurately deliver the nation's mail and packages in an increasingly digital world.

* | Tags: Top facts Fact #1172 | Updated: April 15, 2024
17

We’re social. The Postal Service is the original social network, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t active on the other, newer social networks.

* | Tags: Top facts Fact #1087 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Facebook – facebook.com/usps

Instagram – instagram.com/uspostalservice

LinkedIn – linkedin.com/company/usps

Pinterest – pinterest.com/uspsstamps

Podcast – usps-mailin-it.simplecast.com/

Postal Blog – uspsblog.com

Threads – threads.net/@uspostalservice

X – x.com/usps

YouTube – youtube.com/usps

16

We are Postal Proud! The Postal Proud program provides individuals at every level of the organization with an opportunity to share why they are proud to be a postal employee.

* | Tags: People Top facts Fact #662 | Updated: April 15, 2024

Thousands of employees in nearly 400 unique jobs have been recognized since its inception in 2018. #PostalProud

15

We're all heart. The Postal Service is the heart of the $1.58 trillion United States mailing industry, which employs more than 7.3 million people.

* | Tags: Top facts Fact #906 | Updated: April 15, 2024
14

We're global. The Postal Service processes and delivers 44 percent of the world’s mail and is constantly innovating to make customer experiences better.

* | Tags: Top facts Fact #904 | Updated: April 15, 2024
13

We're patriotic. The Postal Service employs nearly 73,000 military veterans, making it one of the largest employers of veterans in the country.

* | Tags: People Top facts Fact #660 | Updated: April 17, 2024

The Postal Service has also issued more than 140 stamps honoring the nation’s military history, including the Service Cross Medals stamps.

12

We’re resilient. The Postal Service has a long and storied history of creating new technologies for the American people — enabling faster, more efficient communication and safer, more secure delivery of correspondence and merchandise.

* | Tags: Top facts Fact #651 | Updated: April 17, 2024

For nearly two and a half centuries, the Postal Service has adapted to meet the evolving needs of its customers.

11

We’re customer focused. The Postal Service is committed to providing a positive customer experience.

* | Tags: Top facts Fact #649 | Updated: April 17, 2024

With nearly 34,000 retail locations, more than 7 million daily visits on usps.com and serving 153.9 million residences and 12.6 million businesses typically six days a week, the Postal Service is committed to providing a positive customer experience.

10

We're universal. Everyone living in the United States and its territories (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the N. Mariana Islands) has access to postal products and services and pays the same for a First-Class Mail postage stamp regardless of the sender’s location.

* | Tags: Top facts Fact #648 | Updated: April 17, 2024
9

We're essential. The Postal Service provides a vital public service, is a part of the nation’s critical infrastructure and was created by an act of Congress.

* | Tags: Top facts Fact #600 | Updated: April 17, 2024

The statute that created the Postal Service begins with the following sentence: “The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by an Act of Congress, and supported by the people.” 39 U.S.C. §101(a).

8

The Postal Service is diverse. The strength of the Postal Service lies in its amazing diversity. Historically underrepresented racial groups account for 53 percent of the workforce.

* | Tags: People Top facts Fact #580 | Updated: April 17, 2024

7

We're socially responsible. The Postal Service supports communities nationwide. These efforts include facilitating the nation’s largest one-day food drive, working with customers to prevent dog bites, educating customers on consumer protection, and delivering holiday magic through USPS Operation Santa.

* | Tags: People Top facts Fact #563 | Updated: April 17, 2024
6

We have heroes among us. Postal employees regularly go beyond the call of duty to protect the lives of the people they serve, including elderly or disabled customers through the Carrier Alert Program.

* | Tags: People Top facts Fact #97 | Updated: April 22, 2024

In 2023, the Postal Service recognized 128 heroic employees.

5

We're greener than you think. The Postal Service is working hard to put its stamp on a greener tomorrow for the organization and the communities we serve.

* | Tags: Common good Top facts Fact #599 | Updated: April 22, 2024

For more information on the Postal Service’s sustainability efforts and initiatives, go to Sustainability – What We Do – About.usps.com

 

4

We’re a retail giant. The Postal Service has the nation’s largest retail network (33,904) — larger than Subway (20,603), Dollar General (19,572), Starbucks (16,370) and McDonald’s (13,541).

* | Tags: Marketing/Retail Top facts Fact #98 | Updated: April 22, 2024
3

We compete and collaborate. The Postal Service both competes and collaborates with the private sector. UPS and FedEx pay the Postal Service to deliver their ground packages, and the Postal Service pays UPS and FedEx for air transportation.

* | Tags: Top facts Fact #92 | Updated: April 22, 2024
2

We're secure. U.S. Mail is protected by more than 200 federal laws enforced by the Postal Inspection Service, one of the nation's oldest law enforcement agencies.

* | Tags: Inspection service Top facts Fact #88 | Updated: April 22, 2024
And most importantly...
1

We're self-funding. The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

* | Tags: Top facts Fact #59 | Updated: April 22, 2024

A decade

of facts & figures

  2023202220212020201920182017201620152014

Annual operating revenue

$78.2 B

$78.8 B

$77 B

$73.1 B

$71.1 B

$70.6 B

$69.6 B

$71.4 B

$68.8 B

$67.8 B

Career employees*

525,469

516,750

516,636

495,941

496,934

497,157

503,103

508,908

491,863

488,300

Mail volume

116.2 B

127.3 B

128.9 B

129.2 B

142.6 B

146.4 B

149.5 B

154.3 B

154.3 B

155.5 B

First-Class Mail volume

46 B

48.9 B

50.7 B

52.6 B

54.9 B

56.7 B

58.7 B

61.2 B

62.6 B

63.8 B

  2023202220212020201920182017201620152014

First-Class Single Piece Mail volume**

11.8 B

12.9 B

13.9 B

15.2 B

16.5 B

17.5 B

18.5 B

19.7 B

20.7 B

21.8 B

Shipping/Package volume***

7.1 B

7.2 B

7.6 B

7.3 B

6.2 B

6.2 B

5.7 B

5.2 B

4.5 B

4 B

Marketing mail volume

59.4 B

67.1 B

66.2 B

64.1 B

75.7 B

77.3 B

78.3 B

80.9 B

80 B

80.3 B

Delivery points

166.6 M

164.9 M

163.1 M

161.4 M

160 M

158.6 M

157.3 M

156.1 M

155 M

153.9 M

  2023202220212020201920182017201620152014

Address changes

28.3 M

33.2 M

36 M

35.9 M

35.8 M

36.8 M

36.8 M

37 M

37 M

34.4 M

Total retail offices

33,904

33,641

34,223

34,451

34,613

34,772

35,005

35,423

35,520

35,649

Postal-managed retail offices

31,123

31,132

31,247

31,330

31,322

31,324

31,337

31,585

31,606

31,662

Retail customer visits

665.3 M

689.9 M

749.1 M

768.1 M

811.8 M

838.7 M

857.1 M

877.4 M

919.5 M

948.7 M

  2023202220212020201920182017201620152014

Retail revenue

$11.6 B

$12.2 B

13 B

12.7 B

12.7 B

12.7 B

12.9 B

13.5 B

19.2 B

19 B

Postal Service-managed retail office revenue

$9.6 B

$9.7 B

10.5 B

10.1 B

10.1 B

9.8 B

9.9 B

10.2 B

10.4 B

10.7 B

Alternate access revenue

$2 B

$2.3 B

2.7 B

2.5 B

2.5 B

2.9 B

3.1 B

3.2 B

8.8 B

8.3 B

Alternate access revenue percentage

17.5%

18.8%

20.2%

19.8%

19.8%

23%

23.75%

23%

45.7%

43.7%

  2023202220212020201920182017201620152014

Total delivery routes

234,344

233,585

233,171

231,579

231,807

231,843

228,483

229,104

226,777

224,365

Total vehicles

246,503

236,532

232,368

231,541

228,940

232,372

230,939

227,896

214,933

211,264

Loading...

Trademarks

The Sonic 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.

Non-Postal Trademarks

Dollar General®, Forest Stewardship Council®, How2Recycle®, McDonald’s®, National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, Starbucks®, Subway®, Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, The Climate Registry®.

Postal Facts 2024 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

© 2024 United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.

facts.usps.com

© 2016-2024 United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.

Trademarks

The Sonic 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.

Non-Postal Trademarks

Dollar General®, Forest Stewardship Council®, How2Recycle®, McDonald’s®, National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, Starbucks®, Subway®, Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, The Climate Registry®.

Postal Facts 2024 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

© 2024 United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.

facts.usps.com

© 2016-2024 United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.