Postal Facts - U.S. Postal Service
Our priority is and always will be delivering great service that’s affordable and dependable. We have the nation’s largest retail network and our online Post Office at usps.com is always open.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Some kids love the idea of bringing people greetings cards and packages! The U.S. Mail carrier kids costume gets them interested early.
So doggone cute!The officially licensed USPS dog costume, introduced in 2018, is a very popular item. Thousands have been sold on the Postal Store alone and at other retailers.
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.
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.
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 traveled more than 167 million miles last year.
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!
We can still read it!
Chicken scratch. The Postal Service has an entire operation dedicated to deciphering poor penmanship.
No high-flying flag here. The B. Free Franklin Post Office in Philadelphia is the only Post Office in the country that doesn’t fly the American flag — because in 1775 when Benjamin Franklin was appointed Postmaster General there was no flag.
The Postal Service ordered more than 276 million square feet of bubble wrap to safely deliver COVID-19 test kits to the American public. At 12 inches wide, this is enough bubble wrap material to circle the globe more than twice.
serving two states
Twice as nice. Texarkana, TX (77501) and Texarkana, AR (71854) share a Post Office that straddles the state line. Bristol, TN (37620) and Bristol, VA (24203) share a Post Office in Tennessee. Each office has two ZIP Codes and employees serve the customers in their respective states out of the same office.
PO made of straw
In Corrales, NM, in 1999, a new Post Office was built with more than 900 bales of straw as insulation. The Post Office is still standing strong and saving energy — a proud testament to the Postal Service’s longstanding history of sustainable practices.
The Zoning Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code was launched in 1963 to better process and deliver increasing volumes of U.S. Mail. The first number in the five-digit ZIP Code represents a general geographic area of the nation, “0” in the east, moving to “9” in the west. The next two numbers represent regional areas, and the final two identify specific Post Offices.
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.
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.
The Postal Service is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to offer fingerprinting services at more than 80 locations nationwide.
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.
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.
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.
We’re social. We are the original social network, but we are also very active on the newer platforms.
BRICK IN THE MAIL
Individual bricks can be shipped in the U.S. Mail. Get a permanent marker, write the address and your return address, get it weighed and add the postage. Send that special someone a brick of affection.
Do not try to ship your kids!! In the early days of Parcel Post, a few parents managed to mail their children to relatives. In 1913, an 8-month-old baby in Ohio was mailed by his parents to his grandmother, who lived a few miles away. The baby was safely delivered! Regulations were quickly established to prevent any additional mailing of children through the U.S. Mail.
gold in the mail
Under the watchful security of the Postal Inspection Service, Railway Mail Service clerks transferred some of the $9 billion in gold bullion shipped as registered mail from the New York City Assay Office to the depository at Fort Knox, KY, in 1941.
Hope in the mail. In 1958 Harry Winston donated the Hope diamond to the Smithsonian Institution. With his years of experience in shipping jewelry all over the world, Winston sent the diamond via registered mail with the Post Office Department.
potatoes in the mail
It's SPUDTACULAR! As with coconuts, potatoes can be mailed without a box. Simply write the address it's going to and your return addresses on the spud, have it weighed for appropriate postage, and it can be shipped as-is. Let someone know they are special. Send a tater!
If it clucks, it ships. The Postal Service has been working with hatcheries for more than 100 years to safely transport mail-order chicks during the spring and summer months.
Coconuts can be mailed without a box. Simply address the coconut and add your return addresses on the husk, have it weighed for appropriate postage, and it is shipped as-is.
Photo: Coconuts ready for mailing at the Molokai, HI, Post Office.
business delivery points
In 2022, the Postal Service delivered to 12.7 million business addresses.
residential delivery points
In 2022, the Postal Service delivered to 152.2 million residential addresses.
new delivery points added
In 2022, 1.8 million new delivery points were added in the country.
people visit usps.com daily
On average, 9.9 million people visit usps.com each day.
address changes daily
On average, the Postal Service processes 50,227 address changes each day.
There are 6,600 carriers who deliver mail entirely on foot. These carriers are our Fleet of Feet.
packages processed daily
On average, the Postal Service processes and delivers 23.8 million packages each day.
mail piece per second
On average, the Postal Service processes 4,877 pieces of mail each second.
mail pieces per minute
The Postal Service processes an average of 292,628 pieces of mail each minute.
The Postal Service moves mail by planes, hovercraft, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, bicycles, mules and feet. #WeDeliverForYou
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.
in Contiguous US
The largest ZIP Code in the contiguous U.S. is 89049, Tonopah, NV, at 10,821 square miles.
in continental US
The largest ZIP Code in the continental U.S. is 99734, Prudhoe Bay, AK, at 30,683 square miles.
Heads of industry. Hollywood legends. Sports heroes. Singers. Painters. Writers. And a couple presidents. All were postal employees before they became household names! Twelve have even been featured on stamps.
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.
Heart of the
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.
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.
service men and women
Honoring service men and women. The Postal Service proudly partners with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide burial flags to families of deceased veterans.
In 2022, the Postal Service provided 406,103 burial flags.
© is for creative. The Postal Service has more than 500 copyright registrations, many of them to protect artwork on postage stamps.
delivered by mail
The farm-to-table concept isn’t new. From 1914 to 1920, the farm-to-table program was a novel initiative that allowed farmers to arrange prices with people in urban areas and then mail them fresh meats, eggs, dairy products, produce, honey, jelly, and more. This was a way to give farmers more customers and city dwellers greater and cheaper access to fresh goods.
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.
The first Post Office in America was established in a tavern in Boston in 1639.
unstaffed Post Office
One of a kind. There is a 24-hour, unstaffed, self-service Post Office in Northern Virginia that allows customers to conduct most shipping and mailing transactions quickly and easily themselves. The Self-Service Post Office provides round-the-clock accessibility to PO Boxes, as well as self-service kiosks and an automated package drop. In 2022, nearly 9,000 customers used this convenient office.
John Prine, singer and songwriter, was a letter carrier in Maywood, IL, 1964-1969.
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.
All 50 states have been commemorated on postage stamps. They are each honored in 50 year increments from their inception date.
mail pieces processed daily
The Postal Service processed and delivered an average of 421.4 M mail pieces daily in 2022.
JUST 1 DAY
in the Postal Service
Each day the Postal Service picks up, processes and delivers millions of letters and packages. No single operation in the world comes close to this level of connectivity for so many households and businesses.
The Enhanced Package Processing System (EPPS) sorts 25,000 packages per hour.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Postal Service Headquarters building is located in Washington, D.C., just a few blocks south of the National Mall.
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.
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.
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.
Ship Ahoy! The JW Westcott is a 45-foot contract mail boat out of Detroit that delivers mail to passing ships on the Detroit River. The JW Westcott has its own ZIP Code — 48222.
with walk-in freezers
The Peach Springs, AZ, Post Office has walk-in freezers for food destined for delivery by mule train to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
No troglodytes here! The Stamp Fulfillment Service facility, located in Kansas City, MO, is located in a limestone cave 150 feet beneath the ground. It is the Postal Service’s only facility located underground.
Mr. ZIP, who has no first name, appeared in many public service announcements and advertisements urging postal customers to use the five-digit ZIP Code that was initiated on July 1, 1963. Within four years of his appearance, eight out of ten Americans knew who Mr. ZIP was and what he stood for.
The Postal Service launched usps.com in 1994.
1847 - U.S. postage stamps issued
1775 - Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress
This service solves the ever-increasing problem of customers conducting business online and not being able to print shipping labels.
pounds of batteries
The Postal Service recycled 52,000 pounds of small lead-acid and dry cell batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, which are found in cellphones, laptops, scanners and other small electronics.
gallons of oil recycled
In 2022, the Postal Service recycled 370,000 gallons of used oil — equivalent to saving more than 15 million gallons of crude oil.
bicycle delivery routes
The Postal Service delivers mail by bicycle on 51 routes in Arizona and Florida - reducing emissions, saving fuel and the carriers can ride a bike all day!
The price of a First-Class postage stamp is a global bargain.
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.
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.
The Postal Service is one of 11 members of the Kahala Post Group (KPG).
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.
The Postal Service is a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a United Nations' organization.
6 M pounds
of mail fly each day
The Postal Service uses 140 domestic airports to fly six million pounds of mail each day.
International Mail revenue
International Mail is a $1.7 billion business for the Postal Service.
The Postal Service works closely with posts around the world to improve service and increase its annual share of the international shipping market.
The Postal Service workforce is one of the most diverse in the nation. We look like America. That is our strength.
The first female Postmaster General was Megan J. Brennan, Washington, DC, 2015.
African American on stamp
The first African American on a stamp was Booker T. Washington, 1940.
miles driven in 2022
To move mail using surface transportation, the Postal Service drove more than 1.8 billion miles in 2022 — driving more than 24.5 million trips in more than 25,000 box trucks and tractor-trailers daily.
Native American on a stamp
The first Native American on a stamp was Pocahontas, 1907.
Hispanic American on a stamp
The first Hispanic American on a stamp was Adm. David Farragut, 1903.
external email messages
In 2022, the Postal Service email gateway system delivered more than 10.7 billion external email messages to postal customers and business partners. Roughly 90 percent of these were automated messages from Informed Delivery. The Postal Service also delivered 150 million notification emails related to COVID-19 test kits.
African American Inspector
The first known African American postal inspector was Isaac Myers, Baltimore, MD, 1870.
emails blocked monthly
Roughly 25 million emails received from external senders were blocked monthly in 2022 to ensure the safety of the Postal network and email users.
woman on a stamp
The first American woman on a U.S. postage stamp was Martha Washington, 1902.
African American Carrier
The first known African American mail carrier was James B. Christian, Richmond, VA, 1869.
African American Postmaster
The first known African American Postmaster was James W. Mason, Sunny Side, AR, 1867.
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.
female mail carrier
The first known female mail carrier was Sarah Black, mail messenger, Charlestown, MD, 1845.
The first known female Postmaster in the United Colonies was Mary Katherine Goddard, Baltimore, MD, 1775.
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 about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/welcome.htm
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.
The Eagle Logo, the trade dress of USPS packaging, the Letter Carrier Uniform and the Postal Truck and the following marks are among the many trademarks owned by the United States Postal Service: Click-N-Ship®, Deliver The Win®, EDDM®, ePostage®, Every Door Direct Mail®, Express Mail®, First-Class™, First-Class Mail®, First-Class Package International Service®, Forever®, Global Express Guaranteed®, IMb®, Informed Delivery®, Intelligent Mail®, Label Broker™, Parcel Select®, P.O. Box™, Post Office®, Pony Express®, Postal Inspection Service™, PostalOne!®, Postal Police®, #PostalProud®, Priority Mail Express International®, Priority Mail Flat Rate®, Priority Mail International®, Priority: You®, Registered Mail™, Standard Mail®, The Postal Store®, United States Postal Inspection Service®, United States Postal Service®, U.S. Mail®, U.S. Postal Inspector™, U.S. Postal Service®, USPS®, USPS BlueEarth®, USPS Mobile®, USPS Operation Santa®, USPS Tracking®, usps.com®, We are people delivering to people™, ZIP+4® and ZIP Code™. This is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service trademarks.
Dollar General®, Forest Stewardship Council®, How2Recycle®, McDonald’s®, National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, Starbucks®, Subway®, Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, The Climate Registry®, Vans®.
Postal Facts 2023 provides the public with information about the U.S. Postal Service. The facts in this publication may be reproduced for the purpose of stating the fact itself, in a business, informational or academic context and the like, and in the body of text discussing factual subject matter relevant to the fact being presented. However, these facts may become outdated after publication and seeking the latest information is advised.
Produced by U.S. Postal Service Corporate Communications
© 2023 United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.
© 2016-2023 United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.