mail pieces daily
The Postal Service processed and delivered an average of 429.9M mail pieces daily in 2020.
mail pieces daily
The Postal Service processed and delivered an average of 429.9M mail pieces daily in 2020.
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.
34,000 pieces per hour
The Automated Delivery Unit Sorter (ADUS) sorts 34,000 packages and bundles of mail per hour with a sort accuracy of 99.95 percent.
The Enhanced Package Processing System (EPPS), sorts 25,000 packages per hour.
delivery unit sorter
The first Small Delivery Unit Sorter (SDUS) was installed in Nov. 2020. It processes more than 2,500 packages per hour inside the delivery unit. This piece of equipment is helping the Postal Service process increasing volumes of packages. One hundred Small Delivery Unit Sorters will be operational in 2021.
Located in Maryland, the 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.
The 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.
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.
Regular features include “Heroes’ Corner,” a column about employees who perform heroic deeds, and “The List,” a weekly roundup of interesting facts about USPS.
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.
The present Postal Service Headquarters building is located in Southwest Washington, D.C., just a few blocks south of the National Mall.
Postal Service Headquarters, 1973–Present
Vlastimil Koubek designed the present Postal Service Headquarters building, which is located in Southwest 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 had 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 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.
This is the J.W. Westcott II approaching a Canadian freighter on the Detroit River
The Peach Springs, AZ, Post Office has walk-in freezers for food destined for delivery to the bottom of the Grand Canyon by mule train.
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.
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, 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.
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.
public internet site
In 1994 the Postal Service launched its first public internet site.
1847 - U.S. postage stamps issued
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 - Benjamin Franklin appointed first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress
#Postal Proud. The #PostalProud program recognizes employees for the work they do every day. It provides employees at every level of the organization with an opportunity to share why they are proud to be a postal employee.
More than 1,500 employees in 349 unique jobs have been recognized since its inception in 2018.
Label Broker. This service is easy! It solves the ever-increasing problem of customers conducting business online and not having access to print shipping labels.
With Label Broker, customers can get a shipping label on their mobile device, in the form of a QR Code, 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
pounds of batteries
The Postal Service recycled 101,000 pounds of small lead-acid and dry cell batteries, including lithium-ion batteries which are found in cell phones, laptops, scanners and other small electronics.
In 2020, the Postal Service recycled 359,000 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 49 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 mission of the .POST Group is to support the posts as they provide their customers with reliable and secure web services.
The .POST Group promotes innovation, integration and inclusion of postal activities on a uniquely secure platform, employing a rigorous UPU community membership and authentication process to deliver a safe, uncompromised and trustworthy customer experience.
More information can be found at upu.int/en/Universal-Postal-Union/About-UPU/Cooperatives-Boards/-POST-Group
The Postal Service is a member of the Express Mail Service (EMS) Cooperative. The EMS Cooperative was created by the UPU in 1999 to get the more than 180-member countries to work together to provide EMS – the fastest cross-border international postal product.
The EMS global network has the largest number of customer access points in the world, serving more than 5 billion citizens of member posts.
The overall market size for cross-border ecommerce has grown to more than 9 billion items each year, with expected growth to 13 billion by 2024. Note: these are pre-pandemic numbers.
More information can be found at post/en/global-network.
The Postal Service is one of 11 members of the Kahala Post Group (KPG).
The KPG is an international alliance of the world’s largest postal administrations that collaborate to improve international postal services in the Asia-Pacific Rim region.
Launched in 2002 by six postal administrations, the KPG network accounts for almost half of the world’s internationally recognized Express Mail Service (EMS) traffic.
More information can be found at com/.
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.
Since 1989, the IPC has created solutions and services that are used by more than 180 posts worldwide and is the leading service provider of the global postal industry. Collectively, IPC members deliver 80-percent of global mail volumes — more than 330 billion mail pieces each year.
More information can be found at ipc.be/.
The Postal Service is a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
• Established in 1874, the UPU, with its headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, is the second oldest international organization worldwide.
• With its 192-member countries, the UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between posts. The UPU helps to ensure a truly universal network of products and services.
• More information can be found at upu.int.
The Postal Service sends 3.3 million pounds of international, military and diplomatic mail and packages weekly, using 64 international airlines, comprised of 11 US Flag Carriers and their affiliates.
International Mail is a $2.4 billion business for the Postal Service.
The Postal Service is worldwide, shipping to many countries and working closely with other posts to improve service and increase its annual share of the international shipping market at the same time.
Most of the International Mail revenue is generated from outbound services that allow customers in the United States to send mail and packages abroad.
The Postal Service workforce remains one of the most diverse organizations in the nation. Our pride in serving the American public is a common thread that unites us.
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.
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®, Forever®, Global Express Guaranteed®, IMb®, Informed Delivery®, Intelligent Mail®, Parcel Select®, P.O. Box™, Post Office®, Pony Express®, Postal Inspection Service™, PostalOne!®, Postal Police®, PostalProud®, 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®, ZIP+4® and ZIP Code™. This is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service trademarks.
Forest Stewardship Council®, McDonald’s®, National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, Starbucks®, Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, Walmart®
Postal Facts 2020 provides the public with information about the Postal Service. The facts in this publication may be reproduced for the purpose of stating the fact itself, and in a business, informational, 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.
Visit about.usps.com for more information.
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