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How to Calculate the US Mail Delivery Time

Updated January 11, 2018

The U.S. Postal Service offers a variety of mailing options at a number of different prices. Shipping at inexpensive rates, like the special one for bound printed matter, take the longest to deliver. Express mail is the most expensive, and also the quickest. Packaging for priority and express mail is available for free from the Postal Service, and you can print and pay for shipping labels at their website. A number of options and delivery times are available for international mail.

Send mail quickly with express services. Domestic express mail takes one to two days. Flat rate envelopes are available from the Postal Service. Your own packaging can weigh up to 31.8kg. and must be no more than 108 inches in combined girth and length.

Use priority mail to have envelopes and packages delivered in two to three days. Flat rate envelopes and boxes are available, or you can use your own packaging. Parcels can weigh up to 31.8kg. and up to 108 inches in combined length and girth.

Mail letters and small packages weighing no more than 369gr. by first class mail. First class takes one to two days for delivery.

Ship books, printed music, records, CDs and DVDs by media mail. Items that contain advertising like magazines don't qualify. Media mail takes two to nine days, excluding delivery to Alaska and Hawaii, which may take longer.

Consider parcel post for packages that don't need to arrive quickly. Parcel post takes two to nine days, excluding Hawaii and Alaska, and can weigh up to 31.8kg. with a combined length and girth around the widest part of the package.

Send materials like catalogues and phone books that contain advertising or promotional material as bound printed matter. Packages can weigh up to 6.8kg. and take up to two weeks for delivery.

Mail letters and packages internationally with global express, which takes one to three days; express mail international which takes three to five days; or priority mail, which takes six to 10 days. First class international mail varies by destination and can weigh up to four pounds. Flat rate packaging is available from the postal service for international mail.

Things You'll Need

  • Packaging
  • Postage
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About the Author

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.