How Long Does Regular Mail Take from State to State? - PostGrid (2023)

But, you need to be aware of aspects like:

  • What are the different USPS mailing classes for commercial mailers?
  • How can I qualify for sending bulk mail?
  • What is theregular mail delivery time from state to state?

Knowing the answers to such questions helps you make a better choice regarding mailing your items.

Today, we will address the third question-delivery windows for different mailing options.

Often, we send something via mail but don’t know when it will arrive. Such situations lead to confusion and miscommunication among senders and recipients.

Hence, in this article, we will discuss how long does regular mail takes. Apart from that, we will also talk about the various factors that affect the USPS delivery timeframes.

Let’s get right to it!

There are several factors that affect your mail delivery timing. Some of these factors include:

  • Type of mail items you send
  • Origin city, state, and ZIP code
  • Destination city, state, and ZIP code
  • Mailing date and time
  • Mailing option, etc.

If you want to know the exact arrival time, list the above aspects in advance. Some mailers buy USPS tracking to see the delivery status of their items which gives them a rough idea of when their mail is likely to arrive.

You can use options that offer free tracking to save costs. Or understand how the USPS delivery standards work to estimate your mail delivery time yourself.

The USPS offers many services to suit the needs of all individual and commercial mailers. Some of them are cost-effective but take a long time to arrive. On the contrary, some of these options are costly but are ideal for faster deliveries.

Below are the most commonly used USPS services:

First-Class Mail

First-Class Mail is the most basic USPS mailing option. Generally, when you affix a stamp to an envelope and drop it in a mailbox, it is First-Class Mail. It is why most people also refer to it as regular mail.

If you want to send something affordably, First-Class Mail is the best option for you. For mailing a 1-ounce letter, you need to affix one First-Class Mail Forever stamp—which costs $0.58.

But, you can send letters and packages weighing up to 13 ounces only through this service. Also, you may have to pay more if your items don’t fit the USPS specifications for First-Class Mail.

Many mailers think that First-Class Mail deliveries take only one day. But, it is not the case, even though the USPS completes some local deliveries overnight.

It takes USPS up to three business days to deliver small packages and up to five business days to deliver envelopes. So, it is advisable to be patient while sending and receiving First-Class Mail items.

Also, please remember that these are only delivery estimates—the USPS does not guarantee the exact arrival date in the case of regular mail.

People living in urban cities receive mail way earlier than those living in rural areas. Hence, theFirst-Class Mail delivery timedepends on where you are sending mail.

But,how long does regular mail take from state to state?The USPS website does not have a solid timetable for mail delivery to specific cities or states. But you can find the estimates through theirService Standards map.

The map demonstrates that most intrastate deliveries take only two business days to complete. Plus, USPS can deliver your mail to nearby states in up to three business days. But, you may need to wait a little longer to send something across the country.

For example, let us consider how long does it take regular mail to go from NY to Washington State. According to the USPS standards, it takes at least five days to send something between these two states via First-Class Mail.

Below are the delivery standards for sending First-Class Mail to other US states and territories:

  • Guam:Five working days
  • Puerto Rico:Four working days
  • Hawaii:Five working days
  • Alaska:Four to five working days

It doesn’t matter from which state you are mailing to these places; the above First-Class Mail delivery estimates stay the same.

Priority Mail

As the name goes, Priority Mail is prioritized over First-Class Mail and several other USPS mailing services. Naturally, it is more costly and offers way more features than regular mail.

The prime difference between regular mail and Priority Mail is that Priority Mail rates are not dependent on the destination. Instead, they depend on the weight of your items.

You can mail packages weighing up to 70 lbs with this option. Prices start at $8.95 and go up to $21.50 for larger parcels.

Find below some more features of Priority Mail:

  • Flat-rate pricing
  • Free USPS tracking
  • Insurance covers up to $50 on most shipments
  • Free rural, resident, and Saturday deliveries
  • No fuel surcharges

Mailers can buy Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes, boxes, and other packaging materials from theUSPS website.

Now, the next crucial thing to know is-how long does Priority Mail take?

Generally,Priority Mail will typicallytake one to three business days. Like First-Class Mail, it depends on your destination and mailing point.

If you need to send an item across the country, there are chances you would be close to the 3-day delivery window. Otherwise, the USPS might complete them in a day or two.

The USPS website has aPriority Mail delivery mapto help you figure outhow many days for mail delivery between states.This map shows you whether it takes one, two, or three days for your mail to arrive at specific destinations.

Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail Express helps you get your items to their destination even faster than Priority Mail.

You get free USPS tracking and insurance coverage of up to $100 for most mail items with Priority Mail Express. Furthermore, you can also avail of proof of delivery if you request it at the time of mailing.

Unlike Priority Mail, this express service assures that the USPSdelivers mailovernight. But, you need to drop off your mail by 10.30 am to be delivered the next day. Or you can request pickup and keep your packages ready by this time.

Either way, USPS cannot complete overnight delivery if you miss this delivery window. Instead, it delivers your mail the following working day—which comes under their guaranteed 2-day delivery service.

The good news is that the Priority Mail Express option is available for you on all days of the year. Hence, deliveries are also completed on weekends and federal holidays (for an added fee), with a few exceptions.

So, how long does in-state mail takeif you opt for Priority Mail Express? Well, typically, your packages are delivered by 3 pm the next day. But, if you drop them off after 10.30 am- they are sent the day after tomorrow before 6 pm.

It doesn’t matter from which state you are mailing- the USPS completes all deliveries within the same timeframe.

However, please note that Priority Mail Express is quite costly, and the rates start at $26.95. Thus, it is advisable to use this option only for most urgent mail.

Media Mail

First-Class Mail and Priority Mail have a lot of restrictions regarding the items you can send. If you need to mail letters (with eight pages or more) or other things like flash drives, CDs, etc., you can useMedia Mail.

It is the most affordable USPS service to send different types of media, including:

  • Sound and video recordings
  • Computer-readable media
  • Manuscripts and video script
  • 16 mm or narrower width films
  • Printed educational charts
  • Medical loose-leaf binders and pages
  • Test materials and printed music

Typically, Media Mail items are delivered in around two to eight business days. Though the USPS does not specifyhow long does it take mail to travel to a different state, you can expect local mail to arrive in around three days. On the contrary, sending Media Mail across the state or country can take six to eight days.

USPS Retail Ground

USPS Retail Ground is a cost-effective way to send bulky or oversized packages that aren’t urgent. The USPS offers free tracking for parcels along with USPS Retail Ground so that you can view their delivery status at any time.

You can pair up USPS Retail Ground with other services like Signature Confirmation, Collect on Delivery, and Return Receipt. These services help you guarantee accurate deliveries and get proof of mailing.

Remember that this option is only available at Post Offices, and you cannot buy it online. Also, you can only mail packages weighing up to 70 lbs and measuring up to 130 inches (length and girth combined).

USPS Retail Ground prices start at $8.50 and depend on the weight range of your packages.

Delivery takes up to two to eight business days, like Media Mail. You cannot get an accurate answer tohow long does mail takes within the stateas the USPS does not specify anything as such.

But, local deliveries take less time than interstate deliveries which can take as long as eight days to complete. Hence, make sure to send less-urgent packages only using this option.

USPS Marketing Mail

Formerly known as Standard Mail, commercial mailers popularly use this service. It is also known asbulk mailbecause you need to send at least 200 items or 50 pounds at once to qualify.

The weight limit to send USPS Marketing Mail is between one to 16 ounces. Plus, you need a mailing permit to become eligible for sending Standard Mail.

Mailers can send letters, postcards, flats, and parcels via this USPS mail service. Though there are no separate postcard prices like First-Class Mail, you can mail them as letters.

Fortunately, there are discounted prices on sending USPS Marketing Mail—making it the best choice for businesses. If you are a qualified nonprofit, you can get even more discounted prices from USPS.

But, there’s a catch! USPS Marketing Mail takes anywhere from 14 to 21 business days to arrive. Hence, you can only send marketing items that are not time-bound.

Some mailers decide to switch to other mailing classes after knowing how long it takes for Standard Mail.

For example, if you want to send items with an offer that says “Buy before 14th January to get a 20% discount,” you should not send them via Marketing Mail.

However, the highly discounted rates incentivize mailers to send non-urgent advertising through this service.

You might also ask-how long does Standard Mail take from state to state?

If the distance between your mail origin and destination is less, deliveries might take even lesser than 14 days. But, if you want to mail from one part of the country to another, it may take more than 21 days as USPS does guarantee the delivery time.

Sometimes, your mail arrival time is in the hands of the mailers. If you prepare and send your mail before the cut-off times, you may be able to get your mail delivered faster.

Similarly, there are many more things you can do to expedite deliveries, like:

Mail Earlier

It is always better to direct marketing mail during the earlier days of the week, like on Mondays and Tuesdays. Of course, it is not possible all the time, and you may send your items on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well.

If you mail on any day beyond that, there are chances the USPS will deliver your mail next week. However, it all depends on which mailing class you select.

Suppose you want to mail a package via Priority Mail Express. If you send it on a Friday afternoon, the USPS completes the delivery on Monday (you can push up the delivery to Sunday for an extra fee).

This way, it takes about three days to deliver your mail even after selecting the most expensive USPS mailing option.

However, suppose you time your package correctly and mail it on Thursday morning before 10.30 am. In that case, it will be delivered by Friday.

Hence, plan your mailing date and time in advance to mail faster.

Anticipate Busy Seasons

The USPS faces demand surges during holiday seasons like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thus, it may not complete deliveries in the said time.

Also, the USPS does not deliver on federal holidays (except for Priority Mail Express).

Another thing to know is that many more occasions are busy seasons for the USPS, like Mothers’ Day.

Mailers should anticipate such holidays and busy seasons so that their mail is not stuck among hundreds and thousands of greeting cards. They can mail earlier or use an expedited mail service to deliver their items faster.

Mail to PO Boxes

The USPS does not deliver to some rural areas as they are non-serviceable. Also, deliveries to some destinations take longer than usual due to severe weather conditions and other reasons.

If your mailing destination falls under one of these locations, it is advisable to mail elsewhere. For example, you can send mail to the recipient’s PO box or community mailbox instead of the actual delivery address. This way, the USPS can complete the delivery easily and speedily.

If you don’t have aphysical or mailing address, you can use virtual mailboxes to receive your mail items. They offer several features like package acceptance, mail scanning, forwarding, record-keeping, etc.

You can also refer to virtual mailboxes as virtual addresses. They are called ‘virtual’ because you can operate all the functions virtually. So, it doesn’t matter where you reside in the country- you can get your mail delivered via virtual addresses.

Many people doubt the delivery times to mail to a virtual address. They might ask questions like-how many days does regular mail taketo arrive at a virtual mailbox?

Not surprisingly, the USPS takes the same time to deliver to virtual mailboxes as it takes for physical mailboxes. There is no difference in the delivery window to mail to any mailbox type—only the mailbox location decides the arrival time.

Also Read: How Much Does it Cost to Send A Letter Overnight

Do mail carriers other than USPS offer faster delivery times? Well, the short answer is no!

Yes, other mail carriers like UPS and FedEx are also good options to send your mail. But, they deliver mail at about the same time as the USPS- sometimes faster.

However, you may want to consider the costs as they charge more than USPS. Also, they cannot beat the USPS when it comes to offering a wide range of services—suitable for everyone.

UPS provides several fast mailing options, like Next Day Air and Next Day Air Saver, that only take one day to arrive. In fact, Next Day Air Early assures that your mail reaches the destination the next day before 8.30 am.

But, it all depends on the distance between the origin and the destination. Also, the type of mailing address (residential or commercial) matters a lot.

There are other options too, likeUPS 2nd Day Air, 3 Day Select, and Groundthat delivers mail in two, three, and five days, respectively. Please make sure to enter the correct mailing and destination ZIP codes on the UPS website before you proceed to mail.

FedEx is another mail carrier in the US to send envelopes and parcels. It takes around five business days to deliver mail items to major cities and states.

Shipping to other states like Hawaii and Alaska can take longer than usual delivery windows.

To know how long will mail take from ZIP code to ZIP code, enter the correct origin and destination ZIP codes on the USPS website. The same applies to mailing items via other carriers.

Take care to understand the mailing options and know the delivery estimates before sending anything.

The USPS has aService Commitments toolthat lets you check the estimates by entering a few details.

If you want to save time and money while sending your items through USPS, try PostGrid. Ourdirect mail serviceshelp you automate the process and get everything done more efficiently.

Also Read: Best Direct Mail Marketing Companies

The Impact of the Holiday Season on USPS Deliveries

It’s like reading a novel with so much drama during the holidays and with USPS deliveries. During the holiday season, the United States Postal Service witnessed a significant surge in the volume of packages and mail.

Americans are tremendously busy cheering and spreading love through letters, greeting cards, gifts, and online shipping. USPS is under pressure to manage the heavy load resulting in this change in package and mailing activities.

If you send something during the holiday season, be ready for potential delays in USPS deliveries. The bulk volume of mail for processing creates a huge bottleneck and congestion in the mailing system.

It’s when everyone wants to send packages at once, resulting in a traffic jam. It will take longer for your mail and packages to arrive.

USPS has to hire additional staff and extend their working hours to manage this seasonal rush. This postal agency strives to deliver packages quickly despite an increased workload. Yet, despite the best efforts, delays can still take during the holiday rush.

The weather also becomes a challenging factor for USPS during the holiday season. You also know that winter brings its own set of challenges. USPS staff has to experience snowstorms, icy roads, and other weather conditions. These harsh weather conditions can also contribute to delays and impose danger to the safety of USPS employees.

USPS is famous for implementing various strategies to avoid delays and manage the holiday season rush. They provide customers with shipping deadlines to ensure mail and packages reach before specific holidays. You can also take services like expedited shipping and package tracking to give more visibility and peace of mind during this time of the year.

It would be best if you plan to help yourself from the impact of USPS deliveries during the holiday season. Give yourself some additional time to plan out your mailings. Take your time while ordering gifts or sending cards to avoid delays.

Using FedEx for Mailing a Letter to Another State?

Other services are available if you don’t want your letter mailed by the USPS. FedEx could be another great option with faster shipping times and even package pickup. Yet, you must know that their pricing structure differs from USPS.

They will be charging you according to weight and distance. For this reason, every mail and package can have a different price.

We recommend their pricing calculator for determining the shipping prices before you begin with their services. This tool can give you a fair estimation of the shipment process prices.

FedEx Ground

FedEx Ground could be an ideal choice to ship something to a business over 70 pounds. These deliveries usually take place within one day (or the same day). The pricing starts from just $9.36 for mail weighing 1 pound or less within a 150-mile radius. The maximum supported weight is 150 pounds, and those packages delivered within a radius of 150 miles cost above $100.

FedEx Home Delivery

This service is just like Gound but available only for residential addresses. FedEx delivers these packages between 9 am and 8 pm on Tuesdays through Saturdays. The pricing is the same as the Ground, but you will experience an additional surcharge of $4.75 per package.

FedEx First Overnight

It is similar to the USPS Priority Mail service. You can deliver packages on the next business day after the shipping date with FedEx First Overnight. The pricing for this service starts from $59.04 for an 8-ounce envelope within a radius of 150 miles.

FedEx Priority Overnight

This shipping service arrives on the next business day after shipping. Priority Overnight can have a two-hour difference from the First Overnight. Yet, it is considerably cheaper than some other options. If your delivery location exceeds the 150-mile range, your delivery time can be delayed.

FedEx Standard Overnight

This shipping option will deliver your package on the next business day at 3 pm or earlier. Delays may occur for packages delivered outside the 150-mile radius. The prices for this option are less than Priority Overnight.

FedEx 2Day AM

You can use this option to deliver packages within two business days by 10:30 am. It would be a significantly more affordable option than any overnight option. Pro Tip: the items you are shipping on a Friday will reach the destination on Tuesday. Mid-week is the best time to ship the package.

FedEx 2Day

This service can help you deliver mail in 2 business days by 4:30 pm or 8:00 pm. This service only runs in the afternoon or evening, so it differs from AM. It could be an ideal choice for mailing non-urgent but timely packages.

How PostGrid Can Help You Deliver Mail Faster?

Automated Processes

PostGrid relies on automation technologies to streamline the whole direct mail process. You can automate the printing, packaging, and mailing of letters and postcards. We can help you expedite the preparation and delivery of mail.

Fast Printing and Fulfillment

PostGrid uses advanced printing and fulfillment capabilities to accelerate the production of direct mail materials. It ensures that you can create and dispatch mail promptly. This way, you can reduce the overall turnaround time.

Smart Routing

PostGrid can help you optimize mail delivery routes for quicker and more efficient transit. With the help of intelligent routing algorithms, you can determine the most efficient path for mail to deliver to each recipient in the shortest time.

Real-Time Tracking

You can expect real-time tracking and delivery status updates for direct mail campaigns. It enables senders to monitor the progress of their mailings. You can have complete visibility into the delivery process. Businesses can also track potential issues or delays to have proactive measures to ensure faster delivery.

Data-Driven Optimization

PostGrid uses data analytics for optimizing direct mail campaigns. You can analyze the historical data and recipient information to understand patterns and preferences to improve targeting and delivery. This approach helps ensure that the mail reaches the recipients promptly.

Also Read: Overnight Mail: Guide to Sending Overnight Mails

PostGrid’sdirect mail APIcan help you undertake all the tasks related to offline mailings, like:

  • Designing or creating your mail items
  • Printing
  • Mailing
  • Tracking, etc.

Our features cover everything from data security to a 2-business day SLA. Find below some of our other helpful features:

  • Address verification:Build your mailing lists from scratch or verify your existing ones
  • HTML templates:Use our pre-built templates to get your design started
  • Zapier integration:Connect with over 1600 apps to expand your database
  • Campaign insights and analytics:Get periodic reports on your campaign performance.

Also Read: Fedex Address Validation: What They Are Not Telling You!

We hope this blog cleared your doubts, likehow long does mail take to arrive from different states. There is no one accurate answer to such questions as it varies with several factors.

But, if you plan your mailings, you can control your delivery timeframes.

PostGrid can help you start printing and mailing right from your system to assist you further. Integrate our API for direct mail into your CRM, and you are good to go!

The entire process of integrating and setting up only takes a few minutes. Plus, you don’t need to pay anything to start mailing as we don’t have any minimal fees policy.

Mail when you want, how much you want, and where you want! Stop worrying abouthow long does regular mail takeandsign uphereto automate everything!


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