If you’re like most people during the holidays, you’re frantic to have all of your gifts and packages arrive on time. And if you’re like most people, you also wait until the last minute before dropping them off at the post office.
It’s funny because I do the same thing each and every year. You think by now you’d realize that Christmas is the same day every year throughout history but each year, so many people continue to wait until the absolute last minute to head to the post office to ship gifts to family and friends.
And visiting the post office or any shipping store near the holidays is usually a total nightmare. Long lines, packages can get lost, and Christmas could get “ruined.” But if you plan ahead and learn the USPS hours, you can avoid all the hassle and frustration that comes with it.
Here’s everything you need to know about USPS Hours to make sure you don’t ruin Christmas for your family and friends.
USPS Hours: Everything You Need to Know (Including Saturday, Sunday, and Holiday Hours)
There is a lot of confusion on the hours of USPS and whether they’re open on the holidays and weekends.
Back in 2013, USPS was in a crunch and in dire financial straits. They started to feel the competition from UPS and FedEx and tried to reduce hours to cut costs.
In an effort cut costs, they decided to not deliver mail on Saturday. And they already didn’t deliver mail on Sunday’s so this made it no mail on the weekend entirely! But there’s only one problem, they didn’t check to see if this was a legal move to cut ⅙ of their work week.
While this was an announcement they made, government officials stepped in. The Government Accountability Office issued a report that said under current law, the post office is required to deliver mail six days a week, and couldn’t legally stop Saturday delivery.
Thanks to this report, the USPS board of governors chose to delay the implementation of stopping Saturday mail delivery. They chose to wait until Congress passed new legislation that would provide the USPS the authority to implement a schedule without delivering on Saturday.
As of December 2018, this legislation still hasn’t’ been passed by government officials. The mail still continues to get delivered every Saturday and personally, I can’t see that changing in the near future either. We live in a world where people want things instantly and closing on the weekends just isn’t acceptable for most people’s lives.
We Live in a Now Economy
People want things now. We live in an economy where 2-day shipping is standard. Heck, Amazon and Domains are even testing drones to get people stuff quicker than ever.
Amazon basically delivers everything in two days or less. And depending on your location can even do same day or within a few hours via Amazon Now. UPS, FedEx, and DHL also ship super fast so the post office has no excuse. If the USPS quits Saturday’s, I don’t think people would respond very well!
Due to all this legal jargon, a lot of people wonder if the post office will be open on the weekends as they have specific holiday schedules and hours. If you have an important package to send, there’s nothing worse than showing up and seeing the closed sign.
Let’s help you avoid that issue by learning from some of the most common questions about USPS hours and holiday schedules.
USPS Hours: The Most Commonly Asked QuestionsIs mail delivered on Sunday?
No, mail is not delivered on Sunday’s, even though you might see USPS trucks out and about.
Why is this?
Amazon. Yes, the biggest company that produced the first person with 100 billion dollars (at least temporarily) has a collaboration with the post office. Amazon is king of logistics (hence the massive growth) and made Sunday delivery possibles for Amazon packages.
While the post office doesn’t deliver mail on Sunday but in select cities, Amazon does help you get your stuff even on Sunday’s.
According to USA Today, these are only in really big cities including:
- College Station, TX
- Lexington, KY
- New Orleans
- Oklahoma City
- San Antonio
- Shreveport, LA
- Waco, TX
Amazon plans to roll out the program to more of the U.S. population during the year. Make sure you check back as Amazon recently announced a brand new HQ in New York so more markets will have more options, including same day and Sunday orders.
Does Amazon deliver every product on Sundays?
If you’re an Amazon addict like me, you’re in luck! Amazon says “millions” of products qualify for Sunday delivery. “So far, the most common items delivered on Sunday include baby supplies such as newborn apparel, books and toys.
As Mike Roth (Amazon’s VP of North America operations said in the same USA Today article, “Sunday delivery is clearly crossing errands off the weekend to-do list.”
While not every order is available for Sunday delivery, a lot of them are depending on when you order. I’ve noticed that in Phoenix I get orders same day and Sunday’s as I have a fulfillment center close by so it depends on what you’re ordering and exact location.
USPS Hours: FAQ’s
As with any rule, there are always exceptions and that goes the USPS hours as well. Here are the most commonly asked questions to help clarify some holiday rules and hours.
Is the post office open on Sunday?
No, the post office isn’t open on Sunday in general. Although, there are a few exceptions to the rule.
While you can’t get help from a USPS employee, a lot of post offices have drop slots where you can drop your mail and it will get processed for delivery early on Monday. This can give your mail a head start.
And if you need to pick stuff up from your mailbox on Sunday’s you generally can as well. You can usually get inside a section of the post office to get mail if you have a post office box. Some post offices even have weighing machines so you can actually calculate the cost of packages and buy postage even if there are no attendants available. I’d make sure to double check online before going in as not every post office has scales.
Each location will differ as I have two close to me and tried to go to both on Sunday’s and had different luck at each location. It’s very similar to banks and credit unions on the weekends as some are open for a few hours while others just ATM access and the ability to get deposit slips for the following business day.
Why isn’t the post office open on Sunday?
It’s a great question and one I’ve always wondered as well. After researching this post, I was surprised by the reason. As Sunday is a religious holiday, I thought it’d been something related to that. But it turns out it goes back over 100 years.
According to an article in The Atlantic, “In 1912, without any debate on the matter, Congress added a rider to a funding bill. It ordered that “hereafter post offices … shall not be opened on Sundays for the purpose of delivering mail to the public.” On August 24, Taft signed the bill into law. On September 1, it was enacted.
In case you didn’t know, the USPS is part of the US constitution, which is why they couldn’t suddenly remove Saturday service. It’s also why they have to go through government regulations to make massive changes to hours and operating procedures.
Are there any exceptions to when the post office is open on Sunday?
Yes, some post offices are open on Sundays before Christmas so you might just be in luck! As I’m sure you’re aware, Christmas is the busiest season of the year for USPS and all other shipping providers.
Due to the extremely high volume of mail and packages going out at the end of the year, some larger post offices do remain open on the two Sundays before Christmas each year. This way they can help more people get packages to friends and family in other parts of the country.
As always, I recommend that you contact your local post office to see if it happens to be one that does. If they are open, expect it to have limited hours but it’s still better than being totally closed like normal!
USPS Retail Store Locations
Have you ever seen a post office that is located in a major retail location? If so, you’re in luck as they also have extended weekend and holiday hours.
A good example is USPS locations that are inside Staples. The post office has started a program where it is putting post offices inside other retail stores as well. The biggest benefit is that since these stores are open 7 days per week, so is the USPS side of things as well.
If you have a post office inside one of these other retail outlets, you can call to see if they are open on Sundays.
Is mail delivered on Saturdays?
As I mentioned earlier, the USPS tried to shut it down on Saturdays in 2013 but were unsuccessful in their attempts. As it’s part of the US constitution they can’t make massive changes without proper legislation being passed. For the time being, the mail is still delivered on Saturday’s as they have yet to pass legislation with Congress that allows otherwise.
While mail is still delivered, the USPS hours at the actual post office are usually cut short. But until you hear otherwise, assume that the post office is up and running on Saturday’s.
Is the post office open on Saturday?
I wish I could give a blanket answer, but once again it depends so the answer is yes and no. Some post offices are open and others are not but most of them are open with a limited number of hours. I would always recommend that you check with the local post office to check Saturday hours.
Personally, anytime I’ve gone to Saturday hours it’s always packed as more people have the day off. If you do need to ship a package on Saturday, I recommend going early so you can avoid long lines and the hassle of the masses. Check the hours in advance so you can get there early and avoid the higher traffic times.
On what holidays is the post office closed?
In addition to shorter hours on Saturday and being 100% closed on Sunday, the post offices are closed and mail isn’t delivered on the following holidays each year. Make sure you know these holidays so you don’t show up or worry about packages on these major US holidays:
- New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1, 2019
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday: Monday, January 21, 2019
- Washington’s Birthday (observed): Monday, February 18, 2019
- Memorial Day: Monday, May 27, 2019
- Independence Day: Thursday, July 4, 2019
- Labor Day: Monday, September 2, 2019
- Columbus Day: Monday, October 14, 2019
- Veterans’ Day (observed): Friday, November 11, 2019
- Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 28, 2019
- Christmas Day: Monday, December 25, 2019
If you have specific questions about the services and hours of operation at your local post office, give them a call to verify their information. And check out 16 real ways to earn Christmas cash for the holiday spending!
What are the best USPS Alternatives?
If you’re shipping a package, you can always choose to use DHL, UPS or FedEx to get your stuff there quicker. Personally, I like using these compared to USPS as they have better tracking and sometimes cheaper rates. But, one plus to shipping with USPS is the flat rate boxes which don’t have a weight limit which is helpful if you’re shipping heavier items.
Final Thoughts on USPS Hours
Hopefully, you know now a lot more about the confusion on USPS and the hours they have on weekends and holidays. During the Monday-Friday week, you can pretty much count on the USPS delivering mail and being open. Unless of course, it’s one of the 10 holidays listed above.
Weekends are a little different. You want to make sure to check in advance so you don’t show and deal with the frustrations and make your packages arrive late.
Have you had a struggle with USPS hours or holiday issues? Please let us know in the comments!