Set defaults or insert email addresses on the fly when ordering online or contacting our Customer Care Center. In , William Henry Aspinwall completed the Panama Railway , providing rail service across the Isthmus and cutting to three weeks the transport time for the mails, passengers and goods to California.
Railroad companies greatly expanded mail transport service after , and the Railway Mail Service was inaugurated in Rail cars designed to sort and distribute mail while rolling were soon introduced. An RMS sorter had to be able to separate the mail quickly into compartments based on its final destination, before the first destination arrived, and work at the rate of pieces of mail an hour.
They were tested regularly for speed and accuracy. While the Post Office agreed to deliver parcels sent into the country under the UPU treaty, it did not institute a domestic parcel-post service for another twenty-five years. Hitchcock in , greatly increased the volume of mail shipped nationwide, and motivated the development of more efficient postal transportation systems.
After four-year-old Charlotte May Pierstorff was mailed from her parents to her grandparents in Idaho in , mailing of people was prohibited. Coltharp, used inexpensive parcel-post rates to ship more than eighty thousand masonry bricks some four hundred seven miles via horse-drawn wagon and train for the construction of a bank building in Vernal, Utah. The advent of parcel post also led to the growth of mail order businesses that substantially increased rural access to modern goods over what was typically stocked in local general stores.
The legislation aimed to get money out of hiding, attract the savings of immigrants accustomed to the postal savings system in their native countries, provide safe depositories for people who had lost confidence in banks, and furnish more convenient depositories for working people. The law establishing the system directed the Post Office Department to redeposit most of the money in the system in local banks, where it earned 2.
The half-percent difference in interest was intended to pay for the operation of the system. Certificates were issued to depositors as proof of their deposit. In order to save smaller amounts for deposit, customers could purchase a cent postal savings card and cent postal savings stamps to fill it. The card could be used to open or add to an account when its value, together with any attached stamps, amounted to one or more dollars, or it could be redeemed for cash. The Post Office Department played an important intelligence role during World War I, implementing the Espionage and Trading with the Enemy Acts, monitoring foreign mail and acting as counter-espionage to help secure allied victory.
Lipsner to head the civilian-operated Air Mail Service. During , the Post Office hired an additional 36 pilots. In its first year of operation, the Post Office completed 1, airmail flights with 90 forced landings.
Of those, 53 were due to weather and 37 to engine failure. By , the Air Mail service had delivered 49 million letters. The Post Office was one of the first government departments to regulate obscene materials on a national basis. Congress passed the Comstock laws of , it became illegal to send through the U.
On March 18, , postal workers in New York City—upset over low wages and poor working conditions, and emboldened by the Civil Rights movement— organized a strike against the United States government. The strike initially involved postal workers in only New York City, but it eventually gained support of over , United States Post Office Department workers across the nation.
While the strike ended without any concessions from the Federal government, it did ultimately allow for postal worker unions and the government to negotiate a contract which gave the unions most of what they wanted, as well as the signing of the Postal Reorganization Act by President Richard Nixon on August 12, The United States Postal Service employs some , workers, making it the third-largest civilian employer in the United States behind the federal government and Wal-Mart. Supreme Court decision, the Court noted: Some rural letter carriers use personal vehicles.
Standard postal-owned vehicles do not have license plates. These vehicles are identified by a seven-digit number displayed on the front and rear. In February , the Postal Service announced that on Saturdays it would only deliver packages, mail-order medicines, Priority Mail, and Express Mail, effective August 10, In October , the Postal Service released Future Ready ,  a five-year plan required by law starting in In , numerous media outlets reported that the USPS was going out of business.
Lower volume means lower revenues to support the fixed commitment to deliver to every address once a day, six days a week. According to an official report on November 15, , the U. In response, the USPS has increased productivity each year from to ,  through increased automation, route re-optimization, and facility consolidation. On December 5, the USPS announced it would close more than half of its mail processing centers, eliminate 28, jobs and reduce overnight delivery of First-Class Mail.
This will close down of its processing centers. Various representatives in Congress protested, and the Senate passed a bill that would have kept open all post offices farther than 10 miles from the next office.
Instead, rural post offices would remain open with reduced retail hours some as little as two hours per day unless there was a community preference for a different option. A team of Postal Service headquarters executives and staff has been given a time frame of sixty days to complete the study. The current concept examines the effect of five-day delivery with no business or collections on Saturday, with Post Offices with current Saturday hours remaining open.
On Thursday, April 15, , the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing to examine the status of the Postal Service and recent reports on short and long term strategies for the financial viability and stability of the USPS entitled "Continuing to Deliver: The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of PAEA  obligates the USPS to fund the present value of earned retirement obligations essentially past promises which have not yet come due within a ten-year time span.
In contrast, private businesses in the United States have no legal obligation to pay for retirement costs at promise-time rather than retirement-time, but about one quarter do.
The Office of Personnel Management OPM is the main bureaucratic organization responsible for the human resources aspect of many federal agencies and their employees. Congress has limited rate increases for First-Class Mail to the cost of inflation, unless approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Comprehensive reform packages considered in the th Congress include S. In , the Postal Service was requesting reforms to workers' compensation, moving from a pension to defined contribution retirement savings plan, and paying senior retiree health care costs out of Medicare funds, as is done for private-sector workers. The Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service sets policy, procedure, and postal rates for services rendered, and has a similar role to a corporate board of directors.
Of the eleven members of the Board, nine are appointed by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate see 39 U. The nine appointed members then select the United States Postmaster General , who serves as the board's tenth member, and who oversees the day-to-day activities of the service as Chief Executive Officer see 39 U. The ten-member board then nominates a Deputy Postmaster General, who acts as Chief Operating Officer, to the eleventh and last remaining open seat.
The independent Postal Regulatory Commission formerly the Postal Rate Commission is also controlled by appointees of the President confirmed by the Senate. It oversees postal rates and related concerns, having the authority to approve or reject USPS proposals.
The USPS is often mistaken for a government-owned corporation e. It is, however, an "establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States", 39 U. As a government agency , it has many special privileges, including sovereign immunity , eminent domain powers, powers to negotiate postal treaties with foreign nations, and an exclusive legal right to deliver first-class and third-class mail.
Indeed, in , the U. Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that the USPS was not a government-owned corporation, and therefore could not be sued under the Sherman Antitrust Act. Supreme Court has also upheld the USPS's statutory monopoly on access to letter boxes against a First Amendment freedom of speech challenge; it thus remains illegal in the U. Article I, section 8, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution grants Congress the power to establish post offices and post roads,  which has been interpreted as a de facto Congressional monopoly over the delivery of first-class residential mail—which has been defined as non-urgent residential letters not packages.
Accordingly, no other system for delivering first-class residential mail—public or private—has been tolerated, absent Congress's consent. The mission of the Postal Service is to provide the American public with trusted universal postal service. While not explicitly defined, the Postal Service's universal service obligation USO is broadly outlined in statute and includes multiple dimensions: While other carriers may claim to voluntarily provide delivery on a broad basis, the Postal Service is the only carrier with a legal obligation to provide all the various aspects of universal service.
Proponents of universal service principles claim that since any obligation must be matched by the financial capability to meet that obligation, the postal monopoly was put in place as a funding mechanism for the USO, and it has been in place for over a hundred years.
It consists of two parts: The PES refers to the Postal Service's monopoly on the delivery of letters, and the mailbox rule refers to the Postal Service's exclusive access to customer mailboxes.
Proponents of universal service principles further claim that eliminating or reducing the PES or mailbox rule would affect the ability of the Postal Service to provide affordable universal service. If, for example, the PES and the mailbox rule were to be eliminated, and the USO maintained, then either billions of dollars in tax revenues or some other source of funding would have to be found.
Some proponents [ by whom? This separates private communications from the ability of a private for-profit or non-profit organization to corrupt. Security for the individual is in this way protected by the United States Post Office, maintaining confidentiality and anonymity, as well as government employees being much less likely to be instructed by superiors to engage in nefarious spying.
However, as the recent notice of a termination of mail service to residents of the Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness indicates, mail service has been contracted to private firms such as Arnold Aviation for many decades. Getting mail delivered, once a week, by airplane is not a luxury, it's a necessity for those who live in Idaho's vast wilderness—those along the Salmon and Selway rivers. It's a service that's been provided to them for more than half a century—mostly by Ray Arnold of Arnold Aviation.
The decision was reversed; U. Postmaster General John Potter indicated that acceptable service to back country customers could not be achieved in any other fashion than continuing an air mail contract with Arnold Aviation to deliver the mail. The report must include any recommended changes. The Postal Service report supports the requirement that the PRC is to consult with and solicit written comments from the Postal Service. In addition, the Government Accountability Office is required to evaluate broader business model issues by It said no changes to the USO and restriction on mailbox access were necessary at this time, but increased regulatory flexibility was required to ensure affordable universal service in the future.
In , the Postal Service announced that starting August , Saturday delivery would be discontinued. Obligations of the USO include uniform prices, quality of service, access to services, and six-day delivery to every part of the country.
To assure financial support for these obligations, the postal monopoly provides the Postal Service the exclusive right to deliver letters and restricts mailbox access solely for mail. The report argued that eliminating or reducing either aspect of the monopoly "would have a devastating impact on the ability It is somewhat misleading to characterize the mailbox rule as a "monopoly," because the enforcement of 18 U.
Customers can deliver their messages either by paying postage, by placing messages on or under a door or a doormat, by using newspaper or non-postal boxes, by telephoning or emailing, by engaging in person-to-person delivery in public areas, by tacking or taping their notices on a door post, or by placing advertisements in local newspapers. These methods are comparable in efficacy to communication via the mailbox. Most of these alternatives are not actually free in some communities. For example, in the Chicago metropolitan area and many other major metros one must get a background check from police and pay a daily fee for the right to solicit or post commercial messages on private property.
Regarding the monopoly on delivery of letters, the report notes that the monopoly is not complete, as there is an exception for letters where either the amount paid for private carriage of the letter equals at least six times the current rate for the first ounce of a single-piece First-Class Mail letter also known as the "base rate" or "base tariff" or the letter weighs at least The Postal Service said that the USO should continue to be broadly defined and there should be no changes to the postal monopoly.
Any changes would have far-reaching effects on customers and the trillion dollar mailing industry. Due to the postal monopoly, they are not allowed to deliver non-urgent letters and may not directly ship to U. Mail boxes at residential and commercial destinations. However, both companies have transit agreements with the USPS in which an item can be dropped off with either FedEx or UPS who will then provide shipment up to the destination post office serving the intended recipient where it will be transferred for delivery to the U.
Mail destination, including Post Office Box destinations. DHL Express was the third major competitor until February , when it ceased domestic delivery operations in the United States. A variety of other transportation companies in the United States move cargo around the country, but either have limited geographic scope for delivery points, or specialize in items too large to be mailed. Many of the thousands of courier companies focus on same-day delivery, for example, by bicycle messenger.
The Post Office Department owned and operated the first public telegraph lines in the United States, starting in from Washington to Baltimore, and eventually extending to New York, Boston, Buffalo, and Philadelphia. In the telegraph system was privatized, except for a period during World War I, when it was used to accelerate the delivery of letters arriving at night. Between and " V-Mail " for "Victory Mail" service was available for military mail.
Letters were converted into microfilm and reprinted near the destination, to save room on transport vehicles for military cargo. Text was transmitted electronically to one of 25 post offices nationwide. Delivery was assured within 2 days. This system, which was intended to replace the depreciated POSTNET system, allows bulk mailers to use pre-printed bar codes to assist in mail delivery and sorting.
Additional features, called Enhanced, or Full-Service, Intelligent Mail Barcodes allow for mail tracking of bulk mail through the postal system up to the final delivery Post Office. Critics of the universal service requirement and the statutory postal monopoly include several professional economists advocating for the privatization of the mail delivery system, or at least a relaxation of the universal service model that currently exists.
Furthermore, some economists have argued that because public enterprises may pursue objectives different than profit maximization, they might have more of an incentive than profit-maximizing firms to behave anticompetitively through policies such as predatory pricing, misstating costs, and creating barriers to entry. Founded by Benjamin Franklin , its mission is to protect the Postal Service, its employees, and its customers from crime and protect the nation's mail system from criminal misuse.
Postal Inspectors enforce over federal laws providing for the protection of mail in investigations of crimes that may adversely affect or fraudulently use the U. Mail, the postal system or postal employees. The USPIS has the power to enforce the USPS monopoly by conducting search and seizure raids on entities they suspect of sending non-urgent mail through overnight delivery competitors.
According to the American Enterprise Institute , a private conservative think tank , the USPIS raided Equifax offices in to ascertain if the mail they were sending through Federal Express was truly "extremely urgent.
Lastly, the PIS oversees the activities of the Postal Police Force who patrol in and around selected high-risk postal facilities in major metropolitan areas in the United States and its territories. The Inspector General, who is independent of postal management, is appointed by and reports directly to the nine presidentially appointed , Senate — confirmed members of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service.
The primary purpose of the OIG is to prevent, detect and report fraud, waste and program abuse, and promote efficiency in the operations of the Postal Service. All mailable articles e. Undeliverable mail that could not be readily returned, including mail without a return address, is treated as dead mail at a Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia or Saint Paul, Minnesota. The USPS maintains a list of proper abbreviations. The format of a return address is similar. Though some style manuals recommend using a comma between the city and state name when typesetting addresses in other contexts, for optimal automatic character recognition, the Post Office does not recommend this when addressing mail.
If the address is unusually formatted or illegible enough, it will require hand-processing, delaying that particular item. The USPS publishes the entirety of their postal addressing standards. Postal address verification tools and services are offered by the USPS and third party companies to help ensure mail is deliverable by fixing formatting, appending information such as ZIP code and validating the address is a valid delivery point.
In a DPV process, the address is checked against the AMS data file to ensure that it exists as an active delivery point. The actual postage can be paid via: Stamps with no value shown or denominated by a letter are also still valid, although the value depends upon the particular stamp. For some stamps issued without a printed value, the current value is the original value. But some stamps beginning in or earlier, including Forever Stamps issued from April and all first-class, first-ounce stamps issued from January 21, , the value is the current value of a first-class-mail first-ounce stamp.
Forever stamps are sold at the First-Class Mail postage rate at the time of purchase, but will always be valid for First-Class Mail 1 oz and under , no matter how rates rise in the future. A postage meter is a mechanical device used to create and apply physical evidence of postage or franking to mailed matter. Postage meters are regulated by a country's postal authority; for example, in the United States, the United States Postal Service specifies the rules for the creation, support, and use of postage meters.
A postage meter imprints an amount of postage, functioning as a postage stamp, a cancellation and a dated postmark all in one. The meter stamp serves as proof of payment and eliminates the need for adhesive stamps. In addition to using standard stamps, postage can now be printed in the form of an electronic stamp, or e-stamp, from a personal computer using a system called Information Based Indicia. This online PC Postage method relies upon application software on the customer's computer contacting a postal security device at the office of the postal service.
Electronic Verification System eVS  is the Postal Service's integrated mail management technology that centralizes payment processing and electronic postage reports. Instead, mailers can pay postage automatically through a centralized account and track payments online.
Beginning in August , the Postal Service began requiring mailers shipping Parcel Select packages using a permit imprint to use eVS for manifesting their packages.
Copyright Office Practices holds that "Works prepared by officers or employees of the U. Government"  and are therefore eligible for registration. Discounts are available for large volumes of mail. Depending on the postage level, certain conditions might be required or optional for an additional discount:. In addition to bulk discounts on Express, Priority, and First-Class Mail, the following postage levels are available for bulk mailers:.
Depending on the type of mail, additional services are available for an additional fee: In May , the USPS restructured international service names to correspond with domestic shipping options. The former Airmail Letter Post is now First-Class Mail International,   and includes small packages weighing up to four pounds 1. Priority Mail International Flat-Rate packaging in various sizes was introduced, with the same conditions of service previously used for Global Priority.
One of the major changes in the new naming and services definitions is that USPS-supplied mailing boxes for Priority and Express mail are now allowed for international use. These services are offered to ship letters and packages to almost every country and territory on the globe. The USPS provides an M-bag  service for international shipment of printed matter ;  previously surface M-bags existed, but with the elimination of surface mail, only airmail M-bags remain.
Military mail is billed at domestic rates when being sent from the United States to a military outpost, and is free when sent by deployed military personnel. Three independent countries with a Compact of Free Association with the U. In , the US Postal Service discontinued its outbound international surface mail "sea mail" service,  mainly because of increased costs.
Returned undeliverable surface parcels had become an expensive problem for the USPS. Processing of standard sized envelopes and cards is highly automated, including reading of handwritten addresses.
As mail travels through the DPRCS, large items, such as packages and mail bundles, are removed from the stream. In contrast to the previous system, which merely canceled and postmarked the upper right corner of the envelope, thereby missing any stamps which were inappropriately placed, the Advanced Facer-Canceler System locates indicia stamp or metered postage mark , regardless of the orientation of the mail as it enters the machine, and cancels it by applying a postmark.
Detection of indicia enables the AFCS to determine the orientation of each mailpiece and sort it accordingly, rotating pieces as necessary so all mail is sorted right-side up and faced in the same direction in each output bin. Mail is output by the machine into three categories: Additionally, machines with a recent Optical Character Recognition OCR upgrade have the capability to read the address information, including handwritten, and sort the mail based on local or outgoing ZIP codes.
Mail actually the scanned image of the mail with handwritten addresses and machine-printed ones that are not easily recognized goes to the Remote Bar Coding System.
It also corrects spelling errors and, where there is an error, omission, or conflict in the written address, identifies the most likely correct address. When it has decided on a correct address, it prints the appropriate bar code onto the envelopes, similarly to the MLOCR system.
RBCS also has facilities in place, called Remote Encoding Centers , that have humans look at images of mail pieces and enter the address data. The address data is associated with the image via an ID Tag, a fluorescent barcode printed by mail processing equipment on the back of mail pieces. Images are taken at more than mail processing centers, and are destroyed after being retained for 30 days.
If a customer has filed a change of address card and his or her mail is detected in the mailstream with the old address, the mailpiece is sent to a machine that automatically connects to a Computerized Forwarding System database to determine the new address. If this address is found, the machine will paste a label over the former address with the current address.
The mail is returned to the mailstream to forward to the new location. Mail with addresses that cannot be resolved by the automated system are separated for human intervention. If a local postal worker can read the address, he or she manually sorts it out according to the ZIP code on the article. If the address cannot be read, mail is either returned to the sender First-Class Mail with a valid return address or is sent to the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia formerly known as the dead letter office.
At this office, the mail is opened to try to find an address to forward to. If an address is found, the contents are resealed and delivered.
Otherwise, the items are held for 90 days in case of inquiry by the customer; if they are not claimed, they are either destroyed or auctioned off at the monthly Postal Service Unclaimed Parcel auction to raise money for the service. Once the mail is bar coded, it is automatically sorted by a Delivery Bar Code Sorter DBCS that reads the bar code, identifies the destination of the mailpiece, and sends it to an appropriate tray that corresponds to the next segment of its journey.
Out-of-region mail is trucked to the airport and then flown, usually as baggage on commercial airlines, to the airport nearest the destination station. The Post Office is working to increase the percentage of automatically sorted mail, including a pilot program to sort "flats".
FedEx then flies them to the destination airport and hands them back to USPS for transport to the local post office and delivery. Although its customer service centers are called post offices in regular speech, the USPS recognizes several types of postal facilities, including the following:. While common usage refers to all types of postal facilities as "substations", the USPS Glossary of Postal Terms does not define or even list that word.
Postal Services operates as a tenant. Since its introduction, APCs do not take cash payments — they only accept credit or debit cards. Similarly, traditional vending machines are available at many post offices to purchase stamps, though these are being phased out in many areas.
In February , the USPS announced that they plan to replace the nine existing facility-types with five processing facility-types: The changes are a result of the declining volumes of single-piece First-Class Mail, population shifts, the increase in drop shipments by advertising mailers at destinating postal facilities, advancements in equipment and technology, redundancies in the existing network, and the need for operational flexibility.
The United States Postal Service does not directly own or operate any aircraft or trains, although both were formerly operated. The mail and packages are flown on airlines with which the Postal Service has a contractual agreement.
The contracts change periodically. Contract airlines have included: The last air delivery route in the continental U. Private US parcel forwarding or US mail forwarding companies focusing on personal shopper, relocation, Ex-pat and mail box services often interface with the United States Postal Service for transporting of mail and packages for their customers. From , mail was delivered seven days a week. In , local religious leaders noticed a decline in Sunday-morning church attendance because of local post offices' doubling as gathering places.
These leaders appealed to the government to intervene and close post offices on Sundays. The government, however, declined, and mail was delivered 7 days a week until Mail with the exception of Express Mail  is not delivered on Sunday. Saturday delivery was temporarily suspended in April , because of lack of funds, but quickly restored. Budget problems prompted consideration of dropping Saturday delivery starting around This culminated in a announcement that regular mail services would be cut to five days a week, which was reversed by Congress before it could take effect.
See the section Revenue decline and planned cuts. Originally, mail was not delivered to homes and businesses, but to post offices. In , "city delivery" began in urban areas with enough customers to make this economical. This required streets to be named, houses to be numbered, with sidewalks and lighting provided, and these street addresses to be added to envelopes. In , the first experiments with Rural Free Delivery began in less densely populated areas.
There is currently an effort to reduce direct delivery in favor of mailbox clusters. To compensate for high mail volume and slow long-distance transportation which saw mail arrive at post offices throughout the day, deliveries were made multiple times a day. This ranged from twice for residential areas to up to seven times for the central business district of Brooklyn , New York. By , the last twice-daily deliveries in New York City were eliminated.
Today, mail is delivered once a day on-site to most private homes and businesses. The USPS still distinguishes between city delivery where carriers generally walk and deliver to mailboxes hung on exterior walls or porches, or to commercial reception areas and rural delivery where carriers generally drive.
Some customers choose to use post office boxes for an additional fee, for privacy or convenience. This provides a locked box at the post office to which mail is addressed and delivered usually earlier in the day than home delivery. Customers in less densely populated areas where there is no city delivery and who do not qualify for rural delivery may receive mail only through post office boxes.
High-volume business customers can also arrange for special pick-up. Another option is the old-style general delivery , for people who have neither post office boxes nor street addresses.
Mail is held at the post office until they present identification and pick it up. Some customers receive free post office boxes if the USPS declines to provide door-to-door delivery to their location or a nearby box. From to , a service called special delivery was available, which caused a separate delivery to the final location earlier in the day than the usual daily rounds.
In December , the USPS began a limited one-year trial of same-day deliveries directly from retailers or distribution hubs to residential addresses in the same local area, a service it dubbed "Metro Post". Other competition in this area includes online grocers such as AmazonFresh , Webvan , and delivery services operated by grocery stores like Peapod and Safeway. Residential customers can fill out a form to forward mail to a new address, and can also send pre-printed forms to any of their frequent correspondents.
If you require messenger, courier service, warehousing, distribution, SCS or dock to dock, contact one of our experienced Service Representatives today For immediate service or to receive your customized sales packet, call us today at Specialized transfers for government agency filing projects, and pick up from any city and delivery to any government agency regardless urgency and shipment size. Total chain of custody accountability and state of the art tracking in real-time.
From pick up through delivery we provide dedicated service. From point of order all shipments can be tracked in real time. Pickup and or delivery confirmation to as many as three email addresses. Set defaults or insert email addresses on the fly when ordering online or contacting our Customer Care Center.
USDC offers the most advanced technology available to our industry. Our systems are extremely robust and offer a wide range of features that all have our customer in mind. Saving you time and money is our number one goal. Start with a 28 percent discount for every order placed.
Quick Review of Services: Mission Critical Service in Boston:
Contact us or request a quote by email at: Email U.S. Delivery, Inc. is an express transportation services company, which has been providing expedited shipping services throughout the . attention us special delivery customers: FROM OCTOBER 1, TO APRIL 30, , OUR FREEZABLE POLICY GOES INTO EFFECT. US Special Delivery will provide protective service on all HEAT TRACK (Freezable) shipments during the winter seasons. US Delivery Company a Boston Courier Service, provides same day shipping. Anything from an envelope to a truckload! Anything from an envelope to a truckload! Get immediate pick up to and from any address in Greater Boston ( Hour Service), and all of Massachusetts, New England, NY, NJ and most locations on the Eastern Seaboard (mileage based.