USPS Priority Mail | priority mail rates and delivery time 

 November 22, 2020

By  Vada Shelby

United States Postal Service (USPS) is one of the biggest postal delivery service providers in the world. It has come up with a variety of services so that it can cater to every type of necessity. But among all the services that USPS provides the first one that comes in our mind is USPS priority mail. This service of USPS has huge importance for the customer of USPS and so in this article, we have come up with brief details of this service so that the customer of USPS can that the service is all about, how and when to use this service and the price and delivery time of this service. So, if you are the customer of USPS then this article will be very useful to you and you can come to know a lot of things about this service if you go through this article.

What Is a Priority Mail?

At times there comes a situation when it becomes highly necessary to deliver your package immediately without being able to wait for a single day. During such a situation, you have to go for USPS priority shipping. It is actually a kind of service that provides quick delivery of your shipment as well as it does not burn a hole in your pocket. That is the reason why USPS customer always wants to go with this service.  With this service, you can send a package at every location in the US but it should be less than 70 pounds in weight. The best thing about this service is that no matter wherever you send the package in the US it will be delivered within 3 days. Another best thing about this service is that USPS customer does not have to give any kind of surcharge to get the benefit of priority shipping. Unlike another service, priority mail services are delivered on Saturday as well. Hence, if you need to deliver your mail quickly USPS priority mail will certainly be the best option.

How To Send Priority Mail?

Before you ship your package through USPS priority mail you must know the process of delivering this package. The first thing that you need to do is to make your package ready for shipping. For that, you have to place your package on a box with a label for the address of the destination. After that, you have to put the postage label on the upper side of the box at the right-hand corner. You can get the stickers of Priority mail free of cost from the Post Office. You should ask for that sticker and attach it to the box so that the Post office carrier can easily recognize that the shipment will be done through USPS priority mail service. Apart from that, USPS allows you to add some other additional services such as Signature confirmation, USPS tracking, and insurance facility before you send the package for final delivery.

Apart from that, customers can also choose for pickup option. If you choose this option then USPS carrier will come to your residence for picking up your priority mail package at your suitable time. But it is always recommended to go for this option only when you cannot go to the Post Office because of some reason. This is because if you avail of this service then you have to pay some extra charge to USPS. Moreover, you have to visit the USPS website and arrange for the pickup online. Again if you want your package to be picked up before the regular arrival time of the carrier then you have to choose the option ‘USPS Pickup on Demand’ for which you have to pay $20 per package load. If you choose this option then the USPS carrier will come to your home for picking up your package within two hours of selecting the option. However this option is not available for all USPS service and you can avail of this option only for Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground, and Global Express Guaranteed.

USPS priority mail rates :

In USPS, there are two types of priority mail prices and they are:

  • Priority Mail Flat-Rate Pricing
  • Priority Mail Retail Pricing

If you want to know how much is priority mail you have to know the details of both the above-mentioned pricing so that you can determine which will be the best choice for you.

  • Priority Mail Flat-Rate Pricing: In this type of pricing there is only one flat rate for delivery. USPS comes up with a flat rate envelope and boxes that have fixed and pre-decided shipping rates. Apart from that, USPS also has three types of envelopes as well as six types of boxes with different sizes for packing. Unlike the other mail delivery service whose rate totally depends on the weight and distance of the destination, the rate of the priority mail will actually rely on the box and envelop that you will choose. Priority mail flat-rate pricing is suitable for those customers whose package fits in the given box comfortably. When you choose Priority mail flat-rate pricing option you do not need to pay anything extra as it is inclusive of free shipping. Once the customer chooses this option USPS carriers need to deliver the package either at their office or home without any extra charges.
  • Priority Mail Retail Pricing: In this type of pricing the customers are allowed to use their own *box. Unlike Priority mail, flat-rate pricing, priority mail retail pricing will totally depend on the weight and distance of the destination. That means in this type of option USPS decides the rate by analyzing how far the package will be shipped. For determining the rate easily USPS has segregated the whole country into nine different zones. The shipping cost in this option will increase if the distance of the destination’s package increases. Thus this option is not suitable for those customers who need to send their package to a shorter distance destination.  If you think that your package is heavier and you need to send the package at a long distance then you should not go for this option.

If you choose Priority mail flat-rate pricing then you may need to know the various sizes of the envelopes or boxes that are available in USPS. So, in this article we have come up with various details of all available envelopes or boxes as shown in the following table:

Types of Envelopes/BoxesDimensionsFor what you should use it?
Flat-Rate Envelope12 1/2″ x 9 1/2″It will be best suited for letters, documents, and manuscript
Gift Card Flat-Rate Envelope10″ x 7″It will be best suited for oversized greeting cards and gift card
Window Flat-Rate Envelope10″ x 6″
12 1/2″ x 9 1/2″
It will be best suited for Pre-addressed
Small Flat-Rate Envelope10″ x 6″It will be best suited for small
documents such as a passport
Padded Flat-Rate Envelope12 1/2″ x 9 1/2″It will be best suited for sending clothing, books, boxed jewelry
Legal Flat-Rate Envelope


15″ x 9 1/2″


It will be best suited for Legal
Small Flat-Rate Box


Outside size:

8 11/16″ x 5 7/16″ x 1 3/4″

Inside size:

8 5/8″ x 5 3/8″ x 1 5/8″

It will be best suited for brochures, small and electronic
Medium Flat-Rate Box – 1
Outside size:

11 1/4″ x 8 3/4″ x 6″

Inside size:

11″ x 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″

It will be best suited for Office
Supplies, Shoes, etc.
Medium Flat-Rate Box – 2
Outside size:

14″ x 12″ x 3 1/2″

Inside size:

13 5/8″ x 11 7/8″ x 3 3/8″

It will be best suited for Office
Supplies, Shoes, etc
Large Flat-Rate BoxOutside size:

12 1/4″ x 12 1/4″ x 6″

Inside size:

12″ x 12″ x 5 1/2″

It will be best suited for Laptop, Computers
Gifts, etc.


The information that is presented in the above table will definitely help you to determine which size of boxes or envelopes will be the best suited for your package.

USPS Priority Mail Delivery Time :

Most of the USPS customer has one common question in their mind that – How long does USPS priority mail take? Generally on an average USPS priority mail takes a maximum of one to two days to deliver a package. But there are certain factors on which the delivery time of the package depends. USPS delivers six days a week, i.e., from Monday to Saturday. It does not operate on Sunday expect the shipment is Priority Mail Express service and Amazon items. Hence if a customer drops their package on Saturday after the office hours it is obvious that the process of shipping will start from Monday onwards and thereby it will take a little more time to deliver the package to the recipient.  Apart from that, the USPS also does not operate on Holidays. So, the package is in transit and there is a holiday in between then the package will be on hold for that holiday. Due to the holidays there often becomes a backlog in USPS. It is also seen that at the time of important holiday like Christmas people remains on leave the priority mail gets on hold and due to this, it becomes a huge backlog in USPS. When the USPS carriers start their work after the long holidays they find that their work becomes very hectic because of the huge backlog. During such a circumstance, there is a huge chance that your package arrives after the estimated date and time.

Again the USPS delivery will also depend on the distance of the destination. Sometimes it is seen that the customer use USPS priority mail for delivering their package in the inter-state locations. Hence it will be delivered much earlier as compared to that when the client sent the package to a long-distance destination across the country.    Again it is also seen that due to extreme weather condition the shipment sometimes becomes delay. Though USPS also delivers its package in the lousy weather condition at the time of severe weather conditions or natural disasters, it becomes impossible for the USPS carrier to deliver the package to the recipient. During such circumstances even if you have shipped the package with USPS priority mail there is no guarantee that your mail will be delivered on time.

So when anyone asks how fast is USPS priority mail remember that the answer mainly depends on the above-mentioned circumstances.

Priority Mail Meaning In USPS

Priority mail is the mail that is delivered by the usps to a customer with a possibility of a maximum of one or two days. It may charge you some extra than usual but most of the customers prefer this service. You can also try it once and can share your experience here.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

Q.1. How Long Is Priority Mail USPS?

Priority mail is one of the best services given by USPS which includes tracking and delivery within 1-3 business days. You can also check estimated time to deliver your package by using the Priority Mail delivery map.

Q.2. Is Priority Mail Faster Than Regular Mail?

Priority mail is the service given by USPS which means it is the first mail to ship out. Even priority mail is faster than first-class mail. Hence, the answer to this question will be Yes, priority mail is faster than regular mail.

Q.3. Can You Use Your Own Box For Priority Mail?

Yes, you can ship any box by Priority except “Flat Rate Pricing” boxes that are made by USPS for that purpose.

Q.4. Is Priority Mail Guaranteed To Arrive In 2 Days?

No, Priority mail doesn’t guarantee to be delivered in 2 days but most of the priority mails get delivered within 2 days. USPS has added a label to communicate between shipper and package recipient in order to get the estimated time of delivery.

Q.5. Can Priority Mail Take Longer Than 3 Days?

Priority mail is one of the best services of USPS. All the Priority mail are delivered within 1-3 days but in the case of some emergency, it may take longer than 3 days too.

Q.6. What Is The Advantage Of Priority Mail?

Priority Mail is the service given by USPS that provides many small businesses with reliable and affordable delivery to the shipper. Also, priority mail is a day specific delivery service and most of the priority mails hold free insurance as well.

Q.7. Do You Need A Special Label For Priority Mail?

First, you have to choose Priority mail express and then priority mail boxes are available at the post office free of cost. When you are not required to use these free packaging of
these services, you must use the USPS produced address label provided by the post office for the Priority Mail Express.

Q.8. How Do I Get A Priority Mail Label?

To get a priority mail label you just need to sign in to the USPS.com account or sign up if don’t have any. Follow the steps to enter your package details and then pay for the postage and print your shipping label.

Q.9. Can I Print My Own Priority Mail Label?

Yes! You can print your own priority mail label at home using a computer and a printer. The only thing you will do is to create your USPS.com account or login if you already
have any.


Vada Shelby


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