How fast is U.S. mail delivered?

This summer (2018), I had a letter arrive from a town in England to Berkeley, California in 10 days. I didn’t know they can do it that fast! I mean, I thought it was weeks and weeks.

A letter left Washington DC on Friday, August 24, 2018, and arrived in rural North Carolina the next Thursday. Pitiful, yes?

It took a letter three days to travel between a small North Carolina town and a rural part of the state in early September, 2018 (the two locations are about 2 hours apart.)

A letter sent from rural North Carolina on a Wednesday in September 2018 arrived at its destination in Berkeley, California, by the following Monday.

Yet again! a letter sent from rural North Carolina on a (later) Wednesday in September 2018 arrived at its destination in Emeryville, California, by the following Monday.

I sent three letters from rural North Carolina to Small Town, North Carolina on a Saturday in October. All three pieces of mail were going to the EXACT same address — a postcard; a small card in a smaller-than-normal envelope; and a normal-sized letter. I had laid all three pieces snugly side by side in the mailbox, so I thought they’d just stay together from there on out — less sorting for the post people, right? Well, the largest letter arrived in Small Town, NC, on the Thursday. The card in the small envelope arrived on the Friday — and it was all ripped up 😦 The envelope had torn entirely open, and the pretty embroidery on the card was all smashed up. But luckily the two stickers and the little bokmärken inside were unscathed. The post people had stuck everything into a larger envelope with a pre-printed and profuse apology on the side. As for the postcard — I have no idea! Maybe it arrived on Saturday?

Two letters coming from the exact same address in rural Maryland arrived in rural North Carolina after four days. They left on a Thursday in October and arrived the next Monday. They arrived side-by-side, just as they’d been sent. Why didn’t my letters do that 😦

A letter sent from Small Town, North Carolina arrived in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina in 2 days! Wow! The letter was sent on the very last Tuesday of October. At least … the letter was postmarked on the very last Tuesday of October. Possibly it had been dropped in the mail on Monday, which would make it a three-day travel time.

A letter postmarked on the Friday before Thanksgiving from Medium-Sized Town, North Carolina, arrived in middle-of-nowhere NC on the Monday.

A letter sent from middle-of-nowhere, NC, to Small Town NC in the beginning of November appears to be lost 😦 I asked the mail carrier about this. He said he has no idea what could have happened. But he said that all the mail that they pick up from mailboxes is sent to the Concord post office; and then a truck takes it to the Charlotte post office the same night. And then it gets shipped to other places from there. Cool to know! Update: the letter arrived 1.5 months after it was sent!

A letter sent from North Carolina to Chicago in November made it eventually. And I sent a post-card back to Chicago in early December, mailing it off the day just before a big snow-storm hit, and as far as I can tell, it hasn’t made it yet 😦 It’s now December 18.

A letter sent on a Tuesday of mid-December from Berkeley, CA, arrived in rural North Carolina the following Monday. That seems a lot longer than when I send letters to Berkeley.

 

 

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