Tuesday, 18 October 2016

How To Address Mail For Faster Delievery


Here’s how to address your mail for faster delivery

The US Postal Service is driven by Bar Code on the Big Pitney-Bowes Machines (The Machine).
These machines sort the mail into bundles, which the postman carries down one side of the street, or maybe into an apartment complex.  The postmen don’t have to think anymore!!!  If an item isn’t on their Route, they resubmit it to the system, or put it in an undeliverable bin where, when somebody has some time they’ll see if they can figure where it’s supposed to go.

1) The bottom 5/8" of a letter is a reserved space for this Bar Code.
     If there is some writing or marks in this area, it will most likely be rejected by The Machine.
     If returning the letter or it came to the wrong address, it’s advisable to Black out the Bar Code.

2) These machines and the postmen read the address from the Bottom Up.
    The bottom address line is supposed to be City (State Code) Zip
    The next line up is the (street address and APT or STE) or PO BOX
    The next line up is the Persons Name or Company Name
    When an attention line is necessary, always put it first.

3) The preferred Font is GOTHIC and ALL CHARACTERS MUST BE CAPITALIZED, except the Return
     Address.  No punctuation is allowed, i.e.: comma or period.
     If these standards aren’t adhered to, the letter cannot be processed by The Machine.  In this case it goes down
     another isle and is displayed on a postal workers screen, in Rancho Cucamonga.  This worker reads it and
     keys it in.  When this happens a Pink Bar Code is printed on the bottom of the back side of the letter.

4) Your Return Address, you don’t want it to be Postally correct because The Machine may pick that one up
     instead of where you wanted it to go, and be delivered to you.

5) You can visit the Postmasters Web site and find out the correct “Full Address in Standard Format”.
      http://www.usps.com/  and then pic “Find a Zip Code” or http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp
      Another handy feature on the bottom right is: Yellow Page and White Page lookup nationwide.

Zip Codes: Five Numbers dash “-“ Four Numbers, the -4 numbers is the bundle that the postman carries down one side of the street or on the 1st or 2nd floor of an apartment complex.  If your not sure about the -4, don’t use it.

Sometimes there’s another Code after the Zip Code.  This is the Carrier Route which consists of 2 Alpha and 2 Numeric, ie “AB12", or just 2 numeric.   This isn’t of concern to you.

Correct Abreviations:
State Codes: two capital letters, and Country Codes: three capital letters.

Street Address’: AVE(Avenue), BLVD(Boulevard), CIR(Circle), CMN(Common). CT(Court), DR(Drive),  LN(Lane), PKWY(Parkway), PL(Place), RD(Road), ST(Street), TER(Terrace), WAY(Way)
APT(Apartment), LOT(trailer park), RM(Room), {SP(Space)(trailer park)}, STE(Suite), TRL(Trail), UNIT(Unit)
(I’ve seen where CARRIAGE CIRCLE COMMON is CARRIAGE CIRCLE CMN)

PO BOX (Post Office Box), PMB(Private Mail Box)
N(North), S(South), E(East), W(West), NE(North East), NW(North West), SE(South East), SW(South West)

Please type or print address clearly in the middle of a white envelope, using black ink. And, for fastest processing, use the printed reply envelopes provided in your bills for making payments.

Hold mail

Stop junk mail

Change of address

US mail tracking

USPS hours

How Can I Get A Letter There Fast

I sometimes want something I send to reach the recipient as quickly as possible, but I don't care to pay for priority service. How can I find out what the quickest local US mail dropoff would be?

I'd like some things I mail to arrive ASAP, such as NetFlix DVDs or expense reports where I'm due reimbursement. Common sense suggests sending these directly from the USPS early in the morning, but the drive up mailboxes outside the branches near me just list an afternoon pickup time. I suspect each branch then has some additional delay before that mail gets to the processing station.

Certain businesses (payroll outsourcing, banks, etc.) make a point of knowing how to get things to arrive in the most expedient way. How can I do the same? Is there a master list of pickup times or mail planning app on the Web somewhere?
posted by tomwheeler to Work & Money (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

I suspect each branch then has some additional delay before that mail gets to the processing station.

Certain businesses (payroll outsourcing, banks, etc.) make a point of knowing how to get things to arrive in the most expedient way. How can I do the same?

You bring it to the processing station yourself.
posted by winston at 1:28 PM on February 3, 2008


My only experience is with this sort of thing is in Canada, so, while I imagine that the USPS operates in a similar way to Canada Post, take this all with a grain of salt:

Mail is collected throughout the day from boxes, post offices, large offices, etc. Most of the sorting of mail takes place in a sorting centres that use very large and very fast machines to read, code, and sort the mail. Once a reasonable volume of mail has arrived at the sorting centre, they fire up the sorting machine and sort the mail down to the desired level of specificity for the destination area (that might be the individual letter carrier, the local post office, or a whole country). They keep going until all the mail for that day has been sorted. Early the next morning (or less commonly, that same night), they load the mail onto trucks and send it off across the country, to the airport, or wherever.

Consequently, I don't think it makes much difference at what time you drop off the mail as long as it is before the truck comes by for the day. Sending it from the post office isn't likely to help much, because the truck probably only comes by once a day to pick up the mail in any case and even if it does come by more often, the mail probably isn't going to go anywhere until the whole day's mail has been sorted. If you don't live in or near an large urban centre, your mail might take an extra day just to get to the sorting centre.

Large businesses generally get their mail delivered quickly by a) being near the big, central sorting centres and dropping their mail off there directly or having it picked up, b) pre-coding and pre-sorting their mail so that it doesn't have to be sorted as much.

If you ever get a chance to tour a mail sorting facility, I highly recommend it.
posted by ssg at 1:46 PM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Two important things to consider about expediting through USPS. Every mailbox has a notice on the bottom stating where you can bring your mail for an earlier pickup. If you are in a large city this should be helpful.

Secondly, earlier pick-up or not, once the mail goes through the slot you lose all control of when it will be delivered. I've found I have some control over this by actually handing the mail to a clerk inside the post office. Remember that standard first class mail makes no delivery claim other than "as soon as possible". They do however say the following:

First Class Mail receives expeditious handling and transportation in an effort to achieve the following service objectives: overnight delivery between the point of mailing and the locally designated cities and sectional centers, second day delivery for locally designated states, third day delivery for the remainder of the USA. The USPS does not guarantee the delivery of First Class Mail. However, First Class Mail deposited before 5:00 PM at sectional centers and destined for a local metropolitan delivery area is often delivered overnight.
posted by Xurando at 1:47 PM on February 3, 2008


Seconding taking your mail to the processing center (which may be a totally separate facility from the main post office). Or if you live near a major airport, see if there's a post office at the airport.

Or just keep looking for a branch post office or mailbox that lists more than one pickup a day. I once* found a mailbox with several pickups each day, and if I dropped a letter there on the way to work, it arrived four states away the next day! Every time. (Apparently the processing center was taking mail to the airport during the day, rather than waiting to send everything in the evening.) Of course, YMMV.I sometimes want something I send to reach the recipient as quickly as possible, but I don't care to pay for priority service. How can I find out what the quickest local US mail dropoff would be?

I'd like some things I mail to arrive ASAP, such as NetFlix DVDs or expense reports where I'm due reimbursement. Common sense suggests sending these directly from the USPS early in the morning, but the drive up mailboxes outside the branches near me just list an afternoon pickup time. I suspect each branch then has some additional delay before that mail gets to the processing station.

Certain businesses (payroll outsourcing, banks, etc.) make a point of knowing how to get things to arrive in the most expedient way. How can I do the same? Is there a master list of pickup times or mail planning app on the Web somewhere?
posted by tomwheeler to Work & Money (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

I suspect each branch then has some additional delay before that mail gets to the processing station.

Certain businesses (payroll outsourcing, banks, etc.) make a point of knowing how to get things to arrive in the most expedient way. How can I do the same?

You bring it to the processing station yourself.
posted by winston at 1:28 PM on February 3, 2008


My only experience is with this sort of thing is in Canada, so, while I imagine that the USPS operates in a similar way to Canada Post, take this all with a grain of salt:

Mail is collected throughout the day from boxes, post offices, large offices, etc. Most of the sorting of mail takes place in a sorting centres that use very large and very fast machines to read, code, and sort the mail. Once a reasonable volume of mail has arrived at the sorting centre, they fire up the sorting machine and sort the mail down to the desired level of specificity for the destination area (that might be the individual letter carrier, the local post office, or a whole country). They keep going until all the mail for that day has been sorted. Early the next morning (or less commonly, that same night), they load the mail onto trucks and send it off across the country, to the airport, or wherever.

Consequently, I don't think it makes much difference at what time you drop off the mail as long as it is before the truck comes by for the day. Sending it from the post office isn't likely to help much, because the truck probably only comes by once a day to pick up the mail in any case and even if it does come by more often, the mail probably isn't going to go anywhere until the whole day's mail has been sorted. If you don't live in or near an large urban centre, your mail might take an extra day just to get to the sorting centre.

Large businesses generally get their mail delivered quickly by a) being near the big, central sorting centres and dropping their mail off there directly or having it picked up, b) pre-coding and pre-sorting their mail so that it doesn't have to be sorted as much.

If you ever get a chance to tour a mail sorting facility, I highly recommend it.
posted by ssg at 1:46 PM on February 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Two important things to consider about expediting through USPS. Every mailbox has a notice on the bottom stating where you can bring your mail for an earlier pickup. If you are in a large city this should be helpful.

Secondly, earlier pick-up or not, once the mail goes through the slot you lose all control of when it will be delivered. I've found I have some control over this by actually handing the mail to a clerk inside the post office. Remember that standard first class mail makes no delivery claim other than "as soon as possible". They do however say the following:

First Class Mail receives expeditious handling and transportation in an effort to achieve the following service objectives: overnight delivery between the point of mailing and the locally designated cities and sectional centers, second day delivery for locally designated states, third day delivery for the remainder of the USA. The USPS does not guarantee the delivery of First Class Mail. However, First Class Mail deposited before 5:00 PM at sectional centers and destined for a local metropolitan delivery area is often delivered overnight.
posted by Xurando at 1:47 PM on February 3, 2008


Seconding taking your mail to the processing center (which may be a totally separate facility from the main post office). Or if you live near a major airport, see if there's a post office at the airport.

Or just keep looking for a branch post office or mailbox that lists more than one pickup a day. I once* found a mailbox with several pickups each day, and if I dropped a letter there on the way to work, it arrived four states away the next day! Every time. (Apparently the processing center was taking mail to the airport during the day, rather than waiting to send everything in the evening.) Of course, YMMV.

Hold mail

Stop junk mail

Change of address

US mail tracking

USPS hours