• Home >
  • Blog >
  • How Long Does USPS Priority Mail Take?

How Long Does USPS Priority Mail Take?

The USPS offers different types of postal mail products and services. They come with different prices and delivery times. The USPS Priority Mail is one such product. In this blog, we’ll answer the question, “How long does USPS priority mail take?” and what you can do if it doesn’t arrive immediately.

What is USPS Priority Mail?

Priority Mail is one of the main postal mail products that the USPS offers. It allows you to ship mail in flat envelopes or items in packages up to 70 pounds to anywhere in the United States. USPS also provides Priority Mail International for shipping to 180 countries.

  • Priority Mail Main Features:
    • Free package pickup from your home or place of business.
    • Comes with USPS Priority Mail Tracking.
    • Insurance coverage of up to $100 for some shipments.
    • Flat Rates and prepaid pricing are available.

What are USPS Priority Mail Prices?

Priority Mail prices are based on whether you use the Flat Rate envelopes or boxes the post office offers or your packaging. For the latter, the destination zone also affects the final postage rate. 

  • If You Use USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope or Box
    • The postal service offers USPS Priority Mail with flat rate pricing:
      • Basically, you pay the same price for mail items weighing up to 70 lbs and with destinations anywhere in the U.S.
      • You can choose from five different Priority Mail flat rate envelope sizes.
        • The smallest measures 12.5 x 9.5 inches and costs $9.85.
        • The biggest of these flat rate envelopes is ideal for legal documents and measures 15 x 9.5 inches. It costs $10.15 at your local post office.
    • For sending Priority Mail packages, the USPS also offers flat rate boxes:
      • There are six sizes available, starting at $10.40.
      • The largest costs $24.75 at your local post office and will allow you to ship big items like board games.
    • Take note that commercial pricing for Flat Rate envelopes and boxes is cheaper. Consider this for your business if you send out Priority Mail packages regularly.
  • If You Use Your Own Envelope or Box
    • If you use your own packaging or envelope, the Priority Mail prices will be different.
    • The fee will be based on weight and where it’s going.
    • Maximum weight is still 70 lbs.
    • One thing to keep in mind is that USPS has size standards for Priority Mail items, so you must measure your package accurately:
      • The maximum combined length and girth should not exceed 108 inches.
    • Other fees may also apply, especially if using a non-standard size.
    • If you don’t input the packaging dimensions accurately, you may also be charged an extra non-compliance fee.

How Long Does USPS Priority Mail Take?

USPS Priority Mail service takes between one to three business days to arrive at its destination.

  • Use the USPS Priority Mail Delivery Map for a better and clearer idea of how long your letter or package will take.
    • This handy tool shows you the expected 1, 2, or 3-day delivery areas for Priority Mail items:
      • On the page, type in the Zip Code where you’re shipping from.
      • The map below the Zip Code search bar will transform into different shades of blue.
      • Each shade represents the estimated delivery time for your Priority Mail shipments.
      • For areas with the darkest shade, your letter or parcel will arrive in one business day.
      • Cities and towns in the middle shade have two business days delivery time.
      • If the destination is one of the lightest areas, you can expect delivery in three business days.
  • The map above, for example, shows the mail origin at a post office somewhere in New York.
    • Priority mail service to Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut towns will take only one day.
    • For destinations that are farther from the origin Zip Code, delivery time is between two to three days.

Note: Date of delivery is not a guaranteed service, but your post office and mail carrier will still try to get your Priority Mail to its recipient as soon as possible.

USPS Priority Mail Estimated Delivery vs. Other USPS Mail Types

  • USPS Priority Mail is one of the fastest products that the postal service offers today. It’s second only to USPS Priority Mail Express, which has an estimated delivery time of one to two days.
  • The list below breaks down the estimated delivery time for each USPS postal service or product:
    • Priority Mail Express – Next-day or 2-day guaranteed postal service.
    • USPS Ground Advantage – Delivery in two to five business days.
    • First-Class Mail – Your mail will arrive in one to five business days.
    • Media Mail – Delivery in two to eight business days.
    • USPS Marketing Mail – Estimated delivery time is between three to ten business days.

Priority Mail Service Delivery Delay

While the postal service will try as much as possible to deliver Priority Mail in three days or less, there are still instances when it will take much longer.

In case of delays, here are the steps that you can take:

1. Check USPS Tracking

  • Priority Mail comes with USPS Tracking. This set of numbers allows you to monitor your mail or package’s journey across the postal service system.
  • In case of delivery delays, go to the USPS Tracking page and type the tracking number in the search bar. The results will show you where your mail or parcel is.

2. Contact Your Post Office

  • Reach out to USPS customer service or your local post office if your Priority Mail still hasn’t arrived five or more business days from the date of mailing.

USPS Priority Mail Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the Post Office Deliver Priority Mail on weekends?

  • Priority Mail estimated delivery speed takes into account only business days or days when the post office is open. Do not expect Saturday, Sunday or holiday delivery.

Is Priority Mail the fastest?

  • No. Priority Mail Express is faster than Priority Mail. Priority Mail Express has guaranteed service of 1 to 2 days, 365 days in many locations.

How Long Does Priority Mail International Take?

  • Priority Mail International takes six to ten business days to reach its destination.