Who Delivers USPS Packages? (Third-Party Providers or USPS Employees?)

With the United States Postal Service in a state of financial decline for the past decade and more, it’s fair to wonder just how and where costs are being cut. For example, is USPS partnering with other shipping services to share the burden and save money?

So, who delivers USPS packages these days? Is it still the sole responsibility of the Postal Service, or does it rely on other shipping services to finish deliveries? Here’s what you need to know!

Who Delivers USPS Packages In 2022?

While the United States Postal Service has been known to complete last-mile deliveries for other shipping companies, it continues to handle its own package deliveries exclusively in 2022. Your USPS deliveries are handled by your local mail carriers, the same ones who bring your First-Class Letter mail to the mailbox.

To learn more about how USPS packages get delivered, if they come separate from the mail, and even how USPS partners with other shipping companies, keep going!

How Do USPS Packages Get Delivered?

The United States Postal Service has an incredible network to serve its customers and citizens; the agency’s mission, after all, is to provide mail delivery to every valid address in the U.S.

Packages move from origin point to distribution/sorting center (if necessary, for longer hauls) and then to the local Post Office.

All along the way, its unique barcode gets scanned, upon arrival and upon departure; those scans make up your Tracking information.

Right before mail heads to the local Post Office, it’s given its final sort by the carrier and even into the order of delivery.

Afterward, it goes to your local Post Office, where the carriers take their bins for the day and load them onto the truck.

It’s much the same for all parcels, regardless of mail class; some just move more quickly than others.

After the packages make it onto the truck and head out, your Tracking status will update to Out for Delivery and should include a delivery window that’s two or three hours wide.

Personally, I’ve found that the window is often different than the usual time I receive my letter mail. Check out the next section below to learn why.

Do USPS Packages Come Separate From Mail?

Do USPS Packages Come Separate From Mail?

USPS packages get loaded onto the same truck as the letter mail, but they may get delivered separately (though still always by USPS employees).

As a current letter carrier with USPS reports on Quora, oftentimes, the packages are just too bulky to fit in their mailbags.

So, letter carriers will drop off the letter mail first, and then, in his words, “…after I finish the loop, I’m going to drive past your house and drop off your package.”

I can attest that this happens a lot in my neighborhood and to my house.

More specifically, I normally receive letter mail between 11 and 1.

However, when my packages update to Out for Delivery, the estimated delivery window the past two times has been between 3:45 and 5:45 p.m. (and they arrived around 5:30 both times).

There is also something called a dedicated parcel run, which the letter carrier describes.

That’s when a lucky mail carrier (or more likely an assistant) gets to deliver all the missorted packages; that would be separate from letter mail.

And finally, USPS began Sunday package delivery, in conjunction with Amazon.

Those are also dedicated package delivery loops, but they are done by USPS employees, when the Tracking information you’re following is on the USPS.com site.

Will UPS Deliver a USPS Package?

UPS does not do the final delivery of USPS packages, but the two shipping giants do partner on occasion.

According to the UPS website, UPS Mail Innovations is a collaboration where UPS does a lot of the heavy lifting, such as “pick-up, processing, and interim transportation.”

Then, the company hands the packages over to USPS, or other international federal postal systems, for final delivery.

Not so long ago, FedEx had the same kind of working relationship with USPS (though it is now defunct).

FedEx SmartPost operated much the same way, with FedEx’s formidable logistics system zipping packages to destination cities and USPS handling last-mile delivery.

Does USPS Use FedEx Planes?

Part of the USPS/FedEx partnership I mentioned in the above section does include Postal Service mail hitching rides with FedEx planes.

With the largest cargo fleet in the world, FedEx Express (the name for the airline) is powerfully positioned to move mail fast, both domestically and internationally.

However, you’d never know that your package was actually on the plane of FedEx.

Tracking simply shows a departure scan from one distribution/sorting center before take-off, and then an arrival scan in the new USPS distribution/sorting center after landing.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on the USPS package going wrong way, if you can reroute a USPS package, and are USPS packages insured.

Conclusion

USPS packages are exclusively delivered by the Postal Service, and more specifically by their letter carriers.

However, packages and letter mail do not always arrive together, though they are loaded onto trucks together. This is because some carriers prefer to deliver all letter mail first, then packages.

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Florence Howard

Florence Howard has been freelance writing for over a decade, and has a vocational background in retail, tech, and marketing. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to rock and metal, and playing with her dog and cat.

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