What Are Mailing Business Days and How to Count Them to Ensure Packages Get Delivered on Time

Understanding mailing and shipping business days is crucial for ensuring your packages get delivered on time. This guide will explain what counts as a business day for USPS and other major carriers, how to count transit days, and key tips for avoiding delivery delays.

USPS, FedEx, UPS and other carriers treat business days differently than typical work days. Knowing the difference can help make sure your customers get their orders when promised. Continue reading this 101 guide to learn everything about shipping business days, weekend and holiday mail delivery, and strategies for faster package transit.

What is Considered a Business Day for USPS Delivery?

The United States Postal Service operates Monday through Saturday. But what’s considered an official business day?

  • Monday through Friday are standard business days for USPS. During these days, normal USPS mail services are available.
  • Saturdays are treated differently than weekdays. Some, but not all, USPS services are available on Saturdays.
  • Sundays and major holidays are not business days for USPS. No regular mail services are provided on these days.

So in general, Monday through Friday are full USPS business days, Saturday is a partial business day, and Sundays/holidays don’t count at all. Understanding this distinction is key for tracking USPS transit days properly.

Does USPS Deliver Mail on Saturdays?

USPS does offer limited mail services on Saturdays. These include:

  • Delivery of Priority Mail Express packages
  • Delivery of Priority Mail packages in some cases
  • Pickup services for Priority Mail Express and Amazon shipping
  • Retail services such as buying stamps

However, USPS does not deliver First Class mail on Saturdays. So you can send and receive Priority packages through USPS on Saturdays, but not regular mail.

Are Packages Delivered on Sundays or Holidays?

USPS does not offer any mail delivery or pickup services on Sundays or major federal holidays. These include Christmas, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and more.

UPS and FedEx offer extremely limited delivery services on some holidays, primarily for medical or emergency packages. But in general, no standard shipping services are available on Sundays or holidays from USPS, UPS, FedEx or other carriers. It’s important to account for holidays in transit day calculations.

How Long Does USPS Delivery Take?

Delivery times for USPS mail and packages can vary quite a bit. How long your mail takes to arrive depends on:

  • Type of mail or package sent
  • Distance to destination
  • Time of year and mail volumes
  • Whether a weekend or holiday falls during transit

On average, here are the usual USPS delivery times to expect:

  • First Class Mail: 1-3 business days for nearby addresses, up to 5 days for farther delivery
  • Priority Mail: 1-3 business days
  • Priority Mail Express: Overnight to 2-day delivery
  • Retail Ground: 2-8 business days

Destination distance is the biggest variable. Check USPS’s official delivery time calculators to estimate how long your specific mail or package will take.

How to Count Business Days for USPS Delivery

Figuring out what day your mail will arrive requires calculating business days correctly. Here are some tips:

  • Count weekdays only (Mon-Fri), unless sending Priority Mail on Saturday
  • Skip Sundays and holidays
  • For Saturday Priority Mail, count each Sat as a half business day
  • Add a day if a holiday falls during transit
  • Only count days the USPS operates, not your business days

You can use USPS’s Postal Explorer tool to automatically calculate delivery days. Just enter a ship date and destination ZIP code and it will return the expected delivery date.

How Do Other Carriers Treat Business Days?

UPS and FedEx consider every day except Sundays and major holidays as a business day:

  • UPS – Monday through Saturday
  • FedEx – Monday through Saturday, plus some evening deliveries

So for UPS and FedEx shipments, you can count all weekdays, plus Saturdays. Never count Sundays or holidays.

Always check the specific carrier’s website to determine exact transit days for your package and address. Transit days fluctuate frequently based on volume and other factors.

Tips for Avoiding USPS and Carrier Delivery Delays

Here are some key tips to help make sure you receive mail and packages on time:

  • Send packages early – Don’t wait until the last minute
  • Check upcoming holidays that could impact delivery
  • Pay attention to guaranteed delivery dates
  • Note that inclement weather can cause delays
  • Avoid peak shipping seasons if possible
  • Get tracking numbers and monitor transit progress
  • Communicate clearly with recipients on expected delivery date

Following best practices for counting business days, avoiding peak times, and tracking your packages can help ensure USPS and other carriers deliver your items on schedule.

Key Takeaways on Shipping Business Days and Delivery Times

  • USPS business days are Monday-Friday plus some Saturday services
  • UPS and FedEx business days are Monday-Saturday
  • No standard deliveries on Sundays or major holidays
  • Allow 1-5+ days for USPS delivery depending on mail type and distance
  • Carefully calculate transit days using only business days
  • Monitor delivery progress and communicate with recipients
  • Ship early to avoid delays from weather, holidays or peak volumes

Knowing how carriers operate is crucial for setting accurate delivery expectations. Follow these tips to help make sure USPS and other shipping providers deliver your important mail and packages on time.

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