How Long Does Mail Take In The Same City: Duration & 6 Factors That Influence Delivery Speed

Sending mail to someone in the same city does not mean they will receive it that same day. Several factors, such as zip codes, the size of the city, delivery exceptions, and how busy the post office is (among others) can influence how long the parcel will take to arrive.

Nevertheless, most same-city mail gets delivered within 24 hours or the next 2 days. This means your parcel can arrive or be delivered that same day or later. 

This guide looks at how long mail takes to be delivered in the same city and the factors that can influence the speed of such deliveries. 

How Long Does It Take USPS To Deliver Mail in the Same City?


1 to 3 days. If the mail is sent from one location to another within a city and with the same zip code, it should be delivered within 24 hours. This is usually because the distance between the post office and the recipient is short. 

Conversely, if the locations involved have different zip codes, such mail may take 2 to 3 days to reach its destination. This is especially true in big cities where mail needs to travel a longer distance. 

Factors That Can Influence Mail Delivery Speed

Aside from zip codes and the size of the city, other factors influencing mail delivery within the same city include: 

1. Sorting and processing speed

Once the post office receives your mail, it must undergo sorting. This process categorizes mail by size, type, and destination with the help of an automated machine. 

During peak seasons or in the event of a mechanical fault, sorting may become a bit slower. As a result, your mail may arrive later than expected. 

2. Weekends and holidays 

Most postal services take a break on weekends and holidays. For example, USPS does not operate on Sundays and other public holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving Day. 

So, drop-offs very close to the weekend or holidays will be delivered a day or two days later than the usual delivery turnaround. 

3. Severe weather or other delivery exceptions 

Adverse weather, such as snowstorms, hurricanes, or heavy rainfall, can stop or delay mail delivery at any point. Other delivery exceptions, such as road closures, emergencies, and temporary power loss, can also extend mail delivery time 

4. Drop time and day

Drop-off time is crucial to how fast mail delivery occurs within the same city. Aside from dropping mail off on weekends or holidays, postal services prefer morning drop-offs. 

Such parcels have a better chance of being delivered within 24 hours. On the other hand, afternoon drop-offs may not arrive until the next day 

5. Shipping service 

While shipping options rarely matter when discussing mailing within the same city, it is still a surefire way to ensure your mail gets delivered when you want it. 

If regular mailing options (such as First Class Mail) deliver your packages within 1 to 3 days, expedited options will do it that same day or the next morning. 

An example of an express mailing option is Priority Mail Express. This expedited option is expensive because it features insurance, and guarantees delivery dates and refunds.

6. Security Checks 

When mailing toxic or hazardous items, extra security measures apply. These screenings often result in additional processing time and may delay delivery. 


How do you know if your mail has been delivered? 

USPS Informed Delivery – This service will notify you via Daily Digest email on your Informed Delivery dashboard or the app provided you turn on your email opt-in settings. 

Can you track your mail without a tracking number?

You can track your mail without a tracking number by filing a Missing Mail request. Please note that this request only applies to parcels that fail to arrive a few days after their estimated delivery date. 

Does Priority Mail require a signature?

Not always. It mostly depends on what the sender or shipper of the package prefers and the type of shipment. 


Generally, mail delivery within the same city should occur within 2 to 3 days. However, certain factors can expedite or delay this turnaround. 

One surefire way to ensure such mail gets delivered within 24 hours is to opt for Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express. These services deliver packages on weekends and include other benefits, which makes it pricey. 

In addition, you must ensure your mail features the appropriate postage and delivery addresses to avoid rejection or delivery failure, respectively. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. Here are the different ways to know when your mail gets delivered

Thanks for reading.