USPS 24-Hour Drop-Off: Meaning, How To Use It, Benefits & Alternatives

Today’s fast-paced world is all about convenience. Customers want to enjoy 24/7 access to postal and carrier services. While not all operations are available clockwise, USPS offers a 24-hour drop-off service. 

This service allows you to drop off your mail at USPS whenever possible. You can drop your parcel in a regular (blue) drop box or other Approved Postal Service Provider. 

This guide explains the service, the regulations guiding it, and its overall benefits. You will also discover the various alternatives to this service and how to use them. 

Understanding the USPS 24-Hour Drop-Off

The USPS 24-hour drop-off service allows shippers to drop their mail at any official collection box 24/7. However, this service is available only in select regions and has requirements. 

For your mailpiece to be eligible for 24-hour drop-off, it must fulfill these requirements: 

  • Weigh 10 ounces or less
  • Include correct postage, surcharges, and labels
  • Have a maximum thickness of ½”
  • Electronically-generated customs forms (for international parcels only)

These conditions apply to domestic and international mailing options such as First-Class, Priority Mail, Business Reply Mail, Priority Mail Express, and APO/FPO/DPO Mail. 

How to Use USPS 24-Hour Drop-Off

  1. Prepare for the mailpiece by ensuring it is properly addressed and sealed. 
  2. Check the drop-off times for location: While drop-offs can occur at any time, USPS collects mail from these boxes at specific intervals daily. Understanding their schedule will help you get your mail processed promptly, especially if it is urgent. 
  3. Locate a regular collection box near you and drop your mail. 
  4. Use the Click-N-Ship service to generate a receipt or proof of mailing. 

Benefits of USPS 24-Hour Drop-Off

1. Accessibility and convenience 

USPS drop-off boxes are easily accessible and very secure. They are strategically placed in different locations, making it easy for customers to spot one nearby. 

2. Mailpiece flexibility 

USPS drop-off boxes also accept different types of mail, letters, packages, and Priority Mail Express items, provided they weigh 10 ounces or less. 

3. Time-saving 

The 24/7 availability of this service allows customers to drop off their mail at any time. In other words, you do not need to wait until the USPS’s regular opening hours to drop a parcel. Busy individuals and parents value this a lot. 

Are There Other Places to Drop off USPS Packages After Hours?

Since USPS is still expanding the 24-hour drop-off service, these blue collection boxes can be scarce in certain regions. The Approved Postal Provider Program was created to solve this problem. 

Below are third-party businesses participating in the program:

1. Contract Postal Units (CPUs)

CPUs are independent partners. They are authorized to execute package shipping and sell supplies and services. To ship a mail via this option, you need to: 

  • Locate one by typing “Contract Postal Units near me” on Google.
  • Visit the unit to drop off your parcel and make payment.

Unlike the USPS 24-hour drop-off, Contact Postal Units are not usually available 24/7. This is because opening and closing hours closely follow store hours. 

2. Walmart 

Walmart is one of the largest approved postal service providers. Participating stores are authorized to sell stamps, mail drop-off, and execute most postal services you are accustomed to. 

To use this service, you need to: 

  • Find participating Walmart stores. 
  • Use the USPS location-finder tool and select” National Retailer” from the drop-down to identify the stores that accept USPS drop-off. 

Opening and closing hours are also closely affiliated with store hours. While most locations close at 11 p.m., some are open 24 hours. 

3. Walgreens 

Walgreens also accepts USPS items. You must contact the store’s customer service or visit them to look for a USPS-labeled box. Most locations offer 24-hour service. 

4. CVS 

CVS is an Approved Postal Provider that accepts USPS items around the clock. The service sells stamps, and shipping labels, and offers counter service. 

Can you Drop off a Package at USPS Anytime?

In the postal world, packages are considered big parcels. They can be dropped in a collection box if they weigh 10 ounces or less. Otherwise, you would need to locate the nearest Package Drop Units. 

These units are designed to accept large prepaid packages and are not widely available currently. 


How long does USPS tracking take after drop-off?

You should get a tracking update within 24-48 hours. 

How often do USPS drop boxes get emptied?

Once or twice daily. While most pickups occur no later than 5 p.m. (Monday to Friday), Saturday collections depend on the volume of parcels in a specific drop box. 

Is USPS Overnight reliable?

Yes. USPS Overnight is a Priority Mail Express service that guarantees mail delivery within 1 to 2 business days. 


The USPS 24-hour drop-off service is proof that USPS is committed to customer convenience and satisfaction. It offers 24/7 accessibility, security, and time-saving benefits, making it a valuable resource for busy individuals. 

Please ensure you obey the requirements for this service and drop off parcels early at alternative (Approved Postal Service Provider) stores that are unavailable around the clock. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. If you did, please see what time USPS delivers packages

Thanks for reading.