How the USPS performs throughout a typical year

Do you ever wonder why some months your mailers fly through the postal channels and other months are so much slower?  Here’s a general time table of what’s going on at the USPS each month during the year.

This could help you decide which months you should mail First Class instead of Standard or simply plan to mail out on an earlier date within that month.  Please keep in mind that this is a general guideline, and there are other factors that can influence your mail delivery.

January Performance recovery from the holidays usually comes by week two. Delivery is not where it will be in June, but there is improvement.
February-April Good delivery performance with only minor fluctuation.
May-June The best delivery months of the year as volume is very low.
July Expect some mid-month slowing as back-to-school catalogs cause some disruption.
August First fall catalogs mail and cause a slight dip in performance, usually the first and third weeks of the month.
September The week of Labor Day is usually a “good” delivery week, as the USPS prepares for it. The week following the holiday is the first slower week of the fall season. The last two weeks of the month usually are back to near-August levels.
October Typically shows a drop in performance mid-month as Christmas catalogs mail heavily at this point. The last week of the month is usually one of the 3 slowest delivery weeks of the year due to the heavy volume.
November Delivery from mid-October through the first week of December remains slow, but the slowest week is right after Thanksgiving when volume is extremely high as most catalogers mail their last big holiday push that week.
December After the first week of the month, Standard mail delivery times increase. The USPS prepares for the First Class and Parcel surge and we typically see all mail move very quickly. The 2 days prior to Christmas typically slow down, as USPS focus shifts to that First Class mail. The period between Christmas and New Year’s is difficult – there are two days with no processing and in some years it’s even more depending on when Sundays fall. Distribution companies lose days they can ship and deliver to the USPS.