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View Full Version : Do mail and packages move on Sundays?


dolphinboy
08-01-2016, 11:23 AM
I was chatting with a friend and mentioned that while the US Postal Service, UPS and FedEx don't deliver on Sunday that doesn't mean that packages and letters aren't moving toward their destinations. He said that everything stops moving on Saturday night and doesn't start moving again until Monday morning.

So who is right? Does mail and do packages move on Sunday, or does everything stop until Monday morning?

mozchron
08-01-2016, 11:26 AM
I worked for the post office as a clerk when I was in college. Mail wasn't delivered on Sunday, but you bet your ass the mail was moving. How do you think it's ready to go on Monday morning?

I usually spent every Sunday sorting parcels.

kayaker
08-01-2016, 11:34 AM
I've received Amazon packages delivered by the USPS on Sunday.

ETA: Cite (https://uspsoig.gov/blog/no-more-day-rest-postal-package-delivery)

Me_Billy
08-01-2016, 12:00 PM
Mail is in the processes of reaching its destination by trucks on the interstate highways, airplanes, railroads, and ships at sea. Those are all 24/7 things.

Order something from the other side of the country and watch the tracking.

dolphinboy
08-01-2016, 12:12 PM
I worked for the post office as a clerk when I was in college. Mail wasn't delivered on Sunday, but you bet your ass the mail was moving. How do you think it's ready to go on Monday morning?

That was my point, but my friend said that mail that was picked up and processed on Saturday would be ready to be delivered locally (or transported) on Monday morning.

Machine Elf
08-01-2016, 12:27 PM
How do you think it's ready to go on Monday morning?

I've seen cross-country mail trucks in motion on Sundays, but why does the mere fact that mail is ready to go out for delivery on Monday morning mean that it must have been moving on Sunday?

If Sunday didn't exist, then the Saturday/Monday relationship would be the same as the Monday/Tuesday relationship, and AFAICT, mail is ready to go on Monday mornings and Tuesday mornings. Is there something special about Monday mornings that requires mail to be kept moving on Sundays, in spite of no Sunday delivery?

silenus
08-01-2016, 12:28 PM
Your friend is wrong. You can refer him to the first reply up there for proof. Not to mention the evidence in replies 3 & 4.

Thudlow Boink
08-01-2016, 12:54 PM
He said that everything stops moving on Saturday night and doesn't start moving again until Monday morning. So, apparently this isn't true, but did it use to be true? In the past, a lot more things shut down on Sundays than do nowadays.

bob++
08-01-2016, 01:00 PM
I am sure that the mail does move on Sundays - no doubt the day provides a useful catch-up period.

However - when I worked in transport, we didn't work on Sunday at all, or on Saturday afternoon. On Friday night everything that had been collected would be sent to the Hub, and then on to the depot local to the delivery and parked up. On Monday morning the trailers would be unloaded and the goods delivered, same as any other day.

Whenever delivery times are quoted, it nearly always refers to weekdays - Monday to Friday. So "Next Day" means that a Friday collection will be delivered on Monday.

TriPolar
08-01-2016, 01:03 PM
I believe the PO was delivering packages this past Christmas season. I'm not positive because my wife orders tons of stuff online and UPS was definitely delivering on Sunday. Anyway, as already pointed out the shipping goes on around the clock. I assume local delivery uses the most man-power in the system, dropping Saturday deliveries has been proposed several times, there must be substantial savings from each day of non-delivery even when the rest of the process is active. OTOH if not for the junk mail even 5 day a week delivery wouldn't be needed. If I don't get any mail in the box two days in a row I call the post office, but without the junk it wouldn't be at all surprising.

Chefguy
08-01-2016, 01:14 PM
I've received Amazon packages delivered by the USPS on Sunday.

ETA: Cite (https://uspsoig.gov/blog/no-more-day-rest-postal-package-delivery)

Not any more. We have a friend who just retired from the Postal Service who told us yesterday that Amazon has taken back the package delivery service. Those white vans you see running around belong to Amazon. It also sounds like the Postal Service has become a place you really don't want to work.

slash2k
08-01-2016, 02:18 PM
I've seen cross-country mail trucks in motion on Sundays, but why does the mere fact that mail is ready to go out for delivery on Monday morning mean that it must have been moving on Sunday?

If Sunday didn't exist, then the Saturday/Monday relationship would be the same as the Monday/Tuesday relationship, and AFAICT, mail is ready to go on Monday mornings and Tuesday mornings. Is there something special about Monday mornings that requires mail to be kept moving on Sundays, in spite of no Sunday delivery?

Local anecdote: if I mail a letter across town on Saturday, it will be delivered on Monday. If I mail it on Monday, it will be delivered Wednesday. I might get mail from out-of-town on Tuesday, but I won't get local mail, because (since they closed the local sorting center) there is a two-day turnaround on local deliveries. Sunday counts as one of those days.

dolphinboy
08-01-2016, 03:19 PM
Ignorance fought. Thanks everyone.

bibliophage
08-01-2016, 04:09 PM
So, apparently this isn't true, but did it use to be true? In the past, a lot more things shut down on Sundays than do nowadays.I saw USPS trucks on the highways on Sundays as far back as the early 1980s. I distinctly remember my father commenting on his being surprised that they would continue to move on Sunday.

engineer_comp_geek
08-01-2016, 04:20 PM
Wikipedia has this to say:


From 1810, mail was delivered seven days a week. In 1828, local religious leaders noticed a decline in Sunday-morning church attendance because of local post offices' doubling as gathering places. These leaders appealed to the government to intervene and close post offices on Sundays. The government, however, declined, and mail was delivered 7 days a week until 1912.


I wasn't able to find information about whether mail actually kept moving on Sundays and just wasn't delivered or if the mail stopped moving on Sundays after 1912.

Isilder
08-01-2016, 09:19 PM
Local anecdote: if I mail a letter across town on Saturday, it will be delivered on Monday. If I mail it on Monday, it will be delivered Wednesday. I might get mail from out-of-town on Tuesday, but I won't get local mail, because (since they closed the local sorting center) there is a two-day turnaround on local deliveries. Sunday counts as one of those days.

None of that provides clear information about the truck moving on Sunday...
When the trucks move on Monday-Saturday is irrelevant as to if and when the trucks roll on Sunday. Unless your town takes more than 24 hours for a truck to get across it ..

slash2k
08-01-2016, 10:26 PM
None of that provides clear information about the truck moving on Sunday...
When the trucks move on Monday-Saturday is irrelevant as to if and when the trucks roll on Sunday. Unless your town takes more than 24 hours for a truck to get across it ..

Sure it does, because my town doesn't have a sorting center anymore. The mail all goes to Kansas City, and it's a two-day turnaround there.

See https://ribbs.usps.gov/modernservicestandards/ssmaps/find_map.cfm for the service standards. All mail originating in the region (Missouri, most of Kansas, eastern Nebraska, SW Iowa, eastern Oklahoma, and bits of Arkansas and Illinois) is supposed to be delivered in two days to zip code 666+ (Topeka, Kan.).

If I mail the letter on Monday, it goes to Kansas City Monday night, gets sorted there during the day on Tuesday, and comes back to Topeka on the Tuesday night truck for Wednesday delivery. If I mail it on Saturday, it goes to Kansas City Saturday night, gets sorted during the day on Sunday, and comes back to Topeka on the Sunday night truck for Monday delivery. In either case, two days.

GaryM
08-02-2016, 12:23 AM
Not any more. We have a friend who just retired from the Postal Service who told us yesterday that Amazon has taken back the package delivery service. Those white vans you see running around belong to Amazon. It also sounds like the Postal Service has become a place you really don't want to work.

I received a book from Amazon delivered yesterday (Sunday). It was delivered by a postal carrier in uniform driving a US Mail logo'd delivery truck. I was told however that the Sunday deliveries come not through our closest PO, but from a more central one 15 miles away.

Asuka
08-02-2016, 01:34 AM
As someone who actually not only works for the USPS but directly works with the truck drivers who move mail between facilities I can assuredly say that mail is moving 24/7. While Sundays are a lighter day compared to the other six (we get about half the trucks we get on a normal day) a lot of mail is still moving back and forth between facilities either waiting to dispatch that following Monday or is being prepped in order to be sorted Sunday night to be ready for Monday morning. Most of what I see come through are packages Sunday morning followed by a lot of letters and flats on Sunday evening.

Me_Billy
08-02-2016, 11:02 AM
As someone who actually not only works for the USPS but directly works with the truck drivers who move mail between facilities I can assuredly say that mail is moving 24/7. While Sundays are a lighter day compared to the other six (we get about half the trucks we get on a normal day) a lot of mail is still moving back and forth between facilities either waiting to dispatch that following Monday or is being prepped in order to be sorted Sunday night to be ready for Monday morning. Most of what I see come through are packages Sunday morning followed by a lot of letters and flats on Sunday evening.

And I assume if you were driving a semi-truck from Dallas Texas to Los Angeles, you would not suddenly stop the truck in Arizona when it became Sunday? Rather keep driving until you reached your destination.

Chefguy
08-02-2016, 12:08 PM
As someone who actually not only works for the USPS but directly works with the truck drivers who move mail between facilities I can assuredly say that mail is moving 24/7. While Sundays are a lighter day compared to the other six (we get about half the trucks we get on a normal day) a lot of mail is still moving back and forth between facilities either waiting to dispatch that following Monday or is being prepped in order to be sorted Sunday night to be ready for Monday morning. Most of what I see come through are packages Sunday morning followed by a lot of letters and flats on Sunday evening.

Can you address the Amazon/USPS discussion above? Our friend told us that Amazon was taking back the package delivery end of things, but perhaps it's a phased thing?

kaylasdad99
08-02-2016, 12:34 PM
I work in a Processing and Distribution Facility, and my hours include Saturday from 9 p.m. to Sunday at 5:30 a.m. I'm not on the loading/receiving dock area, but we definitely have trucks coming in and going out.

Ranger Jeff
08-02-2016, 12:44 PM
And I assume if you were driving a semi-truck from Dallas Texas to Los Angeles, you would not suddenly stop the truck in Arizona when it became Sunday? Rather keep driving until you reached your destination.

Speaking from my personal experience, OTR drivers do NOT care what day of the week it is. Unless there's some major sporting event taking place in a city the same day they're driving through it. In which case you either drive a different way or adjust your timing so you miss the traffic.

Oh, and if you're a solo driver going from Dallas to LA, it's a minimum 3 day trip (depending on your pickup and delivery times), so in order to comply with the Hours of Service regulations, there's at least 2 overnight stops mandated en route. Once, when I was returning from a LA trip with a load from SF to KC (I think it was), I had to take a 34 hour break to reset my hours (that pesky 70 hour rule). It worked out well for me as I took the break in SLC, where I got to meet IRL and hang out with some online friends I had known only online for several years.

Schnitte
08-02-2016, 05:46 PM
When the trucks move on Monday-Saturday is irrelevant as to if and when the trucks roll on Sunday. Unless your town takes more than 24 hours for a truck to get across it ..

How long it takes for mail to be delivered within a town is not determined by the size of the town, in the sense of the geographical distance between two points in it. It is much more dependent on whether the town has a local sorting facility or not. If it doesn't, then all mail, local as well as national, will be trucked out of town to the sorting facility in whose area the twon lies. There it will be sorted, and the mail that is addressed to an address within that town will then be trucked back for delivery. That way, your typical mail item can travel a surprisingly long distance even for local mail. But economies of scale mean that, in spite of the cost of hauling the mail around, this is simply cheaper than running a larger number of sorting facilities.

gotpasswords
08-02-2016, 06:01 PM
Can you address the Amazon/USPS discussion above? Our friend told us that Amazon was taking back the package delivery end of things, but perhaps it's a phased thing?
Amazon is assembling its own delivery service, but availability of it is regional. For the time being, in the San Francisco area, USPS brings the Sunday deliveries (as noted above, they're working this out of regional centers, rather than your normal local post office), and on the rest of the week, UPS, USPS and Ontrac bring the goods. Another outfit called Dynamex handles the same-day deliveries.

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