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View Full Version : Does the USPS do anything on Sundays?


Absolute
05-20-2007, 10:25 PM
I know the USPS does not deliver on Sundays, but do they still move packages and letters around, or does everything just completely shut down?

Exapno Mapcase
05-20-2007, 10:31 PM
Mail is still being shuttled across the country, or else it wouldn't be there waiting to be delivered on Monday.

Special delivery used to be delivered on Sundays. Maybe it still is, I haven't checked.

monstro
05-20-2007, 10:44 PM
There are some post offices that are opened on Sunday.

I love those post offices.

Absolute
05-20-2007, 10:52 PM
Mail is still being shuttled across the country, or else it wouldn't be there waiting to be delivered on Monday.

Well, not really. On Monday they could deliver the mail that arrived late on Saturday and early on Monday, which is presumably what they do with every other day of the week.

If they closed entirely on Sunday, then you'd receive the same amount of mail on Monday as you would on any other day of the week. If they continued to move mail around but simply didn't deliver it, you'd receive approximately twice as much on Monday.

Zsofia
05-20-2007, 10:56 PM
Well, not really. On Monday they could deliver the mail that arrived late on Saturday and early on Monday, which is presumably what they do with every other day of the week.

If they closed entirely on Sunday, then you'd receive the same amount of mail on Monday as you would on any other day of the week. If they continued to move mail around but simply didn't deliver it, you'd receive approximately twice as much on Monday.
As evidence of that - I'm a periodicals librarian, and we get hundreds of newspapers and magazines through the mail every day. No mail on Sunday; mail on Monday is the regular volume. Mail after a postal holiday, on the other hand, takes us all day to process. I don't ever, ever want to think about what happened after Ford died and they tacked on extra postal holiday ever again. Ergo, just from observation I'd say they at least don't move regular mail on Sundays.

R. P. McMurphy
05-20-2007, 11:42 PM
Drive the interstate highways. You will see US Mail trucks on the road on Sundays. I'd be willing to bet that the planes flying on Sunday are carrying mail. The US Mail is a huge operation. Their whole purpose is to move stuff from Point A to Point B. There is no reason to shut down operation for 1/7th of their available time.

I'm actually surprised that they deliver mail on Saturday but that doesn't mean that I'm surprised that they move mail 7 days a week.

TheLoadedDog
05-20-2007, 11:54 PM
The USPS runs 24/7. The opening hours of post offices and the working hours of mailmen are not good indicators of when the system itself is at its busiest, and that generally is nighttime. On the weekends, the large mail processing centres will wind down a little bit but not much.

It is true that Monday is just another day for mail delivery, so it should be easy to close down on the weekends, and pick up Monday morning where they left off Friday night, but there's more to it than that. A lot of off peak, discounted mail might be put aside during the week, and will be sorted on weekends. Ditto stuff like return to sender mail. International flights don't stop on weekends, so mail still needs to be taken to and from airports. Trucks criss-cross the country. Sorting machines which have been running at capacity during the week can be taken offline for servicing. Then there's the countless non-core duties like printing labels, replenishing stock, sourcing empty bags, trays, and containers.

The busiest time of all is generally Thursday evenings.

GiantRat
05-21-2007, 12:54 AM
As a former part-timer for the USPS, and the one who almost always (voluntarily) worked Sundays, I'll throw this in: Express mail goes out every day of the week (including holidays) and, at my office in Upstate New York, there was usually at least one person delivering it. There was also usually at least one person there to receive shipments of mail on Sundays. That means, of course, that the truck drivers were working as well. Despite all the knocks they take, the USPS provides a pretty good service overall - and generally undercuts the competition.

Annie-Xmas
05-21-2007, 09:19 AM
We once had a huge snowstorm that cancelled mail delivery on Saturday December 23rd. I was amazed when the post office ran regular deliveries on Sunday the 24th so Xmas stuff could get through on time.

And being able to get to the NYC post office on 8th Ave and send packages on Sunday is wonderful.

Elendil's Heir
05-21-2007, 10:04 AM
Despite some occasional bad experiences with sullen, low-motivation counter clerks and machine-chewed mail, I'm amazed by the scope of operations and generally high level of service provided by the USPS. As a comedian once said, "Just try asking a teenager to carry a letter from New York to LA for you for 39 cents!"

Yes, I know it's up to 41 cents now. But still.

Sapo
05-21-2007, 12:09 PM
Express Mail is delivered 365 days a year. The only service who does that, I believe.

Other than that, there is lots of things happening on sundays. Carriers and POs don't work on Sundays, most everything else does.

Yllaria
05-21-2007, 01:07 PM
We ordered some bees, once, from Sears. They came into our suburban post office on a Sunday. We know that because they were hand-delivered to us within the hour, that same day. I guess they weren't used to bees.



(The box was wooden on four sides and screened on two. You could see the been crawling on the inside of the screens.)

kunilou
05-21-2007, 10:57 PM
I once had to drop off a rather large mailing on Sunday. The mail handling part of the main post office downtown was not only open, it was pretty darn busy.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
05-22-2007, 01:36 AM
The USPS runs 24/7. The opening hours of post offices and the working hours of mailmen are not good indicators of when the system itself is at its busiest, and that generally is nighttime. On the weekends, the large mail processing centres will wind down a little bit but not much.


But you work for the Australian Post Office, don't you? Are all post office organizations pretty much the same throughout the world? Not that that would surprise me.

Just as a nod to all the postal workers, I have to mention something that happened to me the other day when I was picking up a certified letter. I got to the P.O., and the line was all the way out of the window area into the area where the boxes are. I resigned myself to a long wait afoot; when not a minute later a window opened up in the wall and an employee asked if anyone was picking up mail. I thanked her when my transaction was completed, and said it just goes to show you you can have a pleasant experience at the post office.

Voyager
05-22-2007, 02:09 AM
Drive the interstate highways. You will see US Mail trucks on the road on Sundays. I'd be willing to bet that the planes flying on Sunday are carrying mail. The US Mail is a huge operation. Their whole purpose is to move stuff from Point A to Point B. There is no reason to shut down operation for 1/7th of their available time.

Indeed they do. When I was in college, a lot of us took the USPS test for summer subs, and some ended up at JFK unloading mailbags in the middle of the night, Sundays too. I was lucky and got a sub carrier job.

TheLoadedDog
05-22-2007, 02:37 AM
But you work for the Australian Post Office, don't you? Are all post office organizations pretty much the same throughout the world? Not that that would surprise me.
Most of them are pretty much the same. The US is one of our three top international mailing senders and receivers (the others being the UK and NZ), and I've got a lot of contact with the USPS and its systems (eg. I see can see Sunday dates on manifests, etc). Australia Post and the USPS are both servicing geographically large countries with industrialised economies, and through the Universal Postal Union (of which they are both members), they can hold one another accountable to a certain extent.

Also, whenever a foreign postal administration does something new and different, we watch them like a hawk, and take notes on the free R & D. There is a lot of dialogue between the various administrations, and yes, they're all pretty much the same. I could probably be able to walk into a major letter processing plant in the United States, tell you what everything is, and be able to fire up any given machine like I'd been working there for years.

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