When you mail a letter or package with the United States Postal Service (USPS), unless you pay for tracking, you may no know when it will arrive at its destination. If you mail your rent check on October 27, will it reach your landlord before the end of the month?
The USPS has a handy mapping tool for that. By consulting the map, you can figure out your mail’s travel timeline and see a rough portrait of how mail travels throughout the country. For example, a first-class letter mailed from the zip code area that starts with 913 will take 2 days to reach anywhere in the southern half of California and Nevada, but everywhere else in the contiguous US will take 3 days. Guam will take 5 days.
The thing to keep in mind is that these delivery times reflect the USPS’s “service standards”, which dictate the agency’s goals for how long it should take a piece of mail to travel from one zip code to another. It does not reflect reality of every mail delivery time, but it is a good estimate when you can expect that postcard or check to arrive once you stick it in the mail. As of this writing, the map depicts the USPS’s service standards as of October 1, 2018. Check it out!