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Size and Scope of USPS

As the United States Postal System, we...

  • Deliver to every home and business in the United States.
  • Allow every American access to our services. All pay the same postage, regardless of where they live or work.
  • Process and deliver more than 213 billion pieces of mail letters, cards, ads, bills, payments and packages every year, including:
    • Nearly 703 million pieces per day
    • More than 29 million pieces per hour
    • More than 488,000 pieces per minute
    • More than 8,000 pieces per second
  • Deliver mail to more than 300 million people at 146 million homes, businesses, and PO Boxes in every state, city, and town, including Puerto Rico, Guam, the American Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
  • Add 1.8 million new addresses each year to our delivery network equivalent to the number of addresses in a city the size of Chicago.
  • Serve more than 9 million customers daily at nearly 37,000 Post Offices.
  • Have annual operating revenue of nearly $73 billion.
  • Are the second-largest employer in the United States, employing nearly 700,000 career employees, and paying nearly $2 billion in employee salaries and benefits every two weeks.
  • Do not receive tax dollars for operations. We are a self-supporting agency, using the revenue from the sale of postage and products to pay expenses.
  • Handle more than 46 percent of the world's card and letter mail volume delivering more mail to more addresses in a larger geographical area than any other post in the world.
  • Move mail using planes, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, bicycles, hovercrafts, subways, and even mules.
  • Operate the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world, with more than 216,000 vehicles driving more than 1.2 billion miles each year, and using nearly 121 million gallons of fuel. This means that, when fuel costs increase one penny, our costs increase $8 million.
  • Take pride in our letter carriers who work hard, accomplishing the following:
    • Each letter carrier delivers an average of nearly 2,900 pieces of mail a day to more than 500 addresses.
    • Rural carriers drive 3.4 million miles daily to deliver to 37 million addresses.
  • Processed and delivered 25.9 billion pounds of mail 85 million pounds per day in 2006.
  • Generate address changes daily about 14 percent of the nations population moves every year, generating more than 45 million address changes.
  • Add an average of 3,500 new deliveries every day.
  • Forward more than 2 billion pieces of mail a year.
  • Issue nearly 900,000 money orders per day.
  • Provide Automated Postal Centers (APCs), which are self-service kiosks that provide customers with access to the most frequently purchased postal products and services.
  • Provide several places where customers can purchase stamps, including:
    • More than 33,000 commercial retail outlets.
    • 17,000 banking and credit union ATMs.
    • 2,500 APCs.
    • Thousands of vending machines located nationwide.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

These words, inscribed at the top of the James A. Farley building in New York City, are considered the motto of the Postal Service; however, it isn't a motto at all. The phrase is the translation of an ancient Greek work of Herodotus, describing the Persian system of mounted carriers, c. 500 B.C.

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