USPS Service Descriptions
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Express MailThis money-back guaranteed overnight (to most locations) includes tracking, proof of delivery, and insurance up to $100. Delivery to most destinations is available 365 days a year with no extra charge for Saturday, Sunday, and holiday delivery. Free tracking information. Express Mail envelopes and boxes are available at most post offices.
Priority MailThis 2-3 day service is typically used to send documents, gifts, and especially merchandise. A variety of flat rate envelopes and boxes can be used for savings- if it fits, it ships. Delivery confirmation, signature confirmation, insurance and other services are offered. Priority Mail envelopes and boxes are available at most post offices.
Packages, envelopes and tubes weighing up to 13 oz can be mailed First Class. A variety of extra services are available, including certified and registered mail, insurance, delivery and signature confirmation.
Parcel PostShip small to large packages with this economical ground service. Delivery to every address in the U.S. Saturday and residential deliveries at no extra cost. Packages can measure up to 130 inches in combined length and girth. A surcharge applies to "non-machinable" items (see below).
Media MailContents are limited to books, manuscripts, sound recordings, recorded videotapes and DVDs, and computer-readable media (not blank). Formerly called "Book Rate," Media Mail cannot contain advertising, except eligible books may contain incidental announcements of books. Media Mail is less expensive than Parcel Post.
Unusual Shapes and SizesSometimes a mailpiece requires additional postage because it is a certain shape or size that is difficult to process on mail sorting machines.
The following are examples of mail that will require extra postage, known as a "nonmachinable surcharge":
Parcels larger than 34 inches long, 17 inches wide, or 17 inches high
Parcels less than 6 inches long, or 1/4 inch thick, or 3 inches high
Parcels weighing more than 35 pounds
Parcels weighing less than 6 ounces
Books or printed material weighing more than 25 pounds
First-Class Mail Envelopes (1 ounce or less):
Square or flat-size envelopes
Envelopes on which the address is written parallel to the shorter edge