USPS Package Drop Off
November 14, 2022
Can you send any heavy or humongous prepaid package through the United States Postal Service (USPS)? Are the big blue mailboxes outside post offices valid locations for USPS package drop-offs?
The USPS is a large federal business enterprise that earns over $70 billion in yearly revenue. The logistics of sending prepaid packages through the USPS can be more complex than mailing letters due partly to the smaller size of letter envelopes.
For example, you may wonder where you can send prepaid packages through USPS. Are home mailboxes, USPS drop boxes, or the local post office valid places to send parcels?
FindPostOffice.org is a one-stop post office lookup site that can help you locate postal service addresses by city, town, metropolis, or state. This article discusses USPS packages, where to drop off USPS packages, how to find the U.S. post office drop-off location for USPS packages, and the approved postal provider program.
We also cover whether you can drop off USPS packages at blue USPS mailboxes and USPS distribution centers, how often post offices empty USPS drop boxes, how to simplify dropping off USPS parcels, and how to pack a parcel to mail through USPS.
In addition, we also discuss DHL eCommerce drop-off, what to do if you cannot access a drop-off point, and include USPS package drop-off FAQs.
Introduction: Dropping Off USPS Packages
USPS is one of the most frequently-used shipping carriers throughout the U.S. It generally offers wider coverage of delivery over different locations in the country at cheaper rates than other shipping services. Such features may benefit customers like a household or small business.
As of July 2022, thousands of post offices have installed over 130,000 USPS collection boxes throughout the country.
The postal system’s mail collection processes have evolved. For example, tall buildings traditionally used mail chutes that allowed individuals to use slots on different floors of the building to send letters to a depository.
Meanwhile, mailboxes in the lobbies of large buildings have greatly replaced traditional mail chutes.
Mailing USPS Packages
You should consider not leaving important packages in the big blue mailboxes outside USPS locations. Sometimes people steal from the USPS mailboxes.
So you should drop off USPS packages over the counter at a post office. Consider handing the package to an employee and requesting an acceptance receipt. The receipt provides proof that you mailed the package.
If you are dropping off many packages, you can use a shipment confirmation acceptance notice (SCAN) form for more convenience. Postal workers can process the SCAN form rather than each individual shipping label.
You also have other options. When your letter carrier drops off your daily mail, you can hand the package to them. An alternative to daily mail carriers is to schedule a free next-day pickup.
Where to Drop Off USPS Packages
You may wonder how to drop off a USPS package. The process can be confusing since you want to avoid dropping it off at the wrong place among numerous options that exist.
Besides having several USPS drop-off options, you can use various online tools to locate the nearest location. You can then maximize the efficiency and convenience of your delivery trip.
USPS mailboxes are convenient for people who need to send mail. Several types of these “collection boxes” exist and can accept dropped-off letters or packages anytime.
The mailboxes are available in various sizes and functions. An example is the “Priority Mail Express” collection box. Another option is the “standard collection box.” USPS usually paints these mailboxes blue and adds the USPS logo.
Kiosks and Contract Postal Units
You can find these self-service kiosks at shopping malls and some post offices. Printing services can provide a prepaid label. This option allows you to avoid time waiting at a post office counter.
At the kiosk, you can:
- Buy stamps and shipping labels
- Print labels
- Affix stamps and labels to parcels
Going to a self-service kiosk is ideal if you are unfamiliar with USPS prepaid labels or do not own a printer at home. Some estimates show that two-thirds of online adults in the U.S. used home printers in 2018.
Contract Postal Units
Generally, most local distribution centers do not accept drop-offs since their primary functions include sorting and distributing mail.
In case a particular center receives drop-offs, USPS will likely require you to first prepack and label your package.
As of October 2021, Walmart had over 5,200 retail stores.
The retail giant is also among the biggest and most accessible official shippers in the USPS system. You can drop off USPS packages at most Walmarts. The USPS website provides a location finder to locate a local Walmart with a USPS shipping service.
Staples is a famous national retailer that has teamed up with USPS as an approved shipper. The retail company uses both USPS shipping and United Parcel Service (UPS) shipping. Some Staples stores also have a drop box feature like the USPS blue collection boxes.
Walgreens stores are generally open 24 hours a day, making them an ideal place for dropping off USPS packages. As of July 2022, the pharmacy store has over 9,000 locations.
You have a few options to drop off USPS packages at Walgreens. You can look for a USPS-labeled drop box or ask for assistance at the customer service counter.
CVS offers easy accessibility for shipping packages. The process is similar to dropping off packages at Walgreens. You can either look for the drop box containing a USPS label or request assistance at the customer service counter.
As of July 2022, CVS is the largest pharmacy chain in the U.S. The company was previously known as Consumer Value Store, hence the name CVS.
Office Depot is a USPS-approved shipper, offering office supplies and other office needs in a single location.
Some Office Depot branches offer a collection box at the front of the store, while other stores require you to drop off your package at the customer service desk.
Albertsons or Safeway
Albertsons and Safeway supermarkets are other national retailers participating in the USPS-approved shipper program. The service provides a one-stop shop for Americans who need to ship packages quickly and efficiently.
In some Safeway and Albertsons stores, you can find a USPS-labeled kiosk or desk. Other branches also offer the service through the customer service desks or collection boxes.
Costco is a good option for grocery shopping if you are seeking bulk groceries. USPS-approved shippers include several Costco stores. However, you usually have to ship your parcels from the customer service desk.
Sam’s Club is another national bulk grocer participating in the USPS-approved shipper program. First, you must verify a Sam’s Club location that takes part in the program. Then drop off your package at the customer service desk.
United Heritage Credit Union
As of July 2022, United Heritage Credit Union (UHCU) is the only bank offering USPS drop-off services. Most UHCU branches only sell stamp booklets. However, some also offer shipping services for small pieces like letters and postcards.
You can visit USPS.com to check if a particular UHCU offers shipping services or if it only provides stamp booklets.
U.S. Post Offices
You may wonder whether you can drop off any packages at USPS post offices for shipping.
USPS is the U.S.’s primary postal service. So you can drop off mail at any U.S. post office. You can search the web for the nearest location. Afterward, you can purchase goods and services at the post office, including:
Some post offices allow you to drop off prepaid and labeled parcels without waiting in line.
Post offices may also offer other services, including a post office box (p.o. box).
U.S. Post Offices: How to Find Drop-Off Locations for USPS Packages
You can use the USPS page to look up post offices that process drop-offs for USPS packages. Search for the proper option then choose the zip code, city, or state. Afterward, you can filter post offices or services. The website will display the opening hours.
What Is the Approved Postal Provider Program?
The Approved Postal Provider Program is a group of USPS services to make shipping easier. The different services offered include:
- Approved shipper program
- Contract postal units (CPUs)
- Approved resellers program
- Stamps to Go
Where Not to Drop Off USPS Packages
Blue USPS Mailboxes Outside Post Offices
Sometimes crooks target the big blue mailboxes outside the post office. So handing the package to an employee and getting a receipt is ideal. You can also drop off your USPS package over the counter at a post office.
USPS Distribution Centers
These centers sort and ship parcels. However, the facilities are not:
- Open to the public
- Retail USPS pickup locations
So you usually cannot make a USPS package drop-off.
What Items Fit Inside a Blue USPS Drop Box?
You can squeeze items of several sizes into the blue box. However, you cannot leave the following items in a U.S. postal mailbox:
- Stamped mail weighing more than 13oz
- International mail with customs declarations not submitted online
- International mail needing customs declaration bearing postage stamps
The post office will return any of these items to you. You should drop them off at a USPS retail counter. Remember that these guidelines apply to all 50 states, including California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Utah.
How Often Post Offices Empty USPS Drop Boxes
The post office empties USPS blue boxes daily. The USPS employee scans the barcode inside the USPS drop-off location to verify the pickup is done by 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
Saturday collections vary based on the specific drop box’s average volume of parcels.
How to Simplify Dropping Off USPS Parcels
Here are some tips to simplify dropping off USPS packages:
- Make sure to wrap the parcel well and use tape to secure it.
- Print and fill out any customs forms beforehand.
- Purchase postage online to save time and money.
- Sign up for an Easyship account to simplify postage options.
What to Do When Unable to Access Drop-Off Points
Suppose your work hours or busy schedule prevent you from getting to the post office or local businesses to drop off a package. You can organize a pickup service. A USPS worker can collect the parcel from your home through Easyship.
The service may require an additional fee. However, you can save time and energy. You will still have to pack the shipment and add a postage label.
How to Pack Parcels to Mail Through USPS
Here are some tips to help package parcels effectively:
- Include a secondary address label inside and outside your parcel so that USPS can still find the intended address should the packaging get damaged.
- Use a strong box for any breakable items.
- Measure the package before purchasing a label to help buy the correct one.
- Use a solid tape for shipping, so the parcel stays securely wrapped.
DHL eCommerce Drop-Off for International Shipping
You can use DHL eCommerce for international shipping. You can book online, such as Priority Mail International, then drop off the package at a USPS post office.
USPS Package Drop-Off: FAQs
1. Can I put a flat-rate box in a USPS drop box?
The USPS flat-rate box is a type of Priority Mail packaging that includes specific-sized boxes and envelopes.
Unfortunately, you cannot deposit them into USPS collection boxes. Note that you cannot ship anything from a USPS drop-off dropbox weighing over 13 ounces. Other issues include the box being too heavy and would not fit in the aperture at the top of the box.
2. Can I drop off packages at USPS on Sunday?
USPS post offices do not accept parcels on Sunday. However, you may drop items into mail collection boxes on Sundays for Monday pickup.
3. How safe are USPS drop boxes?
USPS drop boxes are relatively safe. Still, a safer option is to drop off packages at the post office or schedule a pickup. Unfortunately, thieves sometimes break into blue boxes.
4. Where can I drop off a prepaid USPS package?
You can drop them off at USPS collection locations, blue collection mailboxes, and post office mail drop slots. A post office may also have a designed area on the counter for prepaid packages.
5. Where can I mail USPS packages?
You can drop off USPS shipments at:
- Any of the thousands of post office locations
- Any blue USPS package drop-off boxes if the parcel weighs up to 13oz
6. How do USPS and FedEx differ?
FedEx offers several delivery options and is famous for its fast delivery services. However, USPS’ first-class Priority Mail offers faster delivery than FedEx home delivery.
Visit FindPostOffice.org today to quickly and easily find a USPS location near you.
1. Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service