Our Business

USPS exists to provide trusted, affordable mail service to everyone in the United States. We have a distinct role in the American economy and society, with obligations unlike any other business— to reach all communities and deliver mail to every business and household.

Uniting a Country and its Citizens

We also are at the center of a trillion-dollar mailing industry—an economic engine that employs more than 8 million Americans. It generates hundreds of billions of dollars in sales, salaries and supplies that contribute to the economies of cities and towns coast to coast. The U.S. economy benefits greatly from the Postal Service and the many businesses, such as printing and mailing services, that support it.

A healthy Postal Service is a necessity for many businesses and institutions. It is invaluable for small and in-home businesses as a tool to grow and compete. It is a secure conduit for financial transactions, as well as an efficient way to market products and gain support for charitable and nonprofit causes.

The Postal Service provides a safe, dependable channel to deliver letters, catalogs, magazines and parcels every day to almost 150 million U.S. addresses and, through our postal partners, countless more worldwide.

Each day, 290,000 carriers travel down neighborhood streets across America, delivering and collecting letters and packages, and 32,000 Post Offices are open for business. Millions of customers make online visits to usps.com to print postage, buy stamps and request free package pickups. Our customers rely on us to help build and maintain relationships, deliver vital and sensitive information, and exchange goods and services.

Our Customers
Pyramid showing the four categories of Postal customers: large business mailers at the top, followed by business partners, small and medium businesses, and households.
Customers and Markets

Postal Service customers can be grouped into four categories: large-volume business mailers, business partners and service providers, small- and medium-size business mailers and households. Businesses generated 86 percent of total mail volume in 2008. Households reflect the remainder.

Large-volume business mailers use mail to communicate with customers for a variety of reasons: to send bills, receive remittances, advertise products and services, fulfill merchandise orders, and send out newspapers, magazines, trade journals and other publications. The Postal Service maintains sales, operational and service relationships with these mailers.

Small- and medium-size businesses use mail for many of the same reasons as large-volume mailers, but these businesses generally have a local or regional focus. The Postal Service serves these mailers with the help of local Postmasters, business development teams and business mail entry units.

USPS contracts with worldwide postal operators as business partners to provide delivery service to the far reaches of the globe. Additionally, USPS works closely with the International Post Corporation (IPC) to improve the quality of international mail, manage payments and provide platforms for postal management to exchange views.

Households receive nearly two-thirds of all correspondence, advertisements, news, bills, statements and merchandise. As senders of mail, households contribute roughly 15 percent of USPS revenue. In addition to its long-time connection with these customers at the mailbox and Post Office, USPS serves them through usps.com as well.

Link to previous page “About This Report” Link to next page “Our Business part 2, Mailing Industry Dialogue”