Both literally and figuratively, the United States Postal Service delivers for America.
Even in an increasingly digital world, the Postal Service remains part of the bedrock infrastructure of this nation’s economy, serving its people and businesses and binding the nation together.
The core function of the Postal Service is the safe, reliable, affordable delivery of mail and packages to every address in the country and its territories.
The Postal Service delivers more mail to more addresses in a larger geographical area than any other post in the world.
The timely service provided daily depends on an astonishing network of facilities, technology and people that collect, transport, process and deliver the nation’s mail.
The United States Postal Service delivers more mail to more addresses in a larger geographical area than any other post in the world. The Postal Service delivers to more than152 million homes, businesses and Post Office boxes in every state, city, town and borough in this country. Everyone living in the United States and its territories has access to postal products and services and pays the same postage regardless of their location.
By the Numbers *
65 billion — 2012 revenue, in dollars
160 billion — number of mailpieces processed
40 — percent of the world’s mail volume handled by the Postal Service
1.8 billion — dollar amount paid every two weeks in salaries and benefits
522,144** — number of career employees
108,000** — number of military veteran career employees
31,272 — number of Postal Service-managed retail offices
212,530 — number of vehicles — one of the largest civilian fleets in the world
1.3 billion — number of miles driven each year by letter carriers and truck drivers
39.7 million — number of address changes processed
39 — percent of retail revenue from alternative access channels
423 million — total number of visits to usps.com
67.5 million — number of inquiries handled by the Postal Service Contact Center
246 million — dollar amount of online stamp and retail sales at usps.com
44.1 million — number of Click-N-Ship labels printed
483 million — total revenue, in dollars, from Click-N-Ship label purchases
83.8 million — number of packages picked up using Free Package Pickup
5.7 million — number of passport applications accepted
109 million — number of money orders issued
497 million — amount in revenue from 2,500 Self-Service Kiosks
70,000 — number of stores, banks and Self-Service Kiosks that sell stamps
654,560 — number of new delivery points added to the network
0 — tax dollars received for operating the Postal Service
* all information based on 2012 data, unless otherwise noted
** as of January 16, 2013
The U.S. Postal Service is the core of the $1 trillion mailing industry that employs more than 8 million people.*
These types of mail brought in most of the $65 billion in revenue in 2012:
- First-Class Mail — $28.9 billion
- Advertising Mail — $16.4 billion
- Shipping & Package Services — $11.6 billion
- Periodicals — $1.7 billion
If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 42nd in the 2012 Fortune 500.
In the 2012 Global Fortune 500 list, the U.S. Postal Service ranked 135th.
* The Mailing Industry Job Study, March 2011, reported that there are more than 8 million jobs and more than $1 trillion in revenue attributed to the mailing industry.
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Both literally and figuratively, the Postal Service delivers for America. Even in an increasingly digital world, the Postal Service remains part of the bedrock infrastructure of the American economy, serving its people and businesses, and binding the nation together. The core function of the Postal Service is the safe, reliable, affordable delivery of mail and packages to every address in America and its territories.
|Total Career Employees*
|Total Mail Volume
|Total First-Class Mail Volume
|First-Class Single Piece Mail Volume**
|Total Shipping/Package Volume***
|Advertising Mail Volume
|Total Retail Offices
|Total Postal-Managed Retail Offices
|Total Retail Customer Visits
|Total Retail Revenue
|Postal-Managed Retail Office Revenue
|Alternate Access Revenue
|Alternate Access Revenue Percentage
|Online Revenue — usps ****
|Total Delivery Routes
* as of January 16, 2013
** mail bearing postage stamps — bill payments, personal correspondence, cards, letters, etc.
*** includes Express Mail, First Class Packages, Package Service, Parcel Return Service, Parcel Select and Priority Mail
**** these figures are included in the Alternate Access Revenue
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The Postal Service website — usps.com — is an online Post Office at your fingertips, and it is open for business 24/7. The Postal Service’s smart phone apps provide additional access to the most popular functions on usps.com.
- usps.com is one of the most frequently visited government sites with 423 million visits in 2012 — averaging more than 1 million visitors each day.
- In 2012, stamp and retail sales at the Postal Store, the official online Post Office, totaled more than $246 million.
- Postal Service began offering usps.com in Spanish and Simplified Chinese in 2012.
- Click-N-Ship allows customers to print shipping labels with postage for Priority Mail, Express Mail, Global Express Guaranteed, Priority Mail International and Express Mail International.
- Internet Change-of-Address allows customers to change addresses, sign up for various services and order moving supplies online. More than 13.2 million address changes were submitted online in 2012.
- Going away for a while? Take your mailbox with you. Premium Forwarding Service forwards the mail from your permanent address to a temporary address once a week.
- In 2012, Hold Mail Service allowed more than 10 million customers to have their mail held safely at local Post Offices while they were away from home. Scheduling can be done online.
- Redelivery Service allows customers to schedule the delivery of the package they missed.
- In order of popularity, the top usps.com sites in 2012:
- Track & Confirm
- ZIP Code Lookup
- Calculate Postage
- Change of Address
- There’s a Post Office on your phone. Some of the most popular functions currently available on usps.com —Tracking, Post Office Locator, ZIP Code Lookup, Calculate Postage, Request for Package Pickup, Ordering Package Supplies — are now available on most smart phones.
- The Postal Service app — USPS Mobile — is available on Apple, Android and BlackBerry platforms.
- In 2012, a new mobile application was launched for iPhone — customers using the device’s camera can scan barcodes on shipping labels to track their packages and other mail. The scanner function is available on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
- Since launching in October 2009, the Postal Service iPhone application has been repeatedly ranked in the top 15 free business applications.
- The Postal Service app has been downloaded more than 2.7 million times across all platforms.
- In 2012, there were more than 23 million visitors to the mobile site — m.usps.com — averaging 72,000 visitors per day.
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The Postal Service is very proud of its history — its foundation — and has worked hard to preserve it. Numerous postal buildings are listed with the National Historic Register and many others house works of art from the Postal Fine Arts Collection.
- The Postal Service employs a federal preservation officer and a historian.
- The Postal Fine Arts Collection consists of works of art from many different sources and programs.
- The Postal Service houses more than 1,400 murals and/or sculptures from President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs in its Post Offices around the nation. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. The WPA also employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media and literacy projects.
- Most of the Post Office works of art were funded through commissions under the Treasury Department's Section of Painting and Sculpture and Section of Fine Arts (later known simply as “the Section”) and not the WPA. For additional information, go to www.wpamurals.com/history.html.
- As of December 2012, 998 postal buildings are listed on the National Historic Register. For additional information, go to www.cr.nps.gov/nr/research/
- The Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum, located in Washington, DC, is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history and philately. The museum uses exhibits, educational programs and research to make this rich history available to scholars, philatelists, collectors and visitors from around the world. For more information, go to postalmuseum.si.edu.
- The Postal Service’s Stamp Fulfillment operation is housed 150 feet underground in a business complex created in the limestone deposits of western Missouri. The consistent temperature and humidity level protect the nation’s stamp stock — keeping the stamps in mint condition.
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The Postal Service is part of the fabric of this nation. Postal employees make a difference in every community across the country.
- Each year, postal employees go beyond the call of duty and risk their own safety to save the lives of the customers they serve. In 2012, the Postal Service recognized 313 employee heroes
- Since 1912, postal employees, charities and individual and corporate volunteers have helped needy children and families experience the magic of the holiday season by answering letters to Santa.
- The Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers hold the largest one-day food drive in the nation. In 2012, more than 70.7 million pounds of food were collected. Nearly 1.2 billion pounds of food have been collected since the drive began in 1993.
- The Postal Service, National Marrow Donor Program and Be the Match Foundation created the Delivering the Gift of Life campaign 16 years ago. To date, 58,222 postal employees and their families have joined the donor registry.
- Each year in May, the Postal Service supports National Dog Bite Prevention Week. This public safety campaign builds awareness concerning animal attacks. Last year, 5,577 postal employees were attacked in more than 1,400 cities. Beyond the needless pain and suffering, medical expenses from dog attacks cost the Postal Service nearly $1.2 million last year.
- Working with Valassis, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the “Have You Seen Me” campaign demonstrates the power of the mail. The campaign has returned 151 missing children to their families (as of December 2012).
- The Carrier Alert Program recognizes that Postal Service letter carriers can help monitor the well-being of elderly and disabled customers. If carriers notice an accumulation of mail that might indicate an accident or illness, they notify emergency personnel.
- National Consumer Protection Week — the Postal Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service dedicate one week in March every year to educate consumers about identity theft and other fraudulent schemes, and provide tools and information to combat these frauds. This year’s theme: “Dollars and Sense: Rated ‘A’ for All Ages,” which highlights consumer education for every stage of life — from grade school to retirement.
- Each year, postal employees pledge more than $38 million to charitable organizations represented in the Combined Federal Campaign.
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Postage stamps are more than currency – they are miniature works of art designed to reflect the American experience and highlight heroes, history, milestones, achievements and natural wonders.
- 20.8 billion U.S. postage stamps were printed in 2012.
- 21.8 billion stamps were sold in 2012 — 84% of them in the popular Forever format.
- In 2012, $21.9 million in philatelic products were sold — up 20.5% from last year.
- $526 million in stamps and stamp product orders were received via mail, telephone (1-800-STAMP-24) and online at usps.com/stamps in 2012 — an increase of 4.5% from last year.
- The first Forever stamp, issued in 2007, was the Liberty Bell.
- Forever stamps can be purchased at the current First-Class Mail postage price — they remain valid for full postage no matter how prices change.
- The Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamp has raised more than $77.8 million for breast cancer research since 1998. To date, nearly 945 million stamps have been sold. It will remain on sale until December 2015.
- The fourth semi-postal stamp — Save Vanishing Species — was issued September 2011 to support the Multinational Species Conservation Funds. The stamp has raised more than $1.8 million since it was issued.
- Semi-postal stamps are First-Class Mail stamps sold by the Postal Service at a price above the cost of a regular stamp. These stamps raise money for causes designated by Congress. Four have been issued to date — the two mentioned previously, plus Heroes of 2001 (issued June 2002) and Stop Family Violence (issued October 2003).
- In 1992, the self-stick stamp replaced the traditional version. By 2005, 98 percent of all stamps were self-stick, though some larger customers still prefer the traditional wet-then-stick style.
- In 1893, the first woman to appear on a U.S. postage stamp was Queen Isabella. In 1902, the first American woman honored was Martha Washington.
- The first Hispanic American to appear on a U.S. postage stamp was Admiral David Farragut in 1903.
- While there had been stamps featuring Native Americans as a group, the first individual Native American featured on a stamp was Pocahontas in 1907.
- The first African American to be honored on a U.S. postage stamp was Booker T. Washington in 1940.
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With free shipping supplies, flat rate options and easy online tools, the Postal Service offers customers a simpler way to ship without having to leave the home or office.
- If It Fits, It Ships! Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and envelopes eliminate the need to weigh packages or calculate postage.
- Click-N-Ship allows customers to print shipping labels with postage for Priority Mail, Express Mail, Priority Mail International, Global Express Guaranteed and Express Mail International.
- With Package Pickup, customers can go online to request Express Mail and Priority Mail packages be picked up at their homes or offices — for free.
- In 2012, through Package Pickup, nearly 84 million packages were picked up at homes and offices.
- Shipping supplies are free. Priority Mail and Express Mail boxes, envelopes and labels, international mailing products and customs forms are available at no charge.They can be ordered at usps.com or picked up at a local Post Office.
- gopost, introduced in 2012, is a new service being tested to receive and ship packages using automated, secured, self-service package lockers placed in convenient locations, at no additional cost.
- In 2012, the Postal Service introduced Metro Post — an experimental same-day delivery service specifically designed for e-commerce companies serving metropolitan areas.
- Environmentally friendly Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are available at no cost at any Post Office, or can be ordered online at shop.usps.com. Postage, labels and customs forms can be printed online anytime using Click-N-Ship.
- The Postal Service is the best way to ship directly to APO and FPO locations. The Military Care Kit and special pricing make it easier than ever before to send care packages to loved ones stationed overseas.
- The Military Care Kit contains six Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes — two large and four medium — six address labels, one roll of tape and six customs forms. The kit can be ordered at no charge by calling 1.800.610.8734.
- Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes can be used to ship around the country or around the world. There are seven Priority Mail Flat Rate Box options to ship to more than 190 international destinations and five available for domestic use.
- The Postal Service introduced Package Intercept Service in 2012. At the mailer’s request, packages can be intercepted and redirected for delivery to another location.
- Designed for commercial shippers, Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes are for package shipments requiring fast delivery over shorter distances.
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The Postal Service embraces innovation and encourages the use of technologies that make mail more interactive and effective for customers.
- Introduced in 2012, Every Door Direct Mail is an online service that allows business mailers to target market to customers by neighborhood, city or ZIP Code. Since the service was launched, the Postal Service has handled 373,000 transactions, resulting in 1.97 billion pieces of mail and nearly $300 million in revenue.
- 2nd Ounce Free is a new way the Postal Service is adding value to First-Class Mail. Commercial mailers can use the free second ounce to enclose promotional materials, advertising, coupons and other messages for their customers.
- Intelligent Mail increases the value of mail for both the Postal Service and its customers. The Intelligent Mail barcode identifies individual pieces of mail, trays, sacks and containers of mail, and tracks them through the processing system — from induction to delivery.
- The Postal Service works with third-party sites to help customers create unique direct mail, Certified Mail, newsletters and greeting cards, as well as customized stamps, and personalized envelopes and postcards. For more information, go to: usps.com/send/create-mail-and-postage.htm.
- Picture Permit Imprint Indicia, introduced in 2012, allows commercial mailers to customize the permit imprint indicia on their First-Class and Standard Mail letters and cards with a corporate logo, brand image or trademark. Picture Permit can raise brand awareness and market a company’s products and services. For additional information, go to usps.com/picturepermit.
- Direct mail and technology — together, they both work harder to connect mailers to digitally savvy customers.
- QR codes — turns interest into action. A 2-D barcode can be scanned with a smart phone and provide quick access to websites and other online media.
- Augmented Reality — turns information into a virtual experience and lets a customer interact with information. The mailpiece is held up to the customer’s computer camera to reveal the mailer’s vision of the future on the screen, which extends the use and impact of the mail.
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For more than 235 years, the U.S. Postal Service has been delivering the nation’s mail in snow, rain and the dark of night. However, tough economic and market conditions and unrealistic legislative expectations have created challenges that have never before been faced. Misconceptions about the future of the U.S. Postal Service abound — it’s time to set the record straight.
- The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. We are required by law to cover our costs..
- The Postal Service is environmentally friendly and is a respected sustainability leader. We promoted sustainable practices long before doing so was encouraged, mandated or governed.
- The Postal Service has the world’s largest retail network — larger than McDonald’s, Walmart and Starbucks combined (in U.S.).
- Mail is a great communication tool. No monthly plans. No signal outages. No roaming charges. Regardless of geographic location, anyone can send a letter for just 46¢ anywhere in the United States and its territories.
- The Postal Service can and does compete with the private sector — and it collaborates, too. UPS and FedEx pay the Postal Service to deliver more than 400 million of their ground packages to residences and the Postal Service pays them for air transportation — taking advantage of their comprehensive air network.
- Mail is reliable, trusted and secure — federal laws protecting the sanctity of the U.S. Mail are enforced by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
- The Postal Service is the only organization in the country that has the manpower, network infrastructure and logistical capability to deliver to every residence and business in the U.S. and its territories.
- The Postal Service delivers more mail to more addresses in a larger geographical area than any other post in the world.
- The Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum is dedicated to the preservation, study and presentation of postal history and philately. The museum uses exhibits, educational programs and research to make this rich history available to scholars, philatelists, collectors and visitors from around the world. The museum, located in Washington, DC, was created by an agreement between the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Postal Service in 1990 and opened to the public in 1993.
- The phrase by Herodotus etched atop the James A. Farley Building in Manhattan — “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” — is not the Postal Service motto. The Postal Service doesn’t have one.
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The Postal Service is committed to being a sustainability leader by creating a culture of conservation and leading the adoption of sustainable business practices by engaging employees, customers, suppliers, the mailing industry and federal peers.
- The Postal Service is the first federal agency — and the first company in North America — to receive Gold status from The Climate Registry for its sustainable efforts in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Gold status is awarded to those who reduce GHG emissions by 5 percent.
- The Postal Service partners with suppliers to maximize the use of recyclable materials in the design and manufacturing of its stamps, postcards, Priority Mail and Express Mail boxes and envelopes.
- The Postal Service’s Western Area received the EPA’s WasteWise Federal Government Partner of the Year award in 2010 and 2011. The Postal Service’s Northeast Area and Alabama District are two of only 16 organizations to be inducted into the WasteWise Hall of Fame.
- In 2012, the Postal Service was the only agency-wide registrant for the EPA Federal Green Challenge.
- The Postal Service is helping to prevent prescription drugs from contaminating natural resources. In 2012, the Postal Service recovered nearly 172,000 pounds of unused pharmaceuticals through a prescription mail-back initiative.
- In 2012, recycling efforts captured more than 250,000 tons of material — wastepaper, cardboard, cans and plastics — generating revenue and avoiding landfill fees for a combined total of $24 million.
- More than 22,000 secure recycle bins in nearly 12,000 Post Office lobbies make it easy for customers to read, respond and recycle their PO Box mail.
- Blue and Brown Make Green — the Postal Service partnered with UPS in 2012 to launch a new campaign designed to help each achieve goals, and reduce costs, carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, click here for a video featuring the CEOs of both organizations.
- For more information on Postal Service sustainability efforts, go to usps.com/green.
- By constantly finding ways to make buildings, systems and equipment more energy efficient, the Postal Service has reduced energy use by 34 percent since 2003. The objective is to reduce facility energy consumption 30 percent by 2015.
- The Postal Service makes existing facilities more sustainable with features like high-efficiency lighting and HVAC, recycled building materials, low-water use fixtures, solar energy systems, native plant species in landscaping, natural day lighting and low volatile organic compound materials.
- The Postal Service has the largest green roof in New York City and one of the largest in the country, totaling 109,000 square feet, nearly 2.5 acres. Green roofs save energy and can contribute to better water quality.
- The Postal Service’s second green roof is in Syracuse, NY. Designed to conserve water and energy, the new roof has been built at no cost to the Postal Service, thanks to an innovative collaboration with Onondaga County, NY.
- The Postal Service operates one of the world’s largest fleet of alternative fuel-capable vehicles — more than 40,000 — and most are equipped to use ethanol. There are electric, compressed natural gas, liquid propane gas and bio-diesel vehicles.
- More than 75,000 letter carriers drive to a neighborhood and then deliver the mail on foot. Nearly 7,800 deliver solely on foot.
- Mail is delivered on bicycle on select routes in Arizona and Florida, reducing emissions and saving fuel.
- The Postal Service continues to use and benefit from solar power with solar photovoltaic systems that convert sunlight into electricity.
- The Postal Service is testing 10 Navistar eStar electric step vans. The new 2-ton vehicles will be tested in three locations: CA, NY and VA.
- The Postal Service uses three-wheeled electric delivery vehicles — the T-3 has a 40-mile range, a maximum speed of 12 mph, can carry 450 pounds and averages 2 cents a mile in energy costs.
- It also uses 2-ton electric vehicles which have been used to deliver mail in New York City since 2001.
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The timely service provided daily by the U.S. Postal Service depends on an astonishing network of people and technology that collect, transport, process and deliver the nation’s mail.
- The Postal Service is the world leader in optical character recognition technology with machines reading nearly 98 percent of all hand-addressed letter mail and 99.5 percent of machine printed mail.
- The Postal Service uses more than 8,500 pieces of automated processing equipment to sort nearly half the world’s mail.
- The Postal Service has one of the largest material handling systems in the world for moving mail. There are over 200 miles of conveyors within postal processing facilities.
- Tray Sorting Machines sort more than 18 million trays per day through the conveyor systems.
- The Postal Service has the largest gantry robotic fleet in the world that uses 174 robotics systems to move 314,000 mail trays per day.
- The Flats Sequencing System (FSS) sorts “flat mail” (large envelopes, magazines, etc.) in carrier walk sequence at 12,000 pieces per hour.
- The Advanced Facer Canceller System (AFCS) positions letter mail and cancels stamps at 36,000 pieces per hour.
- The Delivery Barcode Sorter (DBCS) reads the barcode on letters and sorts them at 36,000 pieces per hour.
- The Automated Flat Sorting Machine (AFSM) sorts flat mail at 17,000 pieces per hour.
- The Automated Package Processing System (APPS) sorts packages and bundles of mail at 9,500 pieces per hour.
- The Automated Parcel and Bundle Sorter (APBS) sorts packages and bundles of mail at 6,000 pieces per hour.
- The Mail Transport Equipment Ordering system was introduced in 2012. MTEOR standardizes the ordering process for mail transport equipment (MTE), allowing mailers to order MTE online and improving equipment management efficiency.
- Intelligent Mail increases the value of mail for both the Postal Service and its customers. The Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) identifies individual pieces of mail, trays, sacks and containers of mail, and tracks them through the processing system.
- All packages with tracking barcodes are scanned throughout the postal system. In the past year, the APBSs have been upgraded with improved camera technology and increased barcode read rates.
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The Postal Service has one of the world’s largest computer networks — linking nearly 32,000 facilities and enabling communication between hundreds of thousands of employees and systems.
- With one of the largest email systems, the Postal Service handles more than 13 million emails a day — more than 4 billion annually — delivered to nearly 211,000 email accounts.
- There are 3,473 remote locations within the postal system that receive Internet service via satellite.
- Our communications network supports and maintains 125,000 desktop computers, 21,000 notebook computers, 85,000 printers, 11,000 BlackBerrys, 152,000 phone lines and 310,857 hand-held scanners.
- The Postal Service has 23 petabytes of storage capacity — equivalent to playing more than 59,000 years of songs on an MP3 player with no repeats.
- More than 50,000 meetings per month are hosted online.
- The Postal Service maintains 47,000 point of sale terminals nationwide.
- 355 million internal email messages and more than 13 million external email messages are scanned for viruses every month.
- There are nearly 103,000 email messages blocked monthly due to viruses and more than 281,000 blocked due to content.
- More than 340 million credit and debit card transactions are processed annually in Post Offices and through usps.com.
- 29,000 informational pages are maintained on usps.com.
Decoding the Code
The Zoning Improvement Plan (ZIP) Code was launched in 1963 to better handle increasing volumes of mail. The first number in the code represents a general geographic area of the nation, “0” in the East, moving to “9” in the West. The next two numbers represent regional areas, and the final two identify specific Post Offices. The ZIP+4 Code was introduced in 1983. The extra four numbers allow mail to be sorted to a specific group of streets or to a high-rise building. In 1991, two more numbers were added so that mail could be sorted directly to a residence or business. Today, the use of ZIP Codes extends far beyond the mailing industry, and they are a fundamental component in the nation’s 911 emergency system.
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As one of the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is mandated to safeguard the entire Postal Service system — from the more than 520,000 employees who process and deliver the mail to the millions of customers who use it. U.S. Postal Inspectors, assisted by a Security Force of uniformed Postal Police Officers, protect the U.S. Postal Service and its employees, infrastructure, and customers; enforce more than 200 federal laws that defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use; and ensure
public trust in the mail. Highlights from 2012 follow.
- Postal Inspectors reported 7,845 arrests and indictments related to postal crime.
- Inspectors deployed state-of-the-art mail-screening equipment to identify hazardous substances in the mail or at postal facilities.
- Inspectors participate as members of the Identity Theft & Economic Crimes Task Force, national and state Joint Terrorism Task Forces, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
- Inspectors operate 18 mobile command vehicles and mail-screening stations nationwide, ready to respond to incidents such as natural disasters.
- Postal Inspectors arrested 157 suspects under Operation Rapid Refund, a multi-agency task force targeting criminals who commit tax fraud via the mail. Inspectors recovered more than $634 million in taxpayer dollars.
- Inspectors responded to more than 3,300 incidents involving suspicious items, substances, powders or liquids in the mail or at postal facilities. Of those, 161 involved potential improvised explosive devices. No injuries or fatalities were reported.
- Inspectors and other specialists conducted approximately 28,000 reviews to ensure the security of postal facilities.
- Inspectors recovered about 43,000 plastic pallets and other postal equipment worth more than $1.7 million being misused, stored unnecessarily or located outside the postal network.
- National Consumer Protection Week publicized the dangers of foreign lottery scams this year. Inspectors held 575 events nationwide, and reached an estimated 123 million customers with fraud- prevention tips.
- Inspectors investigated the use of the mail to sexually exploit children — reporting 153 arrests and indictments and rescuing 89 children from further victimization.
- Working with DOJ’s Consumer Protection Branch, Inspectors investigated business opportunity and investment scams, which resulted in 33 indictments in five judicial districts. Inspectors reported 1,406 arrests and indictments for mail fraud overall.
- Inspectors seized from the mail more than 41,000 pounds of illegal narcotics and $20.2 million in drug-trafficking proceeds.
- Inspectors conducted mail screening for the Department of Homeland Security’s National Special Security Events, such as the National Democratic and Republican Conventions, screening more than 37,400 mailpieces — and detecting no hazards.
- The Postal Inspection Service publicized scams via the mail by disseminating video news segments (the Consumer Alert News Network (CANN)) to TV stations, which air them in local newscasts. Inspectors— and sometimes victims—are interviewed about cases to illustrate ongoing scams. This national consumer initiative is funded by fines collected from criminals convicted of fraudulent schemes.
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The U.S. Postal Inspection Service operates a cutting-edge National Forensic Laboratory in Dulles, VA, staffed with highly trained foreign forensic scientists and technical specialists. These employees play a key role in identifying, apprehending, prosecuting, and convicting individuals responsible for postal-related crimes.
Criminal and security investigations of prohibited and dangerous mail (mail containing contraband or harmful items or substances), mail theft, mail fraud, revenue fraud, robberies, burglaries and workplace violence all rely on the National Forensic Lab for scientific and technical assistance and expertise. Its services include four distinct units: Questioned Documents Unit, Fingerprint Unit, Physical Sciences Unit and Digital Evidence Unit, which in 2012 delivered these results:
- Forensic scientists examined more than 50,000 documents, fingerprints, controlled substances, audio, video, digital media and other items of physical evidence. The examinations resulted in the identification of 494 criminal subjects.
- Forensic computer analysts recovered approximately 145,000 pieces of data from mobile devices using cell phone kiosks. The kiosks were deployed to 18 field locations to address the increasing prevalence of mobile devices in criminal investigations.
For additional information about the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, go to postalinspectors.uspis.gov.
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Postal Service superlatives — everything you’ve ever wanted to know — and more.
Post Office Fun Facts
- Highest – Alma, CO – 10,578 feet above sea level.
- Lowest – Death Valley, CA – 282 feet below sea level.
- Coldest – North Slope of Alaska: Barrow (99723) and Wainwright (99782).
- Hottest – Death Valley, CA (92328).
- Wettest – Mt. Waialeale, near the Kapaa Post Office (96746) in Hawaii.
- Driest – Death Valley, CA (92328).
- Westernmost – 48 contiguous – La Push, WA (98350).
- Westernmost – 50 states – Adak, AK (99546).
- Easternmost – 48 contiguous – Lubec, ME (04652).
- Easternmost – 50 states – Same.
- Southernmost – 48 contiguous – Key West, FL (33040).
- Southernmost – 50 states – Naalehu, HI (96772).
- Northernmost – 48 contiguous – Sumas, WA (98295).
- Northernmost – 50 states – Barrow, AK (99723).
- Most Centered (all 50) – closest to the geographical center of the 50 states – Belle Fourche, SD.
- Most Centered (48) – closest to geographical center of the 48 contiguous states – Lebanon, KS.
- Oldest in same building – Hinsdale, NH, since 1816.
- 2nd oldest – Castine, ME, since 1833.
- Largest – James A. Farley Post Office, New York, NY – 93,000 square feet.
- Smallest – Ochopee Main Post Office, Ochopee, FL – 61.3 square feet.
- Most Extraordinary – Peach Springs, AZ, Post Office has walk-in freezers for food destined for delivery to the bottom of the Grand Canyon by mule train.
- Most Subterranean – Stamp Fulfillment Services, located in Kansas City, MO, is located in a limestone cave 150 feet underground. It is the Postal Service’s only facility located in an underground environment. The consistent, year-round temperatures and humidity levels in the caves allow the stamps to be maintained in mint-quality condition. The underground facility also keeps the inventory and employees safe from snow, flooding, winds and tornadic activity common in the Midwest.
- Most Needing a Bridge – the Point Roberts, WA, Post Office can be reached by car only by driving through British Columbia, Canada. Only a boat or float plane can travel directly there.
Just the Fun Facts
- Most Common Post Office Name — Franklin is the most common name with 29 locations. Greenville is second with 28, and Clinton, Springfield and Washington are tied for third with 27 each.
- Most Common City Name — Franklin is the most common city name with 31 locations. Clinton and Washington are second, with 29 each. Arlington is third with 28. Chester, Georgetown, Madison and Salem are tied for fourth place with 27 each.
- Most Common Street Names — the five most common street names in the country are Main, 2nd, Maple, Oak and Park — in that order.
- Longest Main Street — the longest Main Street in America is located in Island Park, ID (83429) — it’s 33 miles long.
- Most Unusual Delivery Method — mule trains in AZ. Each mule carries about 130 pounds of mail, food, supplies and furniture down the 8-mile trail to the Havasupai Indians at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, averaging 4,000 pounds per day.
- Another Unusual Delivery Method — boat in MI. The JW Westcott is a 45-foot contract mail boat out of Detroit, MI, that delivers mail to passing ships in the Detroit River. The JW Westcott has its own ZIP Code — 48222.
- Another Unusual Delivery Method — dock- to-dock delivery on the Magnolia River in AL. A 17-foot contract mail boat delivers to 176 dock-side mailboxes on a 31-mile stretch of the river.
- There are nearly 42,000 ZIP Codes in the country.
- The lowest ZIP Code is 00501, a unique ZIP Code for the Internal Revenue Service in Holtsville, NY.
- The highest ZIP Code is 99950 in Ketchikan, AK.
- The easiest ZIP Code to remember is 12345, a unique ZIP Code for General Electric in Schenectady, NY.
- The longest rural delivery route is Route 081 in Mangum, OK. The carrier travels 187.6 miles daily and delivers to 240 boxes.
- The shortest rural delivery route is Route 016 in Santa Clarita, CA. The carrier travels 2 miles daily and delivers to 531 boxes.
- The Postal Service moves mail using planes, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, float planes, hovercrafts, T-3s, mules, bicycles and feet.
- The Postal Service receives 89 percent of its retail revenue from 10,000 of its nearly 32,000 postal-operated retail locations.
- Working with the U.S. Department of State, the Postal Service accepted 5.7 million passport applications in 2012, generating $182 million in revenue.
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Each day, the Postal Service picks up, processes and delivers millions of letters and packages. No single operation in the world comes close to this level of connectivity to so many households and businesses. Here’s just ONE day in the life of the United States Postal Service (figures are averages):
215 million — revenue received, in dollars
157 million — dollars paid to postal employees in salaries and benefits
528 million — number of mailpieces processed and delivered
22 million — average number of mailpieces processed each hour
366,000 —average number of mailpieces processed each minute
6,100 — average number of mailpieces processed each second
226.7 million — pieces of First-Class Mail processed and delivered
262.4 million — pieces of Advertising Mail processed and delivered
727,167 —number of packages picked up through Package Pickup
4.3 million — number of miles driven by letter carriers and truck drivers
7,753 — number of letter carriers who deliver mail entirely on foot — The USPS Fleet of Feet
130,592 — number of address changes processed
2,160 — number of addresses added to our delivery network
1 million - number of peple who visit usps.com
809,210 — dollar amount of online stamp and retail sales at usps.com
1.6 million — amount of money spent on postage for Click-N-Ship labels
44.1 million — number of Click-N-Ship labels printed
18,750 — number of passport applications accepted
358,553 — number of money orders issued
1.6 million — dollars spent at Self-Service Kiosks in Post Office lobbies
3.2 million — customers served at more the 31,000 retail locations
0 — tax dollars received for operating the Postal Service
A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation: 152 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With more than 31,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 42nd in the 2012 Fortune 500.
National Postal Forum
The National Postal Forum is the mailing industry’s premier educational venue, trade show and networking event for industry professionals. Since 1968, it has provided business mailers with ongoing training and education, and helped them keep pace with the mailing industry’s rapid progress. Held annually, the forum offers a wide range of opportunities for attendees. Currently, nearly 4,000 industry professionals attend the forum each year and participate in more than 100 workshops on the hottest issues facing the mailing industry. For more information, go to npf.org.
The following are among the trademarks owned by the United States Postal Service: ACS™, APC®, Automated Postal Center®, Carrier Pickup™, CASS™, CASS Certified™, Certified Mail™, Click-NShip ®, Confirm®, Cradle to Cradle®, If it Fits, it Ships®, Customized MarketMail®, Delivery Confirmation™, DMM®, EPM®, Express Mail®, FAST®, FASTforward®, First-Class™, First-Class Mail®, IM™, IMb™, Intelligent Mail®, LACSLink®, MASS™, MERLIN®, Mover’s Guide®, NCOALink®, Netpost®, Netpost Mailing Online™, OneCode ACS®, OneCode Confirm®, OneCode Solution®, OneCode Vision®, Parcel Post®, Parcel Select®, PC Postage®, PLANET®, PLANET Code®, Post Office™, PostalOne!®, Postal Service™, Postal Inspection Service®, POSTNET™, Premium Forwarding Service® , Priority Mail®, Quick, Easy, Convenient®, RDI™, ReadyPost®, REDRESS®, Registered Mail™, RIBBS®, Signature Confirmation™, Simple Formulas®, Stamps by Mail®, Standard Mail®, The Postal Store®, United States Postal Service®, U.S. Mail®, U.S. Postal Service®, USPS®, USPS Electronic Postmark®, USPS.COM®, usps.com®, ZIP+4®, and ZIP Code™. This is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service trademarks.
Mail.dat®, Mail.XML® and IDEAlliance® are trademarks owned by the International Digital Enterprise Alliance.
Visit usps.com for more information.
Produced by Corporate Communications
© 2013 United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.
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