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How often are USPS collection mailboxes checked?

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Most people have used the USPS collection mailboxes at least once. These blue mailboxes stand outside of the post office most often, but are also found in front of some businesses and in some neighborhoods. They can also come in several different forms but will bear the USPS seal. They offer a convenient way to send outgoing mail without entering the post office, which works well for those who cannot go during business hours.

Generally, these mailboxes are checked once per business day for outgoing mail and small packages by a USPS employee, which begins the mailing and delivery process. In higher volume areas, they may be checked twice per day to ensure the box does not become overly stuffed.

How Do I Know When a Collection Mailbox Will Be Checked?

The good news is that USPS collection mailboxes will bear a Collection Times label. This label will be blue or gray and contains several text boxes and a QR code that you may scan for information about the closet post office. Times will be listed for Monday thru Friday, and separate collection times for Saturday. These times are typically the earliest a postal employee can empty the box, which should allow time for outgoing mail to get dropped into the box and start the mailing process on the same day.

Often, these times are in the late afternoon or the early evening.

These times can vary, especially during inclement weather, holidays, or high-volume times. Pickup times don’t apply to federal holidays, as the USPS is a federal agency.

You should be able to find this label near the drop slot, on the front of the collection mailbox.

Why Are Some Collection Times Labels Blue, and Others Gray?

Blue collection labels are standard collection labels, and if you see one, you’ll know you’ve found a collection mailbox meant for standard mail. Gray labels are placed by the USPS on mailboxes for Priority Mail Express.