General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Is there a way to guess how the US Postal Service will route a package going cross-country?

Asked by elbanditoroso (22764points) November 30th, 2012

I made an Ebay purchase yesterday from a guy who lives in Spokane, Washington. I live in the Southeastern US (near Atlanta, GA). He sent me the purchase using the US Post Office.

So how would the USPS route the box? My suspicion is that it would go from Spokane to Seattle, because that’s the next largest city with a big airport.

But after that, would it be put on a plane from Seattle to Atlanta? Would it go down to LAX and meet up with a lot other mail coming to the Atlanta area?

Of course, once it’s in Georgia they put it on a truck to my local post office and I’ll have it the next day.

Is there any way to divine how the USPS routes small packages?

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5 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

USPS has a very convoluted system. They don’t own their own planes like other mail carriers. See airline and rail division and below on this wikipedia link. If you like to track our packages you can always ask the sender to add tracking.

Convulution does not imply ineffective. The USPS is amazing in my opinion. Their rates of losing packages must be close to zero.

dabbler's avatar

The USPS has regional routing centers. Usually a package goes to the center near the source then to the center near the destination then delivered.
Sometimes due to full capacity on that ‘sensible’ route and available capacity on alternative routes a package will go some crazy way across the country and back before delivery.

marinelife's avatar

No, there’s no way to guess. There are lots of possibilities.

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