There are over 150,000 USPS collection boxes throughout the United States, and they have been a trusted way to drop off letters and packages for centuries.

One thing you may be wondering when you drop something off in one of those blue boxes, is how long you can expect it to be sitting there.

How often is mail picked up from USPS blue collection boxes, and what time of the day is this done?

In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know!

What Time Is Mail Collected From Blue USPS Boxes?

Mail is collected from blue USPS collection boxes at least once daily, Monday-Saturday with the exception of federal holidays. The exact time is specific to each box, and will be located on the collection box itself.

USPS collection boxes located in areas that receive a lot of drop-offs may be emptied twice, however at least once per day is guaranteed by the United States Postal Service.

Note that the time displayed on the collection box is the earliest that USPS employees are allowed to collect the mail from the box. Before that time, they are required to pass by it without collecting the mail, even if it is conveniently located on their route.

However, the exact time of each collection varies. The only thing you can be certain of is that it will happen after the time listed on the collection box.

If you track your shipment using a tracking number, you may notice that it says ‘pre-shipment’ even after the packages should have been collected. This is normal, and your tracking number should show updates within 2 business days.

What About The Boxes Outside Of The Post Office?

USPS Blue Collection Bin

There is one exception to this rule, and that is the boxes located directly outside of the post office.

These collection boxes are emptied several times a day – usually around the time the post office opens, around lunch, and at the end of the day.

This is because these blue collection boxes receive a much larger volume of mail than normal ones do, due to their proximity to the post office. Instead of going inside and potentially waiting in a line, many people opt to put their packages inside the bins located outside instead.

Therefore, USPS empties these more frequently, to ensure that there will be space for more mail throughout the day.

Is Mail Picked Up From Blue USPS Boxes On Sundays?

No. Although mail is collected daily Monday-Saturday, packages and mail left in blue USPS boxes are not collected on Sundays.

Instead, these will be collected on Monday.

So, if you are worried about your package sitting inside the box for an extended period of time, it would be best to drop it off early on Saturday, or during the week. This ensure that the mail will sit inside the USPS box for less than 24 hours.

Is Mail Picked Up From Blue Boxes On Holidays?

No. Because federal holidays are considered to be days off for USPS employees, mail is not collected from blue USPS boxes on federal holidays.

A full list of United States federal holidays can be found below:

New Year's DayJanuary 1st
Martin Luther King Jr. DayThird Monday In January
Washington's BirthdayThird Monday In February
Memorial DayLast Monday In May
JuneteenthJune 19th
Independence DayJuly 4th
Labor DayFirst Monday In September
Columbus Day2nd Monday In October
Veterans DayNovember 11th
Thanksgiving DayFourth Thursday In November
Christmas DayDecember 25th

In the event of a federal holiday, the USPS collection box will be emptied the following day, unless it lands on a Sunday. Otherwise, it will be emptied the following Monday.

This means that if you take federal holidays into account, it is possible for items to remain in the collection bin for up to 3 days in these rare circumstances.

While USPS collection boxes are very secure, there may be some items you don’t want sitting inside the collection box for that long. So, these schedules should be taken into account!


USPS collects from most collection boxes once daily, every day of the week except Sunday.

However, blue boxes outside of the post office may be collected several times a day.

The blue boxes USPS provides are very secure, so you shouldn’t worry about dropping off your mail or packages inside of them.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about USPS’ blue collection boxes, please ask them using the comment form below.

Thank you for reading,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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