If you have a package on the way, you may be eager to receive it as quickly as possible.

Or, you simply want to ensure that it can be safely collected when it is scheduled to arrive.

Either way, USPS tracking is a fantastic way to estimate when your package is likely to be delivered. However, it isn’t always completely accurate.

Therefore, you may be wondering – does USPS deliver earlier than expected, and if so what causes it to happen?

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

Does USPS Deliver Early?

USPS Vehicles

Yes, USPS can deliver early and this happens quite frequently. However, you should always reference your USPS tracking number for the most up-to-date estimate on when your package is likely to arrive.

As the package moves throughout USPS’ shipping network and gets closer to your door, the estimated delivery date becomes increasingly less likely to change.

This means that the estimated delivery date is more likely to update early on in the shipment – often estimating that the package will arrive earlier than they originally expected.

However, even if your package is already at your local post office, it’s still possible that it may arrive even earlier than what the expected delivery date states on USPS’ website.

Note: Packages can still arrive early, even if it appears that they are going the wrong way!

Why USPS Sometimes Delivers Packages Early

Although USPS tracking is very accurate the majority of the time, certain situations may cause packages to arrive early. Let’s look over some of these possible causes now.

1. They Don’t Have A Place To Store Them

Quite frankly, it is in USPS’ best interests to get packages out of their facilities as quickly as possible.

With thousands of packages coming in each day, USPS does not benefit from holding onto your package any longer than they need to – they simply don’t have the space or the systems set up to hold onto large volume of packages – even if they happened to arrive at your local post office branch ahead of schedule.

So, if a package shows up early for whatever reason, they are happy to deliver it early simply to get it out of the post office as soon as possible.

Remember that USPS packages make several stops on their way, arriving at several sorting facilities before ending up at your local post office.

If even one of these events goes quicker than expected, that will cut down the total transit time, allowing packages to be delivered faster than the original expected delivery date.

2. Unexpected Events Can Cause Delays

Across the entire country, accidents and mishaps happen every day.

From severe weather and closed roads to USPS having no access to the delivery location, there are a million things that can go wrong and end up with delivery slowing down.

Therefore, by being ahead of things and attempting to deliver packages in advance, USPS can maximize their chances of meeting their delivery promises.

Even if something were to prevent delivery one day, they would still be able to redeliver the next day and meet the original estimated delivery date.

So, attempting to deliver packages early gives them a larger window to still make their deliveries on time.

3. Some Services Are Guaranteed – So They Don’t Want Any Mishaps!

In addition to the prior point, USPS guarantees the delivery timeline of some services.

One area where the USPS has been able to maintain its competitive edge is in its guaranteed shipping times. Unlike private courier companies, which often make delivery promises that they can’t keep, the USPS has a long history of meeting its shipping deadlines.

This reliability has been a selling point for the USPS, and it’s something that has encouraged customers to continue using their services. It’s also one of the reasons why the USPS is able to deliver early so often.

The USPS has a lot of experience with managing its resources and its network, and this has allowed them to develop efficient shipping routes.

If they miss their delivery guarantee, they may have to refund the person who shipped the package, causing a monetary loss for USPS.

Obviously, this is something they want to avoid. So, by attempting to deliver early, they not only can deliver guaranteed Priority Mail packages more quickly, but they ensure there is ample room in their trucks for other guaranteed packages as well.

Note: Keep Someone At Home!

Although it is usually considered a good thing when packages arrive early, at times it can cause some problems.

This is particularly true if you need to be sure the package will be safely received, and having accurate estimates are more important than delivery speed.

For example, it could be that you have a really expensive package that you don’t want left out, in case of theft.

Or, the package you’re ordering requires a signature, and you may not be home yourself to sign it.

Therefore, if your package is valuable or you’re at risk of losing it, it can be helpful to have someone stay home to ensure it can be safely received – even if it’s delivered early.

Alternatively, you can always have the package shipped to the post office for pickup if you don’t believe you’ll be able to safely have it delivered to your home.

Note: Even if you intend to have someone else receive the package at your address, you should still have it addressed to your name (or another resident that lives at the property.) Otherwise, USPS may return it to the sender because the addressee is unknown.


Although USPS can deliver early and this isn’t uncommon, the tracking estimates available on USPS website are usually accurate.

That being said, if you think your package may arrive early, you should ensure somebody is there to safely collect it.

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

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of JamesMcAllisterOnline.com. 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 JamesMcAllisterOnline.com, 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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