What Is Priority Mail Express?

Need fast & guaranteed mail delivery? Priority Mail Express may be the right fit for you. Here is everything you need to know; from typical delivery times to pricing and more!

Mail is an essential part of one’s life; whether the receipt of envelopes or packages, being able to receive goods & documents in a reliable way, is important whether you are a business or simply an occasional customer who uses the USPS for personal use. And, in some cases, being able to receive mail immediately can come in handy. Emergencies, high demand customer service and other occasions, could lead you to wonder if there is an option for overnight delivery. 


In today’s blog, we will be covering the fastest service offered by the USPS when it comes to mail delivery; Priority Mail Express. As the name suggests, all mail or packages that you need mailed to your location, are done at a faster speed than average or what you would typically expect from other types of mail delivery that are available at the USPS. The reason behind the expedited service, is air; all these deliveries are completed with a money back guarantee on overnight delivery. 


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What is Priority Mail Express


Priority Mail Express is a guaranteed 1-Day or 2-Day expedited service by 3PM for all mail related matters which includes a $100 insurance policy. The good thing about Priority Mail Express (over other types of delivery the USPS is involved with,) is that you get year round delivery. Also, if you need some mail or package delivered overnight Priority Express will ensure that is done. The maximum allowed weight for Priority Mail Express is 70 lbs and can be delivered to pretty much all addresses within the US including military locations and PO Boxes. This class of mail can be a great option for mailing and shipping all documents; from business to legal and everything in between. 


Another advantage to Priority Mail Express is the free Hold For Pickup service that it comes with which will ensure that your shipment will be held at a Post Office location for pickup. Additionally, you can purchase additional special services such as Saturday and holiday delivery, return receipt, collect on delivery and higher insurance coverage. If you decide to purchase postage and shipping online, you will also get free USPS tracking with Priority Mail Express. 


How To Use Priority Mail Express


When using Priority Mail express, you have two options in how the service is leveraged:


USPS Flat Rate Envelopes: These free envelopes that can be found at your post office, will allow you to send any item that is up to 70 lbs in weight that fits in it, for a lower weight. 


Your own packaging: If you use your own packaging, then the postage you will be charged will be dependent on the weight and distance. 


Important notes to keep in mind:


  1. The distance of the longest side of your package plus twice the width and twice the height cannot be more than 108″.
  2. Your package cannot weigh more than 70 lbs. 
  3. Sunday & Holiday delivery is available, but there is an add on fee for it. 
  4. All items you mail out, need to be in Priority Mail Express packaging, have Priority Mail stickers or tape on them or be marked as Priority Mail Express.
  5. If you select next day delivery, it will arrive between 12PM and 3PM depending on your location.
  6. In order to qualify for Next Day Delivery, you will need to make sure that your mail item is presented to your local post office branch at a time that is determined by your local Postmaster. 


Special Services That Are Allowed With Priority Mail Express


Collect on Delivery.


If you are a small shipper or a mail fulfillment operation, you may not want to wait for customer’s payments to arrive prior to shipping out the product. With collect on delivery, you can leverage this convenient method of payment upon the receipt of an item. So once the USPS collects the payment, it will be forwarded to you. If payment is completed in the form of a check, then that check will be mailed to you. If the payment is completed in cash, then a USPS money order will come your way for the value of the payment that was made.


Regulations to keep in mind, regarding Collect on Delivery:


  • Merchandise shipped, must be ordered by the addressee
  • The total amount that is collected by the mail carrier at signing of the mail item, may not exceed $1,000. 
  • COD is not available when you want to ship to APO-FPO addresses or to and from the Marshall Islands or the Federal States of Micronesia.
  • The local postmaster is allowed to restrict the delivery of any mail or package, that is considered to put the life of the mail carrier at risk due to robbery. An exception can be made in the case of Priority Mail Express COD.
  • There must be a valid ID presented by the recipient at the time of delivery for any check payment or Mail Order fee.


usps truck


Cases in which COD cannot be used:


  1. For merchandise returns (an exception can be made if you have agreed beforehand to the arrangement)
  2. Mailing of bills (if the recipient has a past due balance on any other merchandise, it can be included in any COD collection, just as long as the recipient agrees to this in advance and as long as the maximum collected amount does not exceed $1,000.
  3. Film reels that are being sent back by theaters to the manufacturers, distributors or exchanges. 
  4. Collection agency mail




With Priority Mail Express, you are already insured for up to $100 depending on the value of your item.


Return Receipt


There are 2 types of Return Receipts:


Physical Return Receipt. In this case, the recipient of your package or mail will sign the Return Receipt in front of the mail carrier. That receipt is then mailed by the USPS as a proof of delivery.


Electronic Return Receipt. With this type of receipt, your recipient will sign for the mail piece electronically with their mail carrier. That signature will then be entered into the USPS system which can be accessible via the Track & Confirm page (an e-mail will be sent to you.) Electronic Return Receipts are typically cheaper than Physical Return Receipts and can be checked almost instantly once the signature has been completed.


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Getting A Virtual Mailbox For Your Mail


When it comes to outbound mail, it is easy to pick from a variety of USPS mailing options. But when we are talking about receiving inbound mail…that is a whole other story. That is because when it comes to receiving mail from carriers, it no longer is a matter of selecting registered mail or a mail type that requires a signature. You are pretty much dependent on what the sender decides on using, and that will often typically include your traditional first class mail. And in the case where you have a private post office box, you are probably able to protect your mail to a certain extent.


But what happens when you mail is delivered at your mailbox and with the potential of people opening your box and sneaking into your mail? More and more people have been going after mailbox alternatives, known as virtual mailboxes. With a virtual mailbox, instead of getting your mail at a physical location, it all comes into your phone online (think Gmail, but for paper mail.) This way, with just a few clicks, from either a phone or computer, you are able to access all your mail in digital format.


The way the process works, is the contents of your envelope are scanned on request and uploaded into your account. This means you do not need to take any more trips to the post office, are able to access and manage your mail 24/7 and are still able to check your mail regardless of where you are in the world (you can be in the US or travelling overseas; your mail is still accessible online.)


US Global Mail has been the leader in virtual mailbox solutions since 1999. With over 80,000 customers who have used the service since, it is the go-to solution for all  the mailing needs of both businesses and individuals. If you would like to learn more about how the virtual mailbox works, click here. For pricing and a free month, visit our pricing page.

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