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The United States of America is a very big place, in one country, we have different time zones; that should give us an idea of how big the country is. In this large expanse of land, finding even a McDonald’s shop can be a hassle. But that is besides the point.

Here we are dealing with the USPS and how to locate the various USPS offices around the US. The USPS handles 47% of the world’s mail and has over 31,000 retail offices in the US and they do not all do the same thing.

USPS locations
Img Source: usps.com

We are going to be breaking down USPS locations in great detail so you know how best to deal with your mail

LOCATION TYPES

One thing to understand is that not all USPS locations do the same thing. It is important to know exactly what kind of service is offered at the different location types and we will be walking you through the various types of US post office locations.

See Also: USPS Redelivery Tracking | USPS Tracking

POST OFFICES AND APPROVED POSTAL PROVIDERS

A local post office is a place where mail related services are carried out, in a post office, one can send a mail, receive mail, apply for services such as hold mail, mail forwarding and change of address.  An approved postal provider on the other hand is a postal office which offers services relating to the Approved Postal provider Program initiated by the USPS. These services include purchase of stamps, mailing letters and shipments without ever visiting a post office. So when a person visits an Approved Postal Provider, they can sign up for the packages in this program which makes for easier postal services.

SELF SERVICE KIOSK

The self-service kiosk is also called an Automated Postal Centre(APC). With the look of an ATM, These APCs are usually placed in front of some post offices and in some cases, they could be placed independently at one of the various USPS locations. At a self-service kiosk, the user can access a variety of USPS services via the use of a touch screen. These APCs can weigh parcels up to 70 pounds, allow customers to print express mail forms, even do ZIP code lookups. They are in most cases available 24 hours a day and they run all through the week.

See Also: USPS Change Of Address & USPS Mail Forwarding

See Also: USPS Saturday & Sunday Hours | USPS Hold Mail

A user at one of these kiosks can make payments via credit and debit cards and get a receipt generated right there by the machine. There are about 5,000 of these self-service kiosks in the US and there are plans to double this number in the near future.

COLLECTION BOXES

Many USPS locations have collection boxes.  A USPS collection box is a place where you can drop off your mail instead of going to the post office. There are a few conditions on using a collection box though, the first of which is that the address must be correctly written if not the mail will not get to its destination. The second is that the package should be less than 13 oz in weight before it can be dropped in a collection box.

PASSPORTS

There are US post office locations which are licensed to accept passport applications on behalf of the Department of Defense. These US post office locations have the facilities to accept first time passport applications as well as renewals. At this USPS locations, one can also have their passports taken for an extra fee.

BUSINESS

Some USPS locations offer business services such as shipping of large containers, customized stamps, bulk and frequent shipping, and other business related services.

HOW TO FIND USPS LOCATIONS

With the above mentioned statistics, how does one find US post office locations? The most preferred method is by visiting the USPS website on www.usps.com/locator

When you open this page, of course at the top right hand area, there is a tracking panel for those who have a parcel to track. The first thing which grabs the attention is the panel to the left side where you can choose the type of USPS location you require. Beside that panel, there is a place to search by ZIP code, city or state. Depending on the criteria, the search returns USPS locations within seconds. There is also a map plug in which gives a visual representation of the locations and this works because seeing a map (for those who know how to use one) helps in knowing exactly where to look when locating a place or service.

See Also: USPS Hours | USPS Holidays Schedule 2017

See Also: Best USCIS Case Status Checker Apps 2017

There is a locator proximity panel where you can choose a number of miles the search should include. This helps those who are not so particular about a location but the surrounding locations a place might have. It could be that there is no post office in a place but within the next 20 miles there are a couple, this helps one locate those ones that are close by.

USPS APP

One can also find USPS locations easily by using the USPS mobile app on Android and iOS. It is easy and convenient, anybody can do it and it gives you the comfort of not having to go anywhere in order to know where USPS offices are located.

CONCLUSION

The USPS has been in existence for over two centuries now and they own one of the biggest civilian fleets in the world. With customer numbers over a billion, the USPS has proven to be an empire. The USPS offers services to individuals and corporate bodies alike and there is no parcel too big that it cannot be moved and delivered by the USPS.

Finding out and being able to know USPS locations is one of the best things a customer can do for themselves as it could come in handy at any point in the future. For example, sending a small package could be done using a collection box as against going to the Post Office. The Self-Service kiosk has a lot of features which could save a lot of time if only more people utilized them. These little things have been built into the system and they are there to make postal service more convenient for the customer.

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