The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a part of the federal government that is responsible for providing postal service in the United States. The service it provides is generally called mail delivery, but it offers many other services also. It employs more than 600,000 employees nationwide making it the 3rd largest single employer in the country. Being established in 1775, it is one of the oldest government agencies in existence. Millions of American individuals, businesses, and other government agencies depend on the USPS to deliver mail, documents, and packages countrywide on a daily basis.
Each day the USPS delivers approximately 660 million pieces of mail to as many as 142 million delivery points. It operates 31,000 post offices and locations in the U.S., and delivers 155 billion pieces of mail each year. The basic rate to deliver First-Class Mail (no more than 1 ounce) is 49 cents, so mailing a letter to anyone in the United States will cost you less than 50 cents, regardless of its destination. Additionally, the USPS owns one of the largest civilian vehicle fleets in the nation, which helped it earn the total revenue of more than $74.49 billion in 2016.
Although the USPS is one of the largest government agencies in existence, it has been negatively affected by the advent of the World Wide Web, and email. These two factors have led to a decline of volume since 1998. In response, the USPS announced it would close more than half of its mail processing centers, eliminate 28,000 jobs, and reduce overnight delivery of First-Class Mail. This will close down 252 of its 461 processing centers. However, the most effective way to send a letter in the United States is still by using the United States Postal Service.