We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Far do Mail Carriers Walk Each Day?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In the United States, there are three types of mail carrier, all of whom walk varying distances each day, depending on their location and the type of route they work. Those who work in a city walk the most, because they tend to have small, localized routes. Rural and highway contract route carriers walk less, because their routes are usually covered in motor vehicles. City and rural mail carriers are official, unionized employees of the United States Postal Service. Highway contract route carriers are private contractors.

All mail carriers start their day by arriving at a sorting facility to pick up the mail for their routes. Sorting facilities divide the mail up first by zip code, and then by carrier routes. Within a zip code, there may be up to 15 routes, depending on density. Individual delivery people further sort their mail, organizing it in the most effective way for their route. Many carriers work the same routes every day and become very familiar with their postal customers.

City mail carriers have walking and driving routes. In the case of a driving route, the mail is loaded into a post office vehicle and driven out. Many cities require that carriers park in a central location and distribute mail from there before moving on to another centralized location, to avoid stopping and starting mail vehicles at each destination on the route. This cuts down on the potential for traffic accidents and runaway postal vehicles. Those on driving routes alternate several miles (km) of walking with driving each day and may return to the mail facility for another load.

Delivery people on walking routes usually cover the area closest to the mail sorting facility. In a major city with multiple postal facilities, there may be a large number of walking routes. These individuals load their mail either into shoulder bags or onto small hand-wheeled carts and may walk up to 10 miles (16 km) round trip to complete their mail deliveries.

Rural and highway contract route carriers base their routes almost entirely out of their vehicles, which may be privately owned cars specially modified for postal work or official post office vehicles. They do very little walking on their daily routes, as most rural homes position their mailboxes close to the road for easy access. These mail carriers are required to do some walking and heavy lifting while loading their mail for the day’s route.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a SmartCapitalMind researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon992693 — On Sep 24, 2015

My mom walks 20 miles a day easy. She also does a lot of overtime and helps with other carriers' routes.

By anon340533 — On Jul 03, 2013

The average sub/city carrier will serve around 500 households, at least in the Northeast.

By anon330939 — On Apr 19, 2013

How many people does one mail carrier serve?

By anon265208 — On May 01, 2012

I'm a city carrier, and ten miles is average day. I have walked as much as 20 when covering pivots for other routes plus my own.

By anon4274 — On Oct 10, 2007

With the post office not extending city carrier service to formerly rural areas, rural carriers can be required to hike quite a bit. In fact, my route (a "rural" route in Omaha Nebraska in a suburban business area) has been measured(with a measurement roller) at 8 miles of walking a day.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.