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Tips for New Mail Carriers: How to Deliver Mail More Efficiently

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Mail carriers of the United States Postal Service are tasked with delivering and collecting mail along their postal routes. A typical day involves loading their vehicles and delivering mail and parcels; collecting their mail along their routes and then returning to their delivery units to unload these.

If you have just passed the 473 exam and are preparing yourself for your job, you might be interested to learn tips on how you can deliver mail faster. Not only will these help you be more efficient in your job (and get you home on time), it will also keep you on the good graces of the efficiency experts from the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General.

First of all, remember that your satchels are there for a reason. Their purpose is for mail to be placed in them so you can carry it in bulk and deliver these in one go. If you don’t use satchels, you will end up going to your vehicle and back to get more mail and slow down your delivery.

Second, learn to “finger mail.” This simply means “checking the addresses on mail between delivery stops on a carrier route before selecting mailpieces for the next stop.” The purpose of fingering the mail is to avoid backtracking. If you don’t finger, you will eventually end up going back to your route because you did not sort the mail order beforehand. Foot carriers usually do the task while on the way to their deliveries while those who drive finger mail while walking from their postal vehicle to the recipient’s house.

Third, avoid using your mobile phone for unnecessary calls while on the job. Unless the call is really important, then you should refrain from using it while working. Using your phone can impede productivity and slow down your progress.

Fourth, follow efficient loading practices. As much as you possibly can, load the parcels directly to your vehicle. When you re-handle parcels (e.g. putting them on the street before placing them on the vehicle), you are wasting time.

Finally, avoid unnecessary conversations. While all postal service workers must be friendly to all their customers, this does not mean wasting a lot of precious time engaging in useless chitchat. It cannot be denied that postal workers do get to know their clients in their routes but this is no excuse to dilly-dally in your work, especially when the conversation is not related to work.

Following these guidelines may seem difficult at first. But with patience and practice, you will become more adept at your job and will become the most efficient mail carrier in your area.


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