The COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders have shown us all the value of having mail and parcels delivered to our door, but even during normal times there are remote and rural communities that rely solely on the Postal Service to deliver their parcels year-round.
Our white paper “Rural and Urban Origins of the U.S. Postal Service” notes that while urban home delivery started in 1863, rural areas did not get it until 1896. Prior to that time, people had to travel to the nearest post office to pick up their mail or pay for a private carrier for delivery. Over 120 years later, USPS remains a lifeline in remote communities, often the only means of home delivery.
It’s difficult to imagine life in these areas without the Postal Service. Below are some of the ways USPS gets mail to remote areas.