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The journey your in-town Tallahassee mail might take across the state

Posted at 10:35 PM, Dec 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-29 22:35:07-05
  • A Tallahassee neighbor sent a letter in the mail to their neighbor across the street. It took 27 days to get there.
  • Some mail sent from Tallahassee to others in the Capitol City is sent to Jacksonville for processing.
  • Another neighbor says this has happened to him in other parts of the country.

A neighbor sent a piece of mail from their mailbox to this one across the street.

Instead of going a couple hundred feet, it traveled hundreds of miles.

I’m looking into where your mail goes before it gets to your mailbox.

Frances Prevatt's neighbor sent her something in the mail in November.

"My across the street neighbor sent me an invitation and she asked me about it a couple of times," Prevatt siad.

She said she kept an eye out for it.

"It finally showed up 27 days later," Prevatt said.

Her neighbor, Allen Long, told me some of their guests reached out about not receiving an invite, meanwhile, it had been sent.

Prevatt said she then noticed something.

"I didn't realize but later learned that our mail goes to Jacksonville and comes back here," Prevatt said. "I just thought it was kind of funny it took so long."

Her mail, like many others in Tallahassee, gets sent to another distribution facility before delivery.

Here's how it works according to USPS: Once your mail is received by your local post office, it is sent to a distribution center to be sorted and sent to its next destination.

The post office on South Adams Street is our city's distribution center.

Some of our mail gets sent to Jacksonville, our area's nearest Network Distribution Center.

Those centers assist area distribution centers like the one in Tallahassee.

The postal service says those facilities quote "...consolidate the processing of mail to increase operational efficiency, decrease costs and maintain service while expanding the surface transportation reach."

There are 21 of these across the country.

Neighbor David Hadzima said he has seen this in other areas he has lived in and was not surprised to hear some mail goes to Jacksonville.

"I lived in Kentucky up around the Clarksville area and you mail something and it would go to Evansville Indiana before it would go three streets over to mail it to somebody," Hadzima said.

He said he trusts the postal service's process and doesn't mind the wait.

"It took a little time but I am not in control of the logistics or the distribution, but I am thankful to have a postal service," Hadzima said.

Prevatt told me the same.

"They're working as hard as they can," Prevatt said. "The people who deliver the mail are always wonderful."

As for that invitation she received:

"It had actually been a wedding invitation and it's ten weeks out, but I did take a picture of my response card text it to them rather than mail it back," Prevatt said.

To track your package on its journey to your home, you can sign up for USPS informed delivery.