The USPS has done quite a bit to help mail get through quicker and easier. The most obvious improvement is using a ZIP code to help direct mail to particular areas of the country.
But providing an uncomplicated, standardized address on the mailing piece can go a long way to making mail move faster.
What can make many addresses complicated is the secondary unit — the apartment or suite number that is added to the address line.
Granted, the secondary unit is usually essential for getting the mailing piece to the recipient. Without an apartment number, many items would be undeliverable.
The USPS suggests positioning the secondary unit at the end of the address line (ex. “123 Main St Apt 10”).
But when you don’t really have room to do that, they suggest adding the secondary unit above the address line:Bob Smith
123 Main St
New York, NY 10000
The Post Office also suggests not using the # symbol if you’re using a word followed by a number (like Apt or Ste).
But do use the # symbol if you have no word (like Apt or Ste) before the number. And when using the # symbol, put a space between it and the number (ex. 123 Main St # 10).
There are a lot of descriptors for secondary units (Room, Apartment, Suite, etc), and many abbreviations that go with them.
The Post Office suggests you select from their list of abbreviations, if abbreviations are necessary:
Description – Abbreviation
Building – BLDG
Department – DEPT
Floor – FL
Front – FRNT
Hanger – HNGR
Key – KEY
Lobby – LBBY
Lot – LOT
Lower – LOWR
Office – OFC
Penthouse – PH
Pier – PIER
Rear – REAR
Room – RM
Side – SIDE
Slip – SLIP
Space – SPC
Stop – STOP
Suite – STE
Trailer – TRLR
Unit – UNIT
Upper – UPPR
There are two things worth noting about the suggested abbreviations: 1) they’re capitalized, and 2) they do not include periods or other punctuation.
Some of the abbreviations require a number to follow (ex. APT), but some do not (ex. REAR).
By standardizing the use of secondary units, you can help ensure your mail is delivered quickly and efficiently.