The archive_command is only invoked for completed WAL segments. Hence, if your server generates little WAL traffic (or has slack periods where it does so), there could be a long delay between the completion of a transaction and its safe recording in archive storage. To limit how old unarchived data can be, you can set
archive_timeout to force the server to switch to a new WAL segment file periodically. When this parameter is greater than zero, the server will switch to a new segment file whenever this many seconds have elapsed since the last segment file switch, and there has been any database activity, including a single checkpoint (checkpoints are skipped if there is no database activity). Note that archived files that are closed early due to a forced switch are still the same length as completely full files. Therefore, it is unwise to use a very short
archive_timeout — it will bloat your archive storage.
archive_timeout settings of a minute or so are usually reasonable. You should consider using streaming replication, instead of archiving, if you want data to be copied off the master server more quickly than that. This parameter can only be set in the postgresql.conf file or on the server command line.