We recommend viewing the USPS Regulations document below in conjunction with this article.
Property developers and managers have discovered the advantages of cluster mailboxes to improve curb appeal and add greater security and convenience for postal carriers and residents. This type of postal mailbox represents a growing trend in apartment complexes, condominiums, and gated communities.
The United States Postal Services (USPS) has several regulations to ensure letter carriers' safety, prevent mail theft, and streamline mail delivery to save time and money.
This article provides information about the USPS regulations as they apply to cluster postal mailboxes.
What is a Cluster Mailbox?
A cluster box unit (CBU) is a communal mailbox that stands on a pedestal and consists of individual mailboxes – one for each customer in the street, subdivision, or complex.
These CBU's also feature a parcel locker for packages that are too large for the cluster mailboxes. The carrier then places the locker key in the recipient's box. The resident uses the key to access the package. After unlocking the USPS approved parcel locker, the key remains in the trapping lock. The carrier removes it during the next delivery.
The Importance of Cluster Mailboxes to USPS
The United States Postal Service (USPS) actively encourages installing residential and commercial cluster boxes in the United States to allow mass mail delivery. The delivery of mail in a central location holds benefits to both the mailbox owners and the mail service.
A mail cluster box is generally more secure than traditional roadside mailboxes. Each tenant has a unique key that unlocks their mailbox. The cluster mailboxes also have USPS approved safety features to prevent mail theft.
Cluster boxes also allow for quick and easy USPS delivery. Instead of driving from mailbox to mailbox, the postal carrier can deliver an entire community's mail in one location and within minutes.
Because USPS approved cluster boxes save fuel, delay vehicle depreciation, and save valuable time, they allow the post office to improve their operations and customer service.
What are the USPS Cluster Mailboxes Regulations?
According to USPS regulations, the customer has to ensure that the mailbox is accessible to the postal carrier to facilitate mail delivery.
The USPS regulations prohibit carriers from accepting keys to open private mailboxes. The property developer or owner has the responsibility to provide customers with their tenant keys to access their mailboxes.
Note: all cluster mailboxes ship with three (3) tenant keys per tenant compartment.
The USPS will provide the master Arrow lock to unlock the postal mailbox door to make the delivery. The US Postal Service does not offer these locks to builders to preinstall.
Builders must install the mailbox on a USPS approved location to ensure that it is close enough to the customers and a suitable place for USPS delivery. Customers with disabilities should also be able to access the CBU conveniently.
Who is Responsible for Repairing Cluster Mailboxes?
According to USPS regulations, the property owners, builders, or developers are responsible for repairing cluster mailboxes. Property owners can appoint a manager to ensure that the mailbox meets the postal service regulations. The installation, maintenance, purchase, and replacement of the USPS approved mailbox are also the property owners' responsibility.
Can I Replace My Mailbox Lock?
The purchase of new CBU mailboxes includes the locks and keys of individual boxes. Customers will receive a USPS approved master lock according to regulations. If you lose the key to your tenant box and don't have a spare key, installing a new lock may be necessary.
The USPS doesn't accept responsibility for lock replacement, and they don't fix defective mailbox components.
How Do I Install a Cluster USPS Mailbox Near Me?
Appendix A and B of the USPS regulations provide installation instructions and information that customers should follow when installing a new multiple unit box. You can also refer to our cluster mailbox installation tutorial for more info. If you or your contractor install the mailbox incorrectly, then it may cause problems with USPS delivery.
According to the regulations' information, there are several requirements that installers should put in place during installation. These requirements include identifying a suitable location, foundation preparation, and specific mounting procedures.
You can contact your local USPS growth manager if you need assistance or information on mail equipment installation.
Where can I Find USPS Mailboxes Near Me?
To start the process of installing a new cluster mailbox, contact Budget Mailboxes. We provide a wide range of USPS approved and private delivery community mailboxes.