Postal Service Wants to Get Rid of Your Mailbox

The Postal Service is pushing for a gradual adoption of cheaper delivery options, while some in Congress think doorstep delivery should end all at once.

Postal Service Wants to Get Rid of Your Mailbox Photo (cc) by beameir

If some House Republicans get their way, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will stop the postal carriers from leaving your mail somewhere else.

A group led by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is pushing legislation that would end doorstep delivery, CNNMoney says. Instead, everyone would have to pick up their mail from either a curbside or cluster box. Cluster boxes look like P.O. boxes: You can have a wall with hundreds of them crammed together in neat, uniform rows.

The U.S. Postal Service is already encouraging their use in industrial parks, shopping malls and new residential developments. (Here in South Florida, they’re already pretty common in apartment and condo complexes, placed in a communal area near the pool or gym.)

The math makes sense. The Postal Service spends about $30 billion a year on mail delivery, USA Today says. It had a net loss of nearly $16 billion last year. This move would slow the bleeding, and save up to $4.5 billion a year.

“It costs $353 per stop for a delivery in most American cities, taking into account such things as salaries and cost of transport,” CNN says. Curbside costs $224, while cluster boxes cost $160.

Critics say the change would hurt the elderly, disabled, and people who face severe weather. The law being proposed would allow free hardship exemptions and, for an unspecified fee, bring back doorstep delivery, USA Today says.

Are you familiar with cluster boxes? Do you think the switch is a good idea? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Brandon Ballenger
Brandon Ballenger @btballenger
I'm a freelance journalist living in South Florida. If I'm not writing, I'm playing video games or at the beach. My favorite spice is oregano, and I thought you should know. I ... More

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