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Why are there no postal mailboxes in the streets of Wilmington?

Ken Little
StarNews

There are both blue collection boxes and curbside delivery boxes in Wilmington, said Monica Coachman, U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman.

Coachman said that for decades, the installation and removal of the Postal Service’s iconic blue collection mail boxes from streets across the country “has been based on mail volume received in those boxes, with greater emphasis placed on stabilizing the number of collection boxes in recent years,” Coachman said.

The volume collected in those blue boxes, called First-Class Stamped Mail, “has seen more than a 50 percent decrease in the past 10 years and will continue to decline,” Coachman said.

“This highlights the importance of realigning our resources to achieve long-term financial success,” she said.

The Postal Service “recently targeted locations with multiple boxes to determine where boxes can be reallocated to high traffic areas such as shopping centers, business parks, grocery stores, and so on, for increased customer convenience,” Coachman said.

“Routine density tests” are conducted at local levels to determine if a mailbox is being utilized, she said.

The use of curbside delivery boxes is also under scrutiny, Coachman said.

“The Postal Service routinely conducts reviews of its current modes of delivery: door, street, cluster box and centralized,” Coachman said, “and has, for years, requested businesses and residences voluntarily convert from door delivery to street, cluster box or centralized delivery.

Residential delivery is not the same as it was for many years, Coachman said.

“The former process that allowed residential developers to choose between curb line and cluster box delivery, for new construction, is no longer in place,” she said.

The Postal Service changed the process in April 2013 “and will determine the type of delivery to be made which is most efficient and appropriate for the area to be served,” Coachman said.

At roughly $30 billion annually, delivering mail to the 152 million addresses in the United States is the largest single fixed-cost the Postal Service incurs, Coachman said.

“So, while there are no changes to existing residential delivery methods at this time, all new developments will be evaluated for neighborhood cluster boxes. Customers can expect to see fewer curbside boxes, not only in Wilmington, but across the nation,” she said.

RELATED LINKS:

Does the Postal Service still offer outgoing mail dispatches from Wilmington Saturday and Sunday?

Why was my mail delivered during Hurricane Irene?

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