November 27, 2017
WILMINGTON – As holiday shopping season swirls in the air like early-winter flurries, signs at the Wilmington post office are encouraging residents who receive mail at home to install larger parcel-sized mailboxes. The signs are labeled “Next Generation Mailboxes” and depict mailboxes that are 13.63 inches wide, 7.75 inches tall on both sides, 12 inches tall at the center, and 16.5 inches deep.
According to Steve Doherty, northeast area communications specialist for the United States Postal Service, the signs are part of an overall push on the part of the post office. Doherty says that last year, the parcel side of USPS’s business increased by $2.1 billion, with package volume up 11.4%.
Doherty says that traditionally in rural areas, mail is delivered to the curb. But as customers receive more and more packages, carriers have felt compelled to deliver packages to the door.
“Normally a rural carrier will pull up to your curbside box and deposit your mail,” says Doherty. “If there’s a package that’s oversized and won’t fit in the box, (the carriers) don’t usually like to leave something on the ground by your mailbox, and it’s a nuisance when they leave a notice and tell you to come to the post office to pick a package up. So more often than not, they do make the trip to the door to safely deliver it out of sight and weather.”
Those trips to the door take time, though, and the volume of packages coming through the mail is consistently increasing. “These new curbside boxes can accommodate something the size of a shirt box,” says Doherty. “So if you’re someone who routinely orders thing online, by getting a larger mailbox, everything can now be delivered to the curb.”
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