Post Office wants cluster mailboxes for new homes: 5 things to know

The U.S. Postal Service is starting to push for centralized “cluster” mailboxes in single-family subdivisions. Here are five things to know about the issue.

1. It’s official policy

The U.S. Postal Service wants developers to install “cluster” mailboxes not just in apartment complexes but in new single-family subdivisions. In a “Builder and Developer Information Packet,” which includes standards for cluster box purchase and design, centralizing delivery in all new housing developments is described as official USPS policy.

2. Saving time and money

Cluster boxes would let postal workers deliver to a single point instead of house to house, saving time and personnel hours for the agency, which operated at a $1.5 billion net loss for the third quarter of 2018.

3. Questions remain

The Postal Service is contacting some developers directly, but also is pressuring planning agencies to make cluster boxes a requirement for approving development plans. Many questions remain unclear, such as whether only one cluster box location will be approved no matter how many houses are in the development

4. Increased costs for developers

Installing cluster boxes can cost thousands of dollars, developers say; that’s partly offset by not having to put in regular boxes at each house, but much of the cost comes from related infrastructure: parking spots, a handicap-accessible location, crosswalks and sidewalks from every house to the box site, even a sheltering roof for the boxes. The boxes must be bought from an approved list of manufacturers.

5. Can policy be enforced?

Some developers are resisting the demand, and some planning agencies say they can’t really enforce a federal policy anyway. But the Postal Service says it will deliver only to spots approved in advance by local postal officials, so its employees may refuse to bring mail to unsanctioned locations in the future.


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all they have to do is put the box requirements into the deed restrictions and post office is stuck must deliver curbside once you put it into the deed restrictions you are above post office reach.


Double duty for the mailman. Mail in cluster boxes and parcels to the door. Not saving money by a Long Dhot.

Gary M

I agree. Don’t forget your route evaluation only covers distance to and from cluster box.Not time and distance to the houses with parcels. Trust me, the few parcel lockers in those units are by far too few.I spend 15 minutes every day running the overflow parcels to the door and at the end of the day my scanner bitches at me for over my authorized mileage.Who’s saving money again?

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