The Postal Service is testing new, larger mailbox designs that can handle more than 70 percent of the packages sent through the mail.
As the mail mix continues to change — with fewer letters and a growing volume of packages — customers often find their mailbox is stuffed to overflowing.
Many parcels won’t fit in standard curbside boxes, which means packages are delivered to doorsteps — susceptible to theft and damage. Failed delivery attempts and notices are frustrating for residents as well.
An urban mailbox for one or more households is being tested in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC. Another mailbox for suburban and rural households is being piloted in California, Colorado and North Dakota.
“The mailbox in use today was designed over 100 years ago,” said USPS New Products and Innovation VP Gary Reblin. “We need to bring it into the 21st century. Our customers want greater security and convenience for the packages they order online.”
So far, about 165 customers are participating in the tests, which are voluntary.
The Postal Service is paying for the installation of the mailboxes. In return, customers provide feedback on the most-wanted features before wider testing begins.
Initial results are expected next summer.