Open for business

The Postal Service takes mailboxes seriously.

To ensure letter carriers, rural carriers and other employees can deliver mail safely and efficiently, the organization requires customers’ mailboxes to meet design and installation standards.

A mailbox with the Postmaster General’s seal of approval meets USPS size and construction standards. Customers can build their own mailbox or buy a custom-made box, but it must meet postal standards.

The tradition of establishing mailbox standards dates to the days of the U.S. Post Office Department, the forerunner to the Postal Service. In 1960, the department approved the modern-style mailboxes that many customers use today.

USPS has continued to adjust mailbox specifications since then, including approving next-generation mailboxes in 2015 that are large enough to hold multiple packages.

During the third week of May each year, the Postal Service conducts Mailbox Improvement Week, an annual campaign that aims to make sure the nation’s boxes are fully operational, safe to use, conveniently located and large enough to support each customer’s daily mail and package volume.

About the Business,” a regular feature in Link, looks at the business of USPS.