Commercial Centralized Mailboxes Benefit Our Cities and Neighborhoods

October 1, 2012 7:40 pm

Every minute of every day this year, 160 new mailboxes will be added to the vast United States Postal Service system that delivers mail nearly every day to more than 314 million people in over 148 million locations.  As the postal system expands, the Postal Service is strategizing more and more with centralized mailboxes, incorporating the use of Commercial Mailboxes to the point where mail delivery in centralized locations has become the new standard.

UPDATE: 4C Pedestal Mailboxes have been discontinued as of November 30, 2020. The USPS Cluster Box Unit (CBU) Mailbox is now the standard for all multi-family mail delivery.

City planners, real estate developers, and builders can realize four significant benefits from the Postal Service’s strategy towards centralized mailboxes and mail delivery with commercial mailboxes including:

  1. Reduction of Neighborhood Cocooning
  2. Reduction of Mail Theft and Crime Rates
  3. Reduction In Maintenance Costs
  4. Reduction In the Cost of Mail Delivery

Florence 12 Door CBU MailboxCentralized Mailboxes Minimize Neighborhood Cocooning

First, by utilizing commercial mailboxes such as CBU Mailboxes or Horizontal Mailboxes (also called 4C Mailboxes), real estate developers and city planners can reduce the neighborhood cocooning effect that occurs when citizens are isolated from each other through non-centralized mail delivery. For example, when a resident has his or her own mailbox, they often don’t even have to leave their property to retrieve their mail. Chance encounters with other neighbors have no opportunity to develop and the odds are strongly in suburban neighborhoods that residents will simply enter and exit their home through their garage, effectively reducing interactions with neighbors to nil.

However, by installing commercial mailboxes in common areas throughout the community, developers and city planners create space for neighborhood interaction and chance encounters. Such common area spaces for commercial mailboxes are the launchpad for social fabrics weaved throughout the neighborhoods of one’s city.

Centralized Mailboxes Decrease Crime Rates

Second, by creating centralized mail delivery common areas with commercial mailboxes, planners and developers can potentially decrease crime rates. Consider the following two factors. First, because commercial mailboxes grouped together in a common area help pull people together rather than isolate them, assaults are less likely. Second, because centralized commercial mailboxes, as discussed above, create community among neighbors, an informal “neighborhood watch” is created where people look out for each other’s needs and property. Third, mail theft and identity theft becomes significantly more difficult when a mailbox is not isolated but embedded in a common area where a thief or vandal cannot predict who may walk up next.

Florence 4C Pedestal MailboxesCentralized Mailboxes Reduce Overall Maintenance Costs

Third, by utilizing commercial mailboxes in centralized mail delivery areas, planners and developers can reduce both initial and ongoing maintenance costs. Why? It’s a matter of simple math. When one can increase the number of mailboxes mounted on a post or installed in a wall (or otherwise), one instantly reduces installation costs. It simply costs more to install 144 mailboxes individually than it does to group commercial mailboxes together in a common space. And ongoing maintenance is more efficient and less expensive as well. See our blog article entitled, “Cleaning CBU Mailboxes – Easy Care and Maintenance.”

Centralized Mailboxes Help Reduce Mail Delivery Costs

Finally, by including the Postal Service in the early planning phases when considering centralized mail delivery with commercial mailboxes, developers and city planners can help the communities they serve in three ways – they help to:

  1. Avoid unnecessary and costly mail delivery errors
  2. Increase the effectiveness of mail delivery
  3. Reduce the cost of mail delivery

See also our MailboxWorks blog entitled, “CBU Cluster Mailbox Benefits for Property Owners & Tenants.”

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