University Mailboxes: Making the Correct Mail Delivery Purchase Decision

March 27, 2012

Florence 1600 Private Horizontal MailboxesWhen it comes to University Mailboxes, most educational institutions need assistance in making this key purchasing decision, as campus mailboxes are not a regular purchase and there are plenty to choose from in the Commercial Mailboxes category.

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.

In an era of iPads and Smartphones, one of the most antiquated interactions a college or university student has is with their campus mailbox. And because most students have just moved from their parent’s homes, it is likely their university mailbox will be the first mailbox that’s truly their own.

Yet many universities and colleges still utilize outmoded university mailboxes that were installed decades ago. And as universities build new dormitories and administration centers, the new commercial university mailboxes stand in stark contrast to those installed in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

And administrative offices often note that the lack of standardization of their university mailbox styles and features make it difficult to help students learn how to use their university mailbox.

Upgrading or installing new university mailboxes is as easy as answering three vital questions:

First – How Will the University Mailboxes Be Mounted?

There are two options for mounting university mailboxes:

  1. Indoors
  2. Outdoors

For indoor installations, consider either standard Horizontal Mailboxes or 4C Commercial Mailboxes by The MailboxWork’s Florence manufacturing company. Either of these Florence manufacturing commercial mailbox units may be configured for rear access mail delivery or front access mail delivery.

For outdoor installations, consider 4C commercial mailboxes mounted on a pedestal or CBU Mailboxes (also called cluster box units or simply cluster mailboxes). Both of these mail receptacles are front loading access only.

Second – Where Will the University Mailboxes Be Located?

There are two options where to place university mailboxes:

  1. Centralized (in one location)
  2. Decentralized (located throughout the university or college)

For centralized mail delivery (also called centralized distribution), consider standard horizontal mailboxes or 4C commercial mailboxes, which can be installed along all four walls of a room or along a long wall providing either front access or rear access for mail delivery.

For decentralized mail delivery, the 4C commercial mailboxes may be placed on a pedestal with up to 29 mail receptacles (student mail doors) per unit. Another choice for decentralized mail delivery is CBU mailboxes, which have up to 16 units per receptacle. Both mailbox units are available in a wide variety of finishes and are an excellent choice for student mail receptacles.

And the decision to purchase 4C commercial mailboxes with up to 29 student mailboxes or CBU mailboxes with up to 16 student mailboxes is not a financial one as the cost per student mailbox unit is nearly identical. The primary decision should be whether it is best for the university and its students to have up to 29 students using one mailbox unit or up to 16.

Third – What Type of Delivery Will the University Mailboxes Receive?

There are two kinds of delivery possible for university mailboxes:

  1. USPS Postal Delivery
  2. Private Mail Delivery

The US postal service makes this question an easy one. If you are having US postal carriers deliver student mail to the mail receptacles, then you must use approved postal service mailbox units. In years past, the US postal service delivered mail to approved horizontal mailboxes but today’s regulations are different. Only the 4C commercial mailboxes and CBU mailboxes are approved for USPS mail delivery. (And if the 4C commercial mailboxes are mounted on a pedestal, the local postmaster must first be consulted for approval).

If however, the university mailboxes are going to be utilized for on campus use only (private mail distribution) and not used for US postal service mail delivery (as is the case on most US-based universities), then any of the above university mailboxes will be suitable.

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