Many small businesses rent post office boxes for a variety of reasons, including privacy and safety – but the rates may always seem to be going up.
Now there’s another reason why your PO Box rates may increase. The Postal Service charges more for PO Boxes if they’re located in an area where private sector box rentals are available, and the USPS just added another 237 locations to be reassigned from “market-dominant” fee groups to “competitive” fee groups (237 out of a total of approximately 32,788 locations).
In 2011, the USPS first requested the transfer of 6,800 PO Box locations to be moved to competitive fee groups “based on a showing that sufficient competition exists when a private sector alternative exists within five miles or less.”
Since then, the Postal Service moved additional locations to the competitive classification in 2013 and 2014.
Competitive Post Office Boxes include enhancements such as: Electronic notification of the receipt of mail, use of an alternate street address format, signature on file for delivery of certain accountable mail, and additional hours of access and/or earlier availability of mail in some locations.
You can find more information about PO Boxes on the USPS website. Customers have until June 10, 2021 to make a comment on the current change, which was published in the Federal Register on May 11, 2021, including a list of locations affected.