Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Aug 27 2015 06:03:00

Should USPS Open Your Mailbox to UPS and Others?

By: Ina Steiner

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In the 1930s, Congress granted the U.S. Postal Service exclusive access to the "letter box," but shipping carrier UPS said it would like to gain access to people's mailboxes as well.

As we noted on Tuesday, the Office of Inspector General for the USPS published a post written by UPS on that very theme. "As letter mail volume has decreased and parcel volume increased, mailboxes have grown. Pass through any neighborhood and you'll see bigger boxes to accommodate small parcels like eyeglasses, designer clothes, and even time-sensitive groceries," wrote Keith Kellison, senior vice president, UPS Global Public Affairs.

"Customers would benefit from reduced delivery costs, additional flexibility, and the knowledge that their packages are safe," he wrote.

These days, it seems everything is on the table with regard to the US Postal Service - you can read more about Kellison's post in Tuesday's Newsflash.

As a seller, would you like your USPS packages to fight with those from FedEx and UPS for space in your customers' mailboxes?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Should USPS Open Your Mailbox to UPS and Others?   Should USPS Open Your Mailbox to UPS and Others?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Aug 27 07:04:06 2015

Keith Kellison says "Customers would benefit from reduced delivery costs, additional flexibility, and the knowledge that their packages are safe," he wrote.

Knowledge that their packages are safe?  Seriously? I guess he does not see the same news stories that I do regarding theft. Reduced delivery costs? (I'll believe that when I see it.)

I'd personally prefer that UPS (and others) stay out of my mailbox. I'm guessing that there is some money involved somewhere in this arrangement.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 07:21:16 2015

I live in a 200 apartment bldg and UPS/Fedex dropoff our packages with the doorman.  It's a great delivery process and we have to sign for the package after the doorman has put it in the storage room.
If you live in rural America and the post box is at the curb, I don't know why UPS/Fedex wouldn't be able to access the mailbox.  If they can't, then they should, but the problem is how big the package is.
UPS/Fedex don't deliver many "envelope" size packages.
I wouldn't feel comfortable neither would bldg management, if all three were accessing our indoor mailboxes.

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by: Brett Morin This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 07:52:18 2015

This article brings up some good questions. Why is the Postal Service the only one that can put things our mailboxes? Whether it’s USPS, UPS, FedEx or any other delivery service, I think we should be able to personally decide who can deliver to the mailboxes that we own. Being able to have everything that you order safely all in one place make senses. The way things are currently with the limitations just seem to be and out of date practice.  

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 08:01:25 2015

It would not reduce cost. Maybe increase the ceo of UPS and Fed ex bonus.
Theft would be up. Small sellers would get hurt by this move. It cost more to ship via UPS and Fedex now. So in my opinion they are getting paid to take it to the residence. So take it and not leave at the curb where anyone can pick it up. I have even seen the USPS leaving packages on top of the mailboxes on the street.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 08:08:11 2015

The only reason I buy things and have them shipped FEDEX OR UPS besides the lower shipping costs is that the package is delivered to  my door by a person who also rings the doorbell.

The USPS delivery is hap hazard at best. Usually the carrier is to lazy to get out of the car and will rubberband or try to hang the package from the red flag if its to big for the box.  

Why would I want my packages advertising to any scumball that its there for the stealing.

As for lower shipping costs, thats doubtful as anytime someone says it will lower the cost for anything it is usually lip service for the stupid people.

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by: Leesantiques This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 08:55:00 2015

Having never gotten good service from either UPS or FedEX - but plenty of bad experiences - I would NOT want them putting things in my mailbox.

Then again, I get all of my mail at the post office in a PO Box.  That way I don't have to worry about anything going missing.  My mail is safe, secure, and ready to be picked up at my convenience.

Sincerely,

Lee

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by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 09:13:18 2015

Maybe it should be changed from "letter box" (when was the last time you got one of those? besides from a lawyer or such) and call it our Delivery Station - and we could buy bigger "boxes" to put on our curb or porch that locked and they could all deliver too it?  

In the City (Philadelphia) for instance they all leave things "inside the storm door" and I could tell you how many times it was stolen but the number is too big to put in this comment.  

I like the concept of a delivery box per residence ..... now how do we make that happen?

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by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 09:21:22 2015

I don't see why not. I only get bills and junk mail from the Post Office so you might as well give my mail box a better use.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Aug 27 09:56:48 2015

So, would mail boxes and all the specifications they have to meet be re-designed?


Most packages I receive never fit in my current porch mailbox.  

The USPS stuff that DOES fit is junk mail.  Otherwise USPS puts my stuff on the porch just like everyone else.


I agree with everyone else about the ''savings'' - never happens.

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by: whipnet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 10:19:11 2015

Own my mailbox?  Not me.  They have community mailboxes in my neighborhood, too small for packages anyway.  Even the USPS has to deliver packages to my door.

This is all moot for a lot of Texas.

*

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by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 10:37:09 2015

I live in a rural area where our mail boxes are out on the road, easily accessible to anyone. I always liked the fact that boxes could be delivered to my porch and be out of site of potential thieves. They would have to drive down our driveway and risk being seen by ourselves or neighbors, in order to steal from the porch. If it is out on the road they could drive up and help themselves. I don't think it is enough of a deterrent that it would be a federal crime. They're criminals, most don't care what type of crime it is considered, even if they were bright enough to know.  

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by: exdwh This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 10:56:37 2015

USPS also dictates the physical standards for mailboxes. We have the largest size available. I know the FedEx guy puts things in the mailbox and no it's not SmartPost.

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by: Bethofvt This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 11:18:43 2015

I wish UPS could deliver to my mailbox. I never know where to look for something delivered by them. sometimes it is on the back deck where it then gets wet if it rains or snows,or on the front stoop, sometimes it is between the doors, sometimes on the enclosed front porch. If I know it is coming, I check for it. Packages I don't know about sometimes sit several days before I find them. I get medication via UPS. I hate finding my package of medicine out in the open on my front stoop where anyone could take it.

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by: imbloated This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 11:38:29 2015

USPS refuses to allow locking mailboxes or mailboxes with electronic codes because it would be too cumbersome to deal with all the keys or keep track of lock codes. The answer is exceedingly simple due to computer memory chips: allow each resident or business to specify in a JOINTLY AVAILABLE database where they want packages placed. Let us decide to whom we grant access to our boxes and whether to allow front door drop off. Fedex told me they have five services and although fedex has a record of my '' do not leave package at door'' instruction, not all fedex services share this instruction data and they do not disclose this!  USPS even restricts the size and design of mailboxes.  I suggested having a two-part mailbox so that letters could be dropped through a slot at the top and packages in a locked portion at the bottom. USPS still said no. This calls for FEDERAL legislation so Amazon drones can also deliver our groceries to temp controlled boxes. I don't like staying home all day to wait for a package. My $600 iphone was left at my door even tho signature was required! Even my door signs have been ignored. A data example would say: ''box: YES for UPS, Fedex, Usps; NO for Amazon, NO for overnight delivery. The scanners used could change to ipads or tablets which all use the SAME tracking software because the same physical action that is required to scan the parcel before delivery could also show the data delivery instructions, saving time ( as well as resistance to change). (And no, I decline to run for president at this time.)

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by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 11:58:53 2015

@Bethofvt

UPS has a service that you can sign up for that emails you when a package is coming to your address. I use it and it works really well for those unexpected packages.  

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 27 12:12:45 2015

I have always thought it weird that I as a homeowner have to buy and maintain our rural mailbox, including replacing/repairing when kids come by hitting them with baseball bats or snow plows knock them over. I never see the USPS coming and fixing it for us. Yet they maintain that only THEY should have access to the box! It means even if someone wants to drop off a note to you when you aren't home, it is apparently against the law to put it in the homeowner's OWN mailbox. I rarely get a UPS or FedEx package small enough to fit in my mailbox, but I sure wouldn't mind if they did. It is MY mailbox after all.

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by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 12:24:13 2015

With only the USPS having access to our personal mailboxes it is clearly a "monopoly" because of the many other delivery companies in existence.  The laws that protect our USPS mail in that precious "box" should also protect any other deliveries that we receive that may fit into that precious "box", and yes UPS and Fed Ex often deliver small enough packages to fit into our mailboxes.

Perminate Link for Should USPS Open Your Mailbox to UPS and Others?   Should USPS Open Your Mailbox to UPS and Others?

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 12:34:13 2015

And also to those of you who complain about UPS or Fed Ex, can you imagine how difficult it would be to deliver anything to a house when you cannot use the mailbox? They would all be required to use telepathy; do they use the front door, side door, back door, or garage door? Are there teenage or criminal neighbors who would steal it if left on the front step? Will it get wet if left on the step and where should they put it if there isn't a door to open?  To complain about the UPS and Fed Ex having to determine every person's delivery preferences is exceedingly ridiculous. They would go bankrupt if they took the valuable time to investigate every single delivery.  Everyone's residences are different and everyone's schedule's and routines are different.  It is the BUYER'S/RECEIVER'S responsibility to make sure that these busy delivery people have a quick and easy way to complete their jobs.

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by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 27 12:38:10 2015

No, UPS , No

Perminate Link for Should USPS Open Your Mailbox to UPS and Others?   Should USPS Open Your Mailbox to UPS and Others?

by: Postalwizard This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Aug 27 13:59:25 2015

The USPS operates under federal Securities/Treasury laws which protects Your Mail and Parcels.  Tampering with USPS mail is a Felony! while the same crime against UPS or FedEx is only a Misdemeanor.  This is why the normal mailbox can't be shared - It is protected and part of the universal service mandate / monopoly - research Private Express Statutes for more info, it give the USPS the exclusive right to the mailbox in return for providing universal service to every delivery point in the USA at the same price.

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