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Cluster Mailboxes - More than Meets the Eye

Tuesday July 03, 2018

When Benjamin Franklin founded the first post office there was no such thing as a mailbox.  Before the 19th century and really the 20th century, mail carriers delivered mail directly to the recipient.  So if they were delivering a letter to a person's house they would knock on the front door and wait until someone answered to hand the letters.  A study was done and it showed that the average mail carrier lost around 90 minutes a day because of this.  Therefore in 1923 the Post Office Department mandated that all households must have a letter slot or mailbox to receive mail.  While this worked there was no regulation on mailbox shapes.  As America suburbanized more curbside mailboxes popped up.

Dawn of the Cluster Box

Then in 1967 the Post Office Department introduced the first cluster boxes.  The cluster boxes were built to service entire neighborhoods and buildings.  It was determined that the cluster box would not only save time, but also money.  The mail carrier would no longer need to stop each time to drop off one person's mail.  Since then the cluster box unit has seen multiple evolutions and has become the curbside locking mailbox that you commonly see.  As improvements happen every so often new specifications for their production occur.  The newest specifications released in 2005 required manufacturers to have a license in order to make them.

Advantages of Cluster Mailboxes

·   Multiple mailboxes at one location means mail carriers don't need to make as many stops, this saves them time and money because of reduced fuel costs.

  •  Because the Post Office saves on delivery costs they don't need to increase prices for sending mail and other items which is good for the consumer.

  • The cluster box is considered safer than regular mailboxes and more durable.


  •  A cluster mailbox can also have an outgoing slot.  This allows residents to drop off mail at the same time as they pick up their mail.


  • Cluster mailboxes help protect mail carriers from dog bites.  There really is an issue of people's dogs attacking the mail carrier when they try to deliver the mail.


  • For property developers cluster mailboxes provide savings over individual mailboxes for each resident or tenant.


  • A single combined mailbox can make a neighborhood more attractive because you will no longer have multiple unattractive mailboxes lingering around the area.


  • Cluster mailboxes do a better job of protecting the mail from the elements than regular mailboxes do.

People and Property managers looking to purchase USPS approved cluster mailboxes have a number of options for size, colors and configurations.  The mailboxes can even be utilized for commercial mailboxes.  So if you think a cluster mailbox will provide you with the benefits you're looking for don't hesitate to search for USPS approved manufacturers and dealers.