Local News

Postal Service thinking centralized delivery for new housing

Posted July 23, 2013

— Door-to-door delivery of mail could be a thing of the past for some in an effort by the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service to cut costs.

Local postmasters are sending letters to new developments in communities across the country informing them that they plan to move to a centralized system for delivering mail.

It's similar to the set-up in many apartment complexes in which residents get their mail from what's called a "cluster mailbox" – numerous mailboxes in one location.

The postal service estimates that it could save $4.5 billion each year by eliminating door-to-door stops – approximately $2.5 billion more than it estimated earlier this year when it considered eliminating Saturday deliveries.

"I think it's terrific. It's easier for the mailman," said postal customer Harry Melikian. "He can deliver to 25 or 30 residences in one stop."

But Melikian says he can see downsides to the plan.

"It might be a little disadvantageous for people who are older."

Others say they would be upset if their mailbox went away if they lived in a house.

"You pay for the house, you own the property, and you want a mailbox," said postal customer Mike Duncan.

If the centralized delivery system is adopted, it would mostly affect mail delivery in new developments. There are no plans, at this point, to retrofit older neighborhoods.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • meeper Jul 24, 2013

    It should be closed and let Fed-ex, UPS etc. deliver first class mail. Would show a profit instantly. However, it'll never happen because it provides many jobs for our minority citizens.
    The government never runs anything with efficiency. Gives you pause on Obamacare, doesn't it?

  • Mon Account Jul 24, 2013

    Very confusing article.

    I read elsewhere that they are thinking of getting rid of to-the-door delivery and going with either curb-side or centralized. Not quite the deal this reporting makes it out to be.

  • babedan Jul 24, 2013

    workingforthosethatwont - I hate to tell you this but the post office is bound by the constitution of the united states and before it could be disbanded and given to the private sector an admendment to the constitution would have to be done.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 24, 2013

    "Half the revenue of the USPS is junk mail. Killing junk mail will only hasten their demise."

    Good let's kill junk mail.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 24, 2013

    This is DUMB. They should go to a five day schedule. Next for RESIDENTIAL customers they should go to every other day delivery. They could significantly cut labor costs, fuel and vehicle costs, far more than the savings with these centralized boxes. Plus with a centralized box you now create a nice convenient location for thieves to grab up a bunch of mail.

    We may actually see a complete end to mail delivery. There is no reason that outfits like UPS and even Fedex could not take over this business. In fact, if I ran a company where I still sent out a lot of bills, I would contract with UPS or Fedex to do it assuming I could strike a reasonable cost point with them. The JUNK mail. It just keeps my shredder busy.

  • Obamacare rules Jul 24, 2013

    "I've lived in Raleigh for 20 years in a nice neighborhood and I have no idea who our postal worker is. They just drive by in a jeep, stuff the mail into the box and are gone in a flash."
    King of Ignorance

    They don't have time to shoot the breeze and eat cookies anymore since they're so afraid of losing their jobs. Tough times in which we live.

  • Radioactive Ted Jul 24, 2013

    "Kill Saturday delivery and junk mail, but leave my mailbox alone." Obamacare rules.... With no junk mail, are you willing to pay twice the amount for first class mail? It means that anyone sending you a bill will (in the end) have you pay for the extra costs. My only concern with this is the security of the central locations -- both for the mail and for individuals picking up their mail after dark.

    The strategy of one of the political parties is to make it so government departments fail, then use that to complain about how they are failing.

  • Mon Account Jul 24, 2013

    For those who are unable to get to a centralized location (age, handicap, etc.) and are on the verge of exploding, just remember that they always offer an exception.

    Even when I lived in a community that took the trash can from behind my house and then later switched to automated trucks where we put our trash cans on the curb, anyone who was unable to move their trash can had someone from the city come to do it for them.

    I think it's a good idea as long as the mail pickup area is well designed. I'm sure they have it down to a science by now, but I lived in an older apartment complex where there would be a massive 5:15 traffic jam every mail day.

  • Wacky_dood Jul 24, 2013

    When I was growing up, we all knew our postman. He had a walking route in a suburb near Oakland. He was a great guy. He kept an eye on the neighborhood and hand delivered to the older folks as a way to check in on them (he got awesome cookies for his troubles). He didn't live there, but he seemed like he was part of the neighborhood.

    I've lived in Raleigh for 20 years in a nice neighborhood and I have no idea who our postal worker is. They just drive by in a jeep, stuff the mail into the box and are gone in a flash.

  • Wacky_dood Jul 24, 2013

    Half the revenue of the USPS is junk mail. Killing junk mail will only hasten their demise.