Durham, N.C. — At least once a day, legal aide Lori Tarrant relies on the blue mailboxes just outside the doors of her Durham law firm as a quick way to drop important documents in the mail.
“There are a lot of filings we may have a deadline on,” she said.
Locations with two or more collection boxes, such as the one Tarrant uses, are the target of cost cutting by the U. S. Postal Service in Durham and across the country.
“Mail volume has been declining over the years, and the number of locations where we have multiple boxes, we have found there is not a need for all of them,” said Carl Walton, a spokesman with the Postal Service.
He said the elimination of blue boxes has been happening for several years now, and locations are determined by mail volume. This most recent round of reductions started in Durham a few months ago.
Tarrant has witnessed the change.
“There were three out there,” she said. “They’ve taken one away.”
But Walton assures there are no plans to remove collection boxes entirely. At least one will be left in locations targeted for reduction.
“I don’t anticipate that most customers will even notice,” he said.
The Postal Service is also cutting back on pickup times in Durham. Pickup times for boxes that have two or more times could be reduced if tests show there isn't much volume.
Other cost-cutting measures include consolidation of post offices and a reduction in the number of hours for some low-traffic post offices.