Local News

USPS reduces blue mailboxes in cost-cutting measure

Posted August 2, 2013

— 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.


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  • btneast Aug 5, 2013

    You get paid plenty, make the effort to bring it to a post office.
    Why? Taking it to one of the "blue boxes" is the same thing as taking it to the post office. Why waste gas and time driving all the way to the post office? It's not going to get their any sooner.

  • superman Aug 5, 2013

    Several years ago I was downtown. There were two blue mailboxes. One was marked "local" and the other one marked "out of town". Just happened to be there when they picked up the mail. The woman got out of the truck and emptied both boxes into one plastic crate. If they going to do that--it defeats the purpose of having more than one mail box. They should have a system so that mail boxes are a certain distance from each other. Bulk mail should be delivered to the post office.

  • whatelseisnew Aug 2, 2013

    I have not used an outside box in years. I can see where for some it is a nice convenience, but I would not want anything coming from a law firm dropped into one of those boxes. You get paid plenty, make the effort to bring it to a post office.