USPS Seeks to Establish Cluster Box Units in New Areas

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 11:08:00 AM

Due to the significant growth that taking place in many parts of South Carolina, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is working with builders, developers, municipalities, and counties to coordinate the mode of delivery that is most efficient for customers and cost effective for USPS.

National policy states that USPS has discretion to establish service called Cluster Box Units (CBUs) in new areas. The factors considered are customer convenience, the aesthetics of the area, and the economy of USPS operations. Because central delivery is the most cost-effective means of mail delivery, the USPS prefers to use this method, whenever appropriate. Since the type of delivery to be provided is determined before many residents move into a development, the USPS consults with the developer, rather than prospective residents, before deciding the mode of delivery.

Centralized delivery to CBUs is by far the most cost-effective method of delivery. The USPS decides to install CBUs at a specific location only when it determines that this type of delivery offers the most efficient service for the particular situation.
CBUs also provide unique advantages to postal customers, including:

  • Protection of both incoming and outgoing mail from theft (CBUs are locked and vandal resistant);
  • Potential reduction of home burglaries (the unit shows no buildup of mail as do other types of boxes);
  • Centralized delivery sites are equipped with customer mail collection slot;
  • Decreased fuel consumption, improved air quality, and reduced traffic congestion;
  • Decreased costs for developers and homeowners;
  • Increased sense of community for homeowners and expansion of the “Protected Territory” concept;
  • Reduction of dog bites for letter carriers; and
  • Improved neighborhood appearance.

To access the portion of the USPS Postal Operations Manual outlining this policy, click here. In order to minimize confusion, local governments are encouraged to include a brief statement of this policy in subdivision regulations. For additional information, please contact:

Wayne McCall
Operations Programs Support Specialist
Growth Management Coordinator
Space Constraints and Post Office Review Coordinator