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Postal Service responds to questions on mailbox access

Sterling, VA, Letter Carrier Khang Vu delivers mail to a customer’s box.

The Postal Service has exclusive access to mailboxes because the public expects and requires secure, efficient and affordable deliveries, a spokesman writes in a new blog post.

“[E]xclusive mailbox access isn’t some kind of gratuitous privilege,” Media Relations Manager David Partenheimer writes on the USPS blog.

“Rather, it reflects common sense ways of helping the Postal Service shoulder its enormous and unique responsibility: namely, delivering mail and packages to every home and business in America at affordable prices, and not just delivering packages to the most profitable addresses or with hefty surcharges.”

The post follows a recent commentary by a UPS executive who argued delivery companies should be able to leave packages in mailboxes. This commentary was posted on a blog operated by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), an independent agency that audits postal programs and operations.

In the Postal Service’s response, Partenheimer writes there’s widespread agreement on USPS maintaining exclusive access to mailboxes.

“[V]irtually every expert report and customer poll to have discussed the issue is unanimous in supporting continuation of exclusive mailbox access as a way to support universal postal service.”

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