Knowing the Basics When Shopping for Commercial Mail Receptacles

Most people who are buying commercial mailboxes do not purchase them every day, which has led the staff at USA Building Supplies to put together this informational article to get you up to speed before shopping. These efforts will make the buyer more comfortable as he or she begins to shop for the best commercial mail receptacle for their property.

apartment mailboxVertical Mailboxes Tend to be for Smaller Multi-Family Buildings

Currently, vertical mailboxes are the elder statesman of the commercial mailbox grouping of products. Vertical mail receptacles have been around in some form all the way back to the 1950s. Through the years industry manufacturers have updated their vertical mailbox receptacles to remain in compliance with the current postal requirements. Vertical mailboxes which are called by many apartment mailboxes because they are predominantly seen lobbies of smaller multi-family buildings throughout the United States have recently had their certification status changed by the U.S. Postal Service.  The new certification status for vertical mailboxes is what is called in the industry USPS-4B+ compliant which essentially means vertical mail receptacles are approved for replacement purposes only. This change in postal sanctioning has limited the expansion of the vertical mailbox product line because it is new construction which primarily drives the commercial mailbox marketplace. It should be noted that most industry insiders are in agreement with U.S. Postal Service’s position on certification changes because the size of the mail has changed through the years and the rise in identity theft which has resulted more secure mail receptacles.

Horizontal Mailboxes are USPS Approved for Replacement Purposeshorizontal mail receptacle

In 2006, the U.S. Postal Service enacted USPS-STD-4C regulation that required 4C mailboxes to be used for all wall installation receptacles in new construction installations. This regulation also brought about the status change for vertical and horizontal mailboxes to USPS-4B+ compliant which allows these receptacles to be used for USPS applications in replacement situations only. Horizontal mailboxes were an extremely popular commercial mail receptacle product grouping due to the versatility the product offered the marketplace. Horizontal mail receptacles are easily customizable which allows them to adapt to most situations. The change sanctioning status of this centralized mail receptacle was primarily an effort to upgrade the overall security of commercial mailboxes in general. Today, horizontal mailboxes remain in the marketplace and are used in replacement situations or private use applications.

commercial mail receptacle4C Horizontal Mailboxes are a Preferred Commercial Mailbox

When the Postal Service put forth regulation USPS-STD-4C about a decade ago they partnered with many industry insiders in an effort to establish the wall installation mailbox for the 21st Century. Most agree that the collaboration of these groups brought a high quality versatile commercial mailbox to the marketplace. End users, buyers, suppliers, and the USPS have been pleased with the high security design and overall versatility of the 4C mailbox. The versatility of the high security 4C mailbox is what has led to what many call the fastest commercial mailbox evolution seen in the industry. Today, 4C mailboxes are available in recessed, surface, kiosk and pedestal mounting options which allow it to be used a wide variety of situations.

Cluster Box Units Remain the Powerhouse Commercial Mailboxcluster box unit

Most commercial mailbox applications are of the pedestal mailbox style. Currently, the cluster box unit is the only USPS approved commercial mailbox on a pedestal. Cluster box units which were developed early in the 21st Century are of high security and designed for use for today’s mail. By postal direction, cluster box units are offered in preset configurations which allows for economies of scale to the marketplace but without customization. The lack of modifications has brought the recent development of the 4C pedestal mailbox; however the USPS continues to drag its feet in certifying the 4C pedestal mail receptacle. This pedestal mailbox quandary and how the USPS responds will determine if the cluster box unit will remain the major product grouping in the commercial mailbox industry.

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