USPS Postal Regulations
Why Did the USPS Put Forth USPS-STD-4C Postal Regulation?
In 2006 the U.S. Postal Service enacted USPS-STD-4C postal regulation in regards to wall installation mailboxes for all new construction and major renovations. Before putting forth this regulation the Postal Service did numerous case studies regarding the size and shape of today’s mail and the then current state of the security of mail. In addition, the USPS along with other industry professionals including but not limited to commercial mailbox manufacturers and property associations to discuss the results of the Postal Service’s studies and to form a consensus in regards to the design of the new wall installation centralized mailboxes to today what is called the 4C horizontal mailbox.
What did industry professionals along with the Postal Service agree upon for the design of the 4C horizontal mailboxes? The first issue that a consensus was reached with relative ease was to design the 4C mailbox with similar security enhancements that the then new USPS Approved pedestal mailbox which is now commonly called the F Series cluster box unit. In addition, the commercial mailbox manufacturers reportedly lobbied to make sure the 4C horizontal mailbox was built to withstand both indoor and outdoor conditions. Another issue that the committee addressed was to increase the standard size compartment to a minimum 3”H x 12”W to better accommodate the size and shape of the 21st century mail. The final significant issue from most industry insider’s viewpoint that the committee and the USPS agreed to incorporate into the new regulation and subsequently into the design of 4C horizontal mailboxes was to require one parcel locker for every ten tenant mailbox ratio. The primary motivation for including the parcel locker ratio provision in the new postal regulation was the rapid increase of packages in the mail stream primarily as result of ecommerce.
The transition from the previously approved for new construction horizontal mailboxes to 4C horizontal mailboxes has gone much smoother than pedestal mailbox progression over the last decade. Commercial mailbox professionals mostly agree that the primary reason for this better transition was a better educational effort put forth to the architects that specify postal specialties and the fact that wall installation mailboxes require more pre-planning for than pedestal mailboxes. In addition, the versatility of the 4C mailbox in terms of configurations has kept commercial mailbox shoppers from surfing the internet for alternative solutions.