Post Office Drop Box Near Me Locator
As the United States Post Office continues to downsize, it’s gotten harder to find a post office drop box near me. The reason for less drop boxes is that there are fewer postal carriers which means overall they can’t collect from as many blue boxes. For the most part USPS mail drop boxes can be found outside of post offices as well as populated shopping areas and strip malls. They vary in pick up times based on location, but it should be clearly posted on the drop box.
Before you use your local postal drop box you must make sure your envelope or parcel don’t exceed 13 oz in weight and has the correct postage on it. If your envelope or parcel weighs more than 13 oz and you and you are using postage stamps you must take it to the counter at a post office.
Find a Post Office Drop Box Near Me – Blue Box Locator Below
The Google Map featured below will show you all of the USPS drop box locations and post offices in your local area:
Alternative options to find a post office drop box near me is to search for “USPS Collection Box Near Me”, “USPS Blue Box Near Me” as these are related terms people use to call USPS drop boxes.
If you can’t find a post office drop box near me, as an alternative you can give your envelope or parcel to your mail carrier as long as it weighs 13 ounces or less. Once your package exceeds 13 ounces and has stamps it MUST go to a USPS clerk at a counter.
Why Can’t You Use a Drop Box For Packages Over 13 Ounces With Stamps
This is a security measure put in place by the USPS. Because postage stamps can’t be tracked, by giving the mail piece to a postal employee at a counter it means that you must hand your package to a person. This helps keep the mail stream safe since you are less likely to mail something dangerous if you have to go into your post office where you are also going to be on a security camera.
I believe the 13 ounce rule started sometime in the mid-90’s with the uni-bomber ,who was putting explosives in packages with stamps and using drop boxes to mail them. So while visiting the post office to physically mail your package is probably inconvenient, you can see why the safety measure was put in place.
Is There an Exception to The 13 oz Rule?
Yes there actually is an exception. Shipping labels allow you to bypass the rule which means you can send a package over 13 ounces using a post office drop box near you.
So how come you can use shipping labels and not stamps?
When you print a shipping label using internet postage, USPS has your sender information, which means they can track your package back to you. The difference is that when you use postage stamps they do not.
Other Mailing Rules for Packages to be Aware Of
The post office has implemented certain restrictions mostly on liquids such as flammable or hazardous material. You can ship liquids just not anything considered dangerous. For a full list of USPS mailing restrictions, click here.
When Does USPS Pick Up From The Mail Collection Box Near Me?
This will vary depending on where you live. The post office drop box near me has it’s last collection at mid-night Monday to Friday, Saturday’s 11:15 AM, and Sunday’s no pickup. The USPS collection box near you may have different hours which will depend on it’s location and possibly the population of the town.
Your local blue collection box should have the collection hours and days posted on it. If you need to find out the days and hours mail is collected from it you can either visit the box to read the hours or you can call your local post office during business hours.
Don’t Put Mail In a Blue Box After The Last Collection Time
You should never but your envelope or parcel into a collection box after the last posted collection time. While the box does have a lock on it, it’s possible that someone could try and break into the box. This could lead to identity theft, especially if you are mailing something sensitive containing PII (Personally Identifiable Information).
So for example the local box near me has its last collection at 11:15 am on Saturday. If I put my taxes in the box on Saturday at 11:30 pm, they will not be picked up until sometime on Monday. This means they could be sitting in the box for more than 36 hours which could give someone time to try and break into the box.
What Happens If I Put Accidentally Dropped Something Into a Collection Box?
You may be surprised to know how often this happens. I would say about once a month where I worked I would hear about a person who accidentally dropped their keys in their local blue box.
If this happens, your best way to resolve the issue is to call the closest USPS office and ask for a supervisor. They will be able to identify the box and whether or not it is within their jurisdiction (If its not they will tell you which Post office to call). If the box belongs to them, the supervisor may take the keys for the blue box and open it up for you.
If it’s outside postal service hours, you could call your local post office and leave a message for the supervisor and explain. There is a chance the carrier who picks up the collection box may see the keys and leave them on his supervisors desk…although no guarantees. Your only other option is to wait at the box for the carrier who picks up the collection. If you do this, you need to make sure that you make the carrier feel safe when you approach them.
Why Did They Remove The USPS Blue Box Near Me?
Over the last few years with the decline of First Class mail, many smaller post offices have either closed or been consolidated into smaller offices. This means they also have less postal carriers. The less mail carriers means the less stops they can make. When the post office did their analysis on which offices would be closed or consolidated they also did they same analysis on blue collection boxes. Essentially they removed blue boxes that received lower volumes of mail so that they could eliminate the mail carriers from making a stop for a low volume collection.
Postal Service Promotional Collection Boxes
One of the best USPS promotions ever done was in the early 2000’s when they used the Star Wars character R2D2 for collection boxes.
These special promotion blue boxes were made to look like the popular robot from the movies. These collection boxes were placed in heavy populated areas and used as a promotion between the USPS and Lucas Films.
To date this is one of the most successful marketing campaigns ever performed by the post office because it got people excited about wanting to visit their local mailing drop box.
USPS Drop Box Conclusion
As long as you follow the 13 ounce rule for mailing with stamps and use the proper amount of postage, your local collection-box should be good. If you have questions you can always call any post office and ask or try asking you local mail carrier. Hopefully the information above has been helpful from my experience as postal supervisor and how the post office drop box near me operates.