Mailboxes come in standard sizes, as the US Postal Service prescribes, so they can only fit a limited number of items. We all know that large packages don’t get delivered to the mailbox because they do not fit.
But what about small packages? How do USPS mail carriers typically deliver them?
In this article, we’re going to dive deeper into how small packages are delivered- whether they can be placed in mailboxes:
Here’s What Can Be Delivered In Mailboxes:
In general, all USPS mail pieces, such as letters and packages, are delivered in mailboxes as long as they fit and do not require a signature upon delivery. This is the best way to deliver USPS mail, as mailboxes can keep them secure and safe from potential mail thieves or porch pirates.
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Are USPS Mailmen Allowed to Put Packages in the Mailbox?
Most mailboxes come in a standard size that adheres to the policy of the US Postal Service.
They usually measure 19 inches long by 6.5 inches wide and with a height of 8.5 inches.
USPS mailmen can put packages in the mailbox as long as they fit inside. This means that USPS packages within the mailbox’s dimensions can be placed inside it.
Of course, this only applies to packages that can be simply dropped off and do not need a signature confirmation upon delivery.
Packages that need to be signed for cannot be placed inside the mailbox.
A signature must be collected upon delivery, so these packages must be handed over to the addressee or an authorized representative.
Does USPS Put Small Packages in the Mailbox?
Since USPS mailmen can put packages in the mailbox, you can expect them to put small packages in the mailbox.
Mailboxes typically do not have a weight and size limit.
USPS mail carriers will place small packages in the mailbox as long as the item fits properly and does not need any signature confirmation or collect-on-delivery payments.
Does Amazon Deliver Small Packages in the Mailbox?
Over the years, Amazon has become more efficient in package deliveries.
This could be due to the increasing volume of orders every year. Even with its improved logistics processes, Amazon still doesn’t use mailboxes.
Amazon does not deliver packages to your mailbox because it is illegal.
The US Postal Service owns all mailboxes, so they can only be used by USPS mail carriers for incoming and outgoing mail. It would be illegal for Amazon to deliver packages directly to mailboxes.
Most Amazon packages are placed by the front door or on the porch unless the customer specifies a certain spot to have the package delivered. Even if the package is small and easily fits in the mailbox, Amazon won’t deliver it there.
An Amazon package can only be delivered to a mailbox if USPS SurePost was used to ship the item.
Amazon uses different companies when it comes to the shipping and fulfillment of orders, and it has an existing partnership with the US Postal Service.
So whenever Amazon uses USPS SurePost to deliver orders, you can expect to find your order delivered inside the mailbox.
Do Other Shipping Companies Deliver Small Packages in the Mailbox?
It’s not just Amazon that does not deliver packages in the mailbox, which explains why you would only see USPS mail and packages delivered there.
Other shipping companies also do not deliver packages in the mailbox because it is illegal and considered a federal crime.
Since the US Postal Service owns all mailboxes, only USPS can use them to deliver mail and packages. Any other shipping and logistics companies, such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL, cannot use mailboxes for deliveries.
These companies can only deliver packages on the porch, by the front door, or elsewhere indicated by the recipient if they added special instructions.
If a USPS mail carrier sees items other than USPS mail or packages in the mailbox, then they have the right to remove them. There may also be fines or penalties for placing non-USPS items inside the mailbox.
What Is the Biggest Package to Go into a Mailbox?
Most mailboxes have a dimension of 19 inches long by 6.5 inches wide by 8.5 inches, so the biggest package to go into a mailbox typically has those exact dimensions.
As mentioned previously, there is no weight and size limit to what can be delivered in a mailbox.
As long the package can fit inside the box, and the mail carrier can still close it properly, then the package can be dropped in there.
What Happens When Packages Are too Big for the Mailbox?
Since the mailbox can only fit packages of a certain size or dimensions, you may be wondering what happens if the package is too big for the mailbox.
Here’s what happens to USPS packages that are too big for the mailbox.
First, USPS will try to deliver the package personally to the addressee.
If the package is too big to fit inside the mailbox, the USPS mail carrier will knock on the door and attempt to deliver the package to the recipient.
Even though the package does not need a signature, USPS will try to personally hand over the package to the recipient or an authorized representative.
If the delivery attempt is unsuccessful, the package will be returned to the post office. The carrier will also leave a mailbox note informing the addressee of a failed delivery attempt.
If the addressee wasn’t home and there’s no one available to receive the package on their behalf, the item will be returned to the local post office.
The USPS mail carrier will also leave a form so the recipient can choose how to get their package. They can either schedule a redelivery or pick the package up at the post office.
When scheduling redelivery, the recipient can only choose a date to have the package redelivered.
They won’t be able to specify a time, so someone has to be available to receive the package on that date.
If the recipient opts for package pickup at the post office, they have to present a valid photo ID upon collecting the item.
Ultimately, if you’re expecting a large package, it’s always best to give special delivery instructions, such as leaving the package on the porch or in the garage. This is to avoid getting a failed delivery attempt note.
Does USPS Deliver Packages Separately from Regular Mail?
USPS normally delivers thousands, and even millions, of mail and packages daily.
Given the high volume of deliveries that they get, you may be wondering if the packages are delivered separately from regular mail.
On most occasions, USPS delivers packages with regular mail.
During regular days when the volume of shipments are not absurdly high, packages are often delivered with regular mail or as long as everything fits inside the delivery truck.
Delivering packages together with regular mail can be efficient for USPS mail carriers, especially if the packages are small enough to fit inside the mailbox.
If there’s a high volume of mail and packages to be delivered, then packages, particularly the bigger ones, may be delivered separately with regular mail.
USPS mail carriers will make one round to deliver all regular mail and small packages that fit in the mailbox. Then they would make a second round just to deliver bigger packages.
This scenario happens when it is quite busy at the local post office, where postal workers take a long time to sort all the mail pieces.
This also happens during the holidays, like Christmas, when shipments are extremely high.