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What are commercial mailboxes?

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Commercial mailboxes are any mailboxes that are commonly used in businesses, apartment complexes, condos, and some residential developments. They differ from residential mailboxes in that they:

  • Require keys to access, adding security. Each individual unit has its own lock.
  • The entire structure, however, typically includes a master lock that allows a Postal Service employee to access all boxes through a single door or opening, which can be at the front or the back of the structure.
  • Unlike residential mailboxes, the commercial type typically have parcel lockers for packages. This is more common in newer models.
  • Commercial mailboxes are of sturdier construction and come with more choices for mounting. This makes them versatile for apartment complexes, communities, and office buildings. The property owner has some freedom to choose from multiple different setups.

Commercial mailboxes that accept delivery from the USPS include cluster mailbox units, horizontal mailboxes, and vertical mailboxes.

Cluster mailboxes are most commonly found in apartment complexes and residential communities, and provide a central area for residents to pick up their mail. These units stand on their own, often on a pedestal, and tend to be located in a central location in a community or apartment complex. Many of these structures offer larger units for packages that won’t fit into the smaller individual units; in this case, the resident is provided with a key to access their package. Cluster mailboxes

Horizontal mailboxes can also be found in apartment complexes and some residential communities, but are also ideal for office buildings, dormitories, and even military bases. Horizontal mailboxes can be recessed into a wall or simply mounted against a wall. These mailboxes often include many smaller units and a few bigger units for the delivery of large packages. Horizontal mailboxes are more common in larger communities and apartment complexes, and many offer larger units for the delivery of packages that won’t fit into a standard delivery unit.

Vertical mailboxes serve the same purpose as horizontal mailboxes, but have fewer units than their horizontal counterparts and typically serve smaller offices, apartment complexes, individual apartment buildings, and communities. Units are, as expected, vertical. Like horizontal mailboxes, they can be recessed into a wall or simply mounted. These boxes tend to be constructed from aluminum for security. Vertical mailboxes are typically sold to replace older, worn out mailboxes of the same type and not used in new construction.