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The Latest in Mail News: How Mailbox Enfranchisement Could Affect You

USPS revenue has been declining, on track to have billions of dollars in deficit over the next decade. Their loss could be your gain.

Times have been tough for the United States Postal Service. With the rise of email and less people practicing the art of letter writing, there’s been a decline in mail volume.

Now a new concept hopes to turn that around and get the postal system back in the black. That idea is mailbox enfranchisement.

What does that mean for you and how can you take advantage of it? Read on to find out!

History of USPS

To know where the USPS is going, let’s learn where they’ve been, first. The original system of mail delivery was haphazard at best, with people asking neighbors and travelers to take mail for them.

That changed when Benjamin Franklin became the first postmaster general. He organized a system that cut mail delivery time in half and created standards for mail delivery.

One of the standards that the USPS follows is that legally, mailboxes can only be used for US postage-paid mail. That’s possibly set to change.

Third-Party Delivery

Though mail volume is decreasing, package delivery is increasing, usually through a third party.

With the rise of online shopping, more packages are being shipped and delivered around the country. Companies like Amazon use third parties like FedEx and UPS to deliver those packages.

What if the mailbox owner could partner with the USPS and allow access to their mailbox for a fee? This is the basic concept behind mailbox enfranchisement.

Mailbox Enfranchisement: How Does it Work?

With franchising mailboxes, the mailbox owner and USPS agree to allow third parties to deliver to personal boxes. That allows for faster delivery and also raises money for USPS through fees.

This could get USPS back on track to generate sufficient income. It might also make third parties more efficient, eventually wiping out access to USPS post offices.

For example, third parties can refuse to deliver to remote or rural locations. If the USPS is diminished or rendered obsolete, these places could lose access to the outside world.

The details of this plan are still being mulled over. Things like whether the franchisee would get a cut of the fee or who would be allowed to access the mailboxes has to be worked out before it can move forward.

USPS Revenue and Mailbox Enfranchisement in the Future

As it stands, mailbox enfranchisement is a concept still being hammered out. We’ll have to wait and see what the final proposal will be.

One thing is certain: getting USPS revenue back in the black works for everyone. After all, the postal service is obligated to serve every citizen while third party delivery services are not.

Having access to mail is important. We hope to provide you with any updates to this concept as it’s developed.

Considering upgrading your US mailbox to get it ready for franchising? Check out some of our best models and let us know which one you’d like today!