Blue mailboxes can be seen frequently in larger cities, and while they are harder to find in smaller ones, they can come in handy. You may have wondered why they’re there and what you can put in them.
There’s a specific guideline on what goes inside them, but generally, they are used for domestic mail. Priority Mail Express and First-Class mail can go in the boxes. If you want to turn to international shipping, ensure that the customs declaration is submitted online. There are certain rules for the weight and thickness of your mail, as well as other guidelines for various types of packages.
You can read the full list below.
How Do Blue Mailboxes Work?
Blue mailboxes are located in numerous areas. The mail you can put in them needs to meet specific criteria. If your mail follows all those guidelines, you can drop it off in the mailbox.
United States Post Service will collect your mail at a specific pickup time, usually late afternoon. You can use this box to save yourself a trip to the post office.
Why Are Mailboxes Blue In The US?
There isn’t really a reason for the mailboxes to be colored blue. The very first mailboxes were red, then green, and soon after, they were army green. This happened after World War II when the government had a lot of green paint leftover.
Then, from 1955 until the United States Postal Service came around, the boxes were painted red, white and blue. After the founding of the USPS, the blue mailboxes with the eagle logo were used.
What Can You Put In The Blue Mailbox?
There is a guideline of what you can put in the blue mailboxes, and here is an idea of what goes in:
While USPS delivers most of the items you put in the blue mailboxes, you can’t simply shove whatever you want inside them.
- First-class letters that weigh up to 3.5 oz can be put in the boxes.
- Domestic mail, including Priority Mail Express, that weighs 10 oz or less with half-inch thickness or less, can be placed there.
- Similarly, you can use them for domestic mail, including Priority Mail Express with PC or metered postage.
- Priority Mail Express (domestic) that USPS has paid is allowed.
- Any Domestic Business Reply mail can go in there.
- APO, FPO or DPO mail that weighs 10 oz or less with the thickness of half-inch or less is acceptable. They also need to have postage stamps.
- Any package smaller than that is acceptable, but if you use postage stamps, you need to ensure that your package weighs less than 13 ounces.
- If the package weighs more than the mentioned number, it needs to have a pre-printed shipping label.
- If you use stamps for a package that weighs more than 13 ounces, you can’t put it in the box.
- These boxes only have enough space to carry parcels 3 inches tall.
- You will have to drop most of your e-commerce packages at the post office.
- You can use these boxes for domestic shipments. If you have a package that needs to be shipped outside the country, you will take some additional steps.
- For international delivery, the customs declarations need to be submitted online; otherwise, you can’t put your package in the box.
- Similarly, you can’t just cram your package inside for international delivery if it has postage stamps.
- Never put a prohibited item in one of these drop boxes.
What Time Does USPS Pick Up Mail From Blue Boxes?
Pickup times for the mail-in blue boxes differ from region to region. Generally, USPS will collect the mail when it’s late afternoon. In most areas, the pickup time is 4 pm.
The first and last timing is written on the blue boxes, so if you need to know the pickup times for your nearest box, you can read them there or go to the USPS website and click on ‘locations’.
Some areas will have more than one pick-up time. That depends on the amount of mail collected in the boxes daily.
What Time Is Mail Picked Up From The Blue Mailbox On Saturday?
Unlike weekdays, mail on Saturdays is picked up much earlier. In most areas, it’ll get collected around 9, but in some places, that happens from 12 – 3.
Does The Blue Box Mail Get Picked Up On Sunday?
They are only emptied from Monday to Friday and on Saturdays. You check the pickup schedule on a blue bin near you.
Unlike Saturday, Sunday is not a working day for USPS.
How Often Are The Blue Mailboxes Emptied?
USPS collects mail from the blue boxes at least once a day. The pickup times mentioned on the boxes refer to the earliest time the carrier can pick up the mail.
However, the number of times the carrier empties the boxes depend on the volume of mail collected due to the density of population in that particular area.
Q: Can You Put A Prepaid Package In A Blue Mailbox?
Yes, you can put a prepaid package (Priority Mail Flat-Rate Envelope) with postage printed on the envelope inside a blue mailbox.
Q: Can You Put A Large Envelope In A Blue Mailbox?
Yes, you can put a large envelope inside a blue mailbox. Just be sure that it fits properly and doesn’t end up with bends or any other form of damage.
Q: Are Blue Mailboxes Safe?
Yes, blue mailboxes are used by many people every day as they are a part of their business and daily life. They are completely safe and reliable. You can drop your mail in them without a worry!
To sum up, you can use blue mailboxes for many packages, but your package needs to follow the rules mentioned above. You can’t use them for all sorts of mail.
Ensure that you check the pickup timing for your mail on the blue bin you used.
Martha had a chance to work for such major companies as USPS and FedEx, where she gained a lot of experience and learned quite a few nuances when it comes to handling mail and packages. Now she is a freelance writer who specializes in the logistics industry.