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What Is a USPS Parcel Locker? (The Ultimate Guide 2023)

what is a usps parcel locker

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is convenient when you order online or are just sending a parcel to your family or friends. 

If you live in a complex, residential community, condo, or apartment, you are familiar with the use of letterboxes. However, other people might easily have access to yours even if you have a lock. Using these isn’t ideal when you want to receive a large parcel. This is when a USPS locker comes in.

 But, what is a USPS parcel locker? How does it work, and how can you own one? Well, let’s find out everything you need to know!

What Is A Parcel Locker?

What Is A Parcel Locker

A USPS parcel locker is part of the Cluster Box Unit (CBU), also known as a community box area. A locker is a unit that’s installed within a CBU. It can be installed alongside neighborhood delivery and collection box units. Some lockers are in conjunction with PO Boxes in a retail facility.

These lockers are used for delivering parcels. However, some cluster box units contain a slot for “Outgoing Mail.” Before we get to that, it’s best to understand why people use USPS parcel lockers. You might need a locker for future deliveries!

Read more: Does USPS Have Planes?

The Benefits Of Parcel Lockers

Parcel lockers are convenient. You don’t have to move around your daily schedule to physically be there when your package is delivered. This also eliminates the need to reschedule delivery attempts, and it saves mail carriers time. It’s a win-win for everyone.

As the recipient, you won’t have to worry about the safety of your parcel. You can access a locker using a PIN/ barcode sent to you or using a set of keys. There’s also less worry about parcels going missing.

How Do Parcel Lockers Work?

There’s a communal mail area for those that live in apartments or condos. The apartment-sized mailboxes are not a good fit to receive big parcels. Such parcels are then delivered and left unsecured out in the open. USPS parcel lockers provide safe and secure places for their mail carriers to drop off your parcels. 

Parcel lockers function as secure hubs. USPS offers different forms of cluster boxes for your lockers. Let’s find out more about them.

Privately-Owned Parcel Lockers

Privately-Owned Parcel Lockers

If a cluster box is privately owned, recipients make arrangements to collect the mailbox key(s) from the residency manager. The building owner or manager provides a lock and key service for the cluster boxes. 

There’s usually a system in place to notify residents when they receive a parcel. Different apps are used to inform residents about their parcels. Parcel Pending by Quadient provides multiple locker types and sizes depending on each property’s unique needs. Residents can scan the barcode in the delivery notification or mobile app. 

USPS-Owned Parcel Lockers

For this service, USPS is responsible for providing every customer with a compartment lock and a set of keys. The recipient will have a postal-owned cluster box. The good thing about USPS-owned lockers is that there’s no need to pay a deposit for the keys.

 Although you get a set of three keys when you get your compartment lock, you can still duplicate them. The Postal Service doesn’t keep duplicates. This is done to provide guaranteed security to all lock owners.

We all lose keys at some point!

If you lose all the keys, the Postal Service will install a new lock with a new set of keys. This, however, will be at your expense. Save yourself some trouble by installing a key and mail holder on your wall in your home. If you move residence and find another nearby post office, make sure to return all compartment keys to the original post office. 

What Is A USPS Parcel Locker? – How To Get A Package 

Getting your package largely depends on the system placed by your building or community. However, here’s what you need to know regardless. 

USPS Tracking

When you’re expecting a parcel, you can always check your locker since you have all the keys. Alternatively, you can check your USPS account online or use the mobile app. The USPS tracking status will read “Delivered.” Some delivery statuses will read “Delivered to a Parcel Locker.” 

It’s simply a way of letting you know where exactly to look for your package. You can retrieve your parcel anytime once it’s been delivered. 

PIN/ Code and Applications

PIN/ Code and Applications

Some community complexes do not assign individual cluster boxes. Instead, they may have a reception area or office that they use. Your building management might opt to leave a key, letter, or PIN in your letterbox to give you access to the parcel. 

Many residential buildings are resorting to mobile apps. These are systematically designed for the recipient to receive a scan code or PIN. They present either one of these to the building management, and after scanning, they receive their parcel. It’s time-saving, and the application is easier to use. 

Gopost® Parcel Delivery Locker Concept

USPS developed the Gopost parcel delivery locker concept which you can also use if you miss your package delivery. Instead of having your package left unattended, you receive a blue-colored form with a box checked for Gopost. Its units are automated and secured. 

With Gopost, you not only receive parcels, but you can use it to ship packages at your convenience. First, register for this service. You’ll receive an account number or access card with a PIN. 

You don’t get a personal locker…

Unlike a USPS parcel locker, this alternative version will not assign a specific locker to you. Instead, packages are placed in available lockers. Also, this service might not be accessible to you based on your delivery address. Enter your zip code here to check if Gopost is available in your area. 

For the parcels, you’ll receive a unique passcode and the Gopost unit location. You’ll get this notification via email or text. Then, you can visit the unit, enter the unique code, and pick up your package. It’s as easy as it sounds. 

How Safe Are USPS Locker Parcels?

How Safe Are USPS Locker Parcels

A USP-owned parcel locker, a privately owned one, and USPS’s Gopost alternative are all safe to use. It all depends on your preferences and which system is better in your location. These options are much better than having large parcels left unattended. 

Essential Info About Your USPS Parcels

Whether you’re waiting for a package or posting yourself, you’re probably wondering Can You Drop Off USPS At UPS, or for priority mail, Does USPS Have First Class Tracking, and Can You Track A USPS Package Without A Tracking Number, if you’ve lost your receipt.

Perhaps you’ve received a notification and are not sure What Does Delivered To An Agent Mean USPS, or maybe, Does USPS Deliver At Night if you’ve waited all day, and alternatively, you might want to check Does Amazon Prime Deliver On Sunday if it’s an urgent package.

Why not work at USPS and improve their efficiency! To pass your exams, we recommend taking a look at the Postal Exam Book: for Test 473 and 473-C, along with McGraw-Hill’s Postal Exams 473/473C, the Post Office Jobs: The Ultimate 473 Postal Exam Study Guide, and finally the Postal Exam Secrets Study Guide: Review and Practice Tests for the USPS Virtual Entry Assessment 474, 475, 476, and 477, all available online in 2023.

What Is A USPS Parcel Locker? – Final Thoughts

There’s been an increasing number of online business purchases and equipment. Others have now grown accustomed to online shopping.

 Setting up a secure way to receive large packages is a smart move. Using a USPS parcel locker saves both the mail carrier and recipient time. The mail carrier doesn’t have to go through multiple delivery attempts. The receiver can pick up their package at a convenient time, and the cluster box is by far more easily accessible too. 

Residential community managers and developers, business owners, and individuals have begun installing package lockers. These make delivery faster and more efficient. 

So, don’t be left out, and enjoy one of the services provided by USPS!

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1 thought on “What Is a USPS Parcel Locker? (The Ultimate Guide 2023)”

  1. Marcie St. Jacques

    Hi Linda thank you for your article it was very informative and I learned a lot about the USPS parcel lockers. No longer confused anything to understand thank you so much

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