If you run a small or a large business, then you likely handle outgoing mail. This mail can range from anywhere between small mailers for advertising and packages. Volumes can vary, and a small business may only send out a few pieces each day while a larger commercial business or complex may send out bags worth of mail, along with packages.
Did you know that mail theft is still a common crime? Consumers aren’t the only ones targeted. Business mail can often contain items such as checks, the personal information of customers, and other sensitive data. Thieves can and do target mailboxes for these items. This can lead to loss of income and identity theft.
The USPS provides plenty of information about how to protect your business mail if you see the link above. However, having the right mailbox or mailroom setup can also help prevent theft and improve security. The right setup can also help your business run better and save time, as well as money. Choosing the right way to send outgoing mail is a must, and your solution will depend on how much security you need, and when. Here are some questions to ask before choosing a way to send outgoing mail.
Methods For Sending Outgoing Mail. There are a few methods you can use to send outgoing mail: direct to the post office, outgoing mail slots, collection mailboxes, mail hampers, and plastic tote bins. Each has its benefits and will work slightly differently depending on the situation.
Taking mail directly to the post office is the most secure method, but requires an employee to do so daily. This may be a viable option if your business is close to the post office, or you don’t have a large volume of outgoing mail.
Outgoing mail slots and collection mailboxes that are USPS approved simply collect outgoing mail from employees of a business, and are checked by the USPS daily. They are locking compartments that can mount beside existing mailboxes or stand alone. Freestanding and wall-mounted models are available. These are found on the business’s property or rental space. If you choose this option, be sure to install them in a location that is well-lit and simple to access. The USPS should be able to find these mailboxes quickly and keeping them in a central location rather than out of sight will deter vandals.
Mail hampers and tote bins collect large amounts of outgoing mail, typically in a mailroom or office area of a business. They’re typically used in larger businesses in indoor settings, though locking bulk collection boxes can keep these totes safe in other locations until USPS pickup. Typically, a postal employee will pick up these totes and take the mail directly to the post office. Totes are also good for handling incoming mail.
The type of mailbox you should use will depend on a few factors.
How Much Outgoing Mail Do You Have? This is likely the biggest factor in which type of system you’ll need. Small volumes of mail may only need a single collection mailbox or an outgoing mail slot (that’s often included in centralized mailboxes), and very small outgoing mail volumes may make do with a locking curbside mailbox, if the information isn’t sensitive.
Large volumes may make use of multiple collection mailboxes, and the largest mail volumes may require plastic totes, hampers, and full mail rooms.
When Is My Business Open? The USPS must be able to retrieve your mail safely and securely, as well as deliver, to your business each day. This means that the postal employee must have access to your outgoing mail during delivery time.
If your business is open during all business hours, using an indoor system for outgoing mail will work well, and will keep mail secure. An indoor system can include mail hampers, totes (for incoming and outgoing mail), and collection mailboxes for both smaller mail and packages.
If your business has a more irregular schedule, outdoor options exist for outgoing mail, but must be secured. Any collection mailboxes used must be locking, and in a well-lit, easily accessible location. If totes are used, they must be inside a locking, bulk collection mailbox. For smaller mail volumes that don’t contain sensitive information or checks, a locking, sturdy curbside mailbox may also help. Be extra cautious if you are mailing checks, supplies, medical information, or credit card info. It’s not recommended to leave this mail type unsupervised.
What Am I Mailing? Are you mailing out simple advertisements, or mailing out checks, health information, or other sensitive information that thieves could use to their advantage? Obviously, you’ll need a higher level of security for sensitive information than you would other mail types.
Keeping more valuable mail indoors and having USPS pickup occur during business hours will be the safest bet, especially if you apply prepaid postage to your mail onsite.
Are You Mailing Packages and Supplies? Packages are prime targets for theft and loss, no matter what you’re mailing, and they will need security just as sensitive information does. However, they can take up a lot of space at a business, and if you’re opting for USPS pickup, some larger collection mailboxes do take smaller packages. You can also opt to take packages to the post office if you are not handling too many.
Corrugated plastic totes can handle some packages if you want direct USPS pickup, and are dealing with a higher package volume. These are the standard for handling mail in many business locations such as warehouses, medical facilities, and large commercial complexes.
We’ll Help You Find the Right Solution for Your Outgoing Mail. At National Mailboxes, we’re here to help you handle your outgoing mail in the safest, most efficient way possible. If you have questions, reach out to us, and we’ll help you decide on the best solution for your business.