Receiving parcels, including online purchases, is set to become much easier with An Post’s new mailboxes.
The postal company has supplied the delivery boxes to more than 1,500 homes and businesses in recent months, and will have them for sale to customers nationwide soon.
As well as making it unnecessary for customers to collect missed deliveries at An Post depots, the postman can also use the masterkey to collect outgoing mail from delivery boxes.
“We initially ordered 20,000 to be made and we’re happy with the response so far,” said An Post public affairs manager Angus Laverty. “They’re easily installed and seem to be particularly popular with families and individuals doing a lot of online shopping,”
The benefits for customers and postal staff should be felt particularly before Christmas 2016, as An Post sees the average 2.5m items of mail handled every day peak at 5m and 7m each day in the early weeks of December.
However, it can be difficult delivering parcels and packages to people who are not home during the day because they are working or bringing children to school, or other- wise unavailable to take delivery.
“We were looking for ways to get their post to them at home, rather than people having to collect it at an An Post delivery office, or local post office, and this matches that need,” said Mr Laverty.
After initial sales in counties Carlow, Cork, Kildare, Wexford and Wicklow in recent months, it is planned to begin the national roll- out soon.
Using smart technology, when An Post delivers an item of mail, a customer, who has two keys, receives an email, generated by scanning the barcode inside the delivery box. The same process will apply to notify customers that An Post have collected mail left inside the box, although collections are only made if post is being delivered to the box.
For registered post, a physical signature will still be needed, and non-An Post deliveries will still go through the customer’s letterboxes. Some other mail services which need proof of delivery can be accepted by the postman scanning the barcode when leaving items inside.
Mr Laverty said the box is designed to accept the most common types and sizes of packages and parcels. They measure 300mm wide, 476mm high and 200mm deep, will hold up to 20kg weight, and come with installation accessories and two keys.
Although the boxes will largely facilitate online shopping, they can not currently be ordered online but this may change soon. Application forms are available in local post offices and payment of the one-off €70 price should see delivery to most areas within five days.
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