New York

NYC Postal Carriers Locked Out of Buildings, Unable to Deliver Packages

What to Know

  • The USPS says there are 2,600 buildings in the Bronx and Manhattan where it can't deliver packages because they don't have access
  • Customers are frustrated from having to go to the post office to pick up packages, which rapidly pile up in some neighborhoods
  • The USPS wants building owners to install a postal lock or a key-keeper box outside the building to ensure carriers can get in

Some packages can't be delivered by postal carriers in Manhattan and the Bronx because they don't have keys to thousands of apartment buildings, News 4 New York has learned exclusively. 

There are 2,000 buildings in the Bronx and 600 more in Manhattan where the United States Postal Service can't deliver packages because of a limited key-sharing situation: the letter carriers have the key to the building, but when the package carrier arrives, they don't have the key, the USPS says. 

In the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx, packages have piled up in 17 mail cages in the post office in just 24 hours Friday, a huge source of frustration for residents forced to go to the office and wait in line. If customers don't pick up their packages within 15 days, the packages are returned to the sender. 

"Every time I have to get a package, it's never delivered to me. I have to come here," said Sandy Smith. 

"It's frustrating. In this day and age, with Amazon shopping, a lot of people rely on home delivery," said Josh Lottlieb.

The USPS says it sent thousands of letters to building owners where package carriers don't have access to the building. Many have made changes, but thousands did not. The USPS says it may stop attempting to deliver to those buildings altogether. 

A spokesman for the postal service says building owners have several options to ensure delivery of packages: one is an electronic key entry, where a postal lock activates the electronic door lock release when a postal key is used. Another is a key-keeper box that can be installed in a wall or door jamb. 

"These two methods allow our carries easy access to buildings and will alleviate delivery service issues for many thousands of our customers," said USPS spokesman Xavier C. Hernandez. 

The USPS plans to send a letter to politicians Monday alerting them to the problem. 

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