Post-office box

A mailbox is a facility of most postal companies in the world, where the customer can pick up his mail at a post office in a lockable compartment. In line with this, a user account is often referred to as a " mailbox " in e- mail programs.


Lockable pick pockets, " letter boxes " ( after the usual banking designation), the first postal administration of the United States of America has offered for mail pick-up, in the 1850s was the term " lock boxes ". In Europe followed the American example 1873 Switzerland, 1878 Belgium, France 1881, 1887 Hungary, 1888 Austria, 1889 Italy, 1891 Russia, 1893 Norway. Of the former German postal administrations Württemberg and Bavaria in 1878 led a 1883 deposit. The kingdom began by mail at the post offices in Bremen and Mannheim in 1878 and 1882 attempts with lockers. In general, the mailboxes were first introduced in 1901 in the German territory after the law was changed on the Posttaxwesen on 11 March 1901.


The mailboxes are usually numbered. The mailbox number will be divided in groups of two from the right, there are no leading zeros. The postal address is (according to DIN 5008 ) then:

John Doe PO Box 8 15 12345 city In Germany, larger companies may not need to specify the mailbox number and instead get its own ZIP code. In this case, the address would be

Pattern company 12346 Model City without reference to a street or post office box number.


The advantage of a mailbox is that the recipient can pick up the mail to a freely selectable time. Thus, it is independent of the transition due to the postal carrier, and can get his mail usually earlier than by the delivery person. In addition, the mailbox owner must give the sender is not known home address. Regular mail is not inserted into the letter box.

Disadvantages and obligations of the mailbox holder

A post office box replaced in Germany no identifiable address. The mailbox owner must also have a zustellfähige home address in Germany have, the device is not recommended for persons without a residence in Germany possible. Some letters ( for example, telegrams and catalogs) will be delivered in each case under the house address. Mailings of competitors are always delivered to home address, unless they are addressed to the mailbox. Then the competitor must pass for filing the shipment to the German Post AG.

At Deutsche Post the holder of a mailbox must regularly, but empty at least once every seven days. The emptying must be carried out so frequently that the mailbox is not crowded.


  • In Germany, the German Post AG maintains in its branch network of 12,500 branches around 930,000 mailboxes. Currently, a one-time setup fee of 15 euros is payable, then the mailbox is accessible for free.
  • In Austria the mailbox at the Austrian Post AG costs from € 7.50 for residential customers and up to 26 euros per month for business customers (as of April 18, 2010 ). The mailbox can also be booked for a period of just four weeks to 7.50 euros (formerly known as Holiday Mailbox ).
  • In Switzerland, Swiss Post the basic range of mailboxes, since April 1, 2012 compared to a One-time fee of CHF 12.00 at the switches to place an order over the Internet is free.
  • In Namibia mailboxes are the only delivery method, because there is no home delivery. A mailbox in the mail costs Namibia from N $ 198.70 per year ( about 20 euros ) (Updated: April 18, 2010).


Mailbox Cabinets 47018-47020 in Duisburg

Mobile mailbox cabinets 52238 and 52239 in Dürwiß

Back of a mailbox locking Deutsche Post. From here, the items are inserted into the respective compartments

Mailbox facility in Goleta, California

Mailbox facility in Windhoek, Namibia