The Range Post Box

A post office box full of mail
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PO boxes of various sizes in a German post office, with their number range and postcodes written above them
Outdoor Post Office Boxes (as common in Switzerland) numbers one to six at 9054 Haslen, Switzerland.

Hi, i have an indicator in use, which needs modifications. This indicator draws Renko Boxes into a chart (like the FXBlue Renko does). Then it counts the range boxes. A renko range box is, when the.

A post office box (commonly abbreviated as P.O. box, or also known as a postal box) is a uniquely addressable lockable box located on the premises of a post office station.

In some regions, particularly in Africa, there is no door to door delivery of mail; for example, in Kenya.[1] Consequently, renting a PO box has traditionally been the only way to receive mail in such countries.

Generally, post office boxes are rented from the post office either by individuals or by businesses on a basis ranging from monthly to annual, and the cost of rent varies depending on the box size. Central business district (CBD) PO boxes are usually more expensive than rural PO boxes.

In the United States, the rental rate used to be[when?] uniform across the country. Now, however, a postal facility can be in any of seven fee groups by location; in addition, certain customers qualify for free box rental, usually because the Postal Service does not offer carrier-route delivery to their physical addresses.

In the United Kingdom, Royal Mail PO boxes are often little more than pigeon-holes in the secure section of a sorting office and are accessible only by staff. In such cases, the renter of the PO box will be issued with a card showing the PO box number and delivery office name and must produce this to the desk staff when collecting mail. For an additional fee, the Royal Mail will deliver received items to the renter's geographical address.

Some private companies (e.g., United Parcel Service and commercial mail receiving agencies) offer similar services of renting a mailbox in a public location. The difference is that mail sent there is addressed to a street address (along with the private box number), instead of just addressed to 'PO Box CSX'.[2]Virtual mailboxes are similar to P.O. boxes but usually provide additional services such as scanning or forwarding.

Number of boxes[edit]

The quantity of post office boxes in a station varies widely. Stations of small areas are often equipped with fewer than 100 boxes, while stations in a central business district (CBD) area may offer a combined quantity of over 200,000 post office boxes.[citation needed]

Mounting of boxes[edit]

PO boxes in the lobby of a U.S. post office

Post office boxes are usually mounted in a wall of the post office, either an external wall or a wall in a lobby, so that staff on the inside may deposit mail in a box, while a key holder (some older post office boxes use a combination dial instead of a key) in the lobby or on the outside of the building may open their box to retrieve the mail.

Lobby open hours[edit]

In many post offices in the U.S., the PO box lobby is separate from the window-service lobby, so that the former may be kept open for longer hours or around the clock, while the latter is locked after business hours. In the U.S. since the 1980s, in cities and large urban areas, post offices have tended to close box lobbies overnight because of the tendency of homeless people to use them for sleeping quarters. As a result, some box lobbies are accessible after hours by customers who are provided a code to a door keypad. In addition, some post offices are located in rented facilities such as shopping malls. As a result, PO boxes can only be accessed while that facility is open.


If a parcel does not fit in a PO box, the postmaster will leave a note advising that customer to pick up that parcel from the counter. In some post offices, a key will be left in the PO box that corresponds to a larger, locked box (parcel locker) where the patron may pick up their package if a signature is not required. Most often, in this case, once the key is used to open the larger, locked box, the key cannot be removed again by the patron, but the door cannot be secured either. Notes will also be left in the PO box in respect of cash on delivery (COD) and registered mail that has to be signed for.

In 2011, the United States Postal Service began a pilot program called 'gopost'[3] which installed larger boxes to handle package pickup from an unstaffed station. A given box can be used by multiple customers thanks to the integration of a computer which accepts a delivery code.[4][5]Deutsche Post started a similar concept called a Packstation in 2001.

The privately operated Amazon Locker, started in 2011, is a similar one-time-use pickup (and return) facility for parcels sent to and from the company.

Package delivery by private carriers[edit]

Until 2012, package delivery to USPS post office boxes was not available from private carriers like UPS, FedEx and others. In early 2012, the Postal Service introduced a P.O. Box Street Address (PBSA) service that allows box-holders to combine the street address of the post office where their box is located with their post office box number into a street address format.[6][7][8] A mailing industry publication called the new service 'a great service for people who already have a PO Box and don't want their packages delivered to their home.'[9]

Locked bags and caller service[edit]

Users receiving very large quantities of mail can use 'locked bags', which are numbered like PO boxes. In the United States, this service is called caller service, and the assigned number is called a caller number, although mail is typically addressed to 'PO Box (caller number).'[10]


Each country has its own rules and regulations as to how one can retrieve mail at a PO Box. Some countries, such as the United States or the United Kingdom, may require one or more forms of identification. Not all countries offer locked PO Boxes.

In the United States, two forms of identification are required when signing up for a PO Box; one of which must be a photo ID.

By continent[edit]

The Range Post Boxer

Many countries offer some type of PO Boxes for different uses. There are an increasing number of private companies that provide similar PO Box services to the official postal service privately under the guise of mail forwarding.


PO boxes inside the NamPost main building in Windhoek.

In Namibia, PO boxes are the only form of mail delivery to private individuals. Even small settlements feature a block of PO boxes for rent. In Windhoek, capital and the only large town, blocks of PO boxes are scattered all over the city and not necessarily located at post offices but at shopping malls, in pedestrian zones or on public places.

The South African Post Office has Post Boxes available for rent. These are usually attached to or close to a post office. In urban areas with PO Boxes for rent there also may be home delivery of mail. In rural areas Post Boxes are often compulsory as no street deliveries take place. In the areas for which there is no street delivery, Post Boxes are not charged for. Boxes and Street delivery postal codes may be the same in an area, or may differ. Private Bags are available for recipients of large mail volumes.

Cameroon uses the PO Boxes in Kumba, Yaoundé, Duoala, Bamenda, and other provinces.


Post office boxes in General Post Office, Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, PO boxes are available in two different sizes. They are available in many post offices throughout the territory.


In Japan, PO boxes are available at most post office locations. There is no cost to rent a post office box as the box is provided to ease the effort to deliver postal items to regular customers. Therefore, renters must receive at least one postal item every day and expected to visit and retrieve mails regularly (daily, in principle) from the box. The renter must also rent the box for 6 months or more. Boxes in the metropolitan areas are often full and a new user expects to wait for years or more.[11]

In the Philippines, PO boxes are available for rent in selected post offices. PO boxes, also known as lock boxes, are available in three sizes: small, medium and large.[12]

In South Korea, PO boxes are available in one size at selected post offices. There is no charge for renting PO box, but renter must fetch mail at least once in 30 days. Application is only available at post office with valid ID, seal for receiving registered mail, and key fee (usually around 10,000 won). Seoul CPO box room is the only PO box in Korea with fully automated mail retrieving system.[13]



In Australia, wall-mounted PO boxes come in five sizes: small, medium, large, jumbo and A4. The different sizes boxes can be mixed almost completely arbitrarily on the wall. There is also an option for locked private bag which comes in two different sizes as well: small and large.[14]

PO boxes and private locked bags can be combined.[14]

New Zealand[edit]

In New Zealand, customers have the option to select between two sizes of PO Boxes: small and large. There is also an option to hire a Private Bag similar to 'locked bags' in other countries. The annual fee is paid annually in advance.[15]



In Austria, PO Boxes come in one size, and four different versions

  1. Only Post addressed to the PO Box will be delivered to it,
  2. All mail addressed to the address of the customer and the PO Box will be delivered to the PO Box,
  3. Same as 1., but for businesses,
  4. Same as 2., but for businesses, – they are generally available at all post offices throughout the country.[16]

Only mail from Austrian Post can be delivered to an Austrian Post PO Box,[17] but there are also private companies offering the same services.

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, anyone applying for a Royal Mail PO box must produce documentation to verify their home or business address.

North America[edit]

In Canada and the U.S., Postal Boxes are available in five different sizes (A, B, C, D & E). They are generally available in all post offices throughout the country.

The Range Outdoor Post Box

In the United States, PO Boxes are generally available through the United States Postal Service (USPS). They are usually arranged from the smallest boxes at the top to the largest boxes at the bottom. The two largest sizes may be configured as drawers. To rent a PO Box, two different forms of identification are required. At least one of them must be a valid photo ID. This also applies to others who wish to share the box with the original subscriber's permission, and are of legal age. The post office will not forward mail from a PO Box until the box is closed, and then only to one address for all subscribers. As part of the agreement to rent a PO Box, if the PO Box is used for business, the Post Office will provide, upon request, the geographical (street) address of the business.

Street Addressing[edit]

Until 2012, only items mailed or shipped via USPS could be received at a USPS PO Box. However, a service called Street Addressing has begun to change this. Once a permission form is completed by the box holder, Street Addressing allows private shippers, such as United Parcel Service (UPS) or FedEx, to ship items to a modification of the actual street address of the Post Office where the PO Box is located. The Post Office accepts the item, and places it in the PO Box or, for larger items, handles them the same way they would a package sent via USPS. (Some have storage lockers.) Only certain Post Offices offer Street Addressing, and even for ones that do, it may not be available to all of its PO Box customers (e.g., boxes without a fee). Other restrictions also exist, including the same limitations on items that cannot otherwise be mailed by ground service though USPS. (Not to be confused with items that cannot be shipped by air.) In many cases, the package may require one additional business day for delivery, and the service was never intended for overnight delivery. Also, federal holidays not observed by the private shipper might cause a delay. If an item is shipped using Street Addressing in which the box holder did not properly sign up for, it will be returned to sender.

Street Addressing will have the same street address of the post office, plus a 'unit number' that matches the P.O. Box number. As an example, in El Centro, California, the post office is located at 1598 Main Street. Therefore, for P.O. Box 9975 (fictitious), the Street Addressing would be: 1598 Main Street Unit 9975, El Centro, CA. Nationally, the first five digits of the zip codemay or may not be the same as the P.O. Box address, and the last four digits (Zip + 4) are virtually always different. Except for a few of the largest post offices in the U.S., the 'Street Addressing' (not the P.O. Box address) nine digit Zip + 4 is the same for all boxes at a given location.

See also[edit]

  • Private Mail Bag – delivered to recipient by contractor.
  • Post box – used for outgoing mail.


  1. ^Universal Postal Union. 'Kenya'(PDF). Universal Postal Union. Retrieved 19 February 2016.[failed verification]
  2. ^'Archived copy'. Archived from the original on 3 January 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^'® – gopost®'. 28 March 2011. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  4. ^'New Postal Kiosk Will Handle Packages'. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  5. ^'USPS officially announces gopost pilot'. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  6. ^'Move to Competitive Locations with Street Addressing'. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  7. ^Street Addressing[dead link]
  8. ^'Street Addressing Now Available For USPS P.O. Box Holders'. 1 February 2012. Archived from the original on 31 October 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  9. ^'The New Addresses on the Block'. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  10. ^'D920 Caller Service'. 3 July 1994. Archived from the original on 29 August 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
  11. ^[1]Archived 28 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^'Retail Services'. PHLPost. Archived from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  13. ^'개인정보 유출걱정은 끝! 우체국 사서함 신청방법/이용방법/이용료 안내' (in Korean). Korea Post. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
    '우체국 우편사서함 제도~ 그것이 알고싶다!!' (in Korean). Korea Post. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  14. ^ abPost, Australia. 'Post Office Boxes & bags'. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  15. ^'PO Box & Private Bags New Zealand Post'. 3 February 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  16. ^'Postfach'. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  17. ^Nur Sendungen die von der Österreichischen Post zugestellt werden, gelangen ins Postfach. – English: Only mail from Austrian Post gets in your PO Box

External links[edit]

Retrieved from ''
Create a Box and Whisker Plot using Microsoft Excel® Updated 11/9/2020

A box plot or box and whisker plot can be created in Excel using the new built-in Box and Whisker chart for Excel 2016 or later. To create your own chart, you'll need to use a couple of tricks. First, the box can be created using stacked column charts. Second, the whisker can be created using y-error bars. Excel provides built-in functions that you will need to calculate the quartiles used for the 'box' part of the box and whisker plot. You can jump right in by downloading the free Box Plot Template below, but I also suggest you read through the information below which describes how the functions and calculations are used to create a box and whisker plot.

Box Plot Template

for Excel (without using the new built-in chart type)


⤓ Download
For: Excel 2007 or later

License: Private Use (not for distribution or resale)

'No installation, no macros - just a simple spreadsheet' - by Jon Wittwer


Create a box plot quickly and easily. Enter your data into the Data sheet and the chart in the Plot worksheet will update automatically.

Limitation: This template shows only the maximum or minimum outliers, if there are any. Normal convention for box plots is to show all outliers. To show all outliers, you can use the new Box and Whisker Chart that is a new built-in chart type in Excel 2016 or later (see the template below).

Regarding Negative Values: Using bar charts to display the interquartile range limits the technique described below to displaying positive values (or at least Q1 must be positive). There are a couple ways around this problem and both of these alternate methods are included as additional worksheets in the file. (1) You can shift the data so that it is positive before creating the box plot and (2) you can avoid the use of bar charts and display Q1, Q3, and the Median using series markers instead.

Box and Whisker Chart Template

for Excel (Using the new Box and Whisker Chart type for Excel 2016 or later)


⤓ Excel

License: Private Use (not for distribution or resale)


This template uses the built-in Box and Whisker Chart. Although the chart does not require you to calculate the summary statistics, I included the formulas so that I could figure out how Excel was doing things in their chart.

IMPORTANT: The new built-in Box and Whisker Chart in Excel 2016 shows whiskers that exclude the outliers. See below for more information about creating a box plot, and how the new 2016 may differ from my original template (or other conventions).

Creating a Box and Whisker Plot

Box plots are very useful data visualization tools for depicting a number of different summary statistics and especially for graphically comparing multiple data sets. It is much easier to create these plots in Excel if you know how to structure your data. You can take a look at the template as an example.

Fig 1. An example box and whisker plot from the Box Plot Template showing the IQR, whiskers, and max/min outliers.

Creating the Box

The box part of a box and whisker plot represents the central 50% of the data or the Interquartile Range (IQR). The lower edge of the box plot is the first quartile or 25th percentile. The upper edge of the box plot is the third quartile or 75th percentile. You may want to check out my article on percentiles for more details about how percentiles are calculated.

  • Find the first quartile, Q1, using =QUARTILE(range,1) or =PERCENTILE(range,0.25)
  • Find the median, Q2, using =MEDIAN(range) or QUARTILE(range,2) or =PERCENTILE(range,0.5)
  • Find the third quartile, Q3, using =QUARTILE(range,3) or =PERCENTILE(range,0.75)
  • Calculate the interquartile range (IQR) as Q3-Q1
  • Calculate the mean using AVERAGE(range). The mean is not always displayed in a box plot, but in the new built-in Box and Whisker Chart for Excel 2016+, it is shown as an 'x'.

Note: To exclude the median when calculating the quartiles, you can use the new PERCENTILE.EXC and QUARTILE.EXC functions. It appears that the older PERCENTILE and QUARTILE functions are the same as PERCENTILE.INC and QUARTILE.INC functions.

The location of the median line relative to the first and third quartiles indicates the amount of skewness or asymmetry in the data. If the distribution is symmetric, the median will be exactly in the middle. if the median is closer to Q3, the distribution is negatively skewed (or 'skewed to the left' meaning the left tail of the distribution is longer). If the median is closer to Q1, the distribution is positively skewed.

The plot in Excel is created using a stacked column chart with 3 series. The first series (bottom column) is Q1 and the border and area properties are set to none so that the column is not visible in the chart. The second series is Q2-Q1. The third series is Q3-Q2. These two series, stacked together make up the interquartile range. The area property is set to none for these two series to create just the outline for the box.

Creating the Whisker

The whiskers in a plot represent the tails of the distribution. The whiskers can be created using error bars in Excel. Because of the ease of calculation, the convention for the length of the whisker that I have used in the box plot template comes from [1]:

  • The upper whisker starts at Q3 and extends upward to Q3+1.5(IQR) or the maximum value, whichever is lower.
  • The lower whisker starts at Q1 and extends downward to Q1-1.5(IQR) or the minimum value, whichever is greater.

For the built-in Box and Whisker chart in Excel 2016+, the upper whisker starts at Q3 and extends upward to Q3+1.5(IQR) or the maximum non-outlier value, whichever is lower. Similar change for the lower whisker.

Another common convention is that instead of extending the whisker to a calculated value of Q3+1.5(IQR), the whisker is extended to the last data point that is less than or equal to Q3+1.5(IQR), and similarly with the lower whisker.

In the box plot template, the whiskers are created by adding Y-error bars to series 1 (Q1) and series 3 (Q3-Q2).


The biggest problem with creating your own box and whisker plot in Excel is showing all the outliers - the points that fall outside of the range depicted by the box and whiskers. This is a problem because you don't know how many outliers there will be. Instead of showing a point for each outlier, the custom box plot template above shows only the max and min values if they are outliers. For reference, the number of upper and lower outliers is given in the table to indicate if there are more outliers than just the max or min.

The new built-in Box and Whisker Chart for Excel 2016+ can show all of the outliers. You can also select an option to show all internal (non-outlier) data points as well.


I haven't found a good way to create the following box plot variations in Excel, so I won't describe them in detail, but I've included them here for your information. Most good statistical software like MINITAB® will be able to include these additional features.

Variable-Width Box Plot

When you are comparing samples with different sample sizes, it is common to represent the sample size by the width of the box.

Notched Box Plot

A notched box plot is used to show the length of the confidence interval for the median.

How to Set up a Data Table for the Box and Whisker Chart in Excel 2016+

I've included this example to show how Excel requires that you set up your data table if you are using the new built-in chart type.

In Windows search, type disk cleanup. Select Disk Cleanup from the results. If you are using Windows 8, do the following: From the Start screen, type cleanmgr to open the Search charm. See more results. Create Clear Memory Cache Shortcut. This is one of the easiest solutions to clear memory cache on.

Note that the columns are different series (which can be displayed via the Legend), while the use of titles along the X-axis requires you to use a column like column A for identifying the groups.

The Range Post Box Office

In my template above, I prefer using columns for different data sets, so I'm using the Legend to label the chart, with the x-axis label removed.

Other Statistics Spreadsheets

  • Pareto Chart - This template helps you perform a pareto analysis to analyze most significant factors.
  • Control Chart - Create an X-bar, R or S Chart for process control.
  • Dot Plot - How to create a dot plot in a spreadsheet without a chart object.


  • Box Plots at - This is actually a really good article.
  • [1] A. Mitra, Fundamentals of Quality Control and Improvement, 2nd ed., Prentice Hall: New Jersey, 1998.
  • [2] S. B. Vardeman, Statistics for Engineering Problem Solving, PWS Publishing Company: Boston, 1994.
  • Built-in Box and Whisker Chart in Excel - Read about the new chart type.
  • More Details about the new Excel Chart - Talks about the definitions as well as the difference between including or excluding the mean.

How to cite this page

When using this template to create an image for a publication, you can use the following citation (or one appropriate for your paper's format):

The Range Post Boxing

- Wittwer, J.W., 2009, Box Plot Template,, (your access date).

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