A commercial mail receiving agency (CMRA), also known as a mail drop, typically operates as a Private Mail Box Operator.
A customer of a CMRA can receive mail and other deliveries at the street address of the CMRA rather than the customer's own street address. Depending on the agreement between the customer and the CMRA, the CMRA canforward the mail to the customer or hold it for pickup.
Unlike a post office box, a CMRA operates independently of the national postal administration and is therefore able to receive courier packages or other non-mail. CMRAs typically provide ancillary services such as facsimile, copy or courier.
A customer may wish to use the services of a CMRA for privacy; for example, a person running a home-based business may not wish to disclose his or her residential address. A customer in one community may contract with a CMRA in another community with a better known or more prestigious address. A business located near an international border may use a CMRA as a point of local presence to receive cross-border freight or correspondence at domestic (instead of international) rates.
The use of a CMRA may render the delivery of mail at a later time of day than it would at a Post Office box. Some CMRAs offer an online post office, providing a means to access mail over the internet.