Guest Post by: Ben Ocken of Endicia
When and why should you ship with the U.S. Postal Service® (USPS®)? Here are a few things to think about with the USPS when you’re looking for your perfect shipping mix.
- The USPS should fill a niche in your shipping mix just like the private carriers (UPS, FedEx) should. It doesn’t make sense to pack for an overnight trip in a giant suitcase, just like it doesn’t make sense to use a carrier for shipments they don’t specialize in. The USPS is perfect for small, lightweight shipments especially if they are being delivered to residential addresses.
- Avoid surcharges with the USPS. No fuel, residential delivery, address correction or any other surcharges when shipping with the USPS can add up to big savings. You may not notice, but your private carrier may tack on these surcharges to your invoice at the end of the month. Avoiding these surcharges by using USPS means you know exactly what you’re paying to ship the package from point A to point B.
- Pricing flexibility. The USPS offers Commercial Base Pricing to shippers printing their shipping labels online through a vendor like Endicia, but did you also know that the USPS provides Commercial Plus Pricing to high volume shippers? They also offer Negotiated Service Agreements (NSA) for extremely large shippers and Global Expedited Package Services (GEPS) agreements for very large international shippers. Check with your local USPS rep to make sure you’re taking advantage of all of the discounts that you qualify for.
- Free package pickup. The USPS will pick up packages for free from your office or warehouse, and you can even set up a recurring pickup.
- You may be familiar with USPS Flat Rate boxes, but did you know that the USPS has over 20 different Flat Rate Box options? They offer everything from Express Mail International Flat Rate Boxes to Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes. Examining your inventory and comparing shipping prices using these boxes could save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year.
- Quality package tracking. In the past few years, the USPS has greatly increased their package tracking and customers now see numerous scan events on individual shipments. The days of the USPS not being competitive in package tracking are over.
We encourage all shippers to examine their shipping mix at least once a year to make sure they’re taking advantage of the rates and services that all carriers provide. You may be leaving money on the table if you don’t.