With several new eCommerce brands on the rise, one of the major concerns for any new eCommerce business is choosing the suitable carrier to handle their shipments. New trends in the logistics industry have caused businesses to pay a lot more attention to various aspects of logistics.
From the packaging of products to ensuring order fulfilment at the customer's doorstep, all brands look for a carrier that offers them the best service at reasonable costs. One such well-known choice amongst businesses is USPS.
If you're a startup and are relatively new to the concept of carriers and have little to no information on what USPS is, you've come to the right spot! Today, we'll go over the term 'USPS' and see how it offers to ship for small-sized firms. We'll also cover the different types of services USPS provides and some shipping tips for all small-sized business owners.
1) What is USPS shipping, and why use it for small businesses
To begin, USPS stands for United States Postal Service, an independent firm under the federal government of the United States of America. The company provides mailing services to the different states in the U.S and around the globe. The main reason USPS for small businesses is a good idea is that it offers some of the cheapest rates with timely delivery service.
In addition, there are several different types of services that USPS provides that cater to businesses of all sizes and even individuals. Further, there are also other aspects such as package tracking and integrations that can help small businesses improve their shipping solutions in the long run.
Overall, USPS is one of the best choices for any sized firm but is more popular to be employed by small business owners.
2) Types of USPS shipping services
Now that we've taken a look at what USPS is and why small businesses should use it, let's go over some of the shipping services it provides for customers.
2.1) Priority Mail Express
The first and most quick shipping service provided by USPS is Priority Mail Express. This service is active for 24 hours, throughout 365 days of the year (with exceptions at times). For most states in the U.S, packages can be shipped the very next day along with a money back guarantee.
If the package doesn't reach the next day, USPS guarantees to get it delivered within two days and not any longer. Thanks to the flat rate envelopes, packages under 70 lbs (roughly 31 kilograms) do not need to be weighed.
2.2) Priority Mail
The second service provided by USPS is its most used one. Priority Mail ensures order fulfilment in a span of 1-3 days. This range differs according to where your package is picked up and the final destination.
Akin to the Priority Mail Express, this service also doesn't require 70 lbs or lower shipments to be weighed. Consumers get free shipping boxes and envelopes with the help of additional features such as tracking and insurance.
2.3) First-Class Mail
First-Class Mail is the optimal solution for those looking to ship standard single envelopes. Customers can also ship small items that weigh up to 13 oz (368 grams). While mails can be shipped anywhere from 1 to 5 days, small packages take 2-5 business days to be delivered.
2.4) Media Mail
Media Mail allows users to send media or items that are educational. There are, however, certain restrictions on the type of media that you can deliver. Users can only send media that weighs up to 70 lbs. Here's a list of some of the different types of media that USPS allows users to ship:
- Video and audio recordings.
- Charts used as educational references,
- Books (minimum of 8 pages)
- Manuscripts and play scripts.
It should be noted that items such as computer drives, video games and digital drives cannot come under Media Mail prices. There is another service that USPS provides called USPS Ground Retail. This service, however, is only best used for cost-effectively shipping oversized packages.
3) What is the best shipping option for my small business?
Depending on the type of business you own, there are different options that you can choose for shipping. If you're an eCommerce business that has just started, you can use the First-Class Mail option to ensure that you save up on money and deliver smaller products in time.
If, however, you deal with much larger products, Priority Mail is a good option. Also, if your store has products that can be counted as essentials in people's daily lives, you should consider Priority Mail Express to ensure that these important items reach your customers on time.
4) How to calculate USPS shipping rates
Now let's understand how you can easily calculate the shipping rates by USPS postal services.
First, USPS provides multiple services that charge at a flat rate. However, to make an excellent and approximate calculation, you will need to go to their site and open the retail postage price calculator. A page will open up, requiring you to fill in details to estimate the USPS shipping costs.
You'll need to fill in the information such as destination, zip code, time and date of shipment. Once you've filled in all the necessary information about your package, you can choose from any four services you've applied for.
5) What are the benefits of using USPS shipping for my small business?
Let's now take a good look at the different benefits of USPS shipping for small businesses :
5.1) Fast-paced Shipping
USPS provides shipping for packages in 1-2 days with their Priority Mail services. This is on par (and even sometimes quicker) with some of the best shipping companies worldwide, such as UPS and FedEx.
5.2) Flat Rates
With USPS's flat rates, you only pay one price regardless of the size or destination of your shipment as long as it's under 70 lbs. If your package qualifies for flat rate shipments, you can save up on a good amount of money compared to those who charge depending on how far you're shipping or the volume of your package.
5.3) Supplies at zero cost
One of the best things about USPS is that it provides a good range of supplies. These can range from different services.
6) How do I get started with USPS shipping for my small business?
If you've decided to choose USPS as the carrier for your small business, you can reach out via their official website. From there on, you'll be provided with different ways to contact the employees at USPS, such as virtual assistance, email or even phone number.
Once you've connected to an employee, you can discuss the nature of your business and receive the best solutions for your shipping. It is best to also get in touch with other carriers and understand the average market rate for shipping to make better negotiations in prices.
7) Additional tips for small businesses using USPS shipping
If you are already using USPS as your shipping partner, you can consider some of these tips below :
- USPS provides a good tracking tool for select shipping services that you can use.
- USPS provides free pick up from your home where you can hand over the item to the delivery person.
- USPS does not charge any extra hidden fees for fuel.
- USPS is the sole carrier that can ship products to a P.O (Post office) box and specific military addresses. The good thing is that you only pay domestic prices for shipping to a military address.
Altogether, USPS is one of the best choices for any small business that exists out there. With a wide range of services to choose from and additional benefits, small-sized firms can ensure that they receive the best cost-effective shipping solutions.