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|Does USPS pick up your packages?|
This is a bit of weird story for us. As many of you do, we ship packages via USPS daily, about 80-100. I have talked to 2 local post offices, the 800 number and several mail carriers are about scheduling daily pick up, similar to Fedex or UPS. Absolutely everyone seems to be confused about what I'm talking about and tell me that such service is not available. We've had to purchase a van just so we can take the packages to the post office. I'm referring to daily pick at a specified time range, such as 5-6 pm, not to the $13.95 pick up fee that must be scheduled every time you need a pick up or the free pick up offered by mail carriers.
I know for a fact that 2 local businesses receive daily pickup at specified time from the USPS, so the service does exist. Can anyone help?
Yes, we are in NC and get daily package pickup as a free service. We do not however have 80 packages... more like 5-10, at most.
The Rural Route (private) carriers, from what I understand from talking to my own, get an extra bit of $$ for picking the packages, but they are only required to do it if they choose to, and have the room in their vehicle. On the few occasions that our own carrier did not have the room, HE requested to have a different truck come and pickup the packages. (I got the feeling its all very "optional" on the part of the carriers)
We MUST put in a daily pickup request with the local office so that a pickup order is generated and the carrier gets his added $$.
Top answer your Q's.
- Yes, we get daily package pickup from USPS.
- We must put in a daily pickup request (for the following day)
- OUR carrier has the "choice" of picking up or not
We used to have a daily pickup, though the time wasn't of our choosing: it was whenever our carrier happened to deliver mail, he would also pick up anything we had (the timing of that was pretty reliable, though). Never actually had to do anything special to get it: shortly after we moved into the building he stopped by, introduced himself, and inquired about whether we'd be shipping stuff. We said, "Why, yes, we do!" and every day after that he'd stop in, say howdy, and ask if we had anything for him.
Occasionally, he'd bring a giant stack of postal buckets for us, so we had something to put stuff in.
Buuuut...I guess you're looking for something a little different from that. I think your best bet is probably to ask the two local businesses you know are getting the service you want how they got it. While people here can give general advice, a local business can say "Oh, uh, talk to Don at the 82nd Street branch, he can set you up" or whatever. ;)
Interesting topic as USPS is now a cheap option in many cases. With hidden fuel surcharges and charges for home delivery, UPS is nickel and diming us to death.
As always, a mailman comes to our business in the morning to deliver mail and he takes whatever we have going out, rarely more than a few small packages. He drives a small truck that he parks at our front door.
We deposit more outgoing USPS packages in a nearby mailbox around our closing time.
The bulk of our incoming and outgoing shipments go by UPS which we get twice everyday... Incoming in the morning and outgoing about 3 PM which is a nice arrangement. We can receive merchandise in the morning and ship it out to customers 5 hours later.
As for scheduling something more elaborate with USPS, I have no experience with it. It would be nice if we could arrange daily mail pickups around 5 PM at our door.
There's little to no system-wide guide in the USPS, as far as I can tell. Every office acts like they're their own little universe. I would keep going up the ladder until you hit somebody that can make stuff happen. Bottom line... Overall it's a good service, but PO workers on average aren't the most ambitious bunch. Right now they're putting the squeeze on all of them with big cutbacks. Some of the offices around here won't even answer their phones anymore. It's like they think the general public should be punished for the cutbacks or something. A lot of the daily carriers have an attitude where, if it can't fit in their little pouch, they don't think it should be their problem. Up until the cuts, they would have separate people do all the package stuff. My own current person hates me, because we get the free boxes delivered, and she has to do it. She actually told me that she wants somebody to come out and take it out of the truck for her when we see her show up. I probably would have done that, but I've been reminded by ladies many times, that females can do anything just as good as a man. So I wouldn't want to insult her. ;-)
If it's anything that's going to make their life more difficult, they're going to tell you 'no'... Until somebody tells them not to tell you no.
I like the postal service and love the way they're now undercutting UPS's soaring rates in many cases (as USPS continues to lose money). Even though I'm a very happy shareholder of UPS, I wish they'd get control of rates.
Favorite letter carrier story: Years ago we had a mailman who got $75,000 from the PO for a carpel tunnel "injury" or somesuch nonsense. I think he had the employee manual memorized and never burned a calorie more than necessary. Between sick leave and holidays, we didn't see him often.
Anyway, he blew the $75,000 on a fancy car and a trip with his family to Disney World... the most expensive rooms in Disney's most expensive hotel. In two weeks his windfall was spent!
We use the free USPS Carrier Pickup every day to ship a dozen or so packages, all with "Tracking Numbers" (they no longer label them as "Delivery Confirmation").
Their 1st Class Parcel rates are hard to beat (13 ounces or less), and with a SCAN Form (PS Form 5630), our carrier can scan one barcode to accept all packages, so that customers can see when their package was picked-up.
Carrier Pickup must be requested online at usps.com in advance, but you can schedule an entire months-worth of pickups at the same time.
Compared to UPS, I avoid the daily-pickup fee, no fuel surcharges, and no magical "weight adjustments" appearing on my bill.
We ship between 50 and 120 packages a day via the postoffice. I believe we do put in a request to do so and you can only schedule a month or two in advance but then you reschedule. I do not handle the schedule anymore but I recall it was a pain to get started - nobody knows anything at the local level.
She picks them when she comes by to deliver mail and will stop even if there is no delivery for us. She has even stopped on Saturday when we have no mail to do pickup.
All of this for free! Take advantage of it while you can though, the post office is bleeding red and I believe they will get there act together at some point. I for one hope they succeed, because UPS and FED-ex will charge too much for all the little packages we have to ship.
|"Compared to UPS, I avoid the daily-pickup fee, no fuel surcharges, and no magical "weight adjustments" appearing on my bill." |
I hear our shipping person complaining about UPS address corrections too, as when a customer doesn't give an apartment/suite number and UPS thinks it requires one.
I own stock in Bank of America (lucky me!) too and UPS could give those greedy bast**ds lessons in nickel and diming.
It's hard to pass all those UPS charges onto customers. Many of our competitors don't seem to understand the full cost of UPS shipping and have rates that are way too low.
Over the last few years, shipping has gone from being a profit center to being a financial money pit.
If your shipping USPS though the internet system you can request a pickup free of charge. Just do the shipping packages say do one about 12pm and send in for a pickup to be made that day. They will send out a driver to pick up the packages. Been a good while since I have done it so you might just look it maybe for the next day, but if that is the case just request for a pickup in the system everyday.
We started with USPS a couple of months ago. They are picking up daily with out having to schedule it. We're shipping around 2500 packages a month with them. So far the service has been good. We're only shipping 1st class and priority and mostly small, light weight stuff.
Finally got it! online scheduling for 3 months at a time must be the answer, although we can't specify the time, I figure we can work it our with our carrier. Thank you everyone for all the answers!
We ship via USPS daily using the first class mail postage for less than 15oz packages available from stamps com.
We make a point to deliver packages daily before 8PM to the Main (central) Post Office in our big town to cut 24 hours off the delivery time.
This way we pay only for first class package postage and get 2-4 days priority shipping time with a delivery conformation anywhere in continental US.
It works great and with the money saved we can offer free shipping to our customers. The best deal in town.
That's strange. I ship with our local postal service here in Germany (DHL) about 40 parcels/day. I have an individual contract with individual rates, a sales representative that visits me at least twice a year, parcels are picked up daily at 2 pm. With 80-100 parcels every working day (>20-25,000 a year) you shouldn't need to drive around post offices asking for advice. This might sound naive and I do not know USPS business service (does it exists) - but shouldn't you be able to call the business hotline and then they send over a sales representative who will tell you what service options are available and make an offer for individual rates and discuss pickup? I pay only about 50% of the normal rates with even the relatively small amount of parcels I have.
I know that some local companies who have more parcels than I do pay regular prices and drop of their parcels at the post office - just because it never occured to them that individual contracts are available and they already qualify for individual rates with only 800 parcels/year. I don't know however how things are in the US. Maybe things like that are not available there.
But on the USPS homepage it says:
"Need help shipping more packages?
Call us at 1-800-ASK-USPS or email us to ask about our shipping services and a sales representative will respond to you within 48 hours."
And there is something called "Parcel Select® Regional Ground™" for customers with >10,000 parcels/year
Contact at: email@example.com
My experience with people at local post offices is, they do not have a clue about business customers and it is no use talking to them. I doubt this is different in any country.
The United States Postal Service has been prohibited by law from giving discounts to large shippers which puts them at a disadvantage to UPS, Fedex and other private shippers. There's talk of changing that prohibition. By law, only the Postal Service can handle letters. OTOH, the postal service is required to deliver at the same rate to everywhere in the U.S. and its territories.
Nothing said about the USPS applies to any other country, or probably any other business in the world.
Until about 40 years ago, the Post Office was run by a "general" of sorts, the Postmaster General, appointed by the president, who was a cabinet member. (our foreign policy and defense were run by "secretaries" LOL}
Our U.S. Postal Service is doing better in recent years but it is still a huge money loser. Our mail does get through. I've found delivery to be about as reliable as UPS, but the level of service is somewhat less.
Aha, that explains a few things.
I find UPS to be quite arrogant these days. Brown is a good color for them. I usually don't use them, but I had to the other day for a large order. I insured for the actual value which was like, over a grand in two boxes. The guy took one look and flat out told me that they wouldn't pay that if something happened. I'm like... OK, then why do you even bother offering insurance? It's like they don't even bother hiding it's a scam. These were 5 foot long items, and I think he said each individual item had to be wrapped in 6" of void on all sides to be within the rules that would make them pay a claim. Well, if I did that, I'd have ten boxes and a bill ten times what it was. So basically... Unless they can throw your stuff off a cliff and have it survive, they aren't going to pay apparently. We also had one of their guys not deliver something that we needed on a Fri, because the people forgot to put the unit number on... Even though the same exact guy had just been to us three days in a row before that, and also our name is right there in plain view 15 feet from the truck. I had to drive 15 miles on my Saturday to go get it and I'm happy to say that I think my complaining got the guy booted back to a warehouse.
|The United States Postal Service has been prohibited by law from giving discounts to large shippers... |
Not true for package services (aka, competitive services). Large shippers enjoy Commercial Plus pricing for package services, and can ship via first-class parcel up to 16 oz (rather than 13 oz).
This pricing level is available to shippers who meet established volume requirements (6k Express Mail pieces/year, or 100k Priority Mail pieces/year). They can call a hotline to sign-up.
You may be referring to their market-dominant services, such as first-class letters. That is their monopoly to enjoy, and prices are the same for everyone.
I had forgotten that went into effect in 2009.
It applies only to very large shippers. Offhand, the savings don't seem in line with the large volume required:
"Commercial Plus prices for Express Mail will be 14.5 percent less than USPS retail prices; Priority Mail Commercial Plus prices will average 7 percent less."
"The Rural Route (private) carriers, from what I understand from talking to my own, get an extra bit of $$ for picking the packages"
Is there anyway I can confirm this and get an idea of commission they receive w/out just asking my residential carrier?
The way I understand it, for rural carriers, it is not extra pay, it is extra time. All the packages delivered and picked up on a route are figured in during what they call a mail count. I don't know how often these occur--once a year? Whatever happens in that month is considered the average number of packages for the route, and then the amount of time it's supposed to take the carrier to do the work is figured from that, and that is what their pay is based on.
I do believe there's some kind of package to package payment involved. Because I was dropping stuff at an office that is closer to me, but technically not my actual office that delivers my mail. One day when dropping our stuff there, the lady started giving me grief and asked if I could change the return zip, because they "weren't getting paid for my packages using that zip". I had no idea what she was talking about. I said: "I can't change the zip, I don't even think it will let me do that". Then I realized she meant the second zip, where you can put in a zip where it is actually physically starting it's journey... which in this case would be the office I drop at. Next time I came back, I asked if that's what she meant, and she said: "Yes, we don't get paid for delivering another office's packages". I was like... OK, whatever. So I started putting the zip for their office on their. As usual they didn't explain it well, but somehow, that's how it works. Which was news to me.
I am pretty sure she meant they wouldn't get credit for them rather than get paid for them. I used to take my packages down to my local post office when I lived outside of town, but when I moved to the next town over, I started doing carrier pickup all the time. A couple times I went back to the old post office and they told me how much they missed me in terms of the credit they got for sending my packages out.
Go with endicia, at first you have to manually select the package pick up option, then the post office eventually calls you to schedule daily pickup because they are tired of getitng the notice. We do about 200/day, but we eventually had to start them coming at about 60/day as well. All post office carriers pick up your outgoing mail when they drop of your regular mail. They only come when you are on their route, not a special trip.
|I am pretty sure she meant they wouldn't get credit for them rather than get paid for them. |
Them not explaining it to me right would not be a shock. They have also quoted $35 in the office, for stuff the site quotes as $14. Any time you even mention the website, they act like they have no idea what that even is. So they're a little confused.
If I never showed up again, I think they'd have a party. Every time I drop stuff at mine, they act like Hitler just walked in the door. They're always complaining about something... Last time it was that the bar codes on our labels supposedly weren't scanning.
To you guys that have them pick up your packages:
Are you guys printing your own postage with a speical postage printer or are you just printing the label and paying a bill at a later time?
With the post office its always prepayment
dpd1, I have had similar responses from some clerks a few times. One lady was so obnoxious about it, dragging her heels and rolling her eyes and sighing, that I greeted her as "Little Miss Sunshine." Normally, I would never do such a thing, but I hated that woman. Also, other customers would complain about me. One guy even followed me out into the parking lot to curse me out for making him wait.
One day they stopped doing my packages to take a some spoiled little yuppie who "just had to check his PO box" and then it turned out he wanted a money order too. This made me so mad I thought I would have a heart attack. I said to the clerk, "Tell you what. I will come back when you are ready to help someone who is bringing you a lot of business." They apologized later. Too late. I thought, what do I need this for? Instead of helping me, these people are standing in the way of me conducting my business in an efficient manner. And it's not in their best interest either. Ignorant.
After that, I began looking around for online solutions. I started with the post office online thing, which was terrible and so clearly the result of graft. Then I went with stamps.com. Meanwhile, they actually put out a directive that no one would be taken ahead of anyone else, no matter how many packages they had. At that point, I no longer cared because I was doing everything online.
I found that most clerks did not have extensive knowledge of the pricing system, but then, they mostly had no need to. I had to "educate" them all the time.
Yeah, that sounds familiar. I think their problem is that they see themselves as a gov service... Not a business. They just don't get it. So the little old lady who wants to spend 20 minutes having them quote every service known to man, gets all the patience in the world. A guy with $200 of deliveries can just wait and like it. Or how about the people who have literally nothing ready to go when they get in line. I saw a girl walk up to the counter with some kind of toy or something the other day, and she puts it down on the counter and says: "I need to mail this". They actually let her stand there and package the whole thing with people waiting behind her. Luckily I don't have to wait, otherwise I would have been going ballistic.
Plus, it doesn't help that it seems like half the people that go to the PO have some sort of mental handicap. For about the fourth time recently I saw that somebody had dropped boxes that had about 100 stamps on them. I'm not kidding. About two weeks ago somebody left a flat screen TV box, with about 200 stamps on it.
There use to be a contractor station near me that I went to for a few years. Those guys were great. They ran it like a business.
Thought I would bump this back up, because I'm going to try and start doing routine pickups from USPS. I tried a couple times before, but they always whined so much the couple times they showed up, I gave up. Plus, the thought of my stuff getting big boxes dumped on it in the back of their truck all day, made me nervous.
But yesterday I think I hit the last straw with my local PO. There is a cart they leave behind the counter, and for well over a year, if I didn't put my stuff in the cart, there would be hell to pay. I'd get one of them yelling at me to put stuff in the cart. And I'm not exaggerating... These women speak to you like you're a dog.
So all of the sudden the other day, I put the stuff in the cart like always, and as I'm walking out, I hear this; "Hey, don't do that!". I turn around and this postal worker woman is looking at me with this face like she wants to kick my a**. I'm like... "Uh... I don't understand... The only reason I put it in there, is because I get yelled at if I don't". She cuts me off and starts yapping at me about not being able to tell what's scanned or not, if it's in the cart. I'm like... OK, whatever.
A week later I come in, leave it OUTSIDE the cart... and guess what happens. Yeah... A different lady yells at me for leaving it outside the cart. I go... "OK, what exactly do you want me to do, because I got yelled at last time for putting it in there". She tells me it's OK to put in.
So yesterday I go in, put the stuff in the cart, and one of the workers from all the way on the other side of the room full of people, starts yelling at me to not put stuff in the cart. Then the first one who yelled at me for doing it joins in and starts yelling at me too. I popped a gasket. I said in a very loud voice... "Yeah, and then two days from now I'll come in here, and somebody else will yell at me for not putting it in the cart. You know what... I have a lot better things to worry about than whether or not your lives are as easy as possible... You're all nuts. You don't want my thousands of dollars a year when they're just looking for an excuse to close little offices like this... I have a great solution... I'll take my stuff somewhere where I don't get scolded like a little kid every time I deal with them. Then you won't have to deal with the terrible burden of whether or not boxes are put in your stupid cart". And I walked out. The whole thing gave me heartburn the rest of the day.
Of course, that was an empty threat, because I still need to use them. So it's either a different office that's farther way, or pickup. So I'm hoping the pickup works. But what insanity.
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