Friday, April 16, 2010

Courier Business Benefits from Service Changes in U.S. Postal Service

The changes, and possible collapse of the United States Postal Service as we know it should come as no surprise to any of us. Nor should the reduced level of service that is likely to follow. For example, mail that previously arrived in 1-3 days could possibly take 2-5. And I’m not talking about the cut in Saturday’s deliveries since that has never been considered a business day by the USPS anyway.

No, I am looking back at this past winter. No one blamed the mail carriers for not trudging around in 2-1/2 feet of snow, but after the storm, the delay in service lasted six weeks. In one instance, it almost cost our company a major client. On a Friday in late March, a request for a bid via certified mail was mailed to us from a large client 70 miles from our Philadelphia office. Normal delivery would have been the following Monday, but it took seven business days to reach us, allowing only a few days to complete and submit the complex paperwork, a significant undertaking in the best of circumstances.

Within that same period, on a personal level, my family was planning a party to honor a milestone in my daughter’s life. Invitations were mailed to family in Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and Northern, NJ. Two weeks later, when we hadn’t received an RSVP from 3 members of our family members, we called them to learn that they hadn’t received an invite. How embarrassing for us, they thought we left them out.

Service failure? You bet. And you can bet it’s one of many to come. Really, can you imagine delivery times improving when the USPS makes the expected service cuts? And ask yourself this: how many customers would your company retain if you delivered on less than 50% of your advertised and contracted services?

In an April AOLNEWS article, author Mara Gay noted that “the GAO endorsed the five-day delivery week but encouraged even more extensive cuts, including hiring more part-time workers, raising prices, closing some post offices and even outsourcing delivery routes to private contractors.”

My view is that business will no longer be able to afford using the USPS to deliver to and from their local facilities, although cost, which will become a factor, won’t be the primary reason. No, it will be because of undependable service.

But it needn’t be that way. Courier companies like American Expediting could provide them with backup drivers to cover vacation schedules, sick days, and holidays, even deer hunting days. We’ve already addressed these changes. For years, we have been picking up and delivering the mail of large corporations. In addition to daily early morning pickups from the main postal station with immediate delivery to local businesses, American Expediting also offers inner-office service to and from branch locations, as well as drop-offs to the post office all day long.

The next time you speak with your local American Expediting office, your account representative may ask if you are interested in adding postal services to your program. By doing so your company will receive its mail much earlier than it is currently experiencing.

Any way you look at it, you’ll be ahead of the game with American Expediting’s cost-effective, reliable and fast services.

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