The U.S. Postal Service continues to provide reliable universal services at affordable prices. For many companies, the Postal Service is often the least costly method of shipping, both domestically and internationally. It offers flat-rate envelopes and boxes that ship anywhere in the world for a low cost, regardless of weight. Their Priority Mail service is oftentimes faster than similar services offered by private carriers. The Postal Service has no hidden fees, such as residential and rural surcharges, address correction fees, fuel surcharges and higher weekend delivery rates. The Postal Service is also the only carrier to ship to Post Office Boxes as well as military addresses (APO/FPO).

With the slowdown in the economy, retailers are re-examining their shipping mixes and shipping costs and focusing on their bottom lines. This means examining everything from fuel surcharges to rural delivery surcharges as well as delivery time and reliability. Sending a package overnight with a private carrier may have been the status quo, but if the package doesn’t need to arrive the following morning, shipping the package Priority Mail with the USPS could be a less expensive option. By comparing the USPS to private carriers, retailers can cut their shipping expenses without losing reliability and speed. Retailers also need to examine their shipping costs by determining if the majority of their shipments are business-to-business or business-to-consumer. As retailers examine their bottom lines, many are searching for cost-effective, reliable solutions for shipping their products to consumers. One solution for online retailers who are shipping business-to-consumer via the Postal Service is a shipping application programming interface (API).

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