The slower pace of summer is the perfect time to reassess your mailing and shipping choices in order to find a solution that makes your life easier and more affordable. Because most private carriers raised rates in January 2010, you may want to do your business with an efficient and affordable provider — the U.S. Postal Service.

While all carriers offer numerous service options, shippers can be overwhelmed by the nuances, surcharges and surprises that await them. For those reasons, and to ensure that shipping needs are addressed quickly, easily and cost-effectively, thousands of businesses have turned to Internet postage providers to better navigate the system. 

If your current service merely gives you the tools to print labels and postage at your shipping station, then the value of your provider falls short and you may be missing out on important education about changes or updates to shipping services and how they impact your business. However, using a company that updates its software automatically for users and provides valuable information on Postal Service changes can help optimize day-to-day business and save money for your company.

For example, some recent changes were quite beneficial for shippers, including half-pound Priority Mail shipping pricing for qualified high-volume customers. Also, the Postal Service made a value-added addition to its popular Flat Rate services exclusively for qualified high-volume shippers, which is a great option for frequently-shipped items that are small but often require protective packaging, such as jewelry and electronics. The new feature is the Priority Mail Flat Rate Padded Envelope, an effective choice at a low and predictable flat rate.

Compare these enhancements with what's happening with most private carriers, who have raised their 2010 rates by as much as six percent and it's looking to be a great year for those that use the U.S. Postal Service.

Why Internet Postage?
Electronic shipping software providers offer a simple and fast method for purchasing postage and processing shipments. This technology allows users to easily manage and print U.S. Postal Service shipping labels with integrated tracking, use Delivery Confirmation and other vital optional services like insurance, and conveniently schedule pickups. Some Internet postage providers also validate addresses and take advantage of a feature called SCAN, which allows barcodes from multiple packages to be scanned together during pickup; this gives recipients proof that the package is in route. 

An Internet postage provider's alliance with the U.S. Postal Service allows customers to easily purchase and print domestic and international postage and shipping labels with just a PC or Mac, a printer and an Internet connection. Thus, they take advantage of all Postal Service benefits and significant online postage discounts, without disrupting fulfillment workflow with trips to the Post Office. 

Take time this summer to ensure your shipping needs are being met and you aren't losing out on any opportunities to save time, money or hassles. This will help guarantee your postage and shipping choices are the easiest, fastest and most effective for your company year-round.

Amine Khechfe, General Manager. As General Manager for DYMO Endicia, Amine Khechfe is responsible for directing all aspects of the DYMO Endicia business unit as well as managing its position within the Newell Rubbermaid Technology Global Business Unit. Graduating with a Masters in Science in engineering from Stanford University, Amine has held a variety of management roles in engineering, management consulting, software development, marketing and business development. 

U.S. Postal Service®, Postal Service™, Post Office™, Priority Mail®, and Delivery Confirmation™ are among the many trademarks of the United States Postal Service.