The U.S. Postal Service’s pilot offering for neighborhood businesses has added 115 Dallas-Fort Worth sites. The USPS Connect Local pilot launched on July 19 at seven Dallas and Houston sites and is now available at 200 Texas postal facility locations. More pilot locations will be added in the coming months as operational capabilities are refined, USPS said in a news release.
USPS Connect Local helps businesses and organizations provide local-to-local same-day and next-day package delivery at affordable rates, USPS said in a news release.
It is part of a broader USPS Connect program that is being piloted in stages to help businesses meet growing consumer demand for fast local and regional deliveries and returns.
The USPS Connect Local pilot allows business customers direct access to the Postal Service’s last-mile delivery network.
Once business customers are enrolled in the program and agree to the program terms and conditions, they enter package information online, then bring their prepaid labeled packages directly to the back dock of the postal facility closest to their package destinations. In return, they get delivery rates that are usually only available to large-volume shippers, the news release said.
“This is the first time in the history of the organization that we’ve piloted this type of process,” said Jakki Krage Strako, USPS chief commerce and business solutions officer and executive vice president. “We’re excited to offer affordable fast delivery options to help neighborhood businesses meet consumer needs and grow.”
USPS Connect is a major component of the organization’s 10-year Delivering for America plan and is expected to contribute to the plan’s goal of $24 billion in net revenue growth by offering direct access to the Postal Service’s delivery network.
It will also help businesses meet today’s e-commerce expectations, the news release said.
According to a recent report, 87 percent of consumers say the shipping experience directly impacts their decision to shop with a merchant again. Another recent report found half of consumers (51 percent) have purchased more from local retailers over the past six months, and experts expect this trend to continue.
How the USPS Connect Local pilot works:
Businesses submit their contact information at www.uspsconnect.com. A USPS representative contacts them to agree to the online terms and conditions.
Next, they visit USPS Click-N-Ship online to enter package information, print shipping labels, prepay for postage and receive tracking numbers, all in one place. No software integration needed.
Then they bring their labeled packages directly to the back dock of the designated postal facility or first thing in the morning (5-7 a.m.) for same-day delivery, or 30 minutes before back dock closing to receive next-day delivery to the ZIP code areas served by that location. They present their Click-N-Ship SCAN form and packages to the clerk.
Carriers deliver the packages as part of their daily routes.