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Parcel Shipping Services
Parcel shipping services are provided by big industry players as FedEx, and DHL. For example, FedEx has their 'Smart Post', while DHL their 'At Home Service'. Together with UPS, these three companies treat the U.S. as zones, and each zone is charged with different rates with consideration to the distance from the shipping points.
There are also the independent players who provide parcel shipping services. These are commonly called the consolidators. These independent companies compete against the major players in the industry by utilizing a special rate from USPS - the Parcel Select. The packages that these consolidators handle are driven to USPS Bulk Mail Centers (BMCs) or to the local post offices. The downside of this is the speed of the delivery, as it would go for a few days more than, if you were taking the services of FedEx, DHL or UPS. The positive side though is the savings that one gets out of these independent providers of parcel shipping services.
One of the largest independent consolidators is APX Logistics, but unfortunately, they closed shop this year. With one major competition down, the other players will most likely increase parcel shipping costs, affecting those who regularly avail of such services.
The basic considerations in parcel shipping are the cost of shipping and the delivery times. With a slower delivery time, resulting from the utilization of a slower delivery method, the corresponding cost for such parcel shipping would also be lower. The size and weight of the items will be a factor on the best shipment and delivery method that should be made use of, for one's shipping requirements.
UPS, FedEx, DHL offers delivery confirmation of your packages. Each has its own service promo and bundles of add-on services to attract customers. Next-day deliveries are also offered at a higher cost.
The USPS is ideal for packages under the lightweight category, which are usually less than 3 pounds of weight. With USPS Priority Mail or with the USPS First Class, delivery times will be at two to three days. USPS parcel shipping also provides a free shipping box with different styles to choose from. Customization of your shipping boxes is offered if you are shipping large volumes.
The parcel shipping industry would be better with more competitors like these consolidators. They make the prices more competitive and of course, the services as well. The consolidators provide valuable alternatives to the public, and the parcel shipping services become more affordable to most of the people who are looking for reasonable costs to their shipping needs.