Four Ways the USPS Delivers Value Via Its Last-Mile Distribution Network
Anyone with a strong understanding of logistics knows that “last-mile” delivery—the last leg of a delivery from a transportation hub to the final destination—is the most challenging and expensive part of the process. The USPS has the largest and best-developed last-mile delivery network in the world, providing a meaningful competitive advantage in the package delivery industry that is relied upon by all of the major retailers.
In fact, as Andrew mentioned in his latest blog, The USPS’s Unmatched Logistics Network Is the Backbone of E-commerce, and the growth of e-commerce is in large part made possible by the USPS.
1. All Addresses in the USA
Almost 60% of U.S ZIP codes represent rural areas. The USPS excels at delivering to rural addresses because of its mature on-the-ground network. Only the USPS has access to every business and residential address in the nation, spanning 158 million delivery points with the ability to deliver packages to those addresses seven days a week. This preexisting network enables the USPS to deliver rural packages more cost-effectively than any other provider.
2. Continuous Shipping Growth
Experts forecast U.S. retail e-commerce sales will grow 13.7% in 2021, reaching $908.73 billion by the end of the year. The USPS’s package delivery services are increasing as e-commerce continues to grow, and major shipping companies know that the USPS has the most efficient and effective way to manage last-mile delivery. The USPS has a network of established preferred shipping partners, combining expertise and optimization for fast, efficient global shipping.
3. Reliable Shipping Volumes
USPS shipping volumes are unmatched across the country and around the world. In 2020, the USPS shipped 7.3 billion packages. The USPS is the single-largest postal authority globally, delivering almost half of the world’s mail.
Many businesses ship hundreds of packages every day, and their last-mile partner must have the capacity to keep up with that kind of volume. Most carriers do not have the necessary bandwidth to handle increased volume, and this is an area where the USPS excels. As many businesses scale back, the USPS is capable of handling increased volumes.
4. High Shipping Visibility
By using the USPS for the final mile of deliveries, shippers have a wide range of options with greater visibility for better customer experiences.
Informed Delivery: Along with standard scans at processing and sorting facilities, the USPS offers Informed Delivery service, allowing customers to preview images of their upcoming deliveries. Informed Delivery launched as a test in 2014, with a current accuracy rate above 95%.
Through the Informed Delivery dashboard, customers can schedule delivery alerts, request redelivery and more. This level of convenience and visibility is a big plus for customers.
Informed Visibility® Mail Tracking & Reporting: This USPS application enables shippers to leverage essential information about their mailings to manage operations, refine processes and adjust marketing campaigns as needed. This service provides end-to-end mail tracking information for letter and flat pieces, bundles, handling units and containers.
Each post office is part of the strong USPS distribution network supporting last-mile delivery. The strength of the USPS also comes from its commitment to local towns and residents. The local post office has been a vital part of the community for hundreds of years, and Postal Realty Trust is a proud owner of such an important part of Americana.