• Project Title:
  • Expedited Packaging Supplies Program Costs
  • Start Date:
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019
  • Estimated Report Release Date:
  • March 2020

The Postal Service provides packaging supplies for its domestic and international Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail products at no additional cost. Free packaging is a unique selling tool, differentiating the Postal Service from its competitors. These packaging items include boxes and envelopes, as well as a range of pressure sensitive labels and decals. 

The Postal Service claims the Expedited Packaging Supplies Program generates new revenue, grows business, increases volume for Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail, and improves customer retention and loyalty. Also, according to USPS, costs for providing free packaging supplies are included in the current rate structure of the corresponding mail products (e.g., Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail).

What do you think?

  • Do you think the Postal Service effectively recoups all costs for its free expedited packaging supplies in the prices it charges for Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail?
  • Are there opportunities to reduce costs for expedited packaging supplies (for example, storage costs, shipping costs, etc.)? 
  • Are you aware of supplies being used for things other than intended purposes? How can the Postal Service ensure free boxes and envelopes are used by customers appropriately?
  • Are there industry best practices that the Postal Service could adopt for managing costs of complimentary expedited packaging supplies?
     

Comments (9)

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  • anon

    Packaging is an important part of business and one of the most important factors in product sell so it’s pretty important for businesses to have the right kind of <a href="https://www.samaengineering.com/category/machines">packaging machine </a> in their production line.

    Oct 09, 2019
  • anon

    Do you ever see in our advertising that this program is available?.. It's a sales tool...Is it being used effectively? There is a push on to gain business from small customers... Is this benefit being touted? Imagine a national commercial with a small home business person ordering supplies on line, receiving them from their carrier, using click and ship (or it's new replacement) while having a cup of coffee, putting in a request for pick up, putting the outgoing mail on the porch as they drive their kids to a soccer game...USPS makes business success easy...

    Oct 05, 2019
  • anon

    The Postal service should adopt the following in regards to providing these packaging supplies; In order for the Postal service to make sure the packaging is used for the intended purpose, a charge should be implemented upon receiving the packaging with the condition that the cost will be deducted or returned upon turning in the ready to be mailed package. This will eliminate any free supplies being provided without any way of controlling exactly what they were intended and eventually used for.

    Oct 04, 2019
  • anon

    In theory, the refundable deposit system is a great idea. As a USPS Customer Care agent, I will predict that there would be a flood of complaints about a change like that. Customers do not like to have something simple and convenient taken away.

    Oct 10, 2019
  • anon

    We will look into your recommendation to charge the customer for the packaging supplies. Thank-you

    Oct 09, 2019
  • anon

    The packaging is great at the retail counter. I have made “up” sales to priority just because of the free boxes. On the flip side....for NON-business customers to be able to order them online and ship to their home, they are mid-used. Multiple times I have caught large quantities of the packaging supplies going to homes that customers never ship from. Leave them within the PO and not freebies to customers homes who aren’t shipping with us.

    Oct 03, 2019
  • anon

    Customers do seem to appreciate both the free packaging and the $50 insurance coverage.

    Oct 10, 2019
  • anon

    It seems strange the USPS OIG is asking its readers these questions. USPS management, especially those involved in sales, marketing, and logistics should be the "experts" in these matters. That's what they are being paid for, right? They should be the ones responsible for evaluating all of this. However... unless these "experts" do any shipping of products themselves, how can they fully understand what “real-life” mail order sellers must do to fulfill sales via shipping? I have personally shipped thousands of items over many years and I could tell the USPS a lot about shipping and the pros and cons of that “free” packaging. I could offer a lot of suggestions that other shippers would like to see the USPS offer. However… in my experience, USPS management will turn a deaf ear and totally ignore any suggestions offered by those of us who package and ship items. It would be a waste of time for me or anyone else to offer any suggestions. Instead, the USPS will continue to listen to managers who have jobs with fancy titles but little or no experience in shipping and product fulfillment.

    Oct 03, 2019
  • anon

    Could you or others provide pros and cons for providing "free"" packaging?

    Oct 09, 2019

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