Shipping companies sharing services

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - You can call it "cooperatition" or cooperative competition. Companies like FedEx, UPS and DHL are using the Post Office to deliver some of your packages. Chances are if you have a package shipped to your home by one of these major companies, the Post Office may also play a big part in it getting there, or at least the last mile. The Post Office receives money from companies like FedEx, DHL and UPS to continue delivery through the last leg of a package's destination.

"We do the last mile delivery for approximately 3 million packages a week that come in through consolidators and well over half of that comes from companies that have formerly been our competitors," said post office spokesperson, Cathy Boule.

This program with the Post Office is called Parcel Select and FedEx is the largest participant. A spokesperson for FedEx didn't go into detail as to why they share services but here's how it works. A package from the shipper is sorted at one of the company's facilities and brought to the post office closest to the residence. From there a mailman completes the delivery but these companies charge more.

According to their website to ship a 4 pound package like this from Richmond to zip code 61008 it will cost you about $25 to ship with FedEx and UPS but the post office only charges about $14.50. Despite what it costs at one of these private shipping companies, Post Office workers have found themselves making more money during tough economic times working with their competition.

"When hard economic times hit I mean everyone, basically everyone needs to pull together," said Boule.

And while you may not have known about this sort of shared services agreement, postal officials tell us that it saves their customers money and keeps their rates down.

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