USPS Connect is a new service from the U.S. Postal Service that you’re going to be hearing a lot about in the coming months.
After trialing the service in various states throughout 2021, USPS has begun rolling it out nationwide. By end of 2022, USPS Connect will be available all over the US.
So what is it? Who will be using the new service and what benefits will it supposedly bring?
Let’s take a look.
What is USPS Connect?
USPS Connect is a set of delivery solutions that will offer businesses next-day regional service, same-day and next-day local delivery, Sunday delivery, and pickup and returns options for customers.
As Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General and CEO stated:
“USPS Connect provides businesses of all sizes what they have been asking for — an affordable way to meet consumer demand for fast delivery.”
Using the service, businesses of all sizes can take USPS Connect packages to designated postal facilities (or leverage an en-route pickup service) and utilize the fast delivery options in order to get items to customers in a fast and efficient manner.
USPS Connect Delivery Options
USPS Connect offers several distinct options in order to provide businesses with a fast and affordable means for local and regional deliveries.
USPS Connect Local
As the name suggests, USPS Connect Local is designed for fast local deliveries. Businesses can use the service to reach local customers using an affordable next-day service in all locations where USPS Connect is available.
Connect Local also provides the option of same-day delivery, Sunday delivery, and parcel pickup in select locations. There is also a First-Class Mail option for documents up to 13 ounces.
You will need to head to the main USPS Connect webpage to see which of the above services are available in your area.
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USPS Connect Regional
USPS Connect Regional is a service for businesses looking to ship items to customers within a regional geographical area.
Next-day regional and delivery of Parcel Select packages come under the umbrella of this USPS Connect option.
Essentially, the majority of packages sent via USPS Connect Regional will be delivered the next day.
Again, businesses will need to check what areas fall within their own regional district via the USPS website.
USPS Connect National
USPS Connect National is for businesses looking to ship items nationwide. The service is designed to utilize the Postal Service’s new mail processing equipment and reconfigured network in order to deliver items across the US both efficiently and cost-effectively.
USPS Connect Returns
USPS Connect Returns allows businesses to offer their customers convenient returns.
The service provides free en-route pickup or the ability for customers to drop off the return package at their local post office.
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USPS Connect Main Features
So what are the main features of USPS Connect beyond the fast local and regional delivery speeds and the fact it is open to businesses of all sizes?
The list is actually quite long.
The service has been set up so that businesses can provide end-to-end tracking visibility to their customers.
Business users can print their own labels, pay for postage and get tracking numbers online, and then leverage USPS pickup to streamline the process.
Free Package Pickup
On the subject of package pickup, this is absolutely free. You can schedule convenient times for USPS to pick up from your business.
As already mentioned, the same can be done for your customer’s returns should they have any.
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No Minumum Parcel Numbers
USPS has been quite vocal about the fact the Connect service is designed for businesses of all sizes. As Jakki Krage Strako, chief commerce and business solutions officer at USPS recently stated:
“We’ve listened carefully to our business customers to develop this program. We’re increasing next-day deliveries. We’re also giving smaller businesses big-business rates and all businesses more user-friendly ways to interact with us.“
To this end, the no minimum parcel number for USPS Connect services means it is available to small and micro-small businesses that may only need to ship infrequently and in low volumes.
Shipping Supplies Provided
USPS Connect also includes Flat Rate boxes, poly bags, envelopes, and other packaging materials to customers using the service. (These can also be ordered via Click-N-Ship).
This is a big benefit. In locations where USPS Connect supports Sunday delivery, businesses now have a cost-effective way of delivering to customers 7 days a week.
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Where is USPS Connect Available in 2022?
USPS has made it easy for potential customers to see if the Connect service is available in their area.
Simply head to this webpage and type in your ZIP Code to see if the service has been rolled out in your locality.
The following table also shows USPS Connect rollout dates in 2022 by State.
USPS Connect Local 2022 Rollout Dates
District of Columbia
How to Sign up for a USPS Connect Account
Assuming the service is available in your area, businesses large and small can sign-up for USPS Connect Local.
You will first need to sign up for a free USPS.com business account.
After reviewing and agreeing to the requirements and terms of service, you will need to submit your business details and information in line with the USPS Shipping Local Directory. (Head here for the requirements for businesses).
After you have a USPS business account, head to the USPS Connect Local webpage, scroll to the bottom and press the begin button.
How to Use USPS Connect
Once you have signed up to USPS Connect, using the service is straightforward. Assuming the service is available in your area you can go through the following steps to make your first shipment.
Create an order for same-day or next-day delivery with USPS Connect Local delivery service.
Use the Click-N-Ship to print shipping labels and purchase prepay postage. (You can credit card Visa Checkout or PayPal). This will also provide you with your tracking numbers.
Drop off your packages at the Postal Service facility or organize free pick-up.
To qualify for same-day delivery this will have to be done before the critical cut-off time for that service in your area. Drop off or pick up later in the day will mean next-day delivery.
Your packages will go out for delivery along the USPS daily route for the area you have shipped to.