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Beware of the Dangers of an Unauthorized USPS Rate

With shipping costs rising and businesses looking for any competitive advantage in the shipping space, it’s understandable that business owners will take advantage of any savings they can get on shipping rates. The past few years have created some confusion on how to get approved access to shipping discounts for technology providers and product-based businesses using the USPS. As a USPS approved reseller, here are some insights into the current trends and the options available to get access to authorized rates and programs with the post office.

 

What is a USPS Negotiated Services Agreement?

Per the postal service’s page for Negotiated Services Agreement, “A Negotiated Service Agreement is a contractual agreement between the U.S. Postal Service® and an individual company that provides customized pricing incentives or other arrangements justified by a shift in the company’s mail operations. NSAs are intended to meet the needs of specific customers for whom mail is an integral part of their business strategy.”

 These USPS agreements were intended for the exclusive use of the contract holder and their packages. They were not intended for these contract holders to offer discounts to smaller businesses on their USPS discounted rate and make a profit on each label.

 

Reduction in Active USPS NSAs

Active USPS negotiated service agreements with the USPS reached a peak of 320 in 2017 and the active NSAs have been reduced each year to the current number of 138 active competitive domestic and international NSAs.

The unauthorized use of these discounted rates is one of the main driving forces behind the focus on the reduction of these contracts. The prevalent access to these NSA rates certainly negatively impacted the revenue for the post office. These small to mid-sized companies that piggybacked on these rate agreements were not authorized for a discount below commercial plus pricing and the post office was only being paid postage at the discounted NSA rate.

 

Difference Between USPS Approved Resellers and USPS NSA

There are only four companies that are USPS Approved Resellers. At Visible SCM, we take great pride in our long-term partnership with the postal service. It’s allowed us to reduce shipping costs for tens of thousands of individual companies around the country and the world. As a USPS Approved Reseller, Visible is able to offer our authorized rates to our customers and shipping technology partners.  This means the customer and technology partner can depend on their ability to utilize those USPS services at approved rates and not worry that their access to rates and ability to print USPS labels will go away.

Negotiated services agreements were not authorized for broad use by shipping technology companies and unapproved companies without the shipping volume to justify those special discounts. Those contracts were approved and expressly intended for use by the contract holder.

 

What Happens if You’re Shipping on an Unauthorized NSA?

The simple answer is that you can lose your discounted rate and lose revenue due to an unexpected increase in shipping costs. This should be worrisome for any company that wants to be able to count on their shipping software provider and carrier relationship to get their packages to their customers. Obviously, every business owner should care about keeping their shipping costs down but risking the ability to ship at all certainly doesn’t justify a small discount.

This is especially important for technology providers or fulfillment warehouses that need to make sure they will have continued ability to support their customers day in and day out. Abuse of the NSA program has created situations where the end shippers are left scrambling to find an immediate solution because the technology and rate were taken away at the same time.

 

Visible’s USPS High Volume Shipping Program

Visible also has programs available to expedite the approval process for high volume shippers looking to establish an approved discount on USPS shipping services. Our high-volume USPS program is designed and approved by the Post Office to qualify your company for a discounted USPS rate.

Many companies already qualify for this program but are unaware of how simple Visible has made the process. If your business is currently shipping, or on-track to ship 150,000 packages using USPS Priority Mail, USPS Flat Rate Boxes, USPS Cubic, or USPS Parcel Select, then you may be eligible for a discount. Our team can quickly guide you through the application process and help you implement the new discounted rate if and when you’re approved.

 

Visible’s USPS High Volume Shipping Program

Visible also has programs available to expedite the approval process for high volume shippers looking to establish an approved discount on USPS shipping services. Our high-volume USPS program is designed and approved by the Post Office to qualify your company for a discounted USPS rate.

Many companies already qualify for this program but are unaware of how simple Visible has made the process. If your business is currently shipping, or on-track to ship 150,000 packages using USPS Priority Mail, USPS Flat Rate Boxes, USPS Cubic, or USPS Parcel Select, then you may be eligible for a discount. Our team can quickly guide you through the application process and help you implement the new discounted rate if and when you’re approved.

 

Visible SCM Delivers Reliable Savings

Everyone wants to get shipping discounts, but it’s never been more important to understand whether those discounts are authorized by your shipping rate provider. As a USPS Authorized Reseller, Visible gives your company savings that you can count on. Contact us today at 385-213-3470 or schedule a call with one of our USPS shipping experts.

 

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