What kind of shipper are you?

The mailing and office shipping environment has evolved so greatly in recent years that even the terminology is uncertain. Are you a mailer? A shipper? Or a combination of the two, a sender?

No matter which category best describes you, the goals of each are the same. You want to be informed about the multiple sending options available. And you want to be confident that you’re selecting the best of those options.

You want a solution that will help you navigate through the many options available from the major carriers and the USPS®.

What are your sending responsibilities?

Recent focus group sessions conducted by Pitney Bowes pinpointed two distinct categories of mailers and shippers.

The first type does not use postage meters, and instead physically goes to the Post Office® for mailing larger items, sometimes on a daily basis, and also uses online services for the UPS® and other major carriers. The size or industry of the business isn’t always a determining factor, with businesses ranging from small offices, to a range of as many as 200 to 500 employees. And the package volume could vary from one to two pieces, or 10 to 20 pieces daily.

The second type sender does use postage meters. This category has a more consistent pattern of what they send through the mail, which tends to be a mix of letter mail and flats, as well as more consistent sending of packages. Learn about the difference between letters, flats and parcels. By and large, postage meter users can process most packages without having to go to the Post Office. But because they do more, they are more likely to have a relationship with one or more carriers such as UPS. 

What are your pain points as a sender?

The focus group sessions also revealed that a primary pain point of senders, no matter what type and volume of sending they do, was the guesswork involved when selecting a carrier or carrier service. People walk away with a lot of uncertainty that they sent an item the most efficient method and for the best price.

Tom Ryan, Pitney Bowes Director for Product Marketing, looks at the issue from an historic perspective. “When I first started with Pitney Bowes, a big issue for clients was to figure out how to eliminate trips to the Post Office. Now, despite having access to new technology, people still go to the Post Office or retail shipping outlets when it may not be necessary. They feel better asking the Postal clerk about service and packaging choices, and options for tracking.”

Ryan attributes this to the fact that there are so many more sending options today than in the past, people are not confident they are making the right choice, so they’ll take the trip to the Post Office, call their carrier to keep things simple.

Wouldn’t a postage meter in the mail area solve that problem?

“Today’s senders know their business,” Ryan observes, “but they don’t know every sending option and they don’t always trust technology. They also don’t trust online services and would rather talk to the carrier or somebody at the Post Office about how best to send something.”

A second pain point common across the board is that senders often realize they’re making a sacrifice or compromise. For example, if the only available packaging is a UPS box, the sender would use UPS rather than take the time to look for packaging that might lower the cost. Or they put extra postage on envelopes to ensure delivery rather than weigh it via a postage meter or – back to the first pain point – take the time to take it to the Post Office for an accurate weighing.

“People are actually conscious of overspending, and know when they’ve spent too much,” says Ryan. “But they have to get the job done and don't want to waste their time.”

How can you eliminate your pain points?

Just as the shipping and mailing industry has evolved by providing more options, beginning with the choice of your carrier, so have the solutions evolved to help you navigate to the best option for your specific sending needs.

The device you use in your mail area, for example, isn’t your grandparents’ postage meter anymore. And you can trust it. While it will still accurately weigh and rate your mail, eliminating those time-consuming trips to the Post Office, today’s technology can do much more for office shipping and mailing. Pitney Bowes, in fact, redesigned its family of classic postage meters to make multiple carriers are more accessible on a single device, with all your choices more easily available.

“Now you have options with Pitney Bowes solutions to select the carrier of your choice,” Ryan explains. “Your choice is not just based on the packaging or your personal preference, but which carrier is best for the services you need, such as detailed tracking, Sunday delivery, or other options.”

“The value,” Ryan sums up, “is that no matter what type of shipper you are, or what category you fall into, Pitney Bowes offers a way to eliminate using carrier websites and separate processes to mail, ship and track what you send. You’re saving time and money because you’re able to access choices, and manage your processes from one platform.”

Learn more about how the Pitney Bowes family of mailing and shipping solutions and discover which product is right for you.

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