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More shopping, more shipping

USPS serving package customers

USPS offers a variety of products and services to accommodate the growth in online shopping.

Online shopping isn’t just transforming the way consumers purchase goods — it’s also creating business opportunities for the Postal Service.

The United States is home to an estimated 224 million people who shop online, a figure that is expected to reach 230 million during the next two years, according to research by Statista, a global data research firm.

The increase is no surprise: Consumers like the convenience of online shopping, including the ability to read reviews, compare prices and avoid long checkout lines.

The growth in online shopping offers opportunities for USPS, which many consumers rely on to deliver their online purchases.

The organization delivered 6.2 billion packages in 2018, about twice the number delivered a decade earlier.

However, the dramatic growth in online shopping has also made the marketplace more competitive.

Other shippers are now competing for parcels that are entered at local Post Offices and delivered to customers’ homes — also known as “last-mile volume,” a longtime advantage for USPS.

To remain competitive, the Postal Service is leveraging recent investments in new vehicles and package sorting equipment, as well as innovations like dynamic routing, a technique that puts package delivery points in the most efficient, logical order.

The organization is also seeking new ways to better serve online shoppers through offerings like Informed Delivery, which allows consumers to manage their package deliveries from computers and mobile devices, as well as a test service that lets consumers ship returns to merchants when they no longer have the original packaging for the item.

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