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USPS Connect Local pilot off to good start

USPS Connect Local helps businesses offer same-day and next-day package delivery.

Small businesses of all kinds are finding USPS Connect Local is the right fit for their customers.

The pilot program provides businesses and nonprofits with local-to-local same-day and next-day package delivery at affordable rates.

In July, the Postal Service launched the pilot in Texas at seven postal facilities in Houston and Dallas. The program will be available in 862 locations across the Lone Star State by Oct. 1.

“The delivery time is quite fast. It allows me to deliver my packages to my customer within a day or two. I’m very satisfied,” said Marquita Darthard, chief operating officer for Bowed Out, a Dallas-area hair accessories startup and one of the first business in the nation to use USPS Connect Local.

The program — a major component of the Postal Service’s 10-year Delivering for America plan — is “very beneficial to businesses that need to be competitive in the market. It’s been really good for e-commerce customers or startups,” said Kasey Ellis, a USPS senior field sales representative in Plano, TX.

“These are business customers who don’t have access to same-day, next-day shipping or a transportation fleet. For the most part, these businesses are newer to shipping, but not always,” she said.

Yuong Lam, chief operations officer for CBD Farmhouse, a Dallas-based business that sells natural and organic cannabidiol products nationwide, said her company signed up for USPS Connect Local to tap into the fast-growing Texas market.

One major advantage of the program: It allow participants to bring their prepaid labeled packages directly to the back dock of the postal facility nearest to their package destinations.

“Being super competitive in rates and delivery promise times, we will definitely reroute all of our Texas shipping efforts to USPS if this were to work out for us,” Lam said.

Bowed Out and CBD Farmhouse are part of a fast-growing, largely untapped group of small companies — projected to generate $24 billion in net revenue for USPS — that have potential to grow.

As they do, the Postal Service intends to support them every step of the way, Ellis said.

“I’ve seen businesses that started in garages or basements. Then the next thing you know, they are inviting me to the ribbon cutting of their 10,000-square-foot building,” she said.