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A Brief History of UPS , USPS , FedEx and the Post Office in the USA- Shipping and Mailing

Updated on October 14, 2010

United States Postal Service

United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service

Mailings and Shipping in the USA

Ben Franklin - the Post Office and Post Offices of the USA

The U.S. Postal Service or USPS dates back to colonial times when it was created by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia in 1775. The USPS or U.S. Postal Service is explicitly authorized by the US Constitution. From the time the Postal Department was created in 1792 it has grown to employ close to 700,000 U.S. Postal Service employees. The Post Office has always tried to simplify mailings and aid in the customers shipping needs. It could range from offering a Mailbox etc or tracking packages. Sometimes Post Offices are simply used as drop off locations. Another helpful tool of the U.S. Postal System is that they provide a USPS postage price calculator. They should be your first resort when trying to find a Post Office locator to locate another Post Office.

Post Office USA, the Zonal Improvement Plan and the creation of Zip Codes

The U.S. Postal Service operates approximately 37,000 Post Offices in the U.S.. There are over 40,000 Zip Codes in the U.S.. A Zip Code refers to the Zonal Improvement Plan. The first digit in a Zip Code will Identify the area of the country that the Zip Code or Post Office with that Zip Code is located Zero, One and Two represent the east coast of the US and then increase in value as you travel West across the US so that Zip Codes for Alaska, California, Washington State and Oregon all start with the number 9. The next two digits represent the sectional center facility and the fourth and fifth digits represent the area of the city. That is the simple explanation about how the U.S. Postal Service designed the Zip Code or Zonal Improvement Plan in 1963. For an interesting look at how important the United States Postal Service is and how they are people are using information about Post Offices in the USA see the description below about Post Office USA [dot] com. For an example of how important Zip Codes are to our daily lives visit the Social Network, It is an entire Social network designed around users Zip Codes.

Websites based on the US Postal system, a recently launched website, tries to aide users with their shipping needs in order to simplify mailings much as the Post Offices in the U.S. Postal Service have been doing for centuries. This interesting and useful website provides visitors with many or the services that the USA Post Offices of the U.S. Postal Service provide. You just don't have to go downtown to get them. Now you can get most of them online at Post Office USA dot net. Post Office USA also provides the information about shipping needs and how to simplify mailings that is provided by the competitors of the USPS. Competitors of the U.S. Postal Service would include Federal Express or Fed Ex, United Parcel Service of America or UPS and DHL. Another competitor of the USPS is Mail Boxes etc which is actually a division of the UPS Company.

Post Office USA provides a neat Package Tracking tool to be used when tracking packages from USPS, UPS, Fed Ex or DHL and some other shipping couriers. Once you have your tracking code you do not have to jump from the USPS website to the Fed Ex website and then to the UPS website to use each couriers package tracking tool. Post Office USA has a package tracking toll that works for all four and a few others as well.

It is also nice to find a drop-off location nearest you without bouncing from website to website and back. Post Office USA has all the locations of every Post Office in the US. It also provides links to the Fed Ex drop off locations and the UPS drop-off location.

The entire site is organized by Zip Code. A visitor simply clicks on any state and then the Zip Code of the Post Office they are looking for. Instantly all the information , links and tools pop up to provide you with your shipping needs and other ways to simplify mailings like the USPS postage price calculator. It is always nice to know ahead of time what the cost of your shipping and mailings will be. Therefore a USPS postage price calculator is very helpful.

UPS, Fed Ex and DHL enter the Mailing and Shipping business as competitors to the USPS

The corporate history of the first and largest competitor to the United Postal Service, USPS is the United Parcel Service, UPS,, whose origins date back to 1907 in the Seattle Washington area. This is where James Casey established the American Messenger Company. Mr. Casey and his partner Claude Ryan established the Merchants Parcel Delivery six years later. In 1919 UPS expanded outside of Seattle. In 1930 UPS expanded to the east coast. Fast forward to the year 2000 and Online tracking requests reach a record high of 6,500,000 in a single day. UPS acquired Mailboxes Etc in 2003. Mailboxes Etc essentially were mini private Post Offices. Together The UPS store and Mailboxes Etc comprise slightly less than 5,000 stores. James Casey could never have imagined. UPS had revenues of $45.3 billion in 2009. United Parcel service, UPS employs 408,000 Worldwide. They have an average of 22.4 million daily. UPS serves 7.9 million customers per day requests for tracking packages. The USA Post Office can certainly learn from the UPS Store brand. Competition has been good for improving the service of the U.S. Postal Service, USPS

Federal Express or Fed Ex, had a rather unique beginning. It all started with a term paper by a young Yale undergraduate Frederick W. Smith. Mr. Smith saw a need for packages to be delivered in one or two days. He realized that the route system for deliveries had to change in a dramatic way in order for this to be possible. As they say on the company website, "Thus, the idea for Federal Express was born: a company that revolutionized global business practices and now defines speed and reliability." Fed Ex is now a tremendous competitor for shipping needs. Fed Ex 2010 revenue is $21.6 billion. They employ 140,000 people and ship approximately 11 million pounds of freight per day. They use 375 airports worldwide. The U.S. Postal Service has and should continue to learn from Federal Express, Fed Ex.

Combined the UPS and FedEx employ about the same amount of people as the USPS, U.S. Postal Service, 700,000. Imagine that the USPS does it with a system that was designed over 200 years ago with a network of almost 40,000 Post Offices. It would be interesting to know if the Zip Codes originated by the U.S. Postal Service are used when Federal Express, Fed Ex and United Parcel Service, UPS are delivering mail to an address whose government run mail is handled by the U.S. Postal Service or USPS. With these mighty competitors delivering packages side by side with the USPS it is amazing the volume of traffic when compared to the first Post Offices that Benjamin Franklin established back in 1775


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