4-2 Shipping

Shipping is the act of transporting goods and materials. Shipping is a material management function that identifies and provides transportation analysis, capabilities, and services. Information on shipping needs to be collected for material accountability.

It is in the best interest of the Postal Service to control its inbound shipments to minimize TCO. Shipping is affected by issues from internal controls (such as the documentation required for a shipment) to technology. Accurate information and close adherence to shipping procedures ensure that required service levels are provided cost-effectively to the client. Transportation costs can contribute substantially to the cost of the end product and are an important element in the TCO. TCO is further defined in Section 1-7, Develop Preliminary TCO Estimates.

The five preferred shipping methods of the Postal Service, in descending order, are:

The specific way in which materials move and the costs associated with the shipment depend upon numerous factors, including:

The Postal Service’s Transportation Solution Determination Process establishes a process for analyzing and selecting the most efficient and effective inbound transportation solution for the Postal Service at the lowest total cost. The Transportation Solution Determination Process flowchart depicts the steps taken to determine the shipping solution by Postal Service personnel from forming the requirement to the contract award.