A USPS consolidator is a shipping company that partners with USPS to offer steeply discounted shipping rates. They are also commonly known in the industry as “work share partners.” Typically, USPS completes the last mile delivery for all parcels shipped with consolidators. Some examples of well-known consolidators include FirstMile, OnTrac, and Newgistics.
How Consolidator Services Work
Consolidators accept packages initially and do some presorting/transportation on their own. However, they eventually drop all parcels off at USPS warehouses as close to their final destinations as possible. USPS takes care of the rest from there, delivering parcels to their intended addresses. If it helps, think of it like carrying a football all the way up until the 10-yard line. After that, another teammate (USPS) picks up the football and delivers it to the end zone.
Why We Suggest Staying Away from Shipping Consolidators
Small businesses often try shipping with consolidators since they offer such discounted rates. In fact, their rates are sometimes even lower than USPS Commercial Pricing. However, these low rates aren’t without a high price. Consolidators are notorious for unpredictable delivery times and tracking, not including insurance, and not offering free returns. In fact, delivery often end being much longer than the standard 1-3 timeframes you get from all USPS Priority Mail services. In our opinion, you’re much better off shipping with USPS directly. Remember: you can still get HUGE discounts when you use shipping software to buy postage!