April 29 2008 03:32 PM

Spending packages with Click-N-Ship online at usps.com is not only Quick, Easy, Convenient its accepted.


With the launch of Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice (SCAN), the USPS has added a new dimension to online shipping. Customers have a complete online solution for shipping expedited packages with USPS: free expedited packaging supplies, online labels with postage, free Delivery Confirmation service, free Package Pickup and a Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice to validate shipment acceptance.


SCAN was designed to better meet customer needs for tracking and visibility. It allows retailers who pay for postage online through Click-N-Ship or through a PC Postage provider to link each packages information to one form (PS Form 5630, Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice).


This form, when scanned by a postal employee, will link each package attached to it a Postal Service acceptance scan. It saves significant time by allowing USPS to scan a single barcode for up to 100 pieces much more convenient than scanning each piece individually. 


The acceptance scan can also help protect retailers from fraudulent claims by confirming their packages were shipped. Once the form is scanned, the acceptance form is given back to the customer for his or her records.


One of the first customers to take advantage of SCANs many benefits was Toby Shenefelt, Chief Executive Officer of Unwind.com, a Brandon, Mississippi-based, nine-year-old online business that specializes in relaxation items. Now, when a customer calls about their shipment, I can give them the tracking number, tell them exactly when it was shipped and give them an estimated delivery date, says Shenefelt. By having a single for, printed with all my shipments linked to it, I can file away just one form instead of 80 a day.


Another customer, Eugene Buccellato, President of Digital Media of Long Island, New York, ships between 200 and 400 packages per day for his company, which specializes in the sale of memory cards and chips used in cell phones and digital devices. The acceptance scan eliminates about 90% to 95% of my customers concerns, he says. When youre dealing with an online retailer, trust is a big factor. Knowing they can go online and see that their items are in the mail builds customer trust in my business. People remember those kinds of things. Its just good customer service.


Maxspeed-Motorsports.com, a web-based business in Champlain, New York, sells auto parts for high-end vehicles and now uses the Postal Services SCAN service to manifest packages before taking them to the post office. We send out a lot of packages, both domestic and international, says Nello Tropiano, Maxspeed-Motorsports.com President. Having all the packages linked to one form when we drop them off really speeds things up and eliminates a lot of paperwork.


Tropiano says SCANs feature to allow the customer to see the post office acceptance scan online is a plus. Online customers can be cautious at first. When they see the acceptance scan on the Internet, it gives them confidence in my company, he notes.


To use the online feature, shippers need only to enter the label barcode number on usps.com or the PC Postage vendors site. I used to field more than 200 emails a day, and about half of them were related to shipping, recalls Tropiano. Since using SCAN, those types of emails have nearly stopped. SCAN lets me focus on my business. For any company that ships directly to customers, its a must-have service.


Heres another tip: cover your shipping from start to finish by combining SCAN with Delivery Confirmation, which verifies that packages have arrived at their destinations. With these services, the Postal Service gives online shippers end-to-end visibility to meet their business needs covered, from start to finish.


SCAN by creating single-scan manifests for shippers, the Postal Service has added another way to make shipping  Quick, Easy and Convenient for its customers.