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How to Become a Contractor for the USPS
The United States Postal Service utilizes contractors to handle a variety of tasks and services. These independent workers are used instead of employees in order to save costs and minimize expenditures. From mail transporters to facility managers, contractors help keep the mail moving throughout the country. By following proper registration procedures and keeping abreast of the agency's needs, independent business owners can contract with the USPS.
Contracted Transportation Services
Mail transport is one service that the postal service provides through contractors. It is more cost-effective to utilize contractors who maintain their own delivery transportation, rather than pay for additional employees and vehicles. Tractor-trailer owners are used to carry large quantities of mail between states. These contractors must show that they have the capability to transport large loads in a safe and efficient manner. Delivery services are also contracted by the USPS, especially in remote areas that are difficult to access. These providers distribute mail to individual citizens and businesses through sorting, transporting and delivery. Applicants must show that they have their own vehicles and adequate time to devote to an assigned route each week.
Contracted Unit Suppliers
Postal Unit suppliers are contracted to provide the public with post office-related products and services at various privately owned locations. Cost is also the driving factor behind these arrangements. The contractor is responsible for securing the location and paying the necessary staff. Passing these responsibilities onto the contractor helps the postal services maximize services while minimizing costs. The USPS selects postal unit contractors partially based on the need for community access. To secure one of these contracts, applicants must show that they have access to an adequate location, which is leased or owned. They must also be able to staff the unit and qualify for a surety bond.
To contract with the USPS, an applicant must first register with the agency's supplier registration system. The registration process is only open to businesses and organizations, so applicants must have a properly formed business entity. In addition, a DUN identification number is necessary, which is obtained through the business crediting agency, Dun and Bradstreet. Registrants must also report their experience with the services they plan to provide. Immediately following registration, a postal manager reviews the provided information and notifies the applicant if anything additional is necessary. When the registration is complete, postal managers are able to view possible contractors and contact them as opportunities arise.
Once registered, applicants can research and view available opportunities. Currently open positions, as well as future openings, are posted through a link on the USPS website. When a position of interest is identified, applicants can communicate their interest. The posting manager will review the supplier registrants and ultimately determine who will receive a contract.
Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.