USPS in Deal With Canadian Mailer to Boost Volume

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TORONTO -- The U.S. Postal Service has struck an agreement with Toronto's Postal Promotions Ltd. that will provide large-volume Canadian mailers with "seamless" access to the U.S. marketplace.

The deal follows a similar arrangement USPS made last month with Wackenhut Courier Service to transport shipments from Santiago, Chile, and other major markets in South America, to the United States for delivery through its Priority Mail system.

Under the terms of the agreement, Postal Promotions will introduce a new service called PostLinx.

PostLinx will manage the movement of the mail, carry out the sortation -- or work with the mailer to ensure it gets done -- and clear the mail through U.S. customs.

Michael Price, vice president of business development with Postal Promotions, said PostLinx "will provide a valuable option for Canadian direct marketers to get their mail into the U.S. Postal Service."

For the first time, said Price, Canadian mailers will be able to purchase a "complete mail service that moves the mail from their facilities right to their customers in the U.S."

Mailers will have the choice of sending their parcels First-Class mail, or Lettermail in Canada; Standard A, or Addressed Admail in Canada; Standard B -- parcels and flats; or Priority Mail.

PostLinx became available May 15. It and the deal with Wackenhut represent the first global applications of a concept the USPS plans to roll out with a variety of partners in order to drive up the volume of inbound mail and packages.

The USPS controls about 60 percent of the two-day delivery market for domestic parcels, but only about 2 percent of the market for parcels originating outside the country and is clearly intent on driving up that percentage as sharply as it can.

Price said he believes PostLinx will be particularly attractive to startup Internet retailers that don't have a system to deliver orders to customers already in place, a problem that bedevils many of the newer companies.

He said Postal Promotions does business with two Internet startups, one in the book selling business and the other in collectibles, and it hopes to do business with more.

Postal Promotions, a division of Tiger North America, is a Canadian-owned mail processing facility providing a wide variety of direct-to-consumer services.

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