UPS Launches New Returns Service with USPS

Package delivery company UPS has launched UPS Returns Flexible Access, a new service with a label that allows consumers to drop returns at any U.S. Postal Service (USPS) location or personal mailbox as well as any UPS location nationwide.

UPS began testing the service last year with a few retailers such as BuySeasons, an Internet-based retailer of costumes and party supplies. Use of the service has helped enable growth for its business and allowed the retailer to provide a higher level of service to its customers, notes Terry Rowinski, vice president of operations for BuySeasons.

UPS Returns Flexible Access utilizes the Postal Service's Parcel Return Service, combined with UPS's own drop-off locations and delivery network. Customers of participating retailers receive special package labels that allow them to enter returns packages in more than 150 million postal access points—including personal mailboxes—for their postal carrier to pick up.

Consumers also can drop the package off at their local U.S. Post Office, in postal collection boxes, at traditional UPS drop-off locations, third-party retailers, or hand it to a UPS driver.

After a returns package is transported to a USPS location for dispatch to UPS, a UPS driver picks it up and transports the package back to the retailer via the UPS ground network. This offers retailers an inbound view of returns packages, helping to facilitate improved customer service and cost savings due to better inbound operations planning.

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