With e-commerce booming, it's important to understand common shipping options, such as using the United States Postal Service to send packages to an address with a post office box number. But even large P.O. boxes seem relatively small, so maybe you're wondering what happens when you send a big package to such an address. A notice is left in the box, letting your customer know that a package is being held for pickup at the post office counter. Many online shoppers prefer this delivery method, rather than having their ordered parcels left on the doorstep if they're not home to receive them. Sending packages to a P.O. box is similar to sending them other ways.
Prepare Packages for Transport
Whether you're sending packages to a post office box across town or in another country, prepare the package for rigorous handling procedures. Use boxes that allow a bit of room for bracing or cushioning material. Seal each box's seams with packing tape.
Address the Packages
When you send a package to a P.O. box, do not also include a street address number in the mailing address, unless the recipient tells you to. Simply use the customer's name, P.O. box number, city and zip or postal code. Print all mailing addresses using capital letters. Omit the periods and commas. Write "PO BOX" not "P.O. Box."
Affix the Correct Postage
The cost of sending packages to P.O. box addresses is the same as the cost of home delivery when you mail them via USPS. For bulk shipments, USPS offers discounts that may benefit your business. Regardless, shipping charges are based on weight, so if your company receives a lot of product orders, a parcel scale is handy for determining postage.
Send by Mail
The postal service handles all packages sent to P.O. box addresses – USPS does not accept packages addressed to P.O. boxes from courier services. So, if you're too busy to drop them off yourself, you may want to have an employee deliver outgoing packages to the local post office. Drop parcels weighing 13 ounces or less into a blue collection box, if you like. Alternatively, busy entrepreneurs can sign up for a USPS account, and then request package pickup from their warehouse or workplace. Typically, packages are picked up when your mail is dropped off.
Presorting Your Outgoing Mail
When you're in business for yourself, it's smart to cut costs wherever possible. One way to save on mail service is to presort your own letters and packages before having them picked up by a mail carrier or dropped off at a post office location by an employee. Don't worry about sorting the packages with home addresses from those going to P.O. boxes. Simply group any with matching zip codes or postal codes. Discovering even small ways to cut operating costs can be advantageous to your business's bottom line in the long run.
Lorna Hordos is a home-improvement business owner and freelance writer. She has written hundreds of conversational business articles for WordPress.com, Bizfluent, AZ Central and Global Post.