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Package delivery mean shipping of parcels as a single consignment. It is mostly provided by postal systems but private services also exist. This started first time in US Post Office when rates got inflated due to a monopoly over regular mails.
Pony Express service started it first as many felt the need of an alternative cargo for the transport of valuable items. From 1869 rail mail service also became a part of the industry. In 1913, parcel post began its service, first providing packages to rural areas along with mails.
Air mail began its scheduled service from 1918.Hub and spoke system was started with FedEx in 1973. By the beginning of the 21st century a variety of private and public companies started offering deliveries from US at different combinations of cost and speed. Commercial growth through online webs increased the demand for cheaper cost shipping.
Most of the time low cost offer is combined with postal services along with the operational and technological abilities of private firms. FedEx and UPS mostly add extra charges but USPS offer low cost delivery.
Most retailers opt for low cost freight along with tracking facility of the parcel. But a confirmation report on delivery by USPS is very poor in service and often limited to their exclusive delivery system.
USPS has made a work sharing agreement with consolidators who carry packages, sort and sent them finally to enter into the Postal machinery.Postal Service is content with the up-front estimates provided by the consolidators and offer of value added services. So many regional and local delivery companies are also giving services like On track for the last 20 years.
These local companies combine tracking and tracing ability and guarantee a very next day dispatch at cheaper rates. As they are located regionally, they can move with an improved shipment time and increase their productivity by delaying pick up time.
These companies are a cost effective factor for major delivery companies. Individual handling and sorting systems of carriers put stress on contents mostly. Packaging is a field needed care against the hazards that may be encountered. Major companies have specialized engineers for packaging to advise on design and testing.