Shipping Franchises Deliver The Goods

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." That's a slogan most of us recognize when it comes to the mail. And while the U.S. Postal Service is functional, it offers limited services, restricted office hours, and is not exactly known for its efficiency of service. (It's not called "snail mail" for nothing!)

That's why franchises like Navis Pack & Ship, PostNet, Parcel Plus, and Pak Mail, among others, have stepped in to carve out their own niches in the lucrative packaging and shipping business. After all, everybody needs to mail or ship something at some point--especially high-volume businesses. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, franchised shipping services account for about 70 percent of the revenues generated by all types of packaging and mailing businesses in the U.S.

It makes sense: individuals and businesses are shipping more packages than ever. And with the advent of email, everyone has become accustomed to instant delivery. Some items just have to get there faster, or are too important to trust to the postal service. Others have unique packaging needs that require special attention and materials to protect them en route. In all these instances, more and more people are counting on franchise packaging and shipping stores.

Generally, these packaging and shipping franchises provide all types of additional services, ranging from selling tape and postcards to securely packing items and maintaining post office boxes. Many mail packaging and shipping franchises offer more extended hours than post offices, and will even pick up packages. Now that's service!

So if going postal (in a good way) sounds like a possibility to you, consider some of the players.

Take Navis Pack & Ship, for example. Navis serves commercial, industrial, and residential customers with highly specialized packaging, transportation, and logistics expertise for items that are difficult to ship. Specialties include expensive electronics, machinery, antiques, and fine art. The company has been around since 1980 and operates more than 150 franchised warehouses and retail stores in the U.S. and Canada. Officials say they plan to open more than 200 additional units.

PostNet is a longtime player in the shipping sector, offering a diverse array of products and services. These include digital copy and document services, printing and finishing services, computer/Internet services, domestic and international shipping, private mailboxes, shipping, packaging, and other office supplies. PostNet has more than 900 franchises worldwide.

Like Navis, Parcel Plus serves customers who have items too large or bulky to ship through traditional carriers like FedEx, UPS, or DHL. Parcel Plus also offers a bevy of retail services and products, including greeting cards, gift-wrapping supplies and wrapping service, faxing, mailboxes, convenience copiers, mailing services, business cards, office supplies, specialty advertising, labels, notary service, banners, name badges, and rubber stamps.

Pak Mail has been packing and shipping since 1984. The company now has more than 430 centers operating in the U.S. and about 100 more locations throughout the world. Pak Mail can handle everything from custom packing and delivery to freight and logistics.

Timely shipping is one of the cornerstones of the global economy, from mom-and-pop small businesses to multinational conglomerates. If materials cannot be delivered quickly, safely, and efficiently, the wheels of commerce slow, or in some cases, grind to a halt. Advances in communications technology and logistics now allow franchise shipping businesses to use state-of-the-art software, RFID devices, and satellite communication for real-time tracking of shipments to and from anywhere in the world.

This might just be your chance to deliver the goods.

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