Mailing and Shipping Software Information
Mailing and shipping software is used to manage, schedule and track the mailing and shipment of letters, packages, equipment, and materials. The United States Postal Service (USPS) and companies such as Airborne Express, United Parcel Service (UPS), and FedEx are both users and suppliers of mailing and shipping applications. Mailing and shipping software is also available from many software vendors across North America and around the world. Some applications are designed for use with personal computers (PCs) or Apple Macintosh computers. Web-based mailing and shipping software, along with applications that work with handheld devices, are also available. Selecting mailing and shipping software requires an analysis of product features. Most mailing software enables businesses to expedite mass mailings. Features may include verifying and standardizing addresses, presorting mailers by zip code or postal rate, and the ability to print documents such as labels, forms, and tags. Optional modules may include postage accounting, palletization, manifest spoilage adjustments, and interfaces to business management systems. In addition, mailing and shipping software may be used to prepare postage statements; produce management reports; and print tray tags, sack tags, and pallet placards. Mailing software for postage meters, franking machines, mailing machines, and mailing equipment is commonly available. Mailing and shipping software includes business logistics software that is designed to display routing and scheduling information automatically, and to use delivery addresses to plot drop-off points on a map. This type of mailing and shipping software can help businesses develop routes and coordinate deliveries to multiple locations. Business logistics software also allows shippers to schedule delivery personnel and vehicles in a way that maximizes productivity. In some cases, supply chain software may be used with mailing and shipping software to help companies select components and raw materials. Integration with print management systems is also available. Package tracking software is a type of mailing and shipping software that enables businesses to track letters and packages via barcodes or radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. Other tracking and security techniques are also available. For example, the USPS uses the information-based indicia program (IBIP) to improve the security of postage metering and support additional methods of applying postage to mail. Specialized mailing and shipping software is used to produce the information-based indicia (IBI) that is printed on mail pieces.