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US Parcel Forwarding and Mail Forwarding - What's the Difference

US parcel forwarding" and "US mail forwarding" are terms for two separate shipping-related services that are often referred to synonymously; however, the reason why they are commonly interchanged is due to the fact that neither term is that well understood (Note: "mail forwarding" - without the "US" is the most familiar term when it comes to the general public). Let's shed some light on the root of both terms (simply ignoring the US designation, to focus on the terms "parcel forwarding" and "mail forwarding") to help create a better understanding of both.

First of all, both terms contain a single word that differentiates one from the other, providing the best clue as to deciphering the real difference between the two terms, and services. "Parcel" versus "mail" is the difference. That's right -one service primarily handles parcels (packages ready to be shipped), whereas the other focuses on handling mail (letters, post cards, envelopes, newspapers, magazines, mailers, and marketing -- paper correspondences). Although these services are distinguished by a single word in each term, their customers and purposes are worlds apart... or at least countries apart.

Secondly, as we move forward in gleaning an understanding of these two services, parcel forwarding serves customers who need parcels forwarded to them, whereas mail forwarding serves customers who need mail forwarded to them.

So, who are these customers, where do they live and why do they need these services? US parcel forwarding indicates that the parcel forwarding is done so from the United States (US). This is a very helpful service for those living in countries outside the United States who want to get items from America. This is particularly the case with global shoppers who love certain American brands, products, items or department stores enough to pay for shipping, money transfer, forwarding and customs fees associated with bringing these items to their doorsteps. These global shoppers tend to be in touch with the Western world. They are trend-followers, those who relate to fashion and style, technology, and embrace at least some aspects of the progressively modern world.

US mail forwarding customers are most primarily Americans -- stateside travelers (i.e. RV campers), those who have relocated, military personnel/expats and those traveling or living abroad. Notice that the main difference between US parcel forwarding customers and the mail forwarding variety is that they live outside the US -- they are not Americans; whereas the US mail forwarding customers are Americans who are merely traveling or living (for a time) outside the US.

Final to our discussion, there are other differences related to how each (parcels versus mail) are handled and required to be handled. For example, to receive a requesting customer's mail (US mail forwarding), the customer must complete and sign a USPS Form 1538. This gives the forwarding company legal permission to receive and handle the customer's mail. An example relative to forwarding parcels is that to ship overseas, the parcel company must complete US Customs Declaration forms.



Posted on November 23, 2018