According to reports, the U.S. Post Office, also known as the US Postal Service, remains the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation: 160 million residences, businesses, and Post Office Boxes.
Have it in mind that they receive no tax dollars for operating expenses and tend to depend on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund their operations.
With over 34,000 retail locations and one of the most frequently visited websites in the federal government, usps.com, note that the annual operating revenue of the Postal Service was $77.0 billion for 2023, an increase of $3.9 billion, or 5.3 percent, and they deliver 48 percent of the world’s mail.
With more than 630,000 employees, they remain one of the nation’s largest employers and owners of one of the world’s largest computer networks.
However, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is known to contract with truck drivers to help in the movement and delivery of mail.
You can work as a contractor with the U.S. Postal Service even if you are an owner box truck operator or if you operate a fleet of box truck businesses.
As a contractor, you will be tasked with providing services independently and getting payments as a supplier for the government agency.
Box truck owners who work with USPS will have to carry large quantities of mail between states and must show that they can move large loads safely and efficiently.
To start the process of securing a USPS box truck contract, you will need to meet the eligibility requirements as stated by the U.S. Postal Service.
To secure a truck driving contract with the USPS, you need to show that you are a legitimately registered business, adhere to USPS driving rules, prequalify for contracts, and register with the government’s e-sourcing program to bid.
Post office contract bids tend to use only three major types of transportation: air contracts, rail and water contracts, and highway contracts.
You need to figure out the exact one you qualify for before you apply. Having said that, here are the simple steps to follow when applying for a Transportation Contract from the U.S. Postal Service.
How to Apply for Transportation Contract from the U.S. Postal Service
1. Establish Your Business
You need to understand that USPS only contracts with businesses and not individuals. Even if you are the sole driver, you will still be expected to legally establish and register your business before bidding on USPS driver contracts.
In the United States, the requirements or processes to register your business will vary from one state to another and will be stipulated in state statutes.
Owing to that, you must reach out to the appropriate office within your state to note the necessary steps to register your business.
To apply for postal contracts, you need to have the necessary truck driving credentials from the Department of Transportation.
2. Understand USPS Rules
Note that before you start applying for a contract with USPS, you need to become conversant with USPS rules governing drivers to ensure you can comply with them. Box truck contract drivers help to deliver mail and packages between various postal facilities.
As a contracted driver with USPS, you may be needed to load and unload cargo, with or without assistance from postal workers. According to the USPS website, the drivers are also tasked with maintaining the truck and carrying out small repairs as needed.
Daily, you will need to drive significantly long distances but will also have to adhere to applicable traffic laws and adequately log your driving activities.
3. Prequalify For Contracts
If you have established your business legally and also become familiar with USPS rules, the next step will be to ensure you prequalify for postal transportation contracts.
According to the USPS website, anyone looking to contract with USPS will have to be evaluated on their compliance with postal regulations and procedures, and all these are listed on the postal website.
Have it in mind that your company will also be evaluated to ensure it has the capabilities to deal with the financial requirements of a contract, coupled with its past performance and supplier capabilities.
In addition to your prequalification application, you will need to submit three months’ bank statements, along with your company’s Tax ID number and Department of Transportation documents. You will also need to show driving records for yourself and any other box truck drivers your company employs.
4. Decide the Type of Contract to Apply for
The first step you are expected to follow is to determine the type of contract you need. This is necessary because the U.S. Postal Service USPS works with a variety of delivery contractors. The type of contract you apply for will depend on what kind of transportation you or your organization can provide.
To see which contract is the best match for you, check the USPS Mail Transportation Contracting Guide (Publication 33): http://local300npmhu.org/wordpress-content/uploads/2013/07/Pub33-Mail-Transportation-CONTRACTING-Guide.pdf.
Please note that the different types of transportation contracts under the U.S. Postal Service include air, rail, water, and highway.
Highway contracts are the most common, and they can be held either by box truck companies or by individual owner-operators working out of their vehicles.
5. Check your Eligibility and Requirements
The next step you are expected to take is to check if you meet the contractor eligibility requirements as stipulated by the U.S. Postal Service. To work as a contracted mail delivery service for the U.S. Postal Service, you are expected to meet certain requirements.
These may vary depending on the type of contract you’re applying for, so check with your local contracting officer for details. To meet the basic requirements of a highway contractor, you must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Live in or adjacent to the county where you will be working (if you’re an individual)
- Do business in or adjacent to the county you will be servicing (if you’re a corporation)
Please note that for most individual contract delivery positions, you are expected to provide your own box truck. Your box truck may also need to meet certain requirements, such as being in good working order and large enough to accommodate the amount of mail you normally carry on your route.
6. Register with USPS
To contract with the USPS, you first have to register with the agency’s supplier registration system. Note that the registration process is only for businesses that are legally registered in the United States; therefore applicants will be expected to show that they have a properly formed business entity.
Trucking businesses seeking to work with USPS will also be expected to report their experience with the services they plan to provide.
7. Complete the Application Form
If you meet the requirement as stated by the U.S. Postal Service, then the next step to follow is to complete a mailing list application. Once you are ready to apply, fill out PS Form 5436 (Mailing List Application – Mail Transportation Services).
You can find this form at the end of the Mail Transportation Contracting Guide (Publication 33), or download it here: https://about.usps.com/forms/ps5436.pdf.
Please note that on the form, you will need to provide information about what type of business you have (if applicable), what kind of transportation equipment you can provide, and the type of route or contract you are interested in (e.g., air, water, rail, or highway).
8. Submit the Application Form
Once you have completed the application, you are expected to mail the application to your local (the U.S. Postal Service) contracting office.
Once you fill out the form, look up the address of your area’s contracting office or area distribution networks office and send it in.
You can find a list of area offices on Page 6 of the Mail Transportation Contracting Guide. Please note that after you apply, you will be placed on a mailing list for your area so that you can receive information about contract opportunities.
9. Get your DUNS Number
The next step you are expected to take after mailing your application is to obtain a DUNS number. If you are applying as a business organization, you will need a DUNS (Data Universal Number System) number to bid on government contracts.
To get a DUNS number for your business, apply on the Dun & Bradstreet website: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do.
Note that before applying for a DUNS number, check to make sure that your organization does not already have one. Your organization’s financial department or grant administrator should have that information. Interestingly, there is no cost to apply for a DUNS number.
10. Register With SAM as a Federal Contractor
You are required to register as a federal contractor with SAM if you represent an organization. If you want to bid on contracts with the USPS as an organization, you will also need to register with SAM (System for Award Management), formerly CCR (Central Contractor Registration).
You can register with SAM or check the status of your registration on the SAM.gov website: https://sam.gov/SAM/pages/public/index.jsf. Please note that if you have already registered with SAM, you will need to update your registration at least once a year.
You must have a DUNS number before you can register with SAM. Interestingly, there is no fee to register with SAM. If you dutifully follow all the steps listed above, it means you are almost done.
Although fulfilling the steps above means that you are ready for business with the U.S. Postal Service, it does not stop there. You need to start finding delivery contract opportunities with the U.S. Postal Service.
11. Bid for Contracts and Pay
For contractor opportunities, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) leverages a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) to ask for proposals from interested parties on specific sub-sets of OIG services. Note that all contractor opportunities will be listed on BetaSAM.gov with instructions on how to submit a proposal.
However, before you can place a bid, you will be expected to be registered with the federal government’s e-sourcing program. Immediately you find a solicitation of interest, you can then reach out to the listed administrator and ask for an invitation to bid.
Note that the USPS pay rates for contracted box truck drivers tend to vary, and will most often depend on where the driving route originates. For instance, routes starting within the state of New York pay more than those starting within North Carolina.
Having said that, here are the steps you should follow to find delivery contract opportunities with the U.S. Postal Service.
How to Get USPS Box Truck Contracts
1. Talk to your Local Contracting Officer
The first step to follow if you want to start finding a delivery contract with the U.S. Postal Service is to check with your local contracting officer for opportunities.
After you submit a Mailing List Application to your local contracting office, you should start receiving information about opportunities through the mail. You can also call your local office or visit them in person to ask about possible opportunities.
Please note that to find addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers for your local contracting officer, you can check Page 6 of the USPS Mail Transportation Contracting Guide (Publication 33).
2. Search for Contract Opportunities on FedBizOpps
The next step to take is to visit the FedBizOpps website to see contractor solicitations. The USPS posts all its contractor opportunities on the FedBizOpps website (https://www.fbo.gov/). Go to the website to find out if the USPS is currently soliciting suppliers, such as companies that can supply mail transportation services.
Interestingly, the FedBizOpps website allows you to search for opportunities by region, type, keyword, or agency. Note: As of November 2019, the FedBizOpps website moved to http://beta.SAM.gov.
3. Scan the USPS Supplier Website
Another way to find contracting opportunities is through the USPS Supplier Registration site. You can only use this site if you are applying for contracts as an organization (rather than an individual). To register your organization, visit the USPS eSourcing site.
After you register your organization, the USPS will contact you with possible contract opportunities. Please note that if you win a bid on a contract, USPS will contact you with further instructions on how to proceed.
4. Check Job Listing Portals and Websites
Lastly, if you want to secure contracts from the U.S. Postal Service, you would need to search for individual delivery contractor jobs on general job websites.
If you’re an individual looking for a job as a contracted mail carrier, you may be able to find local opportunities through job websites like Indeed or SimplyHired. Do an online search using terms like “contract mail carrier” or “USPS contract driver.”
Please make sure you check the specific requirements for each job to make sure you qualify. For example, most delivery contract positions require that you have your own vehicle, a valid driver’s license, and 2-5 years of driving experience.
You will likely need to pass a background check and be cleared for the position by the USPS. Your box truck may also need to meet certain specifications to qualify for mail delivery.
You are expected to start your application online if you want to become a contractor with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
You will need to provide an overview of your company and the services you provide, your corporate URL, the city you want to operate in, and the type of box trucks you want to use for the business.