The terms mailing and shipping are often used interchangeably. Most people don’t feel the need to differentiate between the two because, really, what’s the difference? In both cases, you simply hand over your packages for delivery. So, what’s the big issue with what you call them?
However, this is not the case. While an average user may not realize it, mailing and shipping are two different things. Although they are similar to some extent, they still have a number of features making them different from each other.
Using these words interchangeably is like referring to oranges as mandarins. While individuals and even small businesses hardly pay attention to what terms they use, using the right word (shipping or mailing) is a big deal for people who actually overlook these processes.
Yes, it is common to confuse the two terms but it’s time you understand the difference between them. Scroll down to get to know what makes mailing different from shipping.
What is Mailing?
Have you ever mailed a package to one of your friends or a family member? Well, it might come as a surprise but mailing is just the act of sending a message. According to logistics experts, there is no such thing as “mailing a package”.
Mailing strictly refers to sending letters and invitations in a standard envelope. Furthermore, the envelope is also picked exclusively by the postal services company. This means, technically, you cannot mail something using services like FedEx or UPS. Crazy, right?
What is Shipping?
The term shipping dates back to the time when parcels were transported through ships. At that time, the term shipping meant sending a parcel through a ship. However, technology touched every part of our lives and changed the way things used to be. Now, we use a lot more than just ships to transport our stuff.
In around the 1800s, the term ‘shipping’ evolved and people started to use it for describing “moving cargo” – irrespective of the type of transport used for carrying it.
To sum it up, shipping is used for transporting cargo and goods from point A to point B. On the other hand, mailing is reserved for letters. Meaning, you cannot receive a package in the mail and you can never ship a letter to a friend!
Why is it Important?
At this point, you may be wondering what’s so important about differentiating between “mailing” and “shipping’. Well, while we don’t usually realize it, people often mistakenly associate courier companies with shipping and mailing.
For example, it is a common misconception that mail is exclusive to Postal Service Function while shipping is reserved for companies like UPS and FedEx. This misapprehension often leads to confusion and a number of people fail to realize they can ship packages with Postal Service!
It may sound simple enough, but such misconceptions can limit your shipping options by making you believe only certain courier companies offer to ship. Now you know you can ship packages through Postal Service, what are you going to ship first?
If you have any question, let us know! We are happy to help!