Publication 5-A - Let's Do Business
July 2001

We Are the U.S. Postal Service

The Postal Service is one of the largest service organizations in the world and, as a result, one of America’s biggest buyers.

Moving the mail to nearly every home and business in the United States takes a gigantic effort. We work in more than 38,000 facilities throughout the nation, and every day we collect, process, and deliver more than 650 million pieces of mail. We operate our business through what we sell — virtually all of our revenue comes from the sale of postage and services to the American people, not from their taxes. Our annual revenue exceeds $64 billion.

We may have among the most varied set of needs in the United States — needs that each year translate into more than tens of thousands of contract opportunities worth billions of dollars. Purchases range from asphalt to airplanes, carrier satchels to communications satellites, and real estate to robotics.

The Postal Service depends on you to provide quality services and supplies to meet our operational needs. This publication tells you what, where, and how we buy, and how you can do business with us. So let us know what you can offer, and let’s do business!

What We Buy

To move the mail, we buy a great variety of goods and services. These can be grouped into three general commodity categories:

Supplies, services, and equipment.

Facilities (including design, construction, and related services) and real estate.

Mail transportation services of all types.

The lists on the following pages show selected goods and services bought by our purchasing organizations. Suppliers should note, however, that our local buying process makes virtually every Postal Service facility a purchasing organization, at least to some extent (

Headquarters and Headquarters Field Organizations

Supplies, Services, and Equipment





Personnel support

Elevator maintenance

Operational Equipment

Vehicle purchases

Mail transportation equipment

Retail and vending equipment




Marketing materials



Information Technology

Information systems (hardware and software)

Satellite transponders

Telecommunications (hardware and software)

All associated services


Automated mail processing equipment

Research and development of automated equipment

Spare Parts for Various Postal Equipment (bought only at Topeka, KS)

Personal computer boards



Nuts and bolts


Real estate — leasing or purchasing

Major building design and construction

Construction management

Repairs and alterations

Mail Transportation and Related Services

Air taxi services

Rail services

Terminal handling services

Water services — international and domestic

Highway transportation

Trailer leasing

Area Offices

Supplies, Services, and Equipment

Contract postal units

Vehicle leasing

Vehicle maintenance

Elevator maintenance

Cleaning services

Trash removal

Food services

ADP equipment

Environmental services

Grounds maintenance

Snow removal

Miscellaneous supplies and services

District Offices

Facility repairs and alterations

Supplies and services (up to $10,000)

Who can buy what I sell?

For local buys not more than $10,000


District purchasing specialists.

Other district and area office personnel.

For purchases over $10,000

Contracting officers at:

Purchasing and Materials service centers.

Facilities service offices.

District and area offices (for repairs and alterations only, and not exceeding $100,000).

Distribution network offices.


How can they buy what I sell?

For buys not more than $10,000

Over-the-counter purchases.

Credit card purchases.

Purchase orders.

Imprest funds.

For purchases over $10,000

Purchase orders.


How can I find out about opportunities?

Post office notices.

Local advertising.

Commerce Business Daily (CBD).

Journal of Commerce (transportation).

Trade conferences.

Trade and industry association notices.

Business Opportunity Bulletins (BOB).

Listed below are Postal Service Internet web site addresses that will provide you detailed information on the Postal Service Supplier Diversity Program.

The web site address for the main page of the Postal Service Internet is

Selling to the U.S. Postal Service


Let’s Do Business — Pub. 5

Purchasing Manual

Supplier Diversity Terms — Pub. 554

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Market Opportunities

About Market Opportunities

Business Opportunities — Business Opportunity Bulletins (BOB)

Supplier Registration — Supplier Automated Database (SADI)

Click on “About USPS”

Click on “Doing Business With Us”

Click on “Supplier Registration (SADI)”

Buying Locations and Contacts

Information for Suppliers

Quality Supplier Awards

Click on “About USPS”

Click on “Doing Business With Us”

Click on “Quality Supplier Awards”

Supplier Diversity FAQs

Supplier Diversity — Statement of Commitment

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