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Stamps.com Broadens Horizons

Stamps.com Inc. Wednesday attempted to position itself as a major hub in corporate shipping with the launch of iShip, an Internet-based service that automates shipping while still allowing for central management and cost control.

iShip gives employees the ability to process shipments from any desktop with a Web browser. Employees can quickly pre-process mailroom shipments, compare prices across multiple shipping services -- including the United Parcel Service, U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, Airborne Express, DHL and Yellow Freight -- print carrier labels and track shipments. It also incorporates stringent mailing and shipping business rules established by the customer's shipping management and enforces the rules across every desktop in the corporation.

At the other end, the iShip Professional Shipping Station allows personnel in mailrooms, express shipping centers and executive business centers to quickly process high volumes of shipments and offers reports on internal carrier activity and employee usage patterns. Stamps.com said the Professional Shipping Station also allows mailroom managers to quickly process shipments previously created by employees. It is being deployed to more than 3,500 domestic Mail Box Etc. locations and has received certification as a Parcel Shipping Scale System under the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Type Evaluation Program. NIST certification notifies weights and measures inspectors nationwide that the iShip service is capable of meeting all required regulations.

"Every corporation uses at least two carriers, typically the U.S. Postal Service and an overnight shipper," said David Duckwitz, senior vice president and general manager, Stamps.com Enterprise Strategic Business Unit. "Many corporations use as many as seven or eight carriers to serve the full breadth of their needs. The iShip service allows companies to control costs and create order out of this complexity."

iShip has no up-front fees. Pricing is based on volume and is as low as $.30 per transaction or package shipped.

Stamps.com stock was up 1.7 percent in early trading Wednesday.