Starting a Shipping and Packing Service Store

There is money in shipping/packing service store if only you understand the ins and outs of the business. It can't be argued; the industry is growing and rapidly changing, which is particularly propelled by online shopping.

More and more customers are demanding shipping/packing services that offer reasonable prices and promise convenience, speed, and reliability. Hence, the shipping/packing service business deserves a closer look and a deeper probe.

Three Ways of Starting a Shipping and Packing Business

In starting up, you are confronted with 3 options -- to go independent, buy a franchise, or purchase a ship/pack store. While it may be easier, faster, and smoother to run a franchise store, setting up a new and original company offers a good business challenge and probably for lower capitalization. Franchising can cost at least $20,000. Also, you might be asking where your shipping/packing store must be located. If you wish to put up your independent store, you can utilize that extra space at home. However, franchisers often require space at commercial areas. In this regard, you need to choose leases or rental rates/terms that are favorable or acceptable. Overall cost to start a franchise ranges from $80,000 to around $300,000. You also have an option to purchase shipping/packing service store. Most of these stores are actively running and earning from below $100,000 to around $500,000. Purchasing these stores saves you from start-up troubles.

Managing the Shipping/Packing Service Store

Be aware of the importance of pricing strategies. There are several Shipping/Packing Service providers whose pricing schemes are valid as benchmarks. You need to know the standard or special sizes of packages and boxes, their packing and shipping methods, and price equivalents. Most shipping/packing service stores also offer other services and operate as a home or office supply store, post office, copy/fax station, etc. So there are other means to earn on top of your core business. Partnerships with major shippers, ability to identify and offer economical services, authority to run as a post office outlet are valuable assets. Having several workers isn’t necessary. A small-time shipping/packing service store can be initially operated by 1 to 5 persons. As your business grows, you can expand and hire more personnel. There is also the thing about insurance. Fragile and costly items need to be insured.

Franchisers often shoulder advertising expenses in exchange for royalties -- a portion of sales/income. Independent stores often use basic ads and marketing tools while newly bought ship/pack stores have established some form of reputation, good or bad.

Competitors in this industry include those stores that offer shipping and packing as additional or auxiliary services on top of their mainline offerings. Other rivals are the established franchisees and independent store operators. The store clients include online shop buyers and sellers, importers/exporters, PR officers, and collectors, aside from the individuals with erratic shipping and packing needs.


  • Jeremy Jones said on August 12, 2009
    Very good article! I was just approved for the FedEx FASC program and I plan to open my store soon. I was wanting to know, what are the profit margins and markups on shipments and postage? Thanks! -Jeremy
  • Rene Longoria said on March 27, 2010
    i want to open a shipping and packaging store in Redondo Beach CA USA
  • Nokuthula said on June 7, 2010
    I want to open an Independent shipping and packing Service Store in UK for shipping of personal goods to South Africa –KwaZulu Natal Province and in Maputo. I would like to know about pricing strategies benchmarks for shipping to South Africa,-KwaZulu Natal Province ( Durban port, Richardsbay, ) and Maputo. Also I want to use air freight for urgent small parcels. How to go about starting and pricing, what i need. I think goods need to be insured , who provide insurance for shipping. Do I need insurance for the goods as i will be using home store and packing. How to get the insurance. I also want to ship personal goods from Maputo and KwaZulu Natal to UK. What are the legal requirements to start and run this business. I also want to get donations of clothes and toys , computers and games and ship to Africa/ Moputo to support church members from poor families with HIV and Aids as well as street children. What do i need to do. My Location is In London.
  • Mike Garcia said on August 30, 2010
    What do I need as far as computer software for the shipping store?
  • Dr. Greg said on September 9, 2010
    I live in the USA and want to start a shipping and packaging business from Maryland, shipping to Africa.. Nigerian in particular. Please can you advise me on how to go about doing that? I want to start from one point first before expanding to other cities in the Country. Thanks for your help.
  • Wellington said on September 12, 2010
    I want to start a Shipping & Packing business in Okinawa, Japan?
  • andrew said on September 16, 2010
    I live in BROOKLYN NY and want to start a shipping and packaging business from My house, shipping to the CARRI BEAN in particular. Please can you advise me on how to go about doing that? I want to start as soon as possible and need to know what type of paper work & forms i need to submit. i have a tax id from a small clothing store i use to run out of my basement.
  • Albert Canonico said on September 21, 2010
    I would like to start a small shipping/packaging store in Forest City, Pennsylvania. I do not want the expense of a franchise. What do I need to do?
  • Bee said on October 1, 2010
    I am very interested in starting up an independent shipping/packaging/business center in Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona. I am not sure how to go about doing so.
  • William said on November 4, 2010
    Hi, I would like to know what steps should I take to start an independent shipping business from New York to the caribbean.
  • ken said on December 3, 2010
    I want to start shipping for a local bakery. How do I get started.
  • vikas said on January 3, 2011
    hi, i am a B.M.S. graduate & i want to open an Independent shipping and packing Service Store in plz give me yore valuable guidance about how to start? what will be the initial budget?....ect...
  • Vicki Flowers said on January 19, 2011
    Overland Park, KS..I just wonder how hard is it to start up a shipping/packaging store. And how do you go about setting up postal service and accounts with UPS/Fed Ex?
  • Jasper Spratley said on January 21, 2011
    Business location: Petersburg, Virginia. I am interested in opening an independent shipping & packaging store, and want to know what equipment and supplies do I need at the very least cost to start up.
  • ABAH said on February 1, 2011
    I have the desire to start a shipping company and require an expert knowledge on which market option, to embark on, that is venturing into a new building or a second hand vessel. The prospective is expected to operate in route Nigeria and China and needs a proposal advising him on why the option of your choice of vessel should be considered the best. Also mention and explain why you think a particular type of vessel is suitable with regard to what you may assume as market availability.
  • Irin said on March 28, 2011
    We need help in starting up of a shipping line in South Africa, there are currently 9 of us who have intense knowledge of the Maritime Sector and it is a BBBEE concern. The business is newly registered but we seem to have teething problems.
  • Kevin Keely said on March 30, 2011
    I have a small retail discount store in Santa Ana, CA. I would like to add shipping service (we already offer notary/fax). How should I get it started? Thanks!
  • hari prasath said on April 6, 2011
    i like to start my own shipping and packaging business in my home from india in chrennai..
  • Steve Gibson said on April 12, 2011
    Hi, I am from Sheron's Brokerage Private Broker in Antigua and Barbuda in response to Andrew (post 9/16/2010 who wants to ship to the Caribbean from Brooklyn and William(post 11/4/2010 who wants to ship to the Caribbean from NEW York.I am looking at starting Shipping also,being in Brokerage for over 8 yrs maybe it is a good place for us to start.
  • James expert adviser said on April 13, 2011

    @Steve Gibson, you can leave your message for them here. The system will ping them to come and read the message. 

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • tee sanders said on June 8, 2011
    I want to add a shipping and packaging business to my uhaul and travel agency. Can you tell me the best way to do this? I live in Kinston, NC 28501
  • Leslie Conley said on November 9, 2011
    I would like to learn more about profit margins, markups, unexpected costs and other things to think about for opening a FedEx Ship Center. I am looking in Warsaw, IN. We have 2 UPS stores and no FedEx, but many business are linked with FedEx, so I think there is some opportunity here.
  • Bob Gourdet said on November 24, 2011
    I am planning to start a business in Lithonia, Ga. And I need some details precisely on procedures on starting a homebased "packing and shipping service" to the Dominican Republic. (what type of paper work needed, software, pricing so far and so on). Please, I am waiting for your input!
  • nagasar lachman said on December 22, 2011
    i would like to open an independent " packing and shipping service business along with Mailbox services" in Port Washington NY. I would really appreciate if you can provide me with procedures on how to start up this business, and how to make connection with UPS, DHL & FEDEX for Their shipping set up procedures. Thanks For your Cooperation in this matter
  • Keith Brockwell said on January 23, 2012
    I would like to open an independent " packing and shipping service business along with Mailbox services" in Victoria Texas. I would really appreciate if you can provide me with procedures on how to start up this business, and how to make connection with UPS, DHL & FEDEX for Their shipping set up procedures.Is AMPC and NPC worth joining. Thanks For your Cooperation in this matter
  • Hifa Sadeq said on February 3, 2012
    I want to open independent packing and shipping along with mailbox service. I appreciate if you can provide me with procedures on how to start the business. how I can get the mail boxes and what the software I need to get to help me run the business and any other details I need to know. Thank you so much for your help. San Diego CA
  • sandy said on February 15, 2012
    i want to start an independent shipping company here in johannesburg south africa. please help with more details.
  • Gina said on March 2, 2012
    I want to start a shipping, packig, and ebay store in Selah Washington. Any information would be helpful. It would be a minority owned business in a location with no competition and big demand for shipping.
  • Rob said on March 5, 2012
    I am trying to research software for start-up pack/ship business for Canton Ohio. Connections to USPS, UPS FedEx DHL and any info in general
  • Jack said on March 8, 2012
    I am wanting to open a pack and ship business in Cedar Park, Texas. How do I find the info needed from the big four companies to start a business relationship with them? I don't want to franchise so any info would be appreciated.
  • Harry said on March 24, 2012
    Hi, I'm willing to buy a Pack and Ship store in Fort Worth, Texas. The store was in business since 1985 and in a good location, this store already well established and their services included: UPS, Fedex, USPS... The selling price of this business is very reasonable (10k)thought, their biggest problem I think is their customer service currently not too good under their manager in charge. I'm really like to take over but have no experience about this shipping business so please give me an idea how can I do it right. Thanks very much.
  • James expert adviser said on March 25, 2012

    @Harry, as far as I know working under UPS, USPS and Fedex is very straight. You will get commission for every transaction, I think you are right it is more about customer care than anything else. It is a 27 yr old store so everyone knows about it. If it is already badly reputed then you have to think about some new ways to promote the store. Let everyone know it is with new set of people once it is taken over. You will have to know how it is been run so you can make a deal with them to be a trainee for a week and take the final call after you are done with it.

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • Harry said on March 25, 2012
    Thank you James, do you know anybody in this field leaving in Fort Worth that can help me to start up for the first few weeks, other words is I want to start up without the previous manager training me. I think rather without than learning the wrong way.
  • James expert adviser said on March 26, 2012

    @Harry, sorry I don't know anyone from Fort Worth area who can help you. I didn't mean you learn how to do the business, i was more intending to know what all are on the store that can influence the business. If you can find a manager from similar stores who is ready to join you then it is better to join him at his store and learn things before you buy this one.

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • christian rios said on June 12, 2012
    hi i'm trying to bring my business to brownsville texas i have a shipping business in mexico and i'm planning to bring it to brownsville texas and want to know if fedex ups or dhl do joint business or what are the steps to start my business.
  • Joseph said on August 25, 2012
    I live in Burlington, MA (US) and want to start a shipping and packaging business from Burlington, MA, shipping to Cameroon. Please can you advise me on how to go about doing that? I want to start from one point first before expanding to other cities in the Country. Thanks for your help. Joseph
  • Unnikrishnan Menon said on September 13, 2012
    Any one interested in opening up Freight Forwarding Company or Shipping Line in India I shall take care of the whole formalities and procedures. I can look after the business in the capacity of CEO/MD. I am having 20 years of experience in Freight Forwarding and Shipping. Any reputed Liners/Freight Forwarders can contact me. My contact # 0091-09375977005
  • Daniel said on September 24, 2012
    If you're starting your own business in the US, don't bother becoming an authorized ship center for FedEx and UPS. Rather, get huge discounts via memberships with organizations that include shipping discounts from the courier companies. I get well over 40% off FedEx 2-day rates through my membership, and the benefit is you don't have to deal with the BS politics of being an authorized ship center where everyone now days wants you to ship their packages on their own account number and pay you nothing. As an authorized ship center, you aren't permitted to charge handling fees and must take their package, where if you get discounts via a membership like me, you can charge and do whatever the heck you want. Here's a start... look up and have them find you a suitable organization in your area to join. Good luck!
  • vaishali said on October 5, 2012
    HI i am planning to start a shipping vertical in my consultancy but i dont have any idea about the charges applicable to the client if we provide candidate to them ie if the candidate is selevted from our consultancy according to what bases they will pay us according to indian currency
  • Reshad Rambaransingh said on October 15, 2012
    I would like to start a shipping company to the Caribbean from the uk anyone with any advice how to start and what I need to do can u please let me know
  • Yas Ismail said on November 9, 2012
    Hello I recently received franchise info from several UK DHL Reseller/Freight Forwarder Franchisors. Is the franchise model (where franchisor is in control of rates or not) a worthwhile venture or is it possible to be accepted by the individual shippers & gain reduced rates from the individual shippers, please advise as a newly set up corporation (new to the business)?
  • taj said on January 2, 2013
    I am interested in opening up pack and ship store. what kind of shipping software is required?
  • Rebekah said on April 3, 2013
    @Harry, did you end up purchasing the shipping business? I am interested in purchasing one, but the asking price is over $60k. It is a reputable business that is in a good location. I didn't think that seemed too bad considering it included all the inventory, office equipment, etc. But now seeing that you were going to purchase one for $10k, makes me wonder if $60k is a rip off. If you purchased, would you mind sharing how profitable the company has been. Or does anyone know the profit margin (or more specifically, average yearly salary to be expected after all business expenses are paid) for a shipping business that includes a post office and a packing center as part of the store. Thanks!
  • Yves said on July 14, 2013
    I am thinking in implementing a ship and pack unit into my business who's a dollar store in Miramar Florida. I'm new to this...and I was thinking to contact Fedex to become authorized shipping center. Can one provides info like commissions, requirements info etc?
  • June Shaw said on July 24, 2013
    I would like to do a shipping and receiving business from home I know stores choose not to ship out of country and that I can How to go about this?
  • socaladsathotmail said on July 25, 2013
    i have shipping and mailbox business in Fullerton, CA. which i'm selling for good price . contact me if you are interested.
  • elizabeth said on September 7, 2013
    I want to start small pack and ship in a flea market that is open 7 days a week. I want to get the training and start small. I have been looking for prices and are very expensive. I want to use the usps, fedex and ups. Can you tell me how can I get the training and do not spent too much money? thanks
  • Eligio Cedeno said on September 12, 2013
    I live in Houston Tx and I would like to know how to get the training on starting a pack and ship. Thanks.
  • Kala said on November 6, 2013
    I am interested in independent packaging and shipping business in Manatee or Sarasota county in Florida. Any guidance on it.
  • Elizabeth Cury said on December 12, 2013
    i wants to start a pack and ship business - what is less expensive way? what would i need - thanks.
  • Tyrrell Pemberton said on January 26, 2014
    I'm a postal worker so I kind of know the ins and outs of the packaging and shipping part of the business. I just wanted to know what would be the best way about starting my shipping and packaging store without having a ton of money?
  • Evan Frace said on February 20, 2014
    What are the pricing benchmarks that are the standard for the industry.
  • Karen Croft said on May 8, 2014
    I am in a subdivision of Hickory,Nc. I have worked for the PO for 17 yrs, its not worth doing a contract office with the post office since they only pay 8 cents on the dollar, with rent n everything else there's no money to be made, there was a contract office here with PO boxes that closed is there anywhere I can buy a large cluster of PO boxes with back delivery, also who has the best rates on postal scales w prices through a chip, if I can get scale and meter in one rental that would be great.
  • Isaac Khalid said on May 30, 2014
    Hi I am Isaac Khalid, I recently opened a ship and pack center, I really would love some good marketing advice, we offer USPS and FedEx, UPS has been a pain in the side to get 3rd party contract because of FedEx being offered in my location, any an all advice would be helpful i'm 25 and this is my first business endeavor
  • Mike said on June 2, 2014
    What else besides the FedEx/UPS carriers can we possible include in such entity? what would you suggest
  • Matthew Prichard said on June 26, 2014
    UPS is not authorizing any shippers due to the UPS Store franchises. Is FedEx the only option then? DHL?
  • Kaushik Divecha said on July 8, 2014
    Hello guys, Just wondering what is the monthly average profit margin after all the expense is of an independently operated shipping and packing store. Thank you.
  • Moses Wolday said on July 9, 2014
    I live in Ellicott City, Maryland. I want to start an independent or franchised shipping and forwarding business store here in Maryland. How do I go about it. Thanks
  • kenny said on July 10, 2014
    I live in Maryland and want to start a shipping and packaging business from Maryland, shipping to Africa.. Nigerian in particular. Please can you advise me on how to go about doing that? Thanks for your help
  • Paresh said on July 18, 2014
    I am in Atlanta area and looking for some help to add shipping services (Fedex, DHL and USPS) to my other business at the same location. For right experience and expertise to establish services and train staff etc.
  • MARTIN D.KAGOSE said on August 1, 2014
    I run a Transport company in South Sudan which was part of The Sudan. I have tried to register for a Fedex FASC( Fedex Authorised Shipping Center)each time I submit my application an automatic online response comes rejecting the country postal code. I have tried to initiate direct communication with FEDEX without success. Any idea how to go about this?
  • A Myshel said on November 1, 2014
    I want to start a shipping business in my town because there is none here but I don't have a ton of money to do it but I would really like to get some more info from you and I would greatly appreciate it if you could email me. Thanks
  • Jerri said on November 29, 2014
    I want to start shipping business here Florida to ship to the Caribbean. The area where I reside currently has no shipping company and I this will be a great opportunity for me. I'll appreciate any suggestions on how to get this business started. Thank You
  • Marco said on February 27, 2015
    I want to open a business in Clovis CA. I more information from the #38 Daniel who talk about Siriani shipping Solutions. If I associate with Siriani and get access to FEDEX (Because UPS is not included with Siriani)I will be capable to sell FEDEX services but Can I advertise FEDEX services on my windows? Will FEDEX pick up boxes from my store? Can people complain if I charge them or reject their package?. The Siriani solution looks good for me but I am worry about how people will qualify my business of I have not authorization from UPS or FEDEX. Please answer my questions.
  • Marco Zamora said on March 9, 2015
    Please I want additional advice from the #38 Daniel.
  • Lisa said on May 24, 2015
    My Husband and I are opening a pack and ship store in a few weeks in the Fort Myers, FL area. Stumbling over how much we should charge for our shipping services? We will be using all four carriers. We will also be selling office supplies. What is a good percentage mark up?
  • Shokut said on September 29, 2015
    Am in the process of starting a freight forwarding business by air and the teething problems are crippling just before I start to even crawl. The shipping is from DFW airport to Africa. Any help to ease up the start up will truly be appreciated. I have been through the IATA Cargo training but have no work experience.
  • Yvonne said on April 19, 2016
    If you need help starting your independent shipping store, we can help you. We can also train you in one of our locations.If you would like a free 30 minute consultation,please call us at 915-801-9505.
  • Rod beginner adviser said on July 8, 2016
    If anybody is interested in buying a pack and ship store in Beautiful, Boca Raton Florida with over 20 years in business in the same location, please contact me at 954-479-2056. I can teach you all I learned in the business, managing, making boxes from scratch and the most and profitable of all, freight shipping. || Consultant

  • ART REYES beginner adviser said on August 15, 2016
    Hello to everyone, My name is Art Reyes from Postal Works Trainers and Consultants. We have been in business since 2006 and we have opened multiple locations. We now train and consult individuals who want to open their own stores without having to go the franchise route. We have different packages to offer from 25k to 79k to open turn key ready locations. Please call us at 915-873-0144 to receive additional information on opening your own store as soon as 30 days from the initial start.

    915-873-0144 || Shipping and Packing Consultant


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