The Global Advantage Program (GAP, for short) is a shipping program through Stamps.com that provides an economical way to ship merchandise internationally. If you have a Stamps.com account, you are automatically enrolled in the Global Advantage Program.
Similar to to many international consolidators, you first send your packages via USPS to a domestic sorting facility, where your international shipments are relabeled for their destination. Then, these shipments are consolidated into a single international shipment and sent on to their final destination.
Up to 65% in savings over the USPS Package shipping cost
No need to print Customs Declaration forms
No need to change your workflow in ShipStation
Here is a quick summary breakdown of the process:
ShipStation prints a domestic label with a scannable barcode for USPS and an international tracking number.
ShipStation submits the Customs Declarations to Stamps.com (or Endicia) electronically.
USPS delivers the package to the nearest sorting facility.
Sorting facility staff relabels the package.
International carrier ships the package to its final destination.
To create a GAP label, configure your international shipment with the following settings:
Service: USPS First Class International
Package: Large Envelope/Flat
Package Contents (this option is in the customs declarations section for the order): Anything other than Documents - in most cases you'll use Merchandise.
When you create your label in ShipStation with the above settings, ShipStation will automatically create a GAP label and electronically submit the shipments customs information to your USPS postage provider (either Stamps.com or Endicia).
Then, ship the package as you normally would. No additional steps are necessary.
If you do not wish to participate in the Global Advantage Program: Select Package or Thick Envelope from the package type drop-down menu when shipping via USPS First Class Mail International, or set the customs declaration Package Contents to Documents.
Do not choose Documents for content type if the content does not conform to the USPS criteria for documents. If the contents of the package do not meet the USPS criteria for documents, the USPS Automatic Package Verification (APV) has the ability to post-charge your account the difference between the Large Envelope/Flat rate and the Package rate (which can be $7 or more).
For details on what does and does not meet the criteria for a document, read this Stamps.com blog post.
The Global Advantage Program can also be used for other First Class Mail and Priority Mail services, but you must first set this up through Stamps.com directly.
The international tracking number will track the package to the sorting facility and may track the package to the destination country as well, depending on the country.
For more information about the Global Advantage Program, please review the Stamps.com Global Advantage Program FAQ.
If you receive an error in the Rate field in ShipStation or when you attempt to create a label: You may have a Stamps.com account with a negotiated service agreement. If this is the case, your Stamps.com (or Endicia) account may not be eligible for the Global Advantage Program. Please contact your Stamps.com or Endicia representative for further information.