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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

410.6 - Small Shipments


OPR: Admin/Facilities and Management Services

1. Purpose. This chapter establishes policy and procedures for the preparation and movement of domestic small shipments of USGS property.

2. Policy.

A. Methods of transporting small shipments will be those which are most advantageous to the Government and consistent with the service needs of the USGS.

B. Economies will be achieved through consolidation of small shipments to the same destination, to reduce the number of shipments which incur minimum charges.

C. Commercial Bills of Lading (CBL) will be used, in lieu of the U.S. Government Bill of Lading (GBL), in the transportation of small shipments by commercial carriers when charges do not exceed $100 per shipment.

(FPMR 101-41.304-2)

3. Responsibilities.

A. General. SM 410.1/3.

B. Specific. USGS personnel whose duties include the shipping of express small packages are responsible for:

(1) Reviewing and administering any contracts for small shipments negotiated by GSA on behalf of the executive agencies.

(2) Conducting periodic analyses of traffic and cost performance of small shipments to insure that procedures for and methods of transporting such shipments are effective.

4. Express Small Package means a shipment weighing 50 pounds or less, measuring a maximum of 108 inches in length and girth combined and requiring next day delivery or second day delivery, and containing general commodities except:

A. Letters, unless adhering to the criteria established by the U.S. Postal Service [letters as defined in the U.S. Postal regulations, 39 CFR 310.1 (Private Express Stature Regulations) are acceptable as long as they are, "Extremely Urgent-Private Carriage Authorized" and this labeled notation is made on the Commercial Bill of Lading.]

B. Hazardous materials as defined in 49 CFR 172.101.

C. Property of extraordinary value.

D. Live animals or plants.

E. Precious metals or stones.

F. Weapons or firearms.

G. Liquor or tobacco products.

H. Currency.

I. Narcotics or other controlled substances.

J. Any other article which the contractor restricts the commercial customers from shipping.

5. Selection of Transportation for Shipments. The mode of transportation and selection of carrier for small shipments will be made by the traffic management activity in accordance with procedures set forth in SM 410.1. Most of the domestic small shipments in the USGS are shipped by the GSA contract carrier for express small package transportation. When special services are required, the USGS may use the contractor or any other carrier that can provide the services needed.

6. Use of Carrier Contractors for Express Small Package Transportation (FPMR Temporary Regulation A-23, Supp.1) GSA annually awards an express small package contract for overnight service. The contract rates apply to all geographical areas in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, and are served, for the most part, as "next day" points. The contractor will furnish its guides to the agencies. These guides and rates will be maintained by the Traffic Management Officers at Reston, VA; Denver, CO; and Menlo Park, CA.

A. "Standard Service" means pickup and/or delivery service (including desk pickup and desk delivery) between the hours of 8 A.M. and 4 P.M. (local time) Monday through Fridays except holidays.

B. "Special Service" means any other required service, such as weekend delivery, escorted courier service, proof of delivery, additional airbill copies, etc., which, if requested, will be subject to the same fees charged to commercial customers.

C. "Geographical Areas" means the municipalities contiguous to the base cities and all other municipalities and unincorporated areas adjacent to base cities depending on distance and population.

7. Consolidation of Small Shipments. Shipments consigned to the same destinations should be viewed as an opportunity to reduce cost. It may be possible to consolidate such shipments to take advantage of contract rates.

8. Payment Responsibilities. The Traffic Management Offices or other authorized USGS employees will certify invoices and promptly submit them to the Office of Financial Management for payment. The Prompt Payment Act (Public Law 97-177, U.S.C. 3902, May 21, 1982) provides the assessment of interest penalties when payments are overdue.

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Last modification: 11-Jan-2013@10:28 (bt)