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Have you looked at USPS Priority Mail Lately? You Should!

by Mike DeFabis on 2015-03-25 10:25:13

If you are shipping parcel packages direct to consumer, you are probably very aware of the new dimensional weight policy.  At the end of 2014, UPS and FedEx announced that they would be calculating dimensional weight for all packages (check out this Slide Share for more information).  This meant that if you shipped via UPS or FedEx you could see an increase in price based on this change.  While UPS and FedEx were making this change, the United States Postal Service (USPS) saw an opportunity to grow market share and decided to lower rates on the Priority Mail program. USPSprioritymail

What is Priority Mail?

Priority Mail is the premium service for USPS.  Packages deliver nationwide in 1 to 3 business days (and for USPS, Sunday is sometimes even a business day).  In order to decrease transit times, packages further than a 2 day ground transit are shipped via air to the nearest sorting center.  There are no surcharges for fuel, residential or out-of-area like you would see for most UPS and FedEx products.  Insurance is also included with most shipments, but be sure to check the USPS website as there are some restrictions.  Visibility of your shipments is as good, if not better than a UPS or FedEx Ground shipment.

When to Use Priority Mail

Priority mail is a competitor in price for UPS and FedEx Ground shipments.  Pricing is very similar in some weights in zones less expensive, but keep in mind there are no additional service fees that are added for residential, fuel or out-of-area.  Depending on your UPS or FedEx discounts, Priority Mail can make sense for certain shipments over others.  For Zones 1-5, Priority Mail seems to make the most sense no matter what your discounts, but as you reach Zones 6-8, it can make less sense.  Keep in mind that with Priority Mail you are still getting a 2-3 day transit to those further zones, and with UPS or FedEx, you are looking at a 4-5 day transit time.  Depending on your business model, it could be worth spending the few extra pennies to get the product to the customer faster.

Negotiating Price with USPS

In the past, USPS has been very leery of giving discounts to customers (still very true today). But, if you look on the USPS website, you will see that there are two rate files for Priority Mail; Commercial Base Pricing and Commercial Plus Pricing.  In order to achieve Commercial Plus Pricing, you need to ship over 50,000 packages each year.  This can be difficult to achieve for small to medium sized ecommerce companies.  Talk with your USPS representative to see if there are other areas where they might be able to help.

In the past, USPS was viewed as a lesser service to UPS and FedEx. Over the last several years, they have made a tremendous push to become a real player in the parcel market.  If it has been a few years since you used a USPS product, I would highly recommend looking at them now.  There could be tremendous savings opportunities, as well as providing improved customer service for your ecommerce business. 

For more information on how IDS can help save you money with USPS Priority Mail, Contact Us Today

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