USPS Seeks Reclassification of Standard Parcels

The U.S. Postal Service has asked the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to reclassify some Standard Mail parcels to complement its current shipping product line.

USPS officials said the strategy for the Standard Mail small parcels redesign “eliminates confusion for customers” by breaking the category of mail into two distinct customer segments: marketing parcels and fulfillment parcels.

The USPS request is to transfer commercial Standard Mail fulfillment parcels from the market-dominant product list to the competitive product list. If approved, fulfillment parcels would become a lightweight subcategory of Parcel Select. According to the USPS, the “only real difference” between the two products is the weight. Standard Mail fulfillment parcels weigh less than 1 pound; prices for Parcel Select start at 1 pound.

Marketing parcels is replacing the not-flat machinable category that will be eliminated upon approval by the PRC. Pieces up to 2 inches thick can then be mailed as marketing parcels. An addressing qualifier, such as “Or Current Resident,” also must be included on the parcel.

Fulfillment parcels must be addressed to a specific resident or business owner and be used for mailing products ordered or purchased that weigh up to 1 pound: DVDs, CDs, checks and lightweight sweaters or shirts.

If the PRC approves the USPS request, Standard Mail fulfillment parcel prices will increase about 23%, effective Jan. 2, 2011.

Gerard Hempstead, president of Hempstead Consulting and a former vice president for DHL, says if the PRC approves the USPS request then “rules on rate increases will change dramatically.”

What’s more, he says, the USPS could negotiate the price a customer pays for parcels less than 1 pound. “It allows the USPS to take even more price increase on this category than it’s doing now. And it inserts a real sense of uncertainty on discounting. Plus, the discounting could bias a rate in the favor of a few.”

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.