The United States Postal Service has launched what it is calling “major changes” to its Priority Mail lineup, including free insurance, improved tracking, and day-specific delivery. In a press release the USPS said the changes would generate more than a half a billion dollars in revenue.
In the release, Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General, said he believed the changes would allow the USPS to compete competitively in the shipping marketplace and give smaller businesses and frequent shippers “a continued and compelling reason to do business with the Postal Service.”
The scheduled delivery change, according to the USPS, will now offer 1-day, 2-day or 3-day delivery based on the origin and destination of the package. Tracking and scheduled delivery information, the release said, will now be located on customer’s retail receipts and is also available online.
The free insurance feature, the release said, is designed to “close competitive gaps in the shipping marketplace and meet the growing needs of small businesses and other frequent shippers.” According to the release, Priority Mail 1-day, 2-day, and 3-day delivery will now include $50 or $100 insurance coverage (depending on your payment method).
The revamping of the Priority Mail service, according to the release, will also include:
- No fuel or residential surcharges.
- Free boxes and envelopes delivered at no charge.
- Free package pickup, regardless of the number of packages.
According to the release, the USPS has seen “strong growth” in its package business, as it grew roughly 14% within the past two years. The growth, according to the release, was based on an “ecommerce fueled growth trend” which includes an increase in online consumer spending.
By 2016, the release said, online shoppers are expected to increase their spending by 62%, the release said. By 2017, according to the release, ecommerce retail sales are expected to grow 41% to hit $370 billion.
“With e-commerce driving major changes in shipping habits, and consumers becoming more reliant on delivery services, the Postal Service can play an increasingly vital role as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses,” said Nagisa Manabe, chief marketing and sales officer with USPS.