10 Steps to a More Agile, Flexible Ecommerce Supply Chain

| Brian Barry

An agile ecommerce supply chain is focused on speed, cost savings, productivity and responsiveness and flexibility to market demands. Supply chain management (SCM) exists to improve a company’s long-term performance. Here are 10 steps to help you improve your ecommerce supply chain agility and performance.

Flat-Rate Shipping Wars Rage On as Carriers Court More SMB Business

| Mike O'Brien

In an effort to attract more business from SMB ecommerce shippers, UPS and FedEx continue to expand their competitive offerings in flat-rate shipping, offering more options, customization and economy. Such programs aren’t as economically attractive to large enterprise shippers with their volume-based discounts.

USPS Net Loss More Than Doubles for 2019, Package Volume Up Slightly

| Mike O'Brien

The USPS saw a slight increase in package volume for fiscal 2019, after its first quarterly decline in years during Q3, as the agency is being challenged by Amazon and FedEx rerouting packages to their own networks. Total mail and package volume declined by 3.8 billion pieces or 2.6%, and the net loss more than doubled to $8.8 billion.

USPS Expecting 800 Million Holiday Packages, Down from Past Years

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service is projecting it will handle 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a drop from both 2018 and 2017. Sunday delivery will be expanded beginning Nov. 24 to high-volume urban locations, with projections of over 8 million package deliveries on Sundays in December.

How Major Carriers UPS, FedEx Have Been Diverging on Services, Prices

| Mike O'Brien

For many years, UPS and FedEx were in virtual lockstep on pricing and service offerings. That is until the past couple years, when they’ve begun to diverge as they seek to differentiate and carve out different market strategies. Mark Taylor of enVista discusses these changes as part of an MCM CommerceChat podcast.

Multiple Factors Weigh into Parcel Carrier Choices for Ecommerce Shippers

| Mike O'Brien

With shipping and delivery such a critical piece of the customer experience in ecommerce, you need to choose the right carrier partner – or partners – that meet your business needs and fit your budget. Hear from shippers about how they determine the best fit and mix of service level and cost, and how they work with their carrier partners.

USPS Proposes Rate Hikes of Up to 6.3% for Parcel Shipping in 2020

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service is calling for rate increases of up to 6.3% for its parcel shipping products in 2020, which are being reviewed by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). The USPS is hoping increased rates will partially offset volume declines as UPS, FedEx and Amazon are all diverting volume to their own networks to save costs.

Agreement Keeps U.S. in the UPU, Rolls Out Self-Declared Postal Rates

| Mike O'Brien

The UPU on Wednesday approved a compromise plan that will let countries set their own inbound postal rates, avoiding a threatened pullout by the U.S. that would have caused shipping chaos ahead of the peak holiday season. The U.S. can begin imposing self-declared rates next July, with others following in 2021.

UPU Congress Strikes Down U.S. Proposal to End Terminal Dues

| Mike O'Brien

At the first day of the Universal Postal Union’s extraordinary congress in Geneva Tuesday, the body voted 78-57 with 9 abstentions against a U.S. proposal to allow creation of self-declared postal rates, an effort to end the current inequitable terminal dues system, the Associated Press reported.