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.

More Than 6% of FedEx, UPS Parcel Shipments Studied in Q1 Were Late

| Mike O'Brien

More than 6% of 508,000 FedEx and UPS parcels shipped by 100 small-to-medium-sized retailers between January and March 2019 were delayed, nearly 72% of them by a full day, according to a report from LateShipment.com. The numbers were worse for 3PLs: 7.6% of their UPS and FedEx parcel shipments arrived late.

Omnichannel Merchants Shift Closer to the Customer

| Ken Fleming

As consumer behavior shifts and omnichannel retailing grows, retailers are getting closer to customers to improve service and help ensure profitability. Increasingly, they look to four key areas where shifts can make fulfillment more efficient: Retail footprint; manufacturer direct shipping; 3D print & ship; and pickup sites.

UPS: No Peak Season Residential Surcharge, But Others Apply

| Mike O'Brien

UPS will not add a residential delivery surcharge this holiday peak season, unlike the past two years, but will add surcharges for larger packages and those requiring additional handling. The company expects to exceed record volume of 800 million packages set last year, with 75% of it handled by automated sortation systems.

UPS Says Easy Returns Process Essential for Ecommerce Success

| Mike O'Brien

Shoppers love nothing more than convenience – well ok, maybe price trumps it – but convenience definitely sells. And when retailers offer a seamless ecommerce returns process, it plays a pivotal role in consumer’s purchasing decisions, according to an annual report from UPS.

USPS Sees Parcel Volume Decline for the First Time in Nine Years

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service reported a drop in its parcel volume for the first time in nine years during its third quarter, as major customers like Amazon continue to shift business away from the USPS and take on some of the deliveries themselves. However parcel revenue was up thanks to rate increases and a DIM adjustment this year.

FedEx Cutting Out Amazon on Ground Deliveries

| Mike O'Brien

Two months after deciding not to renew its contract with Amazon for air freight service, FedEx is now parting ways with the ecommerce giant on the ground as well. FedEx will not renew its ground contract with Amazon when it expires at the end of August, effectively severing the long-term relationship as Amazon grows its own capabilities.

Enhancing Your Ecommerce Network Strategy

| MCM staff

Ever since Amazon introduced Prime in 2005, the company has left everyone else chasing after them, and younger shoppers look for that type of experience everywhere. To succeed, retailers must meet customer demand for an enhanced delivery experience, including whenever possible fast and free shipping and unlimited returns.

UPS Adds Sunday Delivery, Doubles Pickup Locations with Retail Partners

| Mike O'Brien

Through new partnerships with Michael’s, CVS and Advance Auto, UPS is more than doubling its network of U.S. Access Point locations and adding Sunday pickup and delivery in January for business and residential customers as it engages in an arms race with FedEx. This gives UPS 63,000 U.S. locations, compared to 62,000 for FedEx.

PRC Approves Lower Postal Rates Ahead of UPU Meeting

| Mike O'Brien

The Postal Regulatory Commission has approved a range of postal rates for smaller packages originating from overseas to the United States, part of an effort to level the playing field for U.S. merchants and manufacturers disadvantaged by international postage rules.