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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With a showdown looming over international postal rates at a Sept. 24 congress of the Universal Postal Union, uncertainty reigns in terms of the United States’ continued participation in the organization, leaving merchants wondering about parcel shipping rates heading into peak season. Consolidators are making contingency plans.