With e-commerce growth continuing to hum along at 15% per year and major parcel price increases taking affect this year (a la dim weight), many shippers are taking a fresh look at shipping via USPS.
If your business is new to USPS or even if you've been shipping via the post office for awhile, you might want to review some of the recent changes in services and pricing. Pacejet is also "upping our USPS game" as we work through the final stages of a USPS upgrade which will offer shippers enhanced services, processing speed, and more. Read on if you think USPS might of interest to your operations.
More USPS Changes in May
At the end of May, USPS made more pricing changes for many of its services for those business who sell online. A few services became a better bargain while others increased in price, here are a few of the key highlights:
- Increase in Parcel Select Rates - Zone 5 and Above: Parcel Select, which is exclusively available to those who print postage online, is increasing its rates by an average of $5 per package.
- Canada is Switching to Zone-Based Pricing: Shipping rates will be based on seven U.S. pricing zones rather than having one flat rate (depending on the package weight) for the entire country.
- Free Package Tracking: Package tracking will become free for all domestic mail classes except Standard Mail.
- First-Class Mail Parcel (Retail) Gets a New Name: If you physically ship packages at the post office and use First-Class Mail Parcel (Retail), this mail class may be changing its name to First-Class Package Service.
- Priority Mail Rates Are Staying the Same: Last September, the U.S. Postal Service lowered Priority Mail rates for those who print postage online. This benefit remains the same, and they can continue to save, especially for packages weighing more than 5 pounds.
New USPS Services Through Pacejet
Pacejet is working through the final stages of a USPS upgrade which will offer expanded services, faster performance, and more. The official target release is Q4, so stay tuned to Pacejet Blogs for more details on timing and detailed features. To help get you started planning, here is an initial summary of some of the great improvements in the new USPS support for Pacejet users.
- Improved Rating of All USPS Services At Once: Faster rating is now supported via simultaneous rating of all USPS services versus individual, class by class rating.
- Multiple Simultaneous Accounts: Support for simultaneous use of multiple accounts for rating and shipping. This feature will leverage existing Pacejet capability of linking facilities with accounts for coordinating account use automatically.
- Pre-printed Return Labels: New support for pre-printed USPS return shipping labels.
- New USPS Shipping Services: New shipping services including Priority Express, Standard Post (formerly Parcel Post), Critical Mail, Priority Mail Express International, First Class Package International.
- New USPS Mail Piece Shapes: New support for Flat Rate Legal Envelope, Flat Rate Padded Envelope, Flat Rate Gift Card Envelope, Flat Rate Window Envelope, Flat Rate Cardboard Envelop, Small Flat Rate Envelope, DVD Flat Rate Box, Large Video Flat Rate Box, Regional Rate Box A, Regional Rate Box B, Regional Rate Box C, Large Flat Rate Board Game Box, Open and Distribute Services, Soft Pack, Next Day or Second Day Post Office to Addressee Service, Sunday and Holiday Delivery Service.
- New Sort Types: NDC, Mixed NDC, Non Presorted, SCF
- New Shipment Services: Adult Signature, Hazmat, Live Animals, Cremated Remains, AM Delivery
- Improved Error Handling on Shipping: If any individual letter piece shipping fails, all pieces are voided.
- Improved Carrier Plug-In Management: Updates to support "responsive UI", manage the carrier fully as a plug-in for easy upgrades.
- Other Stuff: Other changes include support for fragile and perishable items, mapping of COD return items, expanded rubberstamp and reference fields, and expanded tracking.
How Pacejet Shippers Can Get Started with New USPS
All existing Pacejet USPS users with any ERP integration will have access to the new USPS integration if it's already included in your subscription. Users may wish to involve Pacejet services for assistance and training on some new USPS features. If you use Pacejet but don't use USPS today, just contact our support team to talk about activating USPS as a new carrier.
Want more information? Contact us today at 877-722-3538 or send us an email.