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U.S. Businesses Brace for Shipping and Mailing Rate Increases

Friday, January 19, 2018

Press release from the issuing company

Stamford, Conn.– Pitney Bowes Inc., a global technology company that provides innovative products, solutions and data to power commerce, today cited 2018 carrier rate increases – including the pending January 21 U.S. Postal Service (USPS) rate change and increases announced by UPS and FedEx – among factors driving office sending transformations. These factors are prompting businesses of all sizes to adopt cloud-based shipping and mailing solutions to maximize savings, remove complexity and ensure compliance. Digital sending solutions enable organizations to select the best carrier and service level for each package and save 3 cents per letter with the metered mail discount.

“Finding ways to drive growth, streamline workflows and manage costs are priorities for businesses of all sizes. Optimizing the mailing and shipping process can positively affect the bottom line, generating considerable savings in both hard and soft dollars,” said Jason Dies, executive vice president and president, Pitney Bowes SMB Solutions.

Carriers have announced the following changes for 2018:

  • UPS – Effective December 24, 2017, UPS Ground, UPS Air and International services rose by an average net 4.9 percent. UPS Air Freight rates, within and between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, also rose an average net 4.9 percent.
  • FedEx – Effective January 1, 2018, FedEx Express package and freight standard list rates rose by an average of 4.9 percent for U.S., U.S. export and U.S. import services. FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery standard list rates also rose by an average of 4.9 percent.
  • USPS – Effective January 21, 2018, mailing services products will increase 1.9 percent on average and shipping services products will average a 3.9 percent increase. First-Class 1 ounce letter stamp will rise to $0.50 (from $0.49), and metered letters rise to $0.47 (from $0.46).

Opportunities to save

As prices increase, meter and online postage solutions offer savings alternatives, including 3 cents per piece of First-Class Mail letters (up to 3.5 ounces). In addition:

  • Commercial Base prices will, on average, reflect a 9.4 percent discount off of retail prices.
  • Commercial Plus prices will average 12.7 percent off retail prices.

The Pitney Bowes Guide to Office Shipping estimates general shipping rates may be as much as 35 percent higher by 2025, and parcel volume growth is estimated to rise at a rate of 17-28 percent each year, between 2018 and 2021, according to the Global Parcel Shipping Index.

“With parcel volume and spend on the rise, cloud-based multi-carrier solutions help businesses make smart choices every time they send. They provide a comprehensive view of mailing and shipping needs, savings opportunities, and data and analytics businesses can use to ensure the right carrier and the right rate at the right time,” added Dies.

Sending tips

Recommendations for mailing and shipping optimization include:

  • Address correction: Incomplete or incorrect addresses, like invalid house numbers or missing Zip Codes, can be problematic and costly. If a destination address does not match the corresponding address in a carrier’s system, an address correction fee may be charged. Office shipping technology verifies addresses and can help businesses – from small offices to large enterprises – avoid fees.
  • Dimensional (DIM) weight rating: In addition to charging for weight and distance, carriers often include DIM charges based on the height, width and length of the package, so using the smallest package possible is ideal. Multi-depth shipping boxes can be cut to size, and help senders avoid the added expense of fillers, like foam peanuts or sealed airbags.
  • Peak shipping charges: Peak surcharges may arise during high-demand periods, and with residential or heavy packages. Multi-carrier shipping software can be used to compare prices and delivery choices, simplifying the task of viewing and selecting carrier options.

Additional ship tips and rate change information are available online.

 

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