Volume II, Issue I Winter 2013

Check Your Bill: Less Than Obvious Shipping Charges

All too often shippers, especially in the business world, are oblivious to the various fees implemented by package delivery companies. The result? An undesired boost in shipping expenses. This article will touch on a variety of fees that popular shipping companies do not make apparent to their customers. You may think twice about how and who you ship with.

Residential Fee
Each time a package is delivered to a residential address, many of the big shippers charge a fee. Charges tend to range around a couple of dollars per package and have been on the rise every year.

Minimum Billable Weight
With most parcel shippers, you are subject to a Minimum Billable Weight (MBW). Meaning, if you ship an item in a box that weighs less than 2lbs, the weight will be rounded up to the minimum weight and you will be charged at the 2 lb rate. Essentially, in this example, you are being charged for twice the actual weight.

Address Correction
If FedEx or UPS is not able to deliver a package as you addressed, or the address printed on the package is erroneous, invalid or incomplete, you will be charged with a steep fee. When the correct address is identified and the package is properly delivered, you the shipper will be assessed an Address Correction Charge.

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Extended/Saturday Delivery
As you may have heard, the USPS will no longer be delivering mail on Saturdays. While letters will not be serviced, this does NOT extend to Saturday package delivery. FedEx, UPS, as well as the USPS offer Saturday delivery for parcels. The USPS is the only of those three parcel carriers that does NOT CHARGE a fee for your package to arrive on a Saturday. UPS and FedEx both charge $15 per package for this service.

The takeaway: Review your shipping expenses. Are there fees and charges that you were not aware of? Big shippers such as FedEx and UPS are not your only options for shipping. Call 888-954-6245 to see how ODMS can help reduce your shipping costs through the USPS. A variety of service levels are offered, ranging from 2-3 day Priority Mail to Parcel Select Lightweight for more budge conscious shippers. Review a 2013 Additional Fee Guideline below or visit the UPS and FedEx guides. This is an excellent reference to better understand your fees.

 

Must Know USPS Changes for 2013 & 2014

Many of us know that January is when the annual postage increase took effect, however there are a few other very important changes to be aware of if you mail ANYTHING. This article is designed to give an overview of some of the biggest changes in the mailing industry including postage pricing changes, the transition from POSTNET to the Intelligent Mail Barcode, as well as new Folded Self-Mailer regulations.

USPS Price Increase
We will address the annual postage increase first, as it is pertinent to understand how it can affect your 2013 budget. On January 27th, 2013 the new postage prices were implemented. The First-Class Mailstamp was increase from 45 cents to 46 cents. Priority Mail was increased overall by 6.3%, while Parcel Select rose, on average, by 9%. Additionally, Parcel Select Lightweight increased 9.8% and Parcel Post has been renamed Standard Post.

IMb/IMpb
In addition to the postage increase, it is imperative to be aware of the elimination of the POSTNET barcode and requirement of the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb)/Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb). The barcode includes information such as the customer account (Mailer ID), ZIP Code routing, payment channel information, class of mail, and service combination of the mail piece.

In order to receive automation discounts on mailings, an IMb/IMpb must be used on your mail. The deadline for IMb was January 28, 2013, and January 7, 2013 for IMpb. In January 2014 the USPS is making the use of Intelligent Mail Full-Service obligatory in order to receive automation discounts.

When converting to IMb/IMpb, it is imperative to re-certify your label format and electronic file submission with the USPS. Benefits include delivery confirmation tracking (free of charge), more accurate reporting and service measurement, eligibility for presort and destination entry pricing, as well as more visibility of the packages as they travel through the USPS network. Not following these requirements can result in additional postage, as well as loss of access to tracking information.

Folded Self-Mailers & Tabbing
On January 5, 2013, revised regulations became effective for Folded Self-Mailers (FSM’s) and other unenveloped pieces. Failing to meet the new USPS specifications will result in mail charged at the NONMACHINABLE rate, which is at least $ .25 more than your original postage.

  • Length: A minimum of 5 inches and a maximum of 10 1/2 inches.
  • Height: A minimum of 3 1/2 inches and a maximum of 6 inches.
  • Thickness: A minimum of 0.007 inch; (0.009 inch if the height exceeds 4 1/4 inches or if the length exceeds 6 inches); the maximum thickness is 1/4 inch.
  • Maximum Weight: 3 ounces.
  • Shape: Rectangular, with four square corners and parallel opposite sides.
  • Within an aspect ratio: (length divided by height) of 1.3 to 2.5, inclusive (see Domestic Mail Manual 601.1.4).
  • Maximum number of panels: bi-fold, tri-fold and oblongs: 12 for FSM’s constructed of non-newsprint paper.
  • Exception: Quarter folded self-mailers made of a minimum of 100 lb book grade paper may have 4 panels and those made of 55 lb newsprint must have at least 8 panels and may contain up to 24 panels.

As you plan and prepare your mailings throughout 2013, keep the above changes in mind. Otherwise, you may face further consequences including postage charges, or worse yet, pieces that are not mailable. For more information review RIBBS reference material for Folded Self-Mailers or give ODMS a call today.

On February 21, 2013, posted in: Newsletters by
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