Package delivery is the future for the U.S. Postal Service, its representatives say. The same is true for a close partner of the USPS, Stamps.com. As a result, the online postage provider to more than 500,000 customers announced on Monday that it bought e-commerce software provider ShipWorks for $22 million.
No rate increases are planned for January, says U.S Postal Service spokesman Dave Partenheimer. Partenheimer tells Target Marketing on Wednesday that current prices will remain in place and the exigent postage rate increase of 4.3 percent is still slated to expire in the second half of 2015, after it brings in $3.2 billion for the USPS.
Direct marketers want to know what the U.S. Postal Service plans to do to survive and, hopefully, to thrive in an environment that's increasingly more supportive of its package delivery services than its traditional workhorse, First Class mail. So Target Marketing interviewed USPS Sales VP Cliff Rucker. He answered all but one question on Tuesday, and delayed answering "Will you raise rates on last-mile services for FedEx and UPS?" until an undisclosed later date.
Talk about baking a surprise inside of the cake—the U.S. Postal Service testing grocery delivery in San Francisco was only the outer layer. The surprise inside was how fast USPS wants to start nationwide deliveries to major metropolitan areas. It may happen for retailers of grocery and pre-packaged goods after this next 2-year-long test is complete.
In 30 years, "there will be no paper" a "futurist" told the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors a couple years ago, Board Chairman Mickey D. Barnett told the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. During Barnett's statement on Wednesday to the body considering his nomination to serve another term, he adds USPS needs to shift away from its most profitable product, First Class mail, to what's fast becoming its most profitable service, package delivery. While he didn't claim the futurist's predictions were correct, Barnett says the USPS needs to be ready for a future with no mail.
It seems Amazon, FedEx and UPS get all the credit for zippy package delivery when it's really the oft-dubbed "lumbering" U.S. Postal Service that's likely responsible, according to the Wall Street Journal article "For FedEx and UPS, a Cheaper Route: the Post Office."
Direct mail matters to marketers. Yet the USPS is on its knees due to the rise of email, mobile and the Internet. So could another innovation, 3D printing, save the U.S. Postal Service? The USPS Office of Inspector General thinks so. "3D printing could boost the Postal Service's package revenue by $323 million to $1.1 billion per year," the OIG opines in its July 7 white paper "If It Prints, It Ships: 3D Printing and the Postal Service."
Remember when you were a kid and you learned how to fold a single sheet of paper into a little device that would allow you to tell fortunes? I was reminded of that device recently when my controller walked in carrying the latest direct mail package she received from FedEx. Being a good voyeur of marketing content, she brought it to my attention because she had inadvertently ripped one of the contents inside—and flung it down on my desk declaring it was "stupid"
For years, whenever FedEx or UPS changed rates for parcel delivery, the other wasted little time in duplicating the move. Of course, those moves always seemed to go in just one direction: up. And they're about to go up again. Earlier this month, FedEx set the stage for a price hike of unprecedented scope. It will affect rates charged to consumers for delivery of packages low in weight, but large in size. Here's how the company explained it: "Effective January 1, 2015, FedEx Ground will apply dimensional weight pricing to all shipments. Currently, FedEx Ground applies dimensional weight pricing only
Once, there was a Constitution-ordained, universal delivery service of hard-copy, print communications called the United States Postal Service. It was affordable, reliable and the most efficient of its kind in the world. Direct mail was its bread and butter, and many brands that sought to find and keep customers in a very targeted manner used the service avidly.