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Shipping Bees with USPS and Stamps.com

February 16th, 2018 Comments off

If you’re running an apiary or beekeeping business, you’re probably selling products such as honey, beeswax, or bee pollen. Bee operations also make revenue by selling actual live bees. But can you mail bees through the USPS? Yes, but there are some guidelines to keep in mind.

Types of bees

First, some basic science. A hive consists of three types of bees:

  • the female queen bee
  • female worker/attendant bees
  • male drones

Only queen honeybees and female worker/attendant honeybees can be mailed via the USPS. Whole colonies cannot be shipped. If you’re sending a starter hive of live bees, keep in mind that the type of bee you’re sending will determine the mail class you can use. When mailing bees with Stamps.com, you should always print a shipping label with embedded barcode tracking.  In the Stamps.com software, under the “Packages” section, you can select one of our “Shipping Label” options. You can easily print a trackable label on plain paper or on one of our self-adhesive labels, such as these 4 1/4″ x 6 3/4″ shipping labels. As a Stamps.com customer, you’ll receive the discounted PC Postage (Commercial Base) rate, so you’ll save money when you print postage with us!

Queen Honeybees and Worker Bees

Queen honeybees can travel in style and be shipped by the faster air mail methods. Female worker/attendant honeybees can only be shipped via surface-based mail methods. Generally, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and First-Class Mail pieces will generally be shipped by air. The queen doesn’t have to fly alone, though, and in accordance with USPS regulations, she can be joined by up to eight female attendant/worker honeybees.

When going by surface mail methods, your shipment will need special care, and if you’re shipping queen honeybees or female worker/attendant honeybees via ground transportation, you would need to add the Special Handling fee. The good news is that you can do this easily in Stamps.com! In the software, click on “Add’l Options” and hit “Select…”  Click on “Special Contents” and select the Content Type of “Live Animal (with Fee).”

Packaging

When shipping bees, it’s obviously important to spend some time ensuring your package is safe for both the bees and for the postal workers. The mailpiece should be constructed in such a way as to provide adequate air and ventilation—a  temperature range of 40° to 100° F is recommended—and secure enough to prevent any bees from escaping. A third consideration is strength, as you need to avoid having your box getting crushed during transit. There are a number of solutions, including using screened wooden rectangular boxes or reinforced bee shipping boxes. For mailpieces sent by surface transportation, you must mark your box on the address side with the following descriptors: “Live Bees” and “Surface Only/Surface Mail Only.”  Plainly mark “Live Queen Bees” on the address side for mailpieces sent with queen honeybees.

International Mailing

Before mailing bees abroad, we strongly recommend checking individual country listings for restrictions.  Bees may be prohibited entirely, or stringent importation rules may apply. For example, when mailing bees to Argentina, you would need to have the Argentine Consul countersign a health certificate. If you’re sending live bees to Sweden, they must be sent directly to the Department of Bee Research of the University of Agricultural Sciences at its campus in Uppsala, Sweden. Learn more about international shipping restrictions by country.

For more information on USPS regulations regarding mailing bees, please see:

https://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c5_008.htm

For the United States Department of Agriculture’s regulations, please see:

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information/permits/regulated-organism-and-soil-permits/sa_bees/ct_bee_transit

Categories: Shipping Tags:

International Shipping Services: Summary of 2018 USPS Rate Increase

February 9th, 2018 Comments off

The U.S. Postal Service provides multiple shipping services for international delivery and ships to more than 180 countries. Depending on the service you choose, delivery times vary from 3 days to over 10 days for economical options. As with its domestic offerings, USPS also offers international flat rate options and even provides free shipping supplies for those mail classes.

Here’s what you need to know about USPS international mail classes now that the 2018 rate increases have gone into effect (as of January 21, 2018):

First-Class Package International Service

First-Class Package International Service is the USPS’ most affordable international service for the delivery of small packages. The maximum weight for this mail class is four pounds, and delivery time varies by destination.

  • First-Class Package International Service rates have increased by an average of 3.9 percent
  • When you purchase First-Class Package International Service online, you’ll save up to 5 percent versus retail rates.

Find the increase per package when comparing 2018 rates to 2017 rates below:

Priority Mail International

Priority Mail International is a cost-effective service that delivers mailpieces and packages weighing up to 70 pounds. This mail class offers international delivery in 6-10 days.

  • Priority Mail International rates have increased by an average of 3.9 percent
  • When you purchase Priority Mail International online, you can save up to 5 percent versus retail rates.

The charts below show 2018 rates and provide the increase per package when comparing new rates with the 2017 rates:

Priority Mail Express International

Priority Mail Express International offers date-specific delivery and a money-back guarantee when shipping to select countries, with delivery in 3-5 days. The maximum allowable package weight for Priority Mail Express International is 70 pounds.

  • Priority Mail Express International rates have increased by an average of 3.9 percent
  • When you purchase Priority Mail Express International online, you can save up to 5 percent versus retail rates.

Find the Priority Mail Express International increase per package when comparing 2018 rates to 2017 rates below:

Categories: USPS News Tags:

First Class Package Service: Summary of 2018 Rate Increase

January 29th, 2018 Comments off

First Class Package Service is a fast, affordable delivery service for packages weighing up to 15.99 ounces. This mail class offers delivery in one to three days within the U.S. Here’s what you need to know about how First Class Package Service now that the 2018 rate increases have gone into effect (as of January 21, 2018):

•First Class Package Service rates have increased by an average of 3.9 percent in 2018, with rates now starting at $2.66 (previously at $2.61) for online postage customers.
•When you purchase First Class Package Service postage online, you’ll save up to 26 percent (previously 18 percent) versus retail rates.

Find 2018 rates below:

First Class Package Service – 2018 Rates (Commercial Base Pricing)
INCREASE PER PACKAGE – 2018 rates vs. 2017 rates
Mailpiece Weight 2018 2017 Increase
1 ounce $2.66 $2.61 $0.05
2 ounces $2.66 $2.61 $0.05
3 ounces $2.66 $2.61 $0.05
4 ounces $2.66 $2.61 $0.05
5 ounces $2.79 $2.77 $0.02
6 ounces $2.92 $2.77 $0.15
7 ounces $3.05 $2.77 $0.28
8 ounces $3.18 $2.77 $0.41
9 ounces $3.34 $3.32 $0.02
10 ounces $3.50 $3.46 $0.04
11 ounces $3.66 $3.60 $0.06
12 ounces $3.82 $3.74 $0.08
13 ounces $4.10 $3.88 $0.22
14 ounces $4.38 $4.02 $0.36
15 ounces $4.66 $4.16 $0.50
15.999 ounces $4.94 $4.30 $0.64
Categories: Postage Rate Increase Tags:

Stamps.com automatically updated with new 2018 USPS rates

January 21st, 2018 Comments off

The 2018 USPS rate increase go into effect on Sunday, January 21, 2018. No action is required of customers, as Stamps.com mailing and shipping solutions are designed to reflect real-time USPS pricing and will transition to the new rates in real time. This way our customers can print postage without any service disruptions.

Below you’ll find a summary of the 2018 postage rate increase for Commercial Base (online postage) prices by mail class:

Get more information about the 2018 postage rate increase here, or download our free 2018 USPS Postage Rate Increase Guide.

Categories: USPS News Tags:

Stamps.com Launches International Large Envelope/Flat Service

January 18th, 2018 Comments off

Now the Most Affordable Way to Send Small/Flat Merchandise Internationally.  
Stamps.com has created an affordable replacement for the discontinued USPS First Class International Flat Service for Merchandise. If you haven’t heard,  starting January 21st, online retailers will NO LONGER be allowed to ship merchandise using First Class Mail International Large Envelopes/Flats – the USPS will ONLY ALLOW VALUELESS DOCUMENTS due to international Customs changes. Luckily, Stamps.com has the answer.

Starting, January 21st, Stamps.com will offer a new International Flat service for retailers.  This new service allows you to continue to ship merchandise in a Large Envelope/Flat to an International destination at a significant cost savings compared to First Class Package International Service. Best of all, this service continues to utilize the powerful USPS delivery network.

3 Great Reasons to Choose Stamps.com’s International Flat Service 

#1 Incredible cost savings – save up to 65% compared to First Class Package International Service

#2 Customs Forms will be sent electronically – no more forms to print

#3 Get better visibility with more tracking events

 

How Does It Work?
Stamps.com customers can immediately use the new service by simply selecting “First-Class Mail International Large Envelope/Flats” as the mail service inside the platform. The shipping label for this new service will differ from other international labels in two ways:

  1. The shipping label includes the recipient’s name and country code as well as the domestic address of the Postal Processing Facility.
  2. The shipping label does not include any customs information – Customs Forms will be sent electronically.


Save Up to 65% Compared to First Class Package International Service
This new International Large Envelope/Flat service can provide huge cost savings compared to First Class Package International Service.  Savings can be over $15.00 per Large Envelope/Flat, depending on weight and country destination!

NOT A STAMPS.COM CUSTOMER? – SIGN UP TODAY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS NEW, MONEY-SAVING SERVICE!  (Note: After sign-up, you must call into Stamps.com Customer Support (1-888-434-0055 to get your International Flats activated on your account.)

 Check out these unbeatable rates!

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight Zone 1
Canada
Zone 1
Canada
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $9.50 $4.79 $4.71
2 $9.50 $5.00 $4.50
3 $9.50 $5.21 $4.29
4 $9.50 $5.41 $4.09
5 $9.50 $5.62 $3.88
6 $9.50 $5.83 $3.67
7 $9.50 $6.04 $3.46
8 $9.50 $6.25 $3.25
12 $15.20 $7.29 $7.91
16 – 1 lb. $15.20 $8.33 $6.87
20 $15.20 $9.37 $5.83
24 $15.20 $10.41 $4.79
28 $15.20 $11.45 $3.75
32 – 2 lb. $15.20 $12.49 $2.71
36 $23.99 $13.53 $10.46
40 $23.99 $14.58 $9.41
44 $23.99 $15.62 $8.37
48 – 3 lb. $23.99 $16.66 $7.33
52 $35.39 $17.70 $17.69
56 $35.39 $18.74 $16.65
60 $35.39 $19.78 $15.61
64 – 4 lb. $35.39 $20.82 $14.57
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 2
Mexico
Zone 2
Mexico
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $11.64 $4.79 $6.85
2 $11.64 $5.47 $6.17
3 $11.64 $6.14 $5.50
4 $11.64 $6.82 $4.82
5 $11.64 $7.50 $4.14
6 $11.64 $8.17 $3.47
7 $11.64 $8.85 $2.79
8 $11.64 $9.53 $2.11
12 $20.43 $10.98 $9.45
16 – 1 lb. $20.43 $12.44 $7.99
20 $20.43 $13.90 $6.53
24 $20.43 $15.36 $5.07
28 $20.43 $16.81 $3.62
32 – 2 lb. $20.43 $18.27 $2.16
36 $31.35 $19.73 $11.62
40 $31.35 $21.19 $10.16
44 $31.35 $22.64 $8.71
48 – 3 lb. $31.35 $24.10 $7.25
52 $45.13 $25.56 $19.57
56 $45.13 $27.02 $18.11
60 $45.13 $28.47 $16.66
64 – 4 lb. $45.13 $29.93 $15.20
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 3
Australia/Asia
Zone 3
Australia/Asia
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.54 $4.79 $8.75
2 $13.54 $5.73 $7.81
3 $13.54 $6.66 $6.88
4 $13.54 $7.60 $5.94
5 $13.54 $8.54 $5.00
6 $13.54 $9.47 $4.07
7 $13.54 $10.41 $3.13
8 $13.54 $11.35 $2.19
12 $22.33 $13.22 $9.11
16 – 1 lb. $22.33 $15.10 $7.23
20 $22.33 $16.97 $5.36
24 $22.33 $18.84 $3.49
28 $22.33 $20.72 $1.61
32 – 2 lb. $22.33 $22.59 -$0.26
36 $33.25 $24.47 $8.78
40 $33.25 $26.34 $6.91
44 $33.25 $28.21 $5.04
48 – 3 lb. $33.25 $30.09 $3.16
52 $50.11 $31.96 $18.15
56 $50.11 $33.83 $16.28
60 $50.11 $35.71 $14.40
64 – 4 lb. $50.11 $37.58 $12.53
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 4
Russia/Eastern Europe
Zone 4
Russia/Eastern Europe
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.06 $4.79 $8.27
2 $13.06 $5.73 $7.33
3 $13.06 $6.66 $6.40
4 $13.06 $7.60 $5.46
5 $13.06 $8.54 $4.52
6 $13.06 $9.47 $3.59
7 $13.06 $10.41 $2.65
8 $13.06 $11.35 $1.71
12 $21.85 $13.22 $8.63
16 – 1 lb. $21.85 $15.10 $6.75
20 $21.85 $16.97 $4.88
24 $21.85 $18.84 $3.01
28 $21.85 $20.72 $1.13
32 – 2 lb. $21.85 $22.59 -$0.74
36 $34.91 $24.47 $10.44
40 $34.91 $26.34 $8.57
44 $34.91 $28.21 $6.70
48 – 3 lb. $34.91 $30.09 $4.82
52 $56.53 $31.96 $24.57
56 $56.53 $33.83 $22.70
60 $56.53 $35.71 $20.82
64 – 4 lb. $56.53 $37.58 $18.95
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 5 – UK/Western Europe Zone 5 – UK/Western Europe Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.30 $4.79 $8.51
2 $13.30 $5.73 $7.57
3 $13.30 $6.66 $6.64
4 $13.30 $7.60 $5.70
5 $13.30 $8.54 $4.76
6 $13.30 $9.47 $3.83
7 $13.30 $10.41 $2.89
8 $13.30 $11.35 $1.95
12 $22.33 $13.22 $9.11
16 – 1 lb. $22.33 $15.10 $7.23
20 $22.33 $16.97 $5.36
24 $22.33 $18.84 $3.49
28 $22.33 $20.72 $1.61
32 – 2 lb. $22.33 $22.59 -$0.26
36 $33.96 $24.47 $9.49
40 $33.96 $26.34 $7.62
44 $33.96 $28.21 $5.75
48 – 3 lb. $33.96 $30.09 $3.87
52 $48.93 $31.96 $16.97
56 $48.93 $33.83 $15.10
60 $48.93 $35.71 $13.22
64 – 4 lb. $48.93 $37.58 $11.35
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 6
Southeast Asia/India
Zone 6
Southeast Asia/India
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.06 $4.79 $8.27
2 $13.06 $5.68 $7.38
3 $13.06 $6.56 $6.50
4 $13.06 $7.44 $5.62
5 $13.06 $8.33 $4.73
6 $13.06 $9.21 $3.85
7 $13.06 $10.10 $2.96
8 $13.06 $10.98 $2.08
12 $22.09 $12.81 $9.28
16 – 1 lb. $22.09 $14.63 $7.46
20 $22.09 $16.45 $5.64
24 $22.09 $18.27 $3.82
28 $22.09 $20.09 $2.00
32 – 2 lb. $22.09 $21.91 $0.18
36 $32.78 $23.74 $9.04
40 $32.78 $25.56 $7.22
44 $32.78 $27.38 $5.40
48 – 3 lb. $32.78 $29.20 $3.58
52 $52.73 $31.02 $21.71
56 $52.73 $32.85 $19.88
60 $52.73 $34.67 $18.06
64 – 4 lb. $52.73 $36.49 $16.24
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 7
Africa
Zone 7
Africa
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.06 $4.79 $8.27
2 $13.06 $5.68 $7.38
3 $13.06 $6.56 $6.50
4 $13.06 $7.44 $5.62
5 $13.06 $8.33 $4.73
6 $13.06 $9.21 $3.85
7 $13.06 $10.10 $2.96
8 $13.06 $10.98 $2.08
12 $22.09 $12.81 $9.28
16 – 1 lb. $22.09 $14.63 $7.46
20 $22.09 $16.45 $5.64
24 $22.09 $18.27 $3.82
28 $22.09 $20.09 $2.00
32 – 2 lb. $22.09 $21.91 $0.18
36 $33.01 $23.74 $9.27
40 $33.01 $25.56 $7.45
44 $33.01 $27.38 $5.63
48 – 3 lb. $33.01 $29.20 $3.81
52 $56.53 $31.02 $25.51
56 $56.53 $32.85 $23.68
60 $56.53 $34.67 $21.86
64 – 4 lb. $56.53 $36.49 $20.04
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 8
Middle East
Zone 8
Middle East
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $12.83 $4.79 $8.04
2 $12.83 $5.68 $7.15
3 $12.83 $6.56 $6.27
4 $12.83 $7.44 $5.39
5 $12.83 $8.33 $4.50
6 $12.83 $9.21 $3.62
7 $12.83 $10.10 $2.73
8 $12.83 $10.98 $1.85
12 $21.61 $12.81 $8.80
16 – 1 lb. $21.61 $14.63 $6.98
20 $21.61 $16.45 $5.16
24 $21.61 $18.27 $3.34
28 $21.61 $20.09 $1.52
32 – 2 lb. $21.61 $21.91 -$0.30
36 $30.64 $23.74 $6.90
40 $30.64 $25.56 $5.08
44 $30.64 $27.38 $3.26
48 – 3 lb. $30.64 $29.20 $1.44
52 $50.35 $31.02 $19.33
56 $50.35 $32.85 $17.50
60 $50.35 $34.67 $15.68
64 – 4 lb. $50.35 $36.49 $13.86
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

First Class Package
International Service
Stamps.com International Flats
Weight (oz) Zone 9
South America/ Caribbean
Zone 9
South America/ Caribbean
Savings with Stamps.com International Flats
1 $13.30 $4.79 $8.51
2 $13.30 $5.68 $7.62
3 $13.30 $6.56 $6.74
4 $13.30 $7.44 $5.86
5 $13.30 $8.33 $4.97
6 $13.30 $9.21 $4.09
7 $13.30 $10.10 $3.20
8 $13.30 $10.98 $2.32
12 $22.33 $12.81 $9.52
16 – 1 lb. $22.33 $14.63 $7.70
20 $22.33 $16.45 $5.88
24 $22.33 $18.27 $4.06
28 $22.33 $20.09 $2.24
32 – 2 lb. $22.33 $21.91 $0.42
36 $33.01 $23.74 $9.27
40 $33.01 $25.56 $7.45
44 $33.01 $27.38 $5.63
48 – 3 lb. $33.01 $29.20 $3.81
52 $48.93 $31.02 $17.91
56 $48.93 $32.85 $16.08
60 $48.93 $34.67 $14.26
64 – 4 lb. $48.93 $36.49 $12.44
Rates as of January 21, 2018

 

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