USPS Issues Service Disruption Alert for Hawaii

August 24th, 2018 Comments off

The USPS has issued a service disruption alert for the state of Hawaii. Due to Hurricane Lane there is no mail delivery or pickup on August 24th for Hawaii Island, Maui County, Kauai and Oahu. Though the service disruption alert is only for August 24th, future deliveries and pickups may also be effected. For updates on USPS mail delivery see the Service Disruption Alerts Page.

 

Getting Local and National Updates

On a national level, you can access detailed information about which delivery units are not accepting drop shipments or whether your Post Office is open today.  If your Post Office is temporarily closed, the USPS will provide information on which facilities are handling the mail volume for that location in the meantime.  Usually, a nearby Post Office will handle the mail temporarily for the area.  In some cases, temporary cluster box units may be installed to provide delivery service to local residents, or if you use a PO Box, your mail will be sent to a box at another Post Office.

You can also access detailed Mail Service Disruption Reports to find the cause of the disruption.  The option of “USPS facilities status” will provide information on whether your facility is slated to be permanently closed.

 

International Mail Disruptions

For mail being sent to international addresses, this helpful page will provide information such as which services are suspended or restored for countries affected by unfortunate events, such as wars or natural disasters.  Mail addressed to a country seriously affected by hostilities may be returned to you so it is important to stay abreast of any issues abroad.

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USPS Proposes Changes to Liquid Shipping Guidelines

July 31st, 2018 Comments off

Currently, the USPS has specific guidelines for shipping liquids, creams and pastes. In addition to the existing guidelines the USPS has proposed additional requirements that aim to reduce the amount of damage caused by leaking or ruptured liquid containers. The Postal Service anticipates that, if passed, the proposed revision will decrease the amount of time spent on spill response, mail decontamination, and site cleanup, along with providing an improved customer experience. After all, no one wants to receive a package drenched in someone else’s leaking water.

 

Current Guidelines for Shipping Liquids

  • Liquids must be nonhazardous
  • Any item that is the source of an obnoxious odor is nonbailable
  • Containers with friction top containers are not mailable by themselves
  • Glass with more than 4 fluid ounces must be cushioned with a sealed waterproof bag and packed within sealed outer packaging
  • Containers over 32 fluid ounces must be cushioned with a sealed waterproof bag and packed within sealed outer packaging

 

Proposed Changes to Guidelines

The new proposed guidelines would require all liquids in nonmetal containers, regardless of volume, to be triple packed. Packing must include cushioning materials capable of absorbing all liquid, a sealed, waterproof secondary packaging, and a strong, sealed outer mailing container. Additionally, these changes would also apply to metal containers with friction-top closures (push-down tops).

There is currently no timetable for when these guidelines would go into effect if passed. We will continue to keep you updated as news develops.

 

Shipping Liquids with Stamps.com

Stamps.com can even be configured to add order tags based on the products in your orders so you can flag any orders that contain liquids and be sure to package them correctly. In addition to automatic order tags, Stamps.com features domestic address cleansing so you can be sure that your liquids are shipped to a valid address. From automation features to package insurance, Stamps.com offers customers everything they need to ship liquids and more.

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Impact of Bad Addresses on USPS Parcel Delivery

July 13th, 2018 Comments off

In May 2018, there were 23 million packages shipped by the USPS that had issues with address quality on the shipping label. Sometimes this inaccurate info is very minor, such as a missing apartment number and the package can still be delivered on time.  Other times the incorrect address info can be a major problem, causing a long delay in delivery or even require the package to be sent back to the sender.

23,600,524 USPS Packages had missing address info in May 2018

Most online retailers understand the importance of fast delivery. The “Amazon Effect” has created a whole generation of buyers that expect fast (and free) delivery within 2 days of ordering their product.   If there are delays, the customer can become unhappy quickly, which can snowball into negative reviews and the customer never buying from your store again.  Plus, an unhappy customer brings additional labor costs for Customer Support and extra shipping costs for those packages that are sent back.  Removing any obstacles for fast package delivery is a huge benefit for any online seller.

Stamps.com Automatically Verifies All U.S. Addresses

The good news is that Stamps.com can catch these incorrect addresses before your shipping labels are ever printed.  Stamps.com matches all label addresses against the USPS Address Matching System, an up-to-date database that verifies all deliverable mailing addresses in the U.S. This process is completed automatically – whether you are manually inputting an address on the “Packages” tab or automatically importing retail orders using one of our ecommerce integrations.  The system also adjusts addresses to the preferred USPS addressing standards. For example, if you write “Suite 100” in an address, the Stamps.com address cleansing process will abbreviate “Suite” to “STE”, the preferred USPS format. During address cleansing, Stamps.com will also add the proper ZIP + 4 Code to your address.

Avoid delays in package delivery.  Get addresses validated automatically by printing all of your USPS shipping labels with Stamps.com.

 

Source: Mailers Technical Advisory Committee June 2018

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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:

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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.

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