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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2706 - December 29, 2011 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 4

EquaShip Lowers Shipping Rates as Online Sellers Brace for UPS and FedEx Hikes

By Ina Steiner
December 29, 2011

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While online sellers brace for increased shipping costs as UPS and FedEx institute their annual fee increases next week, EquaShip announced Thursday it is lowering its rates for small- and medium-sized businesses. The cofounder and CEO of the new parcel service that caters to small shippers called his two competitors a "duopoly" and said smaller shippers who don't qualify for the deep discounts that larger shippers negotiate will once again bear the brunt of the rate hikes.

"Once again we have seen the UPS and FedEx duopoly continue to post automatic, synchronized annual price increases that are at multiples of the national inflation rate and Consumer Price Index," said Ron Wiener, CEO of EquaShip.

There are no volume commitments for using EquaShip, which is the first and only carrier to offer USPS postal consolidation services to smaller shippers.

Also impacting online sellers this year are increases from the U.S. Postal Service, including Priority Mail rates that are increasing an average of over 3%, effective January 22.

eBay currently offers its online merchants the maximum UPS, FedEx and USPS discounts available to small and medium-sized shippers. Wiener said EquaShip's new pricing can save top-qualifying eBay merchants up to 71% on their shipping costs. And he said the combination of EquaShip's price reductions and the other carriers' price increases results in a savings potential of anywhere from 40% to 79% compared to FedEx and UPS residential ground delivery.

EquaShip also competes head-to-head with other postal consolidators such as FedEx SmartPost, yet is up to 60% less costly than SmartPost. For example, Wiener said it costs 37% less to ship a 1-pound package through EquaShip than through FedEx SmartPost.

EquaShip also launched an all-new website in conjunction with the release of an all-new edition of its unorthodox pricing and services guide, "The Savvy Shippers Secret Weapon Instruction Manual." The manual has updated tables comparing EquaShip's new 2012 rates with the higher rates from UPS, FedEx and USPS, and also includes a growing compilation of helpful advice to enable small shippers to dramatically reduce their shipping costs.

For sellers using USPS Priority Mail through EquaShip, the company offers EquaSurance through a partnership with Online Shipping Insurance Services (InsureShip), which is designed specifically for online sellers, distributors and manufacturers who ship new, invoiced products to their customers. Unlike the Declared Value coverage offered by other major carriers, EquaSurance covers packages all the way to the consumers' hands, without many of exclusions, restrictions and limitations that often void or reduce claim values.

How will you cope with increased shipping costs? Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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