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Domestic Shipping Disruptions Now a Reality for Sellers

Domestic Shipping Disruptions Now a Reality for Sellers

Domestic shipping disruptions are now a reality for online sellers who have already faced international mail disruptions. The USPS is warning of delivery delays for certain Priority Mail and First-Class packages (FCPS) services. It’s also surprising to learn which international posts are limiting items mailed to the United States.

USPS Warns of Delivery Delays, Including Priority Mail
The USPS advised shippers of delivery delays in its recent “COVID-19 Continuity of Operations Update,” effective today, April l7, 2020.

“U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail products and First-Class packages may require more time to be delivered due to limited transportation availability as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) impacts to the United States,” according to the advisory.

It’s unclear what impact this may have on sellers, especially those on marketplaces such as eBay that display estimated delivery dates. While it uses data provided by the USPS, eBay also relies in part on a seller’s history in computing estimated delivery times, which could result in eBay providing shoppers with unrealistic estimates.

Some of the key changes in USPS delivery times announced today include the following:

  • USPS Priority Mail Express service, which guarantees overnight service, will not change.
  • Service commitments for local 1-day Priority Mail will not change.
  • Priority Mail’s two- and three-day service commitments now will be extended to three and four days respectively.
  • First-Class Package Service (FCPS) two and three day service commitments will also be extended to three and four days, respectively.
  • Global Express Guaranteed Services also have been altered.

“The Postal Service’s goal continues to be to move packages as expeditiously as possible,” the USPS wrote. “The Postal Service continually reviews its network capacity to provide the American public reliable, efficient, and fast-delivery service. We will continue to keep you abreast of improvements in transportation availability and when we will be able to return to normal service levels.”

Refunds for Packages Impacted by International Suspensions
The USPS has been keeping shippers up-to-date on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting international mail. It informed shippers that “customers are entitled to a full refund of their postage costs when service to the country of destination is suspended.”

However, it’s not automatic – it appears shippers must request the refund of postage and fees on mail returned due to the suspension of service.

Product Sourcing Problems from Abroad Expand
It’s not surprising to learn it’s more difficult to get products from certain countries, but here’s one that might surprise you: Ireland.

Ireland’s An Post is sending only letters, large envelopes and packets to the United States; no parcels.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

6 thoughts on “Domestic Shipping Disruptions Now a Reality for Sellers”

  1. part of the problem seems to be disgruntled workers at distribution centers.

    seems like they accidentally on purpose are misdirecting the mail.

    checking tracking numbers show packages being sent back and forth, to different states etc.

  2. If the workers are disgruntled they should quit and go elsewhere. I know a lot of the senior workers probably need to retire, they’re dependable IMO, but it’s the younger ones that seem to not care. Overall, though I’ve gotten good service from the Post office, considering they work under tremendous conditions.

    1. I believe the person talking about disgruntled workers is talking about Amazon and other Distribution centers not the Post Office. I work for the Post Office and we don’t a way to mess with the tracking numbers.

    2. Part time, no benefits, no days off, and no protective gear despite skyrocketing cost of living and postage rates. Don’t forget being crapped on by people that don’t work for a living, like politicians, bankers, shareholders, and other talking heads. Gee, I wonder why they might be disgruntled. Oh well, don’t care, gimme gimme my boxes now you dirty peasant.

  3. I won’t be mailing anything media mail for the duration. I had a package stuck in Chicago for a week, the buyer complained, even though they admitted it wasn’t my fault. So I had to refund the buyer even though the package was still in transit.

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