|Mon Aug 18 2014 22:09:18|
Will USPS Persuade Shippers to Switch to Priority Mail?
By: Ina Steiner
The USPS is going after a bigger piece of package-shipping, a sector that's actually growing for the agency. It's counting on Priority Mail to get there, and the upcoming holiday shopping season could be a big test for the agency.
By aggressively lowering certain Priority Mail rates effective September 7th, it may be able to attract some business away from UPS and FedEx Ground. As I note in Tuesday's Newsflash, an extreme case is that of a 19-pound Priority Mail package going to Zone 4 with Commercial Base pricing. Currently it costs $25.26; under the new rates, it will cost $11.43 - 55% lower than the current rates.
But, as they say, be careful what you wish for. If the USPS finds itself with a spike in business, it won't have a lot of time to adjust, with holiday orders starting to ramp up in October and November. The USPS has been consolidating mail processing facilities and recently announced it would recommence closures in January.
On the other hand,...with memories of last year's shipping debacle when shoppers didn't get their presents in time for Christmas (UPS bore the brunt of the blame), merchants may take a wait-and-see attitude before making any decision about switching carriers, even with lower rates.
See the new USPS Priority Mail ad on Youtube, and weigh in on the USPS' push to promote Priority Mail.