New challenges and opportunities for businesses
Businesses are challenged to better manage their shipping and mailing operations
Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI), a global technology company that provides commerce solutions in the areas of ecommerce, shipping, mailing, and data today noted that the recent rate increases by FedEx® and UPS® and the pending January 27 rate increase for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS®) will prompt U.S. businesses to adopt new and innovative solutions and services to optimize their mission-critical shipping and mailing operations.
Many of these businesses have exploding package volumes, with needs in both mail and digital communications. The complexity of managing multiple disparate carrier rate structures and systems for packages, as well as mailing rates, is causing many businesses to look for solutions and incentives to both lower their costs and simplify their processes. New technology, tools and services are available to help businesses simplify their operations by integrating shipping and mailing, connecting physical sending with digital systems and data, and delivering consolidated accounting and reporting functions.
“Businesses are continually challenged to better manage their shipping and mailing operations,” said Chris Giles, Vice President, Global Product Management, Pitney Bowes. “Thankfully, there are new cloud-based multicarrier solutions, like SendPro from Pitney Bowes, available to help even the smallest shippers and mailers maximize their budgets. These solutions help small businesses compare package rates between carriers to best meet their customer requirements and deliver like the big guys. For mailers, the metering discount and presorting options, will allow businesses to lower their overall mailing costs with each mail piece.”
Here are some of the key rate changes that could have significant impact on most businesses:
Package Shipping Rates Rise Across the Board -- Package shipping rates continue to rise for all three major U.S. carriers.
- FedEx raised its FedEx Express package and freight standard list rates by an average of 4.9 percent for U.S., U.S. export and U.S. import services. It also raised its FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery standard list rates by an average of 4.9 percent as well.
- UPS increased its U.S. Ground, Air and Freight rates by an average of 4.9 percent.
- USPS will institute an average rate increase of 5.9 percent for Priority Mail®. Overall rates for First Class Package Service will go up 11.9 percent and any package going across the country will see a significant increase, anywhere from 0.43-1.43. dollar
First-Class Mail® Rates Increase; But Greater Discounts Available -- the price of a first-class stamp will increase from 0.50 dollar to 0.55 dollar; however, businesses that apply postage using a postage meter instead of stamps, will now save $.05 on every First-Class Mail letter they send.
In announcing the increase in the discount from 0.03 dollar to 0.05 dollar per piece, the USPS noted that, “meter-based payment is more efficient than stamp-based payment – it eliminates the need for stamp production, distribution, and cancellation – and fosters more consistent use of the postal system, slowing the migration of mail volume to electronic channels. Small business volume in particular should be protected by this decision.”
- Using a postage meter will save 0.05 dollar per piece, meaning instead of 0.55 dollar per piece, the cost is 0.50 dollar. A small business that sends 1000 pieces of mail per month can easily save 600 dollar in postage annually simply by using a meter. This metered mail savings also applies to PC Postage®, Permit Imprints and Pre-Cancelled stamps and is on top of the many other benefits of metered mail, including convenience, accuracy, cost accounting, security, and payment options.
* For more details on these rate changes, visit Pitney Bowes Rate Change Central.
Here are three recommendations for businesses to optimize their sending operations in 2019:
- Compare Rates. New cloud-based solutions can help you deploy a consistent, unified and scalable approach to sending packages and mail to gain greater control and visibility into the true cost of shipping and mailing within your organization. New technology can enable organizations to:
- Facilitate multi-carrier management, enables selection of the best carrier for each package based on a simple view of service level, cost and value
- Access USPS commercial-based savings that aren’t available at the post office; saving up to 40 percent on things like Priority Mail
- Initiate carrier pickup in real-time from the desktop, tablet or mobile device
- Automatically reconcile all charges to one account
- Improve the package receipt process, so inbound tracking capability becomes as convenient as outbound shipping
- Meter your Mail. Using a postage meter saves 5 cents per piece for envelopes – up to 3.5 ounces. This metered mail savings also applies to PC Postage®, Permit Imprints and Pre-Cancelled stamps and is on top of the many other benefits of metered mail, including convenience, accuracy, cost accounting, security, and payment options.
- Use Presort Services. Presorting helps maximize postal discounts and allows the mail to be introduced into the postal system closer to its final destination, generating deeper postal discounts and streamlining mailing operations. Commingling your mail with mail from other businesses will enable you to gain greater postage discounts while ensuring your mail arrives on-time, at the right place.
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