Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: April 14, 2014

World Map_standing imageHere are the latest global hot spots that may delay mail delivery as reported by International Delivery Solutions.

Thailand:  The Songkran Festival taking place between April 13-16th. Mail items arriving during this period will be held until when the processing and delivery of mail resumes.

Greece:  The Confederation of Greek workers and the Association of the Civil Servants held a 24 hour strike for on April 9th. This affected both inbound and outbound mail services.

Argentina: Customs officials and brokers in Argentina called a one day strike April 10th. This was a nationwide strike and customs did not operate for one day, as a result delays to mail services were probable.

Indonesia:  Indonesia Post informs that the country’s legislative elections took place on April 9th.  No postal operations took place.

Chile:  April 1st an 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile, causing significant damage. Mail delays are probable.

2014 Postage Rate Increase Guide

mail-36569_150If you need some help wading through the USPS rate changes, and new services and mail classes for 2014, check out this handy guide from stamps.com. It includes in-depth analysis, rate information, and year-over-year percentage increase comparisons with 2013.

2014 Postage Rate Increase Guide

While it seems as if the annual postal rate increases approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) would make the USPS less competitive and attractive over time, the folks at stamp.com offers this important takeaway from their analysis:

With private carriers such as UPS® and FedEx® raising ground shipping rates by an average of 4.9% for 2014 , the USPS®is still the cost-effective leader . . . .

Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: March 26, 2014

World Map_standing imageHere are the latest global hot spots that may delay mail delivery as reported by International Delivery Solutions.

Germany: On Mar 27th staff at Frankfurt Airport will stage a strike that is likely to cause considerable delays.

Paraguay: Mar 26th general strike planned.

Iceland: A snowstorm, Mar 22-23, in northern Iceland has disrupted transportation services.  As a result there may be delays to mail services in postcode areas 580-699.

Netherlands:  Hosting the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on Mar 24-25th. This is likely to affect mail services in the city centre and zip codes 2500 – 2599 around the city until Mar 26th.

Indonesia: Mar 31st Nyepi, the Hindu Day of Silence (Bali’s ports, including the airport, will not operate for 24 hours. In addition, most offices and businesses, will close.)

Belgium: Postal workers called a strike in Antwerp, on March 21st. As a result, mail for the postcode areas 2000-2999 and 3400-3999 will suffer a delay.

Belgium will host several European summits from March 20th to April 3rd, transport delays because of world leaders being present.

Ukraine / Crimea / Russia:  Crimea has been recognized as a separate state by Russia. With effect from Mar 18th, mail services in the areas listed below are likely to be delayed:

  • Crimean Postal codes – 95000–98999
  • Sevastopol Postal codes – 99000-99999

Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: March 5, 2014

World Map_standing imageHere are the latest global hot spots that may delay mail delivery as reported by International Delivery Solutions.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced that, as a result of winter storms currently affecting the Mid-Atlantic portion of the country, USPS is experiencing major transportation and operational delays. Snow, freezing rain and ice have impacted air transportation, leading to the cancellation of thousands of outbound international flights.

Venezuela:   due to the current political protests and manifestations in this country, the government has declared a one week suspension of all work in the country, work will not commence until after March 7th.

Latin America:  Monday and Tuesday was Carnival before Lent began.  Expect mail delays.

Australia:  Labor Day Holiday March 3rd.

Brazil:  employees of Brazil Post have been participating in sporadic strike action affecting 13 states across Brazil.  Brazil Post has requested that the Superior Labour Court step in to force a suspension of the industrial action arguing that it is illegal. The service is working normally, there is a minimum number of employees that keep working, however some delays may be expected in the end.

Japan: On Feb 14th Tokyo received heavy snowfall, delayed transportation in and out of the city centers.

China: Feb 12th strong earthquake struck in the of western Xinjiang province.

UK: Feb 10th Flooding in the country is causing mail and delivery delays.

Australia: Feb 10th bush fires in Victoria, mail severely affected:

Postcodes impacted:

  • 3064 Kalkallo, Mickleham
  • 3430 Clarkefield
  • 3431 Riddells Creek
  • 3433 Monegeetta, Monegeetta North,
  • 3434 Romsey, Springfield
  • 3435 Lancefield, Goldie, Goldie North,
  • 3437 Gisborne
  • 3756 Wallan, Chintin, Darraweit Guim
  • 3762 Bylands
  • 3764 Kilmore, Kilmore East, Tantaraboo, Willowmavin, Forbes

Canada: Canada Post announced Feb 20th eleven communities across Canada where mail will be delivered to new community mailboxes beginning in the fall of 2014. This is the first stage of a five-year national initiative involving roughly 5 million addresses. In the larger cities in this initial stage, only a few specific neighborhoods will be affected. Within the affected areas, most businesses will keep delivery to the door. In the smaller municipalities, nearly all households and a higher proportion of businesses will move to community mailbox delivery.

The 11 communities and the approximate number of affected addresses are:

  • some neighborhoods in Calgary, AB
  • Fort McMurray, AB
  • some neighborhoods in Winnipeg, MB
  • Oakville, ON
  • in Ottawa, ON, neighborhoods in Kanata
  • Rosemère, QC
  • Lorraine, QC
  • Bois-des-Filion,QC
  • Charlemagne, QC
  • Repentigny, QC
  • and in Halifax, NS, neighborhoods in the Lower Sackville and Bedford areas

Several USPS Promotions Now Available for Mailers, Marketers

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Examples of color barcodes that meet the requirements of the Branded Color Mobile Technology Promotion. For more information on eligible barcodes, click on the photo.

Customers will be able to take advantage of several Standard and First-Class Mail promotions throughout 2014.  Currently, the USPS is offering a Branded Color Mobile Technology Promotion through the end of March.  This promotion encourages mailers to take a new approach to typical black and white QR codes.

Upfront postage discounts (2 percent per eligible mailpiece) are available for customers who choose to use creative elements such a color or graphics in their mobile or print technology.  According to the USPS National Customer Support Center (RIBBS) website, the mobile barcode must be functional and incorporate 2 or more colors (not black, white or gray), and/or a trademark graphic that includes color(s).

While registration for this promotion started in December, mailers are able to register for this promotion through the end of March.  This promotion in available for both Standard and First-Class Mail.

An Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion is also available as of late last week.  This promotion is intended to slow the decline of First-Class Mail, Business Reply Mail (BRM) and Courtesy Reply Mail (CRM) pieces.

“Mailers will earn a two-cent credit on each reply mail piece that is returned during the promotion period. At the end of the promotion, the total credit amount will be applied to the mailer’s Permit account,” the RIBBS website states.  “The credit can be applied to future mailings of First-Class Mail Presort and Automation cards, letters and flats, and Standard Mail letters and flats.”

Customers can register for this promotion through the end of March.  The promotional period is April 1 – June 30.

The Premium Advertising Promotion also became available last week.  This promotion encourages marketers to utilize First-Class Mail for their high-volume marketing materials.  According to this promotion’s details, customers must have mailed $6 million or more in Standard Mail letter postage from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013 are eligible.

Customers can register for this promotion through the end of June.  This promotion also runs April 1 – June 30 and can save marketers 15 percent off of First-Class postage upon mailing.

To see other USPS promotions, visit the RIBBS website.

Winter Storm Causing Mail Delays in South, East Coast

World Map_standing imageAccording to a USPS Service Alert, a winter storm that impacted many southern states will continue to cause mail delays as it moves along the East Coast.

“The Postal Service is currently experiencing impacts to delivery and retail services in Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and the Washington, DC area. Further delays are expected in Pennsylvania, New York, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC. We will make every attempt to provide service where it is safe to do so,” the Service Alert stated.

More information is available on the USPS Service Alerts website.  The Postal Regulatory Commission also announced that they will be closed today.

Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: February 4, 2014

World Map_standing imageHere are the latest global hot spots that may delay mail delivery as reported by International Delivery Solutions.

Romania: Since Feb 3rd, heavy snowfall in parts of Romania is affecting the delivery and collection of mail.

Ecuador
: On Feb 3rd, the Tungurahua volcano has reactivated with a period of high activity. A wide area of central Ecuador, temporarily closing the airport in Cuenca, reaching as far south as Loja, and dusting the southern section of Quito. Some airlines have already canceled individual flights as a precautionary measure.

Slovenia and Austria: Since Jan 31st, Slovenia and Austria are suffering severe weather conditions which impact the delivery and reception of all types of mail. Slovenia is facing dangerous ice conditions, inundations and blocked roads as a result of snow followed by heavy freezing rainfall and sleet. In Austria´s zip code area 9000-9999.

Indonesia: On Feb 1st, Mount Sinabung volcano in North Sumatra erupted three times, causing transportation disruptions.

Italy: Several cities in central and northern Italy, including Rome, experienced severe flooding and heavy snow fall since Jan 31st. The worst affected areas are postal codes 10XXX, 12XXX, 14XXX, 15XXX, 16XXX, 17XXX, 27XXX, 32XXX, 33XXX and 58XXX.

European Union: Wide spread aviation labor strikes continued across the European Union for Jan 29-30th including France, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Portugal, Italy – some cancellations and delays were reported.

Canada Post delays Jan 22-23rd in Quebec and the Maritimes (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland) because of blizzards.

Indonesia: The rainy season, which began at the end of December 2013, has caused massive flooding in various parts of Indonesian territory. Many primary roads have been damaged and partially washed out.  This situation may result in delays in the transportation and delivery of inbound and outbound international mail and parcels.