Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: November 18, 2015

World Map_standing imageHere are the current areas of the world that may be experiencing mail delays.

Source: International Delivery Solutions

El Salvador – Nov 6-10th strike by unions representing staff of the Ministry of the Interior and Territorial Development has ended and all operations moving back to normal.

Peru – indefinite postal strike as of November 11th. The processing of incoming international mail will be affected.

China -Nov 6-12th  Holiday-related Delivery Delays in China due to “Singles Day” which will be celebrated in China and the assumed volume of online shopping sales related to this holiday, a big increase in China-destined volume ex US is expected as US companies finish fulfilling these orders. At the same time delivery companies in China may be overloaded and face delays of 3-5 days.

Germany – Nov 14th  Lufthansa expects flight operations (continental & intercontinental flights) to be back to normal with more than 95% of flights operating as scheduled. The backlog in Frankfurt is expected to be cleared.

Malaysia – Nov 11-15th heavy rain caused a landslide near Bukit Tinggi, Pahang in Malaysia. Postal operations in three east coast states – Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu are suffering disruption as a result. The road system linking these areas is currently inaccessible to traffic, preventing transport of all mail items. Delays are likely until further notice.

Finland – The latest update on the strike by the Finnish Postal workers union the strike is now scheduled to run from Nov 19-25th. This strike affects inbound and outbound letters and parcels.

UPS Gets Into the Price Increase Act

Picture1It’s late autumn in most of the US. Along with frost on the pumpkin and preparations for the holidays, this time of year usually brings chilly news about mail price increases from our friends at the USPS. But today’s post contains news from a different link in the supply chain and that’s the United Parcel Service (UPS). We’ve recently received notification from UPS that they are raising rates for a number of their shipping services heading into the new year.

Although the UPS rates were announced as 2016 increases, some have already been implemented and the rest will be forthcoming.

Below is a table that outlines what these changes are. The rates are also available online at  The 2016 UPS Rate and Service Guide will be available for download on December 28, 2015.

Change Effective Date
 UPS Freight rates will increase an average net 4.9% Oct 26, 2015
Over Maximum Limits fee will increase to $110 for packages in the UPS system that are above the maximum weight or size Nov 2, 2015
UPS Ground Services and accessorials rates will increase an average net 4.9% Dec 28, 2015
UPS Air and International series and accessorials rates will increase an average net 5.2% Dec 28, 2015
UPS Air Freight rates and accessorials within and between the US, Canada and Puerto Rico will increase an average net 5.2% Dec 28, 2015
Charges for UPS Third-Party Billing Service to be implemented Jan 4, 2016

USPS Proposes Price Changes for Shipping Services Products

iStock_000002512608SmallThe USPS announced today that it has filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to propose price changes for its Shipping Services products. If approved, these changes would take effect on January 17, 2016, following the conclusion of the 2015 holiday season. The filing is for shipping services products only and doesn’t include any price increase for First-Class Mail or any other Postal Service Mailing product. Although it seems like the USPS is constantly filing to raise prices, this would actually be the first price increase in commercial Priority Mail in over three years.

The PRC has yet to approve the changes, so this is not a done deal at this point.

Busy Fall Season Might See Mail Delays

snailmailGet ready for a slow fall. While autumn leaves and fall colors may appear on schedule this year, your mailed publications may not. Word in the postal services industry is that consolidation of USPS processing facilities, reduced hours, reorganization, and retraining, are all causing a slow-down in delivery times when compared to this time a year ago.

To be fair, the USPS is committed in the long term to improving performance metrics and the current lag in delivery times is ironically the residual effect of the learning curve in a major transition to automation. And delivery times have steadily gotten better since significant changes were made in January. But the transition is still a work in progress. Publishers and mailers need to be aware of this, and be proactive about getting content into the mail stream as early as possible for the foreseeable future.

Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: September 28, 2015

World Map_standing imageHere are the current areas of the world that may be experiencing mail delays.

Source: International Delivery Solutions

Eastern Mediterranean: A sandstorm affected several countries in the eastern Mediterranean region on Sep 8-9th Cyrus, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.

Japan: Sep 8-10th severe flooding due to the effects of Tropical Storm Etau will cause mail delays.

Spain: Sep 4-30th Airport Handlers’ Strikes in Spain are scheduled.

Italy: Sep 14th severe weather in Northeastern Italy, delays in mail processing and delivery possible.

Chile: Sep 15th airport workers strike in Chile.

Ecuador: Sep 15th several forest fires in the vicinity of Quito left the capital covered in smoke. Expect mail delays.

Chile : Sep 16th, a result of an 8.3-magnitude earthquake in northern Chile, operations affected in the following areas: La Serena, Coquimbo, Andacollo, La Higuera, Paiguano, Vicuña, Illapel, Canela, Los Vilos, Salamanca, Ovalle, Combarbalá, Monte Patria, Punitaqui, Rio Hurtado. Consequently, delays in the distribution of all categories of mail (letters, parcels and EMS) are to be expected in the coming days.

India: Flight operations into and out of Delhi disrupted on Sept 18-20th.

Brazil:  Aug 20th and continuing, the Brazil Postal Service admits that there is a partial postal strike in Brazil for approximately 25% of the Brazilian Post workforce. Processing of incoming mail may experience delays.

Finland: Sep 18-22nd national strike comprising of walkouts and demonstrations by labor unions in Finland.

Australia:  Sep 21-30th the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection has informed us of a number of strike days to take place in several airports across Australia.  Mail and package delays are probable.

Taiwan: Sep 28th, Typhoon Dujuan has been upgraded to a super storm and expect flooding, possible mail delays.

China: Oct 1 thru 7th National Day Golden Week holiday (Commemorates the founding of People’s Republic of China). Public holiday – government offices and businesses extreme slowdown of mail delivery and  processing.

Will We See a Postage Rate Decrease in 2016?

As discussed previously on this blog (here, here, here, and here ), the USPS has been in ongoing negotiations with  the Postal Regulatory Commission for some time regarding the continuance or expiration of the 4.3% exigency postage rate increase approved in 2013. The surcharge was intended to offset huge losses the USPS suffered during the recession and help it transition to the “new normal” of mail volume, consumer habits, and revenues.

In July, the USPS argued that the exigency increase should continue and they were entitled to more money.  Without diving down into all the gritty details of how this worked out – suffice it to say that a ruling by the DC Court of Appeals declared that the calculations the PRC originally made were inaccurate and would need to be revised. Upon review, the PRC agreed that the USPS was entitled to collect an additional $1.91 billion in revenue through the exigent price increase before its expiration.

Picture1Some sources are interpreting the latest PRC ruling to mean that we’ll see an unprecedented postage decrease in the spring of 2016. This is based on the calculation on that the $1.91 billion will be reached by March or April and the USPS will then need to discontinue the exigent surcharge in line the mandatory Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based price cap. This postage decrease would be “a first” for the USPS and welcome news, indeed. It’ll be interesting to see how this unfolds in the coming months. Stay tuned.