Postage Increase – Are you ready for January 17, 2016?

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed a postage rate increase for select mail classes and services in 2016, pending approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).  If approved by the PRC, the new postage rates will start on Sunday, January 17, 2016.  Below are some highlights on the upcoming rate changes:

Priority Mail Express
The Priority Mail Express service will see an average increase of 15.6% in postage rates next year.  2016 Commercial Base rates for your Priority Mail Express packages will increase across the board, with the exception of packages weighing less than 0.5 lbs being shipped to Zones 5, 6 and 7.

PME
Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes
In 2016, Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Envelopes will see an increase of $2.55.  Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes will be discontinued next year.

PME Flat Rate
Priority Mail
Priority Mail rates will see an average increase of 9.4% in 2016.

PM
Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes & Envelopes
Postage rates for Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes as well as Envelopes will increase across the board in 2016.

PM Flat Rate

Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes
Postage for Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes A and B will be increasing for a large majority of the zones as shown below.  Priority Mail Regional Rate Box C will be discontinued in 2016.

PM RR

First Class Package Service
First Class Package Service rates will see an average increase of 12.8% in 2016.  The maximum weight for First Class Package Service Commercial Base pricing will be increased from up to 13 ounces to up to 16 ounces.  First Class Package Service Commercial Plus pricing will no longer exist in 2016.

FCPS

Parcel Select Ground
Currently known as Parcel Select Nonpresort, this ground service will undergo a name change in 2016 and will be referred to as Parcel Select Ground next year.  Parcel Select Ground rates will see an average increase of 1.9% in 2016.  Postage prices will actually go down for packages weighing between 3 – 10 lbs. and being shipped to Zones 1 – 5.

PS

International Shipping
International shippers will also see an increase in postage rates starting January 17, 2016.  Below are some highlights on the upcoming rate changes for international mail classes:

Global Express Guaranteed postage rates are expected to rise by an average of 7.1%.

Priority Mail Express International postage rates will increase by an average of 11.6% next year.  Flat Rate Boxes for this international service will be discontinued in 2016.  In addition, prices for Priority Mail Express International Flat Rate Envelopes and Boxes will be further separated into additional country groups.

Priority Mail International postage rates will see an overall increase of 10.2% in 2016.  Commercial Base and Commercial Plus pricing for this service will be the same next year.

First Class Package International Service postage rates will increase by an average of 21.6% in 2016, however Commercial Base and Plus prices will remain the same next year.  The average price increases by pound are:

– Up to 1 lb. – Average Increase of $5.17
– Up to 2 lbs. – Average Increase of ($1.77)
– Up to 3 lbs. – Average Increase of $1.63
– Up to 4 lbs. – Average Increase of $11.58

Quality Control & Customer Service

Quality control and customer service are some of our primary concerns. Attention to detail and a quick response time is what makes Direct Resources a leader in the fulfillment and distribution industry.

By being proactive and carefully reviewing all shipments that come in and out of Direct Resources, we are able to identify any issues that may arise. With SnacKit, one of our new customers, we were able to determine some external issues with packaging before distribution occurred.

“I was very pleased that DRI’s quality control was out in full force inspecting the wrapping and identifying the issue.” – Betsy Segers, President of SnacKit

We value our clients and their products and so we always triple-check every step of our work. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority. We are fulfillment specialists, not just general practitioners!

Postal Loss

The U.S. Postal Service recorded a $740 million loss for the quarter, which ended June 30.  The loss is largely due to health care costs and the continued decline of first class mail.
The bright side is that shipping revenue, which benefits from increased online shopping, advanced 8.8%. Advertising mail also grew.

Saturday Delivery Service Cut Delayed

In February, the U.S. Postal Service announced their plans to reduce their mail delivery days to 5, cutting out Saturday, to reduce spending. However, the Postal Service announced that Congress has put delays in this plan.

Congress recently passed a spending bill that barred the Postal Service from changing their delivery service. The Board of Governors of the Postal Service expressed disappointment with this new measure but has been left with no choice.

By cutting the Saturday delivery service, the U.S. Postal Service would have been able to save approximately $2 billion a year. This was to be the first step in reducing postal service costs. The bill will remain in effect for the rest of the fiscal year, ending on September 30.

Integration with Ultra Cart

Direct EDJE is proud to announce that Direct Response fulfillment software has been successfully integrated with Ultra Cart, an eCommerce provider. With this new update, our licensees can electronically pull order information and push back shipping information to Ultra Cart. This is the 6th successful integration with eCommerce providers.

We were able to achieve this seamless integration by utilizing our robust API.  This integration is one of the many ways we work with our licensees to help them add value to their offerings to their customers.

U.S. Postal Service Struggling Financially

The head of the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service said the agency must be allowed to ease the terms of prepayments into a retiree health-care fund and eliminate general mail delivery on Saturday.

Patrick Donahoe told “CBS This Morning” the agency isn’t asking Congress for money.

He said, “I think most people don’t realize, we’re 100 percent self-sufficient. We pay our own way.” But the postal chief notes the agency is losing $15.9 billion this year.

Donahoe says the post office needs to refinance retirement health fund payments to $1 billion a year instead of $5 billion.

He said the Postal Service would continue package delivery on Saturday and keep post offices open. In this scenario, he says the agency could be $8 billion in the black each year.

Direct Response™ at MFSA

Direct EDJE recently went to the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association 2012 National Conference in North Carolina. While there, the Direct EDJE group were on hand to answer questions and meet businesses in the vendor hall and presented about Direct Response™, Direct EDJE’s fulfillment software solution.

Direct Response™ was created in 1998 to enable the world’s largest computer manufacture real-time Internet based fulfillment. This fulfillment solution is secure, SaaS (Software as a Service), and real-time. The software was designed from the ground up to address the concerns of even the most complex 3PF operations. But this software did not remain stagnant over the years. Over the last 15 years, 2,000+ enhancements have been made in 160+ upgrades.

Security is of the highest priority for Direct EDJE. Direct Response™ is part of a dedicated and secure hosting with www.hosting.com. There is 24/7 real-time network traffic monitoring to detect suspicious activity or patterns. Offsite data backups and disaster recovery plans, as well as enterprise firewalls and redundant connectivity included in Direct Response™.

The SaaS part of Direct Response™ is an integral part of why the software is number one for fulfillment solutions. With SaaS, there is no need to purchase, install or update additional hardware or software and no additional IT resources are needed. The software is updated automatically and backups and security are Direct EDJE’s responsibility. Altogether, SaaS makes it easy for customers to use and take care of Direct Response™.

 Also included with Direct Response™ is Direct-2-Shop. Direct-2-Shop is a real-time, secure, and fully customizable turnkey e-commerce solution that provide public and private shopping experiences for your customers.

Altogether, Direct Response™ is one of the most advanced, capable, and safe fulfillment solution software programs available on the market today.