In October, the U.S. Postal Service® implemented several key changes to the Priority Mail® program. These changes came in response to a third-quarter financial report that showed continuing growth in USPS’s shipping business — an area that has increased 14 percent in the last two years.
Customers can expect to see many improved features, such as free insurance, better parcel tracking, and explicit delivery time estimates. The changes are projected to generate more than $500 million in revenue for the USPS within the next year.
Deliveries are now be scheduled for one, two or three days, depending on the package’s destination and origin. The delivery’s schedule information, as well as detailed tracking information, will now be prominently visible on the customer’s retail receipt and also be accessible online using the USPS Track & Confirm tool.
To help bridge competitive marketplace gaps, USPS will offer free shipping insurance. This feature has the added benefit of addressing the needs of small business owners and other individuals who frequently use the postal service to ship packages. The one-day, two-day and three-day shipping options will include either a $50 or $100 insurance backing, and the amount will depend on whether or not the delivery was paid for at a retail counter or online.
USPS will continue to offer many of its past competitive services, including:
- Free package pickup, regardless of the size or number of packages
- Free supplies, such as envelopes and boxes
- No hidden fuel or residential surcharges attached to delivery costs
- Many different packaging size options, as well as multiple flat rate and variable pricing options
Of the various delivery services found in the United States, USPS is the only one that reaches every address in the nation. It does not receive any taxpayer money for operating expenses, instead relying on the sale of postage, services and other products to fund its operations. Despite the increasing prevalence of ecommerce and changing shipping habits, USPS has maintained 31,000 retail locations around the country, brings in approximately $65 billion annually and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail.
The upgrades USPS has made should provide a number of key benefits to businesses and organizations across the country, and looks to position the agency well against private-sector competitors like UPS®, FedEx® and others.