I wrote in earlier posts about the USPS plan to offer free insurance on Priority Mail shipments. That change, along with a few other others are now in place.
As I see it, here are the changes they have made to their “premium” services:
- USPS Express service has been renamed USPS Priority Express and includes up to $100 of insurance in the price. It is still a one-day service to most domestic locations with delivery guaranteed.
- USPS Priority Mail offers up to $50 insurance included in the price and now has an “expected delivery time” map available on the USPS website for each origin zip code. Transit time is 1-3 days depending on destination zip code. Transit time is not guaranteed.
- Both services have new box designs, but the older boxes can be used until the supply is depleted.
- Both services have what the USPS calls “improved tracking”. It is hard to determine what that enhancement includes, if anything.
- The pricing for the services remains unchanged.
This is a step forward for the USPS – the free insurance for the two Priority Mail (Regular and Express) services will help reduce the cost for some shippers who routinely have paid $1.95 for $1 to $50 and $2.45 for $51 to $100 of insurance in the past.
The service map for Priority Mail (regular service) is also a helpful aid for shippers to determine how long it will take for a package to reach their customer – although it is not guaranteed. In the past the service commitment was a non-specific “one to three days”.
For most internet shop shippers, the regular Priority Mail will remain a good option, especially on shipments under three pounds in boxes less than one cubic foot. Also, for higher weights to far-away destinations, the flat-rate boxes are an excellent choice, if your products can be safely packed in one of them.
FedEx Home Delivery and UPS remains a great option on weights over three pounds and boxes larger than one cubic feet.