Effective July 1, USPS Hikes International Shipping Rates; Shippers Consider Alternatives

Ecommerce merchants, still recovering from the COVID-19-mandated shutdown of international shipping, are scrambling to prepare for poorly publicized USPS rate increases. International shipper SkyPostal suggests a move to private carriers as one solution to the problem.

(Miami, FL) June 29, 2020—On July 1, a new United States Postal Service pricing structure for the movement of low-value small parcels goes into effect, raising rates on international shipments connecting a number of origin and destination postal systems.(1) “These rate increases,” says A.J. Hernandez, president and CEO of international business-to-consumer shipping firm SkyPostal, Inc., “further confuse a global ecommerce marketplace already struggling with the market confusion and logistical difficulties caused by the recent coronavirus-triggered shutdown in international delivery.”

Logistics services, notes Hernandez, were affected worldwide this spring when freight forwarders like the U.S. Postal Service stopped delivery services across more than 100 international markets. Thousands of businesses that depended on USPS for their international deliveries were left stranded, as they rushed to find alternative ways of getting shipments into their desired markets.(2)

The postal procedures taking effect July 1 will require foreign recipient countries to ratify new rates under ePacket, a USPS service that allows packages to be shipped—quickly, inexpensively, and with tracking—to more than 40 countries. As of July 1, the available list of ePacket recipient countries will shrink to 12; major ecommerce markets like the UK and Brazil are not among them. Given these circumstances, industry experts recommend that shippers move parcel volume to commercial networks such as carriers and freight forwarders to obtain discounted rates.(3)

Partnerships of this sort, says Hernandez, are particularly valuable to ecommerce merchants seeking to expand their reach into Latin America. The Latin American market represents a significant opportunity, with a total population of more than 626 million(4) and estimated 2020 retail ecommerce sales of $71.34 billion, up 21.3% from 2019.(5) There are, however, numerous challenges to doing business in Latin America, among them logistics, language, and the laws and regulations of some 40 different countries and dependencies. This is particularly true, he notes, of Brazil, which is the world’s fifth most populous country and ranks among its top 10 economies in terms of GDP.(6)

“SkyPostal,” says Hernandez, “offers Packet service into Brazil, which consistently outperforms ePacket while maintaining the same postal clearance advantage. We recommend that any U.S.-based ecommerce merchant needing a service provider to Latin America should look for a company that specializes in customs clearance, provides fully online-trackable delivery, offers localized services such as customer support throughout the area, offers return services, and can handle multiple currencies.”

About SkyPostal:

SkyPostal was created in 2001 to meet the need for improved and efficient cross-border mail and parcel service from the United States and Europe to all countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. It is now the largest private mail and delivery network in Latin America, serving European postal administrations, major publishers, the world’s largest ecommerce retailers, international shippers, and financial institutions that require reliable and secure delivery of their mail and parcels. For more information, please see www.skypostal.com.

  1. Solomon, Mark. “USPS, Facing Fiscal Calamity, Confronts New Challenges to International Parcel Competitiveness.” FreightWaves, freightwaves-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.freightwaves.com/news/usps-facing-fiscal-calamity-confronts-new-challenges-to-international-parcel-competitiveness/amp.

  2. Rajamanickam, Vishnu. “International Shipping Holds Promise for Retailers Post-COVID-19.” FreightWaves, 22 May 2020, freightwaves.com/news/international-shipping-holds-promise-for-retailers-post-covid-19.

  3. O'Brien, Mike. “Cross-Border Shipping Costs Going Up July 1, More Hikes in January.” Multichannel Merchant, 15 June 2020, multichannelmerchant.com/operations/cross-border-shipping-costs-going-july-1-hikes-coming-january/.

  4. “Latin America and the Caribbean Population (LIVE).” Worldometer, www.worldometers.info/world-population/latin-america-and-the-caribbean-population/

  5. Schwarzkopf, Aron, Guest. “Where ECommerce Is Headed In Latin America.” Crunchbase News, Crunchbase News, 20 May 2020, news.crunchbase.com/news/where-ecommerce-is-headed-in-latin-america/#:~:

  6. Mari, Angelica. “Brazilian e-Commerce Expected to Grow 18% in 2020.” ZDNet, ZDNet, 15 Feb. 2020, www.zdnet.com/article/brazilian-e-commerce-expected-to-grow-18-in-2020/#

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