Thursday, January 27, 2011

UPS and FedEx Rates Increases Hit Small Businesses

Raising rates is inevitable when a company is trying to increase profits and shareholder value. When companies like UPS and FedEx raise their rates on their shipping services, there are many understandable factors they take into consideration besides their stock prices. Inflation, increased fuel costs, increased competition, and increased general overhead all play a part. We understand these reasons and pay for the raise in service fees.

However, when ancillary service charges are raised it is not so understandable. Mainly: Declared value coverage (often called shipping insurance). This additional service fee from UPS and FedEx is not due to increases in lost or damages packages in their systems. It is due to the need on increasing their bottom lines. The problem is, this increase also hits the bottom line of small to medium size businesses.

In 2011, UPS and FedEx raised their declared value fees by 7%. They now charge $0.75 per $100 of coverage, with a $2.25 minimum. 7% may seem reasonable, but that is only part of the story. Did you know that since 2004, this fee has gone up 215%!

If your business is shipping packages on a regular basis, this increase can definitely hurt your bottom line. A $5,000 spend in 2004 is now $10,700. Many businesses we speak to do not even know that the rates are this high. Many believe they are still paying $0.35!

This is another reason why Shipsurance is a great option for your business. While you continue to rely on UPS and FedEx for their core business (shipping) you can rely on us for our core business (shipping insurance). Our rates have not risen and our claims processing has gotten more efficient over time. Can UPS and FedEx say that?

Great breakdown of the numbers!

Jason Archambault

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

FedEx vs UPS ; Who Is More Efficient

We are always asked the same question: Who is better, FedEx or UPS? It is impossible to give a clear answer as both offer tremendous services and the claims we process are evenly distributed.

Using industry data, Package Fox has come up with a great graphic that compares the two shipping giants by the numbers. See below.

Related Posts


Ah, the age old question, UPS or FedEx......

Jason Archambault
FastPack Packaging Inc.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

USPS to Raise Rates in April 2011

The United States Postal Service has proposed a rate increase for their First Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Media Mail services effective April 17, 2011. They also announced changes for the First Class International service. The new rate change is a 1.7 % increase on average. They will also introduce Commercial Base Rates for First Class Parcels. Priority Mail and Express Mail are not affected by this specific increase. These rates need to be approved by the Postal Regulatory Committee but they are likely to be approved as they are within the allowable annual increase of  1.7%.


New Commercial Base Prices
This will be a new rate class that is available for online postage users ONLY, and will save shippers $0.15 per mail piece. These new rates start at $1.56. Commercial Base rates give discounts to shippers who purchase their postage online through Endicia,, the USPS Click N Ship, or other third-party online postage services.
First Class Letters
1 oz. ounce First Class Letters will remain at $0.44 and 1 oz. First Class Flats will remain at $0.88. However, each additional ounce (or half ounce for 3.5 ounce letters) will cost an extra $0.20 (up from the current  cost of $0.17).
First Class Packages
Retail rates will start at $1.71 (up from the current  cost of $1.22)
Media Mail
Rates will start at $2.41 (up from the current  cost of $2.38)
Parcel Post
Rates will start at $5.10 (up from the current  cost of $4.90)
First Class International
Letter prices will change for group one (1) and group two (2) by an average of $0.06.
Flat prices will change for all country groups by an average of $0.53.
Package prices will change for all country groups by an average of $0.78

Click here for more information from the USPS rate change

Good explanation of upcoming increases from Shipsurance.

Jason Archambault

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Bubble Wrap on History Channel's Modern Marvels ; TONIGHT Premiere Date: 01/14/2011 9:00pm

It pulls, stretches, bubbles, hardens, crunches, and melts! We eat about 7-billion tons of it yearly. We're talking about Candy--loved by kids and savored by adults. Candy-making evolved from a handmade operation to high-tech mass production. Nowhere is that more apparent than at Hershey's. On a tour of their newest production facility, we learn how they process the cocoa bean. At See's Candy, we see how they make their famous boxed chocolates--on a slightly smaller scale than Hershey's. We get a sweet history lesson at Schimpff's Confectionery, where they still use small kettles, natural flavors, and hand-operated equipment. Then, we visit Jelly Belly, purveyors of the original gourmet jellybean. Saltwater-taffy pullers hypnotize us on our sweet-tooth tour; we gaze at extruders making miles of licorice rope; and watch as nostalgia candy bars Abba-Zaba and Big Hunk get packaged. And in this sugary hour, we digest the latest sensations--gourmet chocolates and scorpion on a stick!


We are excited to see this episode. Let us know if you enjoy it!

Happy Popping!

Jason Archambault
FastPack Packaging Inc.
Bubble Wrap in Clear, Purple, Red, Green, and Blue!

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Monday, January 10, 2011 Blog » 2011 Shipping Rate Change Survey – USPS, FedEx, UPS

This week, the U. S. Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx all raised their shipping rates.  While the USPS raised retail rates by an average of 3.9 percent (3.2 percent for customers), UPS Ground and FedEx Ground both raised their rates by an average of 4.9 percent.  In our latest, survey, we asked customers to tell us how these rate increases would affect their ecommerce program.

Most interesting is the rate at which merchants will be changing carriers due to the rate change; in particular the rate at which merchants claim they will be moving volume to the USPS (likely based on the USPS have the lowest rate increase).  Be sure to check out the rest of the survey questions to find out more about how shipping affects ecommerce merchants.

Will Merchants Change Carriers Based on Changing Rates?
Almost half (46 percent) of survey respondents stated these rate increases will influence which mail carrier they will use in 2011.


Two-thirds of respondents reported that they currently use more than one carrier.


Of the respondents that use more than one carrier, 50 percent have no intentions to change carriers based on the rate change.  For those that plan to change, the USPS is the carrier merchants are most likely to switch to.


Switching Costs

While more than half (52 percent) of respondents reported that there is little or no back-end work required to accomodate the rate change, 26 percent of merchants will need to perform at least one day of work due to the rate change.


In addition to rate change questions, we also asked a number of other questions for ecommerce merchants.  Here are some of the more interesting results:

How Do Ecommerce Merchants Determine Shipping Rates?

When asked how ecommerce merchants price their shipping charges, 44 percent of the respondents stated they utilize destination and/or weight based pricing.  40 percent stated they use flat rate pricing to determine their shipping charges.

While the zone/weight based pricing is generally a more accurate method, it is also much more complicated as it generally requires merchants to populate rate information for hundreds of zone/weight combinations and typically necessitates a system that allows for dynamic rate checks based on what customers have in their cart and what they have entered as a delivery address; to say nothing of the added complexity that more than one distribution center can add.


Customers Prefer Home Delivery

74 percent of respondents ship at least half of their packages to a home address.


Although FedEx ($2.50) and UPS ($2.45)  charge residential surcharges, only 12 percent of merchants have different rates for home/business shipments (USPS has no residential surcharges).

How Heavy Are Typical Packages?

83 percent of respondents reported that the majority of their packages weigh three pounds or less.  Only 4 percent typically ship packages over ten pounds.

This survey was sent to current customers that operate an ecommerce store.  The survey was conducted from December 16-21, 2010.

Click here for more information on the 2011 USPS Rate Change.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey!

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Came across a great article from Hope you find it as interesting as i did!

Jason Archambault

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

FastPack's Annual Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day Sale will go on!

We have great news! We have decided that our Annual Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day sale will continue this year! So on January 24, 2011, be sure to visit the BWAD (Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day) page on our site at to receive FREE SHIPPING on select products. Remember, the sale items will only be offered on January 24, 2011, for 24 hours. You purchase has to be made, from the BWAD page to receive FREE SHIPPING, & only on the products listed on that page of our site.

What potential savings is there you may ask?
For every roll of bubble wrap, you will save at least $7.95 in shipping
For every case of tape, you will save at least $9.00 in shipping
For every case of Poly Courier Mailers, you will save at least $9.00 in shipping
For every case of Bubble Mailers, you will save at least $9.93 in shipping

See the BWAD page at for all details of this one day event!

Jason Archambault
Fastpack Packaging Inc.

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