New UPS Flat Rate Box

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by upsyo, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. upsyo

    upsyo Member

    Just happened to see a memo lying around that we are testing a new flat rate box in certain markets. Does anyone have anymore info on this? Cost? Size? Hopefully it will compete with post office and they will have it system wide before peak.
  2. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    No no and maybe
  3. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    Our center mgr did a PCM last week. Had photos of the boxes and prices. I do not remember the prices, but do remember that it was being tested in AZ. If it were to go nationwide, I would probably pickup 50-100 more pieces a day. Right now, ebay sellers are loving the USPS 'if it fits, it ships' boxes. They do not like the lack of tracking. UPS has great tracking and all that.
  4. drewed

    drewed Shankman

    Does usps make money off flat rate boxes?
  5. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    I have an office supply store that is my last pickup. They started selling the USPS flat rate boxes, and my pickup pieces dropped by fifty percent. About all I get there now are "drop off" boxes that are mostly RS packages. We need a flat rate box to compete.
  6. probellringer

    probellringer Member

    just wait awhile.....just like dhl cut us on letters---i think back in day it was $5 to send an overnight letter cross country---till they ran out of money....there is no way the usps can be making ANYTHING on this....they lose billions every qtr....i bet they lose big time on that flat rate stuff....anyone know if usps pays out on claims too?
  7. tourists24

    tourists24 Well-Known Member

    good call drew... that was gonna be my point,,, if it dont make profit... UPS wont do it
  8. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    Good point !
    There would have to be a $ limit for claims
    let the post office keep it
  9. rod

    rod retired and happy

    Oh NO!!!!!---you mean we are going to be subjected to countless more showings of "The Logistics" song -----only this time with flat rate boxes.:sick:
  10. RustyPMcG

    RustyPMcG New Member

    Insurance is extra.

    Delivery Confirmation is also extra unless you buy your postage online.

    There's no guaranteed delivery time for Priority Mail. (It once was marketed as a 3-day product, but those days have long passed.)

    As an owner of a The UPS Store, I detest USPS Flat Rate boxes. The best I can do is get a 4% discount, and free Delivery Confirmation, but I have to buy postage in advance (compared to UPS billing me after the fact.) If I charge enough to cover the cost of my employees processing the packages, plus the cost of running them over to the Post Office, I still have to listen to how I'm a price gouger because the average guy doesn't realize that money doesn't fall out of the sky to pay my bills. When I add on a mark-up of just half of what I get when I ship a UPS domestic package, I can count on some little old grandmother calling me a name she'd never say in front of her grandchildren.

    If a UPS flat rate box isn't priced low enough to bring over business from USPS and FedEx, and only canibalizes the business from people already willing to pay full price, it's a waste of time. But if it's priced so low that UPS loses money on every package, it doesn't do any good, either. And even if I get the same percentage on the flat rate boxes as on the full rate shipping, that cuts into my revenue, too. X% of 50 is less than X% of 100, even if it increases the number of packages by a heafty 25%.

    Now you want to talk about something crazy, instead of looking at USPS's heafily promoted Priority Flat Rate boxes, look at their Express Mail letters. I don't have to go much further than one zone out for a UPS NDA letter (weight limit 8oz) to be twice what an Express Mail envelope (no weight limit, as long as no tape is necessary to hold it closed) costs. Of course depending on the destination, the UPS deadline is anywhere from 3 to 6 hours later than Express Mail at the local Post Office. In the morning, people will walk out when I quote them an NDA price on a letter. (But they do love me at 3pm!)

    But all in all, I don't think UPS should let USPS set the pace on prices. USPS is on the verge of imploding. They were denied an increase on First Class Mail rates, so they're going to have to raise their rates on their premium products. And let's face it: Even a "premium" USPS product is aimed at a lower target than the average UPS customer. I'd rather UPS worry about competing with FedEx than with USPS.
  11. probellringer

    probellringer Member

    lets face it...if they dont care about sending something they will use usps....but if they DO care -and want to get it somewhere -by a certain time--then they use us.... you really feel appreciated when you walk into a UPS store for the evening pickup with your handtruck---and the customer says"oh --will my package be going tonight"----its a good feeling when they count on us...
  12. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    If it is less than 2 lbs the Post Office has us beat.

    I admit that even I get sticker shock when I send something UPS. We are expensive.
  13. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    This is the reason my daughter & grandson in Hawaii get gift cards all the time instead of presents. Shipping to Hawaii is out of this world expensive!!
  14. RustyPMcG

    RustyPMcG New Member

    Instead of coming up with a flat rate box that either cuts the margin to the bone, and/or canibalizes the shippers who are already willing to pay full price UPS could do a better job of explaining the benefits of UPS over USPS.

    In other words, make it a battle of service rather than one of raw price.

    They could work around a theme of "First Rate or Flat Rate: You choose."

    (Or maybe not.)
  15. stevetheupsguy

    stevetheupsguy sʇǝʌǝʇɥǝndsƃnʎ

    That's a good idea. I actually like that jingle.
  16. rod

    rod retired and happy

    I don't think "if they don't care" is really the problem here. The bottom line with most shippers is ship it "the cheapest way". From my own experience of the last few years if I order from 10 different companies: 5 will ship Fedex Ground- 4 will ship USPS and one will ship UPS. To be honest I've had very good luck with stuff coming Fedex Ground and USPS. They both seem to be as fast as UPS ground and Fedex has a tracking system that is just as good as UPS's. Tracking throught the USPS cost extra so I can't compare them. Yes- I would prefer that my stuff be deliverd by UPS but I would never refuse something because it wasn't. Bottom line: just get me my stuff in a reasonable amout of time. All shipping is expensive now days-------- especially since it has become so popular to sell something cheap but charge the customer a god awful amount for "shipping and handling". I ordered a custom washer for a leaking Delta faucet and the washer listed for about a buck and a quarter but minimum shipping charges were $10.00. They could have put it in an envelope and a 42 cent stamp would have got it to me but they wouldn't do that.
  17. RustyPMcG

    RustyPMcG New Member

    Actually, the trend is to offer "free" shipping. At least among the big guys. And the problem with that is the consumer no longer understands the value of shipping.

    "They only charged me $4.50 so ship me the anvil I'm trying to return. How can you be telling me that it'll cost me $95 to return it! That's outrageous!"

    I may be exagerating to make a point here, but multiple times every single day it comes up. And it's never as obvious as my anvil example, which makes it even harder to explain to the customer.

    And yes, they often bring up the USPS Flat Rate Priority box starting at $4.95. I try to keep one of those $4.95 boxes handy so they can see that it's about as thick as a cereal box, and isn't much bigger than an old VHS tape. But some of them really think that you can ship up to 70lb anywhere in the US for $4.95!

    (Technically, you're allowed to. But I have no idea how you'd find anything that weighs 70lbs that'll fit in that box. And even if there was such a thing on this Earth, I don't know how you'd keep it in the box without using tape, or changing the shape of the box.)

    So between those Flat Rate box ads showing $4.95, and big retailers offering free, or obscenely discounted shipping, there are a lot of people out there who have no clue about how much it costs to ship something. And they think I'm lying to them when I quote them a real price.
  18. worldwide

    worldwide Active Member

    Why not? If you prefer UPS, make it clear at the point of ordering--you are the customer and have the power to buy from vendor X or vendor Y. If others refuse to buy because a company will not ship UPS, perhaps they start to offer UPS. Why support a non-union carrier and give packages to the other guys? I have found that if I request UPS, most companies will honor that request. When something has come in Fedex after I have requested only UPS, I have had good luck getting my shipping refunded. Most companies will do anything these days to get new customers and keep the ones they have; honoring a request for a choice of carrier is a small way to keep the customer happy.
  19. rod

    rod retired and happy

    Because I'm so damned easy to get along with. :happy2: I just want what I ordered and life is too short to get in a pissing match about how someone ships something.If I was ordering hundreds of things from the same company maybe you have a point but not for one item.
  20. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    Not believable.