Posted on April 26th, 2017

Amazon is under pressure from Wall Street to reduce its shipping costs, Reuters reports, and recent filings in China and the United States suggest one avenue it may pursue to bring those costs down. Those filings include:
  • Registering its Chinese subsidiary, Beijing Century Joyo Courier Service, as a freight forwarder with China's transport ministry last year, allowing it to export cargo out of the country. (A freight forwarder does not own ships but handles customs and other documentation.)
  • A similar application by the subsidiary with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission in November.
  • An application with the Shanghai Shipping Exchange to serve as a shipping broker for 12 trade routes, including Shanghai to Los Angeles and Shanghai to Hamburg, Germany.
According to the Reuters report, analysts suggest Amazon’s freight forwarder license will make it easier for Chinese merchants and manufacturers to transport their goods to major Amazon hubs.

To read the full Reuters story, click here.

Posted on April 21st, 2017

New requirements for the U.S. Postal Serivce's Commercial ePackets (CeP) are scheduled to take effect on April 30. The following are the changes that will be introduced:
  • Addition of Japan to the destination country list (Price Group 6).  There are now 30 countries on the list.
  • Movement of Brazil from Price Group 15 to Price Group 10.
  • Addition of the pallet option for mailings entered at JFK, ORD and SFO.
  • Elimination of the pallet option for mailings entered at LAX and MIA.
Further details can be found in the Commercial ePacket (CeP) Mailer Preparation Requirements. Click here to access the document.

Posted on April 18th, 2017

Extraterritorial Offices of Exchange (ETOEs) are businesses operated by. or in connection with, foreign postal operators. They perform a wide range of postal functions that can vary by country, but generally include consolidating, documenting, and transporting outbound international mail. A white paper issued by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. Extraterritorial Offices of Exchange, explores ETOE operations, their oversight structure, and stakeholder perspectives.
Some stakeholders argue that ETOEs gain an unfair competitive advantages because they can access terminal dues (through their affiliation with national posts) and lower transportation rates, and are relatively free from regulatory oversight, among other benefits. Other stakeholders see a place for ETOEs in a competitive marketplace, but take issue with the terminal dues structure because it mandates lower rates for developing countries and higher rates for developed countries. ETOEs and terminal dues were discussed at the 2016 UPU Congress in Istanbul.
To read the full OIG report, click here.

Posted on April 17th, 2017

“In 2004, the cost of manufacturing on the east coast of China was approximately 15 percentage points cheaper, on average, than in the United States. In 2016, that gap was down to about 1 percentage point.” That’s one reason why Justin Rose and Martin Reeves of the Boston Consulting Group argue that U.S. companies should rethink their supply chains. Other factors include cheaper energy prices in North America, the complexity of managing global supply chains, and the possibility of a U.S. border tax or other forms of protectionism taking hold.
But companies can’t assume they will find the materials or manufacturing capacity they need in the United States. American manufacturing has been in decline: a net 19,000 U.S. manufacturing companies closed shop between 2001 and 2015, Rose and Reeves point out in their Harvard Business Review article. Their best advice is for companies to evaluate their current and future customer footprint and map it against existing manufacturing and supply chain capabilities, and then evaluate alternate scenarios.
To read the full article, click here.

Posted on April 11th, 2017

​Effective immediately, the Postal Service™ will suspend most mail services to Guatemala until further notice. Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG®) service is still available. The suspension affects Priority Mail Express International® (PMEI®), Priority Mail International® (PMI®), and First-Class Mail International® (FCMI), First-Class Package International Service® (FCPIS®), International Priority Airmail® (IPA®) International Surface Air Lift® (ISAL®), and M-Bag® items.
For already deposited items other than GXG addressed to Guatemala, Postal Service employees must endorse them “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender” and then place them in the mailstream for return.
For any item bearing a customs form, as well as any item shipped with Priority Mail Express International service, upon request, the Postal Service will refund postage and fees on mail returned due to the suspension of service.
For all other returned items not bearing a customs declarations form, upon request, the Postal Service will refund postage and fees on mail returned due to the suspension of service, or the sender may remail them with the existing postage once service to Guatemala has been restored. When remailing under this option, customers must cross out the markings “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender”.