Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 18

UPS, FedEx Rollout Pricing for Ultra-Short-Haul Delivery – UPS Inc. and FedEx Corp. are offering a new type of pricing for deliveries within a 50-mile radius, according to a person familiar with the companies’ strategy, in a move designed to divert local “last mile” business-to-consumer traffic normally moving with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).  Short-haul shipments delivered by the two giants would fall under a new “zone 1” rating, according to the person.  UPS and FedEx would price those deliveries cheaply, largely because they wouldn’t involve the use of over-the-road, line-haul services that add to the carriers’ costs.  The pricing has been made available to a select group of large customers that have requested it, according to the person.  UPS and FedEx are re-configuring their networks to efficiently accommodate much more e-commerce throughput, and the person said that would include the types of moves qualifying for zone 1 pricing.  Source:  DC Velocity

What’s in Store – Luxury apartment dwellers aren’t that excited about workout rooms, internet cafes and swimming pools anymore.  Instead, renters want facilities where they can store and retrieve packages, according to a new study by the University of Houston.  These services could prove attractive as more consumers skip malls and department stores to shop online and package deliveries to apartment buildings surge, the research notes.  In addition to package lockers, luxury high-rise apartment buildings could gain a competitive edge with prospective tenants by offering other amenities like internet-enabled smart appliances, pet facilities and building-specific mobile device apps, according to the findings.  Source:  USPS Link

Coming Soon: PostalPro – The RIBBS website has been redesigned and is in the process of transitioning to a new home called PostalPro.  https://postalpro.usps.com/ will become the primary source for USPS mailing information.  PostalPro leverages powerful search functionality, intuitive navigation, and a modernized, mobile-friendly design.

Direct Mail Is Marketing’s Workhorse – Though many marketers label direct mail costly, they recognize its value — often noting its ROI. About 69 percent of marketers continue to use it, according to Target Marketing’s newly released study, “Marketing Mix Trends 2010-2016.”  In 2016, that 69 percent figure was joined by a single-digit response of marketers cutting back in the channel.  Six percent of marketers responding to the survey cut back on direct mail spending in 2016 — which notably doesn’t include eliminating the channel from the marketing mix.  Apparently the mid-year postage rate increases, which fell heavily on First Class letters and flats, weren’t enough to deter marketers, especially given the drop in First Class Metered Mail rates.  The continued strength of direct mail is also reflected in personalization’s continued use: Recipients react well when offers are clearly tailored to them.  Source:  Presort.com

Reminder:  Stamp Out Hunger – A new video offers a preview of the 25th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, which will be held Saturday, May 13.  The 3-minute video features Chief Operating Officer Dave Williams and Fred Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, which co-sponsors the drive with USPS.  Williams notes that almost 49 million Americans — including 13 million children — are unsure where their next meal is coming from.  “The food drive takes place right when most school breakfast and lunch programs are about to be suspended for the summer, leaving millions of children struggling for food,” Williams says.  The one-day drive allows customers to fill a bag with nonperishable food items and leave it by their mailboxes for carriers to pick up.  Source:  USPS Link

UPS Unveils Extended-Range, Fuel Cell Powered Truck – United Parcel Service (UPS) has announced that it will deploy a prototype extended range Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) in its Rolling Laboratory fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.  In a statement issued today (2 May), UPS said it is working with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other partners to design a “first-of-its-kind, zero tailpipe emissions, Class 6 medium-duty delivery truck” will be able to meet the same route and range requirements of UPS’s existing conventional fuel vehicles.  The vehicle will use the onboard fuel cell to generate electricity for propulsion.  Source:  Post & Parcel