USPS may leave global postal union — and spike international shipping prices
UPDATE: The USPS has negotiated a deal that enables them to stay in the Global Postal Union. From CNBC:
- The Universal Postal Union agreed to a compromise Wednesday that would allow the United States to set its own inbound postage rates and remain within the organization the Trump administration had previously threatened to leave.
- Jean-Paul Forceville, the chief negotiator for France’s La Poste, told CNBC earlier that the probability was “pretty high” that a compromise would be reached this week to reform the 144 year-old organization along some of the lines the United States has proposed.
According to FreightWaves.com:
Barring an eleventh-hour agreement, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will leave the Universal Postal Union (UPU) on October 17, ending 144 years of U.S. involvement in the international body that governs the exchange of mail and postal parcels between countries, and perhaps fundamentally changing the landscape of global air shipping.
The piece goes on to quote Matthew White, a strategist for iDrive Logistics, in estimating a price increase of “at least 300%” for shipping internationally into the United States. Since the USPS will cancel negotiated service agreements (NSA) covering international shipments if the withdrawal takes place, U.S.-based international shippers will also pay more.
That means US-based independent creators shipping things like Kickstarter rewards to backers overseas may be paying much more in shipping costs. If you have a Kickstarter in the works — or if you’re offering physical merchandise to Patreon backers — this is going to impact your cost estimates significantly.
Update from Endicia
Shipping software provider released the following on Sept. 19:
On Oct. 17, 2018, the White House announced the start of a one-year withdrawal process from the Universal Postal Union, a United Nations organization established in 1874 that regulates global mail delivery and rates among its 192 member countries. The primary concern of the White House is the subsidized rate set by the UPU for delivery of lightweight packages sent from countries such as China. That rate, which is much lower than the domestic delivery cost charged by the U.S. Postal Service to American shippers, puts US e-commerce businesses at a disadvantage.
In an effort to keep the United States in the organization, UPU members will vote for proposals to reform the terminal dues system at the UPU Extraordinary Congress scheduled for Sept. 24-25 in Switzerland. However, if the outcome is not satisfactory, the U.S. may leave the organization — a scenario that will create uncertainty and possible disruption of USPS international shipping.
New GlobalPost international shipping services
The newly introduced GlobalPost international services are not reliant on U.S. relationships with the UPU. Our network leverages partnerships with international postal operators as well as commercial carriers to offer worldwide delivery with quality postal services at extremely competitive rates.
Whether or not the United States withdraws from the UPU, GlobalPost will allow you to continue to ship internationally with similar transit times, customs clearances and competitive rates. Best of all, GlobalPost services include features not found in traditional international offerings, including:
- Electronic customs forms
- Global address verification
- Up to $100 of included Parcel Coverage
- Shipment of merchandise in flats
- Instant international refunds
For more information about GlobalPost, please visit our FAQ.