USPS Announces New International Services

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CHICAGO - Mailers into the European Union stand to benefit from introduction later this month of an expanded version of the United States Postal Service's Global Package Link export service for high-volume shippers.

Bob Michelson, mail order manager of USPS International Business Unit, discussed details at a luncheon sponsored here last month by the International Mailers Action Group and IBU.

GPL-EU, Michelson said, will allow mailers to enter their mail into all EU countries through a single point of entry in the UK. They will no longer have to fill out individual paperwork for each country since GPL-EU routes all packages through the U.K.

And since they will only have to pay duties and taxes for the U.K., they will no longer need to figure out specific duties and taxes for each European market. They will also cut the administrative costs of entering multiple markets individually.

The new service will charge different rates for deliveries into western and eastern Europe. Although shipping costs will vary depending on country of destination uniform base rates are planned for each region.

The base rate for a 1-pound package shipped to western Europe will start at $13.24, while the same package to eastern Europe will cost $21.50.

The GPL-EU service will cover Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

Michelson also discussed a second new service that allows cheaper but slower shipment of goods to Japan. Tentatively entitled ISAL Economy, it will allow mailers to ship Standard-A mail to Japan in pallets by boat rather than by plane.

While this will add an extra week to 10 days for delivery, prices will decrease by 10 percent. Japan Post, with whom USPS has partnered for ISAL Economy, will open a new plant outside of Tokyo Nov. 1 to accommodate this service.

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