Amazon is expanding its nationwide network of warehouses as part of a plan to enable same-day delivery of products to customers—an exciting possibility for consumers, but a daunting one for retailers.
FedEx will acquire Polish courier company Opek Sp. z o.o, likely finalizing the sale in late summer, said Jess Bunn, manager of investor relations at FedEx. Bunn did not disclose terms of the acquisition.
The embattled U.S. Postal Service (USPS) faces a host of new challenges, several of which threaten to directly impact marketers. However, many who rely on direct mail say that in spite of the tumult, they'll wait and see how things pan out before altering marketing strategy.
Shipping services provider DHL launched on Oct. 17 a revamped website for U.S. customers, DHL-USA.com, which features improved navigation, search, paperless clearance and conversion calculators, said Robert Mintz, communications manager at DHL Express.
The US Postal Service saw a net loss of more than $1.1 billion in February, when mail volume dropped 1.5% to fewer than 12.8 billion pieces. The USPS reported $5.1 billion in revenue for the month, a 1.5% decrease compared with the prior February.
LL Bean introduced free standard shipping without a minimum purchase amount to all US and Canadian addresses on March 25. The multichannel retailer will also increase Visa cardmember benefits by doubling rewards on purchases made with LL Bean Visa cards.
The US Postal Service introduced three business-facing international flat rate shipping options on February 2. The USPS unveiled the products as it is trying to increase shipping volumes and increase revenue from shipping services.
Mobile websites are nothing new, but today's marketers are revamping outdated sites to connect to a new customer - a social, on-the-go customer. FedEx, for example, had a mobile site in place for nearly a decade before it released a new, "optimized" version in late September, along with a new mobile app.
US Postal Service mailing and shipping services will be available at nearly 1,100 Office Depot stores, the two companies said August 16. Office Depot is the first national retailer to offer USPS shipping products and services.
Shipper UPS reported 7% year-over-year revenue growth during the first quarter of 2010 to $11.7 billion from $10.9 billion. Average volume per day increased to 14.93 million pieces during the quarter from 14.5 million the year before.
The US Postal Service, which revealed its 10-year plan to return to financial stability this month, will seek permission to change the classification of some consumer post office boxes. The move, which requires approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission, would free the USPS from pricing the boxes based on the rate of inflation.
Shipper UPS reported fourth-quarter 2009 revenues of $12.4 billion on February 2, a 2.5% drop year-over-year from the $12.7 billion earned during the same period of 2008. Its full-year 2009 revenue dropped 12% from 2008 to $45.3 billion.
UPS disclosed on January 8 that it will cut about 1,800 management and administrative positions in an effort to streamline its US management structure. The shipper also announced that it will reduce the number of districts and regions in its domestic small package operation.
The US Postal Service's new rates for numerous shipping services, including Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Return Service and Express Mail International, went into effect today.
The US Postal Service has reported a net loss of $255 million for November, and a $476 million net loss for October and November, the first two months of its 2010 fiscal year. Mail volume for November was down 4% from the previous year, although its revenue for the month was up 0.9%.
Rate increases by major shippers FedEx and UPS go into effect January 4, 2010. FedEx announced this month that it will increase standard rates for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery by an average of 4.9% next year. The shipper disclosed earlier that it will raise shipping rates for FedEx Express by an average of 5.9% for US domestic and US export services, also effective next month.
FedEx announced December 3 that it will increase standard rates for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery by an average of 4.9% next year. The rate changes take effect January 4, 2010. The shipper previously announced that it will raise shipping rates for FedEx Express by an average of 5.9% for US domestic and US export services, effective next month.
UPS announced November 20 that its 2010 shipping rates will increase by an average of 4.9% for UPS Ground packages, and will see an average net increase of 4.9% for air express and US origin international shipments. The rates will go into effect January 4, 2010.
Barron's reported on November 16 on analysts' positive outlook for FedEx, saying it has "upside for the long haul," mostly due to its international shipping business.
UPS will announce increases in its shipping rates later this month. Norman Black, director of global media services at UPS, said via e-mail that the shipping company does "foresee some general increases," and "adjustments to both air and ground rates," but it was not prepared to disclose details.
Later this month, the US Postal Service will unveil additional capabilities for its Intelligent Mail service, which allows the agency to track pieces of mail from origin to destination.
FedEx is conducting an international advertising effort promoting the shipper as a reliable partner during an uncertain economic period. The effort, which uses the tagline "FedEx delivers to a changing world," contains digital elements and a microsite. The initiative, which launched last month, is targeting small-to-medium businesses and influencers in the UK, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, China and Mexico.
UPS on October 22 reported revenues of $11.2 billion for this year's third quarter, a year-over-year decline of 14.9% from last year's $13.1 billion. The shipper also saw its average volume per day drop 3.9% from 14.9 million packages to 14.3 million. Operating profit during the third quarter dropped to $929 million from $1.63 billion last year, a decrease of 43%.
Amazon.com on October 15 launched same-day delivery for thousands of items in seven major cities. The online retailer has also expanded its Saturday delivery options.
The UPS Store launched an interactive microsite this week, extending its "Cardboard world" effort that promotes the outlet as a destination for services other than just shipping. The portal, found at cardboard.theupsstore.com, includes interactive games and a sweepstakes promotion. The goal for the site is to entertain consumers and to educate them about the company's business services, including its recently launched Web-based printing program.
UPS is using an e-mail marketing effort to promote an initiative to offset carbon dioxide emissions generated by the transport of packages. The shipping company is targeting environmentally conscious consumers and businesses with the campaign, which launched October 6. UPS began offering some US shippers the opportunity to pay a small fee to offset the environmental impact of their shipments this week.
International shipper UPS recently introduced a ground option for shipping small packages from Mexico to the US. The company had previously offered Express and Expedited shipping options from Mexico, but the new service will reduce costs for shippers who don't need short-term delivery dates.
FedEx has launched a sweepstakes promotion, called "Golf Anywhere," to highlight its 3rd Annual FedExCup, a championship trophy for the PGA Tour sponsored by the shipping company.
International shipping company UPS reported a 16.7% decline in revenue to $10.83 billion for its second quarter ending June 30, down from $13 billion in Q2 2008. Price reduction due to lower fuel charges, as well as the global recession, were cited as the root causes for the company's under performance.
FedEx Corp. last week launched an offbeat ad campaign with agency BBDO targeting small businesses, with online video as its centerpiece.
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