The world's leading postal administrations began offering a day-certain guaranteed delivery service yesterday that links Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and the United States.
The service reaches 261 million business and household delivery points, said Jim Wade, vice president for international business at the U.S. Postal Service. The markets in the agreement make up 30 percent of the USPS' Global Express Mail from the United States and more than 50 percent of its Express Mail imports.
“These are key areas for our customers,” he said. “The Pacific Rim continues to grow in global significance as the nations there experience unprecedented growth in trade. It's where our customers want to be.”
Prices for the service are generally 50 percent less than the published prices of its competitors serving the area, Wade said, and there are no hidden surcharges.
Along with the USPS, the postal administrations in the network are Australia Post, China Post, Hong Kong Post, Japan Post and Korea Post. There are 1.6 million employees in the network and 2,000 retail locations. The six agencies involved control about 60 percent of the world's mail flow.
The idea for the alliance arose from a meeting of the heads of the six agencies in Hawaii in June 2000.
In the past three years, each postal authority worked to align its delivery operational systems to operate a seamless network. Each country agreed to a defined set of delivery standards, including providing customers with parcel-tracking facilities. As a result, customers now have access to a database of localities and postcodes across 8 billion combinations. Customers also can track shipments online, from posting to delivery.
“With extensive network coverage in these key international marketplaces, no other delivery company in Asia today can match this capacity or expertise,” Wade said.
The service guarantees delivery in two days within Asia; three days to and from Australia/Asia; three days from Australia/Asia to the United States; and five days from the United States to Asia/Australia.
The network also offers proof of delivery for shipments of documents, merchandise or other packages and can handle items up to 30 kilograms.
Wade said that the network is focusing first on the Pacific Rim because of the region's economic growth, but plans to expand worldwide.
Available in the United States as an enhancement to Global Express Mail, the service is available at post offices in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Customers can track a shipment's progress at www.usps.com or by calling 800/222-1811.
Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters