Welcome to the latest edition of our eCommerce and logistics news roundup!
For this week, we’re taking a quick look at UPS’ decision to waive residential delivery surcharges during the holidays, FedEx’s expansion of its home delivery operations for bulky items and the ongoing trade war escalation between the United States and China.
Let’s dive right in!
UPS to Waive Residential Delivery Surcharges During the Holidays
Due to new investments in its operational efficiency and increased capacity, the couriers says that residential surcharges won’t be necessary for the first time in five years.
Residential surcharges were first imposed after the chaotic 2013 holiday season that saw couriers overwhelmed by the volume of parcels they received and sometimes failed to deliver ontime, with more than one million remaining undelivered by Christmas Day.
No announcement has yet been made if other couriers like FedEx will impose residential surcharges for the 2019 holiday season, though it appears unlikely that they’ll be imposed by that couier too.
Easyship’s Take: UPS’ decision is good news for online shoppers and merchants alike, with shoppers directly getting a reprieve from the fee and merchants not having to navigate what is and what isn’t a residential address.
However, be sure to use Easyship’s new residential address identifier to provide prepaid coverage for situations where residential delivery surcharges come into play, and also check out our 2019 Holiday Shipping Playbook to find the upcoming holiday shipping deadlines and useful tips on how to develop a shipping strategy for the busy holiday season!
FedEx Freight Direct Expands Home Delivery Service for Heavy Items to 11 States
FedEx Freight Direct has announced that it has expanded its home delivery services for large, bulky items to 11 states in order to meet demand.
Previously available in five U.S. cities in a pilot program, the expanded service is now more readily available across the United States, with a full list of serviced markets available on FedEx’s website.
The service is available in both standard and premium levels, with standard offering delivery to the first ground-level room in the destination business or home and premium offering delivery to any chosen room, including packaging removal.
Easyship’s Take: The announcement is great news for online merchants who sell large, bulky items both B2C and B2B, especially for last-mile delivery.
Businesses who sell larger products should definitely look into the service closely as a way to deliver their goods to customers cost-effectively and efficiently, potentially cutting delivery times and increasing customer satisfaction.
Plus, check out our guide to shipping large, heavy items here!
Trump Orders New Tariffs Against China as Trade War Escalates
Trump announced that he would hike already existing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports to the United States from 25 percent to 30 percent starting on October 1 while $300 billion worth of Chinese goods subject to 10 percent tariffs on September 1 would now face tariffs of 15 percent.
In addition, Trump also ordered U.S. companies producing goods in China to find alternatives, preferably by manufacturing in the United States. It’s unclear what the President can actually legally do in this regard, though his message certainly appears intended to hurt China’s robust manufacturing sector.
Easyship’s Take: The renewed trade war escalation between the U.S. and China is more unwelcome news for merchants who frequently sell between the two countries.
To work around the ongoing trade war, merchants should keep a close eye on any news regarding trade relations between the two countries, consider fulfilling from Hong Kong, avoid selling products in the targeted categories and build the increased costs from the tariffs directly into their product prices.
Taking proactive steps can shield your business from the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China and plan for the future more effectively.
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