Confused About FedEx SmartPost, UPS SurePost and Other Deferred Residential Parcel Options?
While transit times aren't guaranteed, delivery is generally achieved within two days to eight days within the contiguous 48 states, although how long it takes is highly variable and determined by unique origin/destination pairings, service provider's network, induction point and other factors.
Win, Win Win!
Parcel Select service avoids many costs typically associated with air and ground delivery including the residential surcharge, which is currently $3.20 (plus fuel surcharges), in addition to many other accessorial charges. Although both SmartPost and SurePost began assessing delivery area surcharges (DAS) in July, the fee is only 25 cents, significantly lower than the $2.15 to $3.50 DAS for air and ground shipments.
Parcel Select services offer advantages to each of the parties involved — the shipper, parcel expeditor and the USPS. The shipper benefits by keeping shipping costs low, enabling it to offer customers an economical alternative to ground residential delivery at a lower price. The parcel carriers benefit by economies of scale; the more they aggregate, the more "entry" and "saturation" discounts they can earn from the USPS. The hybrid service allows the carriers to lower operating costs by consolidating multiple deliveries to a single point of USPS entry, while avoiding the high costs associated with residential deliveries. Finally, the USPS benefits by receiving additional package volumes and revenues, while incurring marginal cost increases since postal carriers are making mail deliveries to those same mailboxes anyway.
Rob Martinez is the CEO of Shipware LLC, a professional services firm that transforms businesses through intelligent distribution solutions and strategies. Rob has helped some of the world’s most recognizable brands reduce parcel shipping costs an average of 25 percent through contract negotiations, rate benchmarking, modal optimization, invoice audit and other savings vehicles. A cum laude graduate of UCLA, Rob has 20 years of transportation industry experience, including executive positions at DHL and Stamps.com, in addition to his work as an outside consultant since 2001.