Confused About FedEx SmartPost, UPS SurePost and Other Deferred Residential Parcel Options?
Other negotiable items include surcharges (fuel, DAS, nonmachineable charges and others) as well as reductions to minimum charges. Shippers should measure the impact of minimum charges, as it's often an important point for negotiation. Volume shippers should be able to negotiate a minimum reduction at least $3.00 off minimum charges (2013 minimum charge is $5.84) for packages under one pound (resulting in a minimum charge of $2.84), and at least a $2.00 minimum reduction for packages at one pound and above (resulting in a $3.84 minimum charge).
My personal experience is that FedEx SmartPost offers higher discounts than UPS SurePost. However, UPS representatives have made the argument that SurePost rates are higher because it's a better product than FedEx SmartPost. They advise shippers to consider that SurePost parcels are distributed through the UPS Ground network and are always inducted at the DDU. Therefore, transits are more predictable and consistent.
However, any pricing advantage FedEx SmartPost has enjoyed might be changing. Several shippers have recently reported receiving very competitive SurePost pricing proposals.
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.