The U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday established proposed pricing for its new two- to five-day delivery product offering known as USPS Ground Advantage.
Pending favorable review and comments from the Postal Regulatory Commission, which must approve the proposal, USPS Ground Advantage is slated to launch July 9.
Published prices for USPS Ground Advantage will decrease 1.4% relative to current Parcel Select Ground and First-Class Package Service pricing. USPS Ground Advantage Retail prices will decrease 3.2% and USPS Ground Advantage Commercial published prices will decrease 0.7%, the agency said.
The Postal Service said in February it would merge three ground delivery products into a new brand that will offer two- to five-day transit times with pound, ounce-based and cubic pricing options for parcels weighing up to 70 pounds.
The three products being merged are First-Class Package Service, targeted at merchants shipping parcels under 1 pound; Parcel Select Ground, targeted at shipments weighing between 1 and 70 pounds; and a new service called Parcel Select Ground Cubic, which is priced based on the parcel’s dimensions and can also weigh between 1 and 70 pounds.
Goods will be shipped across the Postal Service’s massive ground network.
The product is aimed at shippers willing to sacrifice speed for price. It is also intended for users of the Postal Service’s Priority Mail service who need two- to three-day transit times but don’t want to pay Priority Mail’s pound-based prices.
Separately, the Postal Service on Tuesday posted declines in shipping revenue and volume in its fiscal 2023 second quarter, which ended March 31. Shipping and package revenue dropped by $162 million while volumes dropped 5% or 89 million pieces.
The Postal Service has been on the back side of package-delivery normalization since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet the continued decline in the segment is worrisome, especially in Priority Mail, where volumes are declining 10% each quarter, according to Nate Skiver, head of LPF Spend Management, a consultancy.
It won’t get much easier as long as UPS Inc. and FedEx Corp. continue to take small to midsize business market share with ground services, Skiver said in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday.
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