- 9/22/17 All services suspended in Dominica Open or Close
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2017 5:42 AM
Subject: EmIS 81/2017 – Dominica – Hurricane Maria
The Secretariat of the Caribbean Postal Union (CPU), on behalf of the designated operator of Dominica, the Dominica Postal Service, asks us to inform the designated operators of UPU member countries that all postal services have been suspended in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
As reported by the Prime Minister, many buildings, private and public, including the main general hospital and those serving as hurricane shelters, were compromised. There is no communication with the communities outside of the capital Roseau, but people who have walked into the capital from outlying areas report that all homes have been destroyed. There is no electricity, running water, or telecommunication services. There is an urgent need for tarpaulins and other relief supplies.
The CPU Secretariat, on behalf of the Dominica Postal Service, thanks all designated operators for their understanding. It will inform them via EmIS as soon as the situation returns to normal.
- 9/21/17 Earthquake interrupts service in Mexico Open or Close
The designated operator of Mexico, Servicio Postal Mexicano, has informed the USPS that due to the earthquake that struck Mexico on Tuesday, 9/19, operations at Mexico City International Airport have been temporarily halted. The USPS is continuing to accept mail for Mexico and currently expects to resume dispatches on Monday, 9/25. Customers may anticipate delivery delays.
Further updates will be provided as additional information is received.
- 9/20/17 Hurricanes Irma and Maria service update Open or Close
Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 10:45 AM
Subject: Situation in the Caribbean following hurricanes Irma and Maria
La Poste, the designated operator of France, wishes to inform the designated operators of UPU member countries that the extreme weather conditions in the Caribbean, strongly affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria, have seriously impacted its operations in the following territories: Saint Martin (French part of the Island); (SXM and SFG); Saint Barthélemy (SBH); Guadeloupe (PTP); and Martinique (FDF).
Situation on 20 September 2017 :
- Saint Barthélemy: all addresses with postcode 97133: no postal services available until further notice;
- Saint Martin (French part of the Island): all addresses with postcode 97150: no postal services available until further notice;
- Guadeloupe: all other postcodes starting with 971: operations heavily impacted; expect delays in delivery services in most areas of the territory. Flights to PTP are often cancelled and/or dedicated to first aid response for the populations of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy;
- Martinique, postcodes starting 972: postal services are OK, but flights to this destination are also heavily impacted; expect delays and disruption.
La Poste will provide an update on the situation via EmIS in the coming days.
- S Korea Post will be closed 9/30 - 10/9 (10 days) Open or Close
The designated operator of Korea (Rep.), Korea Post, would like to inform the designated operators of other Union member countries that there will be an unprecedented and unexpectedly prolonged operational stoppage for 10 days in a row owing to the combination of various holidays: Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), Hangul Proclamation Day, and the specially designated one-time holiday which was officially announced on 5 September 2017.
The 10-day holiday will run from September 30 to October 9, 2017. With Monday, 2 October 2017 being designated as a one-time holiday, there will be an extended shut-down of the office of exchange, domestic mail centre and delivery office.
Korea Post is informing designated operators of this newly added one-time holiday with the understanding that most designated operators sending mail to Korea (Rep.) may not be aware of it.
Korea Post thanks designated operators for their understanding and cooperation.
- 9/5/17 Landslides in Switzerland Open or Close
Swiss Post (CH) would like to inform all IPC members that a landslide occurred on 23rd August 2017 and affecting Bergell/Egadin (Canton Graubünden) in the Eastern part of Switzerland is making it difficult, and in some parts even impossible, to deliver postal items in the postcode areas 7602 – 7610. Some households will stay evacuated for the next two months or even longer until the imminent danger of landslides has passed.
We'll update as information becomes available.
- TRACKING INTERNATIONAL PACKAGES (pt 2) Open or Close
TRACKING INTERNATIONAL PACKAGES – helpful tips from IMS
What we’ve learned about tracking packages …….
- Packages will get an acceptance scan at IMS the same day we receive the packages. This includes the PMEI – PMI services, Commercial ePacket, and packages sent via IPA (Endicia integrations only).
- The number of scans a package gets will vary by service. Packages sent via the PMEI and PMI services will normally get more scans (visibility) while the ePacket service will average about 3-5 scans including the acceptance scan and delivery scan.
- Some countries are better at this than others. In order for the USPS to include a country for the ePacket service as an example, they must be able to give a delivery scan on 90% plus of the packages – our overall average has been 95% plus. A delivery scan is not guaranteed.
- Just because a package does not show scans does not mean it is not moving. Sometimes barcodes are smudged, torn, or any number of other things that can render them “unreadable”. It can also mean that someone on the other end just for whatever reason didn’t scan a package – it happens. The 5% on average that don’t get a delivery scan are more than likely to have been delivered, just not scanned upon delivery.
- If customs holds a package (for whatever reason), they are “supposed” to notify the recipient. We have no control over whether that’s done or not.
- Packages may go into a seemingly black hole with no activity for a period of time. Australia as an example, only gives us a delivery scan for ePacket packages – no scans when passing through customs, etc. Again, this does not mean your packages are not moving and/or delivered (see #8 below).
- If a package shows to have passed through customs or a “facility” and then goes dormant for a few days, have your customer check with their local post office as they could be holding it.
- You can also enter your USPS tracking numbers on the foreign post’s website and SOMETIMES get additional scan activity. Ask us and we'll send you the links.
- In some extenuating circumstances, we can enlist the help of contacts we have at USPS headquarters in DC, but that’s not an option when looking for a single package.
I hope this helps when fielding customer inquiries and managing expectations.
- USPS postage rate changes (Aug 20, 2017) Open or Close
July 25, 2017
Subject: Some USPS postage rates increasing on August 20, 2017
Dear IMS customer,
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is increasing rates for segments of the International Priority Airmail (IPA) and International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) services on August 20, 2017. As you know, our normal rate changes take place in January so this is unusual. This is not a standard postage increase but rather the result of renegotiated contracts per the USPS notification below:
United States Postal Service has notified partners with Negotiated Service Agreements of a price increase for International Priority Airmail (IPA) and International Surface Airlift (ISAL) effective August 20, 2017. The increase was planned to coincide with contract renewals which expired in June; however, we granted additional time to allow for coordination of technology changes and client notification. The decision was made to modify the contracts to reflect shape-based pricing to align with our increased costs in these products.
Here’s how the following service groups will be affected (percentages are based on the average of all country groups and piece weights, your actual costs could vary accordingly):
- Commercial ePacket (CeP): No changes
- PMEI and PMI (both Standard and Presort Drop Ship): No changes
- IPA Letters: Increase of 5.4%
- IPA Flats: No changes
- IPA Packages: No changes
- IPA M-bags: No changes
- ISAL Letters: Increase of 16% (Note: It will be much cheaper to route all Letter size pieces via IPA)
- ISAL Flats: Increase of 3.5%
- ISAL Packages: Increase of 3.5%
- ISAL M-bags: No changes
Because costs can vary by destination country, piece size, and weights, we recommend that certain mailings/shipments be quoted if questions. As we’ve always done for customers, we’ll recommend one service over another when it’s advantageous for the customer both rate and service wise. Here’s what we’ll be looking at for items sent IPA and ISAL only:
- Letters: Routing all via IPA (cheaper and faster).
- Flats: With the increase to ISAL (and not to IPA), it becomes cheaper to route certain countries (most notably, Canada) via IPA.
- Packages: Routing all via IPA.
We’re hoping to have rates emailed to all customers within a week. Your business is important to us – we’ll strive to provide the best possible rate and service for customers of all sizes. Thanks for your business!
Mark Bouman, Business Development, Principal
International Mail Service Inc (IMS)
- 4/30/17 Japan added to ePacket list Open or Close
Effective April 30, 2017 the Commercial ePacket service will be available to Japan bringing the total number of countries to 30 with more being added. Japan will be in the newly created Country Group 6. Related, Brazil will be moved from Country Group 15 to Country Group 10.
Please let us know if you'd like information about this or other IMS Parcel Services.
- 4/11/17 Services suspended to Guatemala (again) Open or Close
International Mail: Temporary Suspension of Mail Service to Guatemala
On April 11, 2017, the Postal Service™ announced the suspension of most mail services to Guatemala. Until further notice, all Post Offices™ and other acceptance locations must not accept any mail destined to the country of Guatemala, other than Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG®) service, which is still available. The suspension affects Priority Mail Express International® (PMEI), Priority Mail International® (PMI), First-Class Mail International® (FCMI), First-Class Package International Service® (FCPIS®), International Priority Airmail® (IPA®), International Surface Air Lift® (ISAL®), and M-Bag® items.
For already deposited items other than GXG addressed to Guatemala, Postal Service employees must endorse them “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender” and then place them in the mail stream for return.
For any returned item bearing a customs form, as well as any item shipped with Priority Mail Express International service, the Postal Service will, upon request, refund postage and fees on mail returned due to the suspension of service.
For all other returned items not bearing a customs declarations form, the Postal Service will, upon request, refund postage and fees on mail returned due to the suspension of service, or the sender may remail them with the existing postage once service to Guatemala has been restored. When remailing under this option, customers must cross out the markings “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender.”—
- Package tracking tips from IMS Open or Close
We get a lot of questions about what to expect when tracking packages sent via the different services so I think it's time to share some information for future reference. Your tracking results will vary by service level, destination country, and how you run your package labels (online, PC postage, shipping software, etc). Additionally, the percentage of packages that actually get a delivery scan will vary too - they should all be well over 90% but some countries are just plain better than others at this.
First, we'll look at the various USPS service levels ...........
First Class Package International (FCPI): Tracking can only be described as "limited" at best and is not to be relied upon. The USPS does claim on their website that "FCPI includes electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International when you ship online to select destinations". Safely put, your results will vary.
IMS "International Priority Airmail" (IPA): The IPA service does not offer door to door tracking. IMS customers using Endicia to print labels will however at least get an acceptance scan here in Kalamazoo. Additional scans from there are a bonus and again, not to be relied upon.
IMS "Commercial ePacket" (CeP): This is a fully trackable (door to door) service available now to 31 of the most popular countries (including the two news ones mentioned above). For about HALF the cost of FCPI, you won't get quite the visibility of a PMEI or PMI package, but you do get a delivery scan (scan rates are about 95%, some countries better, some a little lower). For an example, cut and paste the tracking number LX595336037US to USPS.com
IMS "PMEI and PMI" (both "Standard" and "Presort Drop Ship"): Fully trackable services to most countries with more visibility (scans). For an example, cut and paste the tracking number CY008968223US to USPS.com
Once in a while, you'll hear from customers that the package shows "Delivered" when actually it hasn't been or you'd just like some additional information on the whereabouts. For many countries, you can actually enter the USPS tracking number into the destination country's postal web site and get more information. The country specific links for some of the most popular countries are as follows: